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Uncertainty bubbling under quiet surface

Mel Blumenthal
Second View
Mel Blumenthal

From all outward appearances, our fair village appears to be in its normal summer state of tranquility. But bubbling just below the surface, there’s a good deal of angst and uncertainty in our halls of governance, which if not quickly righted will likely lead to the dysfunctional management of town affairs.

Due to the recent resignations of our town manager, Snowmass Tourism director and fire chief and the retirement of our public works director, there are significant questions and concerns as to the future management of these functional areas and the impact on our community of so many new managers with little or no local knowledge.

The job of finding highly qualified, quick-study candidates to fill these positions will be a monumental task and likely require interim leadership in several cases until ideal permanent replacements can be found. As I indicated in my last column, until these key positions are filled, the applicable governing bodies must steady the course and maintain a thoughtful and nonobstructive leadership role.

On a more upbeat note, I was extremely pleased to hear Snowmass Discovery’s recent leadership announcement and its plans for the rest of 2013.

Although it’s taken a good deal of time, it appears that our Snowmass Discovery team is now well on the road to implementing new and exciting programs here in the village. The combination of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies bolstered by Tom Cardamone’s leadership, the participation of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Colorado Mountain College, the Aspen Skiing Co. and the recent addition to the team of Gussie Maccracken, a museum fossil expert who will be preparing the ice-age fossils and curating them with the assistance of local volunteers in public view at our Ice Age Discovery Center in the mall, bodes well for a significant long-term attraction that will appeal to the scientific community as well as our residents and guests.

In addition to that good news there are several exciting upcoming events in the upper valley that I’d like to call your attention to.

On Aug. 10, Snowmass Village Rotary will be celebrating the history of the town by hosting the Snowmass Village Heritage Celebration at the Viceroy Hotel from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The celebration will recognize the 35th anniversary of the formation of the town, the 40th anniversary of the Snowmass Rodeo and the launch of a new book titled “The History of Snowmass.”

Everyone is invited to enjoy a walk through time in the artist gallery (limited editions will be sold) and to meet many of our former residents and leaders who guided the development of our awesome resort community.

Aspen Film and the Aspen Institute will present their fourth annual “New Views: Documentaries & Dialogue” series featuring a powerful and thought-provoking slate of critically acclaimed films and speakers designed to intrigue, expand and enrich the creative conversations of our time.

The series commences on July 5 with “Blood Brother,” winner of both the Sundance Best U.S. Documentary and Audience awards. On July 29 is “Anita,” recounting the sexual harassment Anita Hill endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, followed by a Q-and-A and book signing with Hill. On Aug. 5 is “Inequality for All,” a Sundance Special Jury Award winner. And on Aug. 12 is “Gasland Part II,” a follow-up to the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland.”

All screenings are at Paepcke Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the Wheeler Box Office or online at http://www.aspen showtix.com.

Your comments are always welcome at secondview@earthlink.net or in person at Fuel on the Snowmass Mall.


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