Letter: Clearing up the caucus issue
With regard to the proposed new Snowmass Creek Caucus, I have read letters in the Aspen paper make false or misleading claims about the proposed split as part of a campaign in opposition. Frankly, there are too many to address them all, but here are some:
1. The reason for the split is unhappiness over the proposed master plan, use of transferable development rights, etc.
This is only partly true. The fundamental reason for the desire to split is that residents in the Snowmass Creek Valley have not been and are not well represented by the current caucus. Indeed, it is true that the master-plan process the current caucus conducted was worse than bad. But it was the fact that the residents’ concerns were blithely ignored and/or rejected by the board of the existing caucus. It wasn’t just letters that were ignored; residents who showed up at a board meeting to discuss their concerns were given a few minutes, and then the matter was tabled. Later attempts at compromise were rejected or ignored. Only when the possibility of a new caucus being formed became a reality did the board of the current caucus begin to make overtures to those who had been ignored. People took those belated overtures for what they were worth. Even now, the opponents will not respect the vote that was taken, resulting in a decisive majority to form a new caucus.
2. The vote to split, on July 11, was with only one week’s advance notice (via email) to some residents.
There were five notices sent out about the vote, four by email and one by the U.S. Postal Service. The purpose of the notice, as required by law, was only to state the date, time, location and purpose of the meeting or vote. A high percentage of Snowmass Creek Valley residents turned out to vote, demonstrating the adequacy of the notice.
4. Caretakers and renters could not vote.
Flat out false. Many caretakers and renters did, indeed, vote. To be eligible to vote, you had to be an elector (eligible to vote) or a nonresident property owner.
5. The existing caucus has done so much good over the years. Why throw all that away?
Nothing accomplished in the past will be thrown away or lost. More importantly, the proposed new caucus is eager and willing to work constructively with the existing caucus on matters of joint interest as an equal partner in the decisions.
A majority of the residents of the Snowmass Creek Valley, a large geographic area with significant differences from the Capitol Creek Valley, voted to form a new caucus because they have not been and are not well represented by the current caucus.
The spirit and letter of the law to form a new caucus were met, and the people are entitled to due process and to have their vote respected.
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