The lead actor in the Snowmass drama | AspenTimes.com

The lead actor in the Snowmass drama

Mel Blumenthal
Second View
Mel Blumenthal

As they say here in “LA LA” land, there is no business like show business and apparently we can now make a similar claim in Snowmass.

Madeleine Osberger’s profile of Councilman Chris Jacobson in last Friday’s edition of the Daily News revealed publicly for the first time Mr. Jacobson’s early thespian desires, which clears up a few niggling questions that I’ve been pondering for some time concerning his performance in the role of town councilman.

If he hadn’t come along when he did, I wonder whether we might have been tempted to search out someone like him to fill the role he’s currently playing in our local town manager melodrama.

In the face of heavy criticism and negative reviews from some of his colleagues and a few others, as well as rumored behind-the-scenes maneuvering for his recall from office, he’s continued to maintain his stance where players of lesser talent might have exited the stage long ago.

He continues to question, perhaps a bit too stridently, Gary Suiter’s qualifications and suitability for the job of town manager and feels strongly there were more qualified candidates in the running for the position. That’s an opinion also held by Councilman Haber, the council’s hand-picked Advisory Committee and most people in the community who have spoken out on this issue.

That Mr. Jacobson wanted to become an actor in his formative years explains a lot about how he handles and presents himself as well as his dogged determination to do what he thinks right without over worrying the consequences of his words and action.

Although I spent most of my professional career working with and advising actors, I can’t say yet whether Mr. Jacobson has the talent to succeed, but he certainly exhibits total dedication to the role he’s playing — a trait many actors find necessary in order to face continuous rejection while maintaining the presence of mind needed to play their assigned or assumed role. When the fat lady sings and the final curtain drops, hopefully Mr. Jacobson’s role in this drama will not have been for naught.

To be fair, Mr. Jacobson’s current role is not the only one in his repertoire. He also plays less strident characters and has sided with his colleagues more often than not when voting on many of the key issues coming before the council during his relatively short tenure in office. But unfortunately he’s becoming typecast as a villain as a result of his current performance.

As with most actors, there is more to them than their latest role. He’s evidenced a passionate interest in environmental issues, our Snowmass Discovery project, completion of Base Village and our entryway. But he often presents a slightly different view of these issues than expressed by his colleagues. Some amongst us might describe him as “a walking contradiction … partly truth and partly fiction,” but I think there’s a place for him and his viewpoint on our council —hopefully with a bit more finesse and tact when dealing with his fellow players in the future.

Although many of us, me included, harp on all the anger and dysfunction exhibited by various council members, all of which seems to arise from this one issue, we tend to forget that most of the time our elected representatives seem to have our best interests at heart and are working together collegially, if not lovingly.

Hopefully as to the current conflict and angst among them there may be an acceptable resolution in the offing. At least several council members are beginning to have a conversation concerning the possibility of moving beyond the stalemate and recommencing the search for a highly qualified full-time town manager.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed ‘cause Related has already started banging loudly on the door to get all our resources and attention directed to their latest plans for the completion of Base Village. We’ll need everyone in the community working together, including all our Council members, to get this next stage right.

In anticipation that everything will work out well in the end, I’ve decided to commission a bumper sticker emblazoned with one of Mr. Jacobson’s guiding life principles: “I’m a peace loving person … I don’t love conflict but I like fighting.” How can you find fault with anyone who adheres to that guiding philosophy?

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We’re soon off for our annual Memorial Day week body and mind enriching session at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. Lots of hiking, spinning, circuit training, yoga, stretching, worldly discussion and of course a basically progressive vegetarian diet free of everything tempting or sinful. We anticipate coming away hungry but a bit slimmer, rejuvenated and fit for another active summer in Snowmass.

Even though I’ll be off the grid most of the time, while in Tecate I’ve discovered a secret spot where Internet signals can be received, which I’ll check periodically, so fear not: You can still make contact at secondview@earthlink.net.


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