Letter: Realist needed in City Council | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Realist needed in City Council

Realist needed in City Council

Aspen is a town where one vote can make a difference, or at very least get you into a runoff, so I take my responsibility as a voter seriously. After all, City Council is spending $100 million a year on my behalf, so the choices offered had better be more appealing than giving me back my share of that $100 million along with my food sales tax refund.

City Council is basically a management and oversight position. Management with vision is a balancing act between practicality and risk.

Why is our code book thick enough to inflict blunt force trauma? Why does our zoning map look like an order of spotted dick without custard? Why are building heights like a giant plinko board? Forty-two feet, no, 28 feet, no, 50 feet. Where will the height restriction bounce next? What’s the ratio of messy vitality to floor area? Which file cabinet has the wind-power contract? If a parking meter fails in a forest do we only lose half the money? Why did one of our planners when asked if we could change the zoning respond, “I’d rather wake up a bear”?

There is a certain DaDaist quality to City Council meetings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a melting clock and a man with a rhinoceros head ringing a 2 a.m. gong. When we have three hours of public comment on a murphy bed for the cemetery, we have a government entrenched in the surreal. Our surfeit of cash has allowed us to duck out of reality.

That’s what I’d like on City Council: a realist. Convince me that you can take the helm on our 15 department bureaucratic juggernaut. For instance, they could put all 15 department heads without a 80 percent approval rating from their staff on three-month probationary notice — but hey, that’s a management technique. No politician wants to purge the bureaucracy — they’d rather wake up a bear.

Ziska Childs


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