Stirling: Too many concerns with 2A
As a former mayor, I always have believed that it’s critical for the Aspen City Council to work closely with those directly impacted by any new tax and to fully understand their concerns, and to consider other alternatives. Aspen’s businesses and lodging owners tried to work with council to find some better solutions. These local businesses raised concerns about fairness, impacts to the local economy and unintended consequences. Despite these efforts, the council determined to place this tax on the ballot.
I will be voting no to 2A on election day, and I would urge my fellow Aspen residents to consider this option. My opposition is not because taxpayers shouldn’t help support workforce housing. I believe affordable housing is a pressing issue everywhere and deserves a more community-wide approach.
Jenny Stuber, author of “Aspen and the American Dream,” explains how affordable housing helps to manage the basic inequalities in this era of which she calls, “super gentrification.” She acknowledges that Aspen was first out of the box to produce local worker housing. We are dealing with the growing pains of the APCHA program. Some resort ski towns have virtually no affordable housing programs at all.
On top of this, the City Council added another provision to 2A that will allow the City Council to transfer almost 30% of the 2A revenue, approximately $3 million each year, for spending that’s not related to affordable housing. Why wouldn’t the city put every dime toward affordable housing? These other projects should be funded from other revenue sources.
There are just too many concerns with 2A to support this question. Please send a message to the City Council to work more closely with the business community and find a more equitable solution to our housing challenges.
Former mayor of Aspen