The emergency is council Itself
In the past few months, the Aspen City Council has twice declared an emergency but gave the same wrong reason. It cited the pace of residential development as creating an environmental emergency (that does not pass the laugh test, but who is listening?) and curbed it for six months. It should have declared an emergency based on whac-a-mole governance and placed a moratorium on itself. It is time to put down the mallets and get a sense of the damage being created.
Recent administrations, such as mayors Skadron, Ireland and Klanderud, each had a multi-dimensional vision based on the inclusive population, permanent residents, visitors, drifters, second-home owners, free-market and affordable homeowners, etc. Each saw the big picture and the interdependence of the parts. Yes, they were subjected to blistering criticism, but it was based on one’s perception of the best unifying path for all of Aspen. Remember the roaring debate over “infill”?
Today, community inclusiveness and indeed basic inclusive thinking is missing, most importantly at the top. In its place is the unipolar mantra of more affordable housing and nothing more. But that is not an end all, not to the environmental emergency council declared, not to the glut of unfinished commercial projects in town, not to congestion and traffic, not to the soaring costs of a meal at a local restaurant and is certainly not a cure to the wedge being driven into this community by our elected “leaders.”
Neil B. Siegel