Letter: Pass the school tax, but don’t come home later | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Pass the school tax, but don’t come home later

This letter is in response to the Aspen Daily News column by Mick Ireland on Oct. 19: "What's so cool about yet another building?"

Ireland seems to have lost his moral compass where the older youth of Aspen are concerned.

It is hard for me — as an old Mick supporter who was often in agreement with him on opposition to bad projects — to see him not able to recognize a good one, in fact the one he had been calling for, for years, in his pleas as mayor "for development without speculative real estate." I listened to him say this repeatedly at the City Council.

Base is the only new lodge project that has come forth with these criteria met.

What has Mick got against cool young people trying to bring vitality back to Aspen? His recent column is derisive and does not acknowledge the support of the very programs he helped found.

Affordable lodging and affordable housing go together. Mark Hunt is invested heavily in both. He already has contributed far more than the numbers Mick keeps harping on, far more than anyone else will be contributing to the affordable-housing projects that people such as Peter Fornell are building. This is a much finer option, as Peter is building really nice housing nearby that is not on-site and that would, of necessity, be very small indeed. This is how affordable housing can work beautifully and brilliantly.

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It is the opposite of Mick saying Base will make housing worse for young people when in fact the affordable-housing options will expand, not just for projects, and are being worked on already.

And to see Mick aligned with an ultraconservative relative newcomer yet ardent NIMBY such as Maurice Emmer posing as a slow-growther to oppose Base2 — go figure. Mick was a true slow-growth advocate and did a lot of good here until he caved on the Aspen Art Museum in its current location. Too bad he could not have had a bigger vision that included the youth of Aspen, say, on the Power Plant and Base.

I find it fascinating that Mick is working hard — and as a paid consultant — on the school tax issue, which is fine, except what do you expect those splendidly educated young people to do afterward when they cannot come home to live, because you have not supported expanding affordable housing, or even to visit, because there is no affordable, "cool" place to stay that beckons to them.

Phyllis J. Bronson

Aspen