Letter: Time for plan C on City Hall
I believe that a straightforward poll of the residents of Aspen would yield the following agreements:
1. The city offices are in dire need of upgrading.
2. The needs of the Police Department are properly separated out and appropriately planned.
3. The idea of repurposing city-owned property (i.e., the Old Power Plant and the City Hall) for commercial and/or community use is a waste of valuable assets. The city has proven itself to be an inept landlord.
4. The current plan is overly expensive and will result in a building that is not in tune with Aspen’s overall goal of an understated cityscape.
5. Every rationale and justification put forth to date for a single, large City Hall is fatally flawed.
The City Council is once again being led down a path and given nothing but Hobson’s Choices. We saw this happen with the (Ireland) Art Museum and the consequences are plain for all to see for decades to come. The decision here is equally consequential. The solution is not Trump-like by throwing millions of dollars to have mass and scale in one location. Rather, the task is a space planners dream — renovate and utilize existing spaces in an innovative manner while building and integrating functions with additional new space projected to be needed.
It does not take imagination to consider 21st century solutions to the city’s space problems, which are real, only some spine exhibited by the City Council to explore all viable options.
Neil B. Siegel
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