Aspen housing board should be elected, independent | AspenTimes.com
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Aspen housing board should be elected, independent

It pains me to see what has been going on with APCHA over the past few weeks. As a former member of the board for 14 years and chair for my last 10, I resigned a year ago May because I felt that the direction the elected officials were taking to reorganize the board was misguided.

Over my tenure, the board had many problems dealing with how the board and, primarily, the city handled policy decisions. This reorganization was intended to correct this. However, over the past year, things have gotten worse. I haven’t heard of any new policy decisions coming from the board although when I left, there were a number of issues still to be addressed. We all knew that it was going to be impossible to deal with the conflicting directions from the board and the city.

This has culminated in our losing one of the finest executive directors we have had over the past 20 years. The current situation is unworkable! It is time for the community to “bite the bullet” and create a fully independent housing authority with a community elected board of directors, similar to the hospital, school board, fire department, etc.

APCHA has the funding authority to create a small mill levy to fund their operations. Unfortunately it is about power and control. That is, not giving it up by elected officials. Although Rachel Richards and I have been compatriots in housing matters for many years, I totally reject her position that an independent Housing Authority won’t work. In fact, because of the disparity in funding and objectives by the city and the county, an independent board would not be subservient to either and be able to treat both fairly. Anyone interested in joining me in pursuing an independent APCHA can contact me at ron@aspenreservations.net. If you believe, as I do, that Housing is one of the most important services provided to our community, perhaps it is time to help perpetuate its future.

Ron Erickson

Aspen


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