Need to look at future needs of valley residents |

Need to look at future needs of valley residents

When I first arrived in Aspen, an immigrant from a totally paved East Coast city, I found a town with one paved road, Highway 82. After protesting the first stop sign on Aspen’s main street, I realized that we were in the period of traffic management. Wider roads, pavement, more stop signs, directional street signs, no-parking signs, parking lots, street lights, a parking garage and parking meters all followed. We were managing traffic.
Until RFTA. Finally, we were looking for a solution to the “people moving” issues throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. No longer did we feel obligated to coordinate our medical appointments or shopping or Glenwood pool day or auto repair with others. We could ride the bus!
After a stormy beginning of coordinating the hopes and needs of three counties, four towns, outlying communities and the seemingly unending meetings, RFTA was born. The operation has grown to meet the needs and challenges of our growing population. The RFTA board and political involvement of all jurisdictions have served us well. Our mass-transit opportunities meet the needs of all who travel between Rifle and New Castle and Silt and Glenwood Springs and Carbondale and Basalt and Aspen. But our needs have expanded in both number and available options and opportunities.
Requested funds will be used to improve services, provide needed bus enhancement and replacement, complete park and ride projects, expand maintenance capabilities, attract skilled workers by providing affordable housing choices for them, and doing those things that make RFTA services more attractive and convenient for all those of us who choose to live here.
The requested 2.65 mill, which is “paying for the cost of growth,” as suggested by Michael Kinsley, will raise $81 per $500 of assessed valuation for homes in communities with predicted growth between 2017 and 2050 of 65 percent in Garfield County, 29 percent in Pitkin County and 64 percent in Eagle County.
It is time, once again, for those of us concerned about too much automobile traffic, air quality, convenience, attractive mass-transit options, future growth and lifestyles to look to the future needs of our special place.
Dorothea Farris

Nostalgia of train tales
A wonderful article by Tim Willoughby! (“Caboose — an end of a train and the start of adventure,” Sept. 9, The Aspen Times) It brought back memories of Aspen in the ’40s. I was the telegraph boy for Dave Maltsburger, the D&RG agent. Tom McNulty was the engineer for Engine 1028 and he would let me ride in the cab of the locomotive when they made trips over to the south side of Aspen. Those were wonderful times in Aspen that we both cherish! Thanks, Tim, for the memories!
Jim Markalunas

Supporting teachers from afar
I have been reading with interest the brouhaha at Aspen School District. I retired in 2015 after 20 years with the school district. I was one of those people afraid to make waves while I was there (except that one time I went to Superintendent John Maloy and complained about Principal Art A. going to Wizard School in Florida, possibly on the district’s dime. But that’s another story).
Every year, we had a retreat with the board regarding concerns we had with the administration. Every year, we expressed valid concerns about the superintendent. Every year, we were told our concerns were being taken seriously. Every year, we were ignored, and Maloy was rewarded with another contract. Year after year.
It was especially interesting to see that after 19 years of service Ginny H. (who was wonderful) was making $111,600 a year. The very next year the district hired a first-year HR director (with a dubious past and a career change) who earned at least $8,400 (7.5 percent) more than Ginny made her last year in the district. Then, this year, the HR director received a 10 percent raise! May I assume that all the teachers and support staff also received a large increase? Somehow, I doubt it. The most we received (as support staff) in the 20 years I was there was 4 percent.
Every year, AEA went to the board and