Blumenthal: Not much ado about something | AspenTimes.com

Blumenthal: Not much ado about something

Mel Blumenthal
Second View
Mel Blumenthal

During our recent southern California hot spell, I began road-bike training in anticipation of spending a good deal of time this summer biking in and around the Roaring Fork Valley. While traversing our 40-plus miles of coastal bike paths north and south of Santa Monica, several ironic thoughts kept popping into my head, which I thought I’d share with you this week.

Apparently our interim, part-time, highly compensated town manager had plenty of time on his hands to write a guest commentary that appeared in last week’s edition of the Sun proclaiming, “At Town Hall, there’s never an offseason.” Yet, the Town Council announced on the same day it was canceling its meeting scheduled for May 5 for lack of anything to do or discuss.

Or could it be that some council members who were planning to be out of town that day were concerned their remaining colleagues might have had sufficient votes among them to issue a 15-day notice of termination to the town manager and in the process decided best not to take any chances and canceled the meeting? And who said they weren’t strategic thinkers?

By the way, most of the projects Gary Suiter referenced in his commentary are old ideas he dredged up and repackaged in glossy new wrappings — something akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

If Suiter really wants to make a positive impact, perhaps he should begin utilizing his vast stores of development experience, which the majority council members repeatedly tout as their justification for agreeing to his high-priced consultancy demands. Those of us who frequently criticize him and his part-time consultancy might be persuaded to ease up a bit if he can conceive and implement a viable plan acceptable to the community and all the good folks at Related for the expeditious completion of Base Village. Now that would be a pretty pig indeed.

I understand Councilmen Jason Haber and Chris Jacobson have each reached out to one or more of their colleagues in order to discuss their differences regarding the nagging Suiter problem and hopefully work out a collegial and productive path forward. Unfortunately peace and common sense are not the rule of the day, because none of their invitations has been accepted. Perhaps, as some have said, it might be best to get rid of the whole bunch and start all over again.

Thanks to Related, Snowmass residents who aren’t planning a trip to Maui or Mexico during mud season and into June or possibly July will be without a full-service grocery store, but lucky for us, they’ve installed a Clark’s Express in Base Village, where in a pinch you can pick up a few eggs, some milk, toothpaste and toilet paper. From the picture of the store in last week’s edition of the Sun, it appears that not many are flocking to Base Village for the bare necessities of life — just a lone store clerk and an empty cash register. To spike up business, how about a designer coffee bar and frozen-yogurt machine?

Once again, Mayor Bill Boineau has quashed any public discussion of the embattled Krabloonik dog-sledding operation until criminal charges against its owner, Dan MacEachen, are finally resolved. That resolution has now been moved off until at least early October, when a three-day jury trial has been scheduled. But as in all things criminal, it’s likely there will be further delays and continuances unless an earlier plea bargain is agreed to between the district attorney, MacEachen and the court.

All of this portends further distress for the Krabloonik dogs during the hot summer days ahead without any intervention or oversight of this facility by the town of Snowmass Village, which leases the land Krabloonik sits on to MacEachen. The town has the authority and responsibility to make sure this facility is operated in conformance with the terms of the lease and in conformance with all applicable rules and regulations. Notwithstanding the overly conservative pleadings of the town attorney, the Town Council should actively encourage a concurrent public debate concerning this historically criticized facility and closely monitor its operations while awaiting the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

Thank goodness for the guardian angels hovering over all of us, even those who live in the People’s Republic of Santa Monica. While on our beach bike path a few days ago, apparently I neglected to zip up my bike tote bag and unknowingly dropped my wallet containing all my essential worldly possessions (driver’s license, credit cards and my weekly allowance recently handed over by my wife) somewhere on the path. My guardian angel picked up the wallet, found my ID containing my cell number and called to advise me of the loss. We arranged a plan to meet along the path but somehow missed each other. He called again and said he would deliver it to my home, which he did a couple of hours later. He refused my offer of a reward and said he was glad to be of help. What a wonderful way to end an otherwise glorious day of biking and reinforce my faith in guardian angels.

On or off my bike, I’m always available at secondview@earthlink.net.


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