Tipped scales in Aspen’s court of public opinion

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of an Aspen resident quite like being called a NIMBY. It’s like the scarlet letter of the Roaring Fork Valley.

The slightest whiff of a hint of a question or concern about any issue possibly related to a proposed affordable housing project, and instantly and automatically that person is branded a NIMBY. There is no thoughtful dialogue, no balanced reporting, no honest exchange of ideas or information — no whole story.

The accusations of bigot, elitist and NIMBY are simply wielded like the weapons they are, potentially threatening friendships (at least in public) and job security — as many of you are painfully aware. We hear it all the time on the DL. The fear factor surrounding this term is unbelievable, and the profiteers (of many ilks) know it and use it. Strict and unquestioning adherence to a doctrine, bullying language, intolerance, intimidation, turning neighbor against neighbor — where have we heard of this tactic before? Yikes. Unfair and untrue public shaming and schoolyard name-calling should not exemplify Aspen public discourse. Another letter writer wrote recently, “How did we get so off track?” I have the same question.

Tiffany Smith