With a new year come new challenges, and some old ones that persist | Opinion
Another year has passed, and what a year it has been. But the coming year will likely be full of more surprising issues with even bigger impacts.
First of all I want to thank our extended family who got through the last year in pretty good shape. We have followed the multitude of pandemic protocols, including the first, second and second vaccinations, indoor masking in public places, and social distancing where appropriate.
That doesn’t mean we got away with it completely. One of our college-aged grandchildren had a breakthrough infection in his sophomore year at the University of Texas – and that was after he and his twin brother had relatively mild cases of COVID in beginning of their first year. Obviously, having been previously infected and fully vaccinated is not a release card from prison, but I’m sure it helped them avoid the most severe repercussions experienced by many of those who don’t follow. not the protection protocols.
My daughter-in-law, who has lived in London for three years, also contracted an infectious infection which was a little more serious than that of my grandsons. Fortunately, after a week of home isolation, she fully recovered from the worst aspects of the infection, with the exception of the altered taste and smell receptors, which persisted for a few more weeks.
Although there are no guarantees, our family’s experience is solid proof that the rules set out by infectious disease experts are the best and most appropriate to avoid the most serious ramifications of the pandemic.
The next topics that will demand our attention in the New Year are the midterm elections, so get ready for a tough and bumpy race over the next 11 months.
The current administration has made a lot of big promises over the past year, many of which have failed to deliver – and at this point it seems unlikely they can make up for lost ground.
Due to the traditional nature of election cycles and things both under and outside the control of the current administration, most credible experts predict a shift in the power structure in November. But that’s the way things work in a democracy, and as far as I know, it’s still intact and functioning as our founding fathers intended.
When it comes to local politics, be prepared for noticeable increases in class war rhetoric, but before taking sides, keep in mind that most of our tourism-dependent economy thrives on attracting tourists well. well-heeled and second home owners who can afford the ever-growing addition that it takes to keep Aspen and its neighboring communities competitive and attractive as a world-class seasonal resort destination.
Many of those who live here full time tend to think that those who do not live here are just something to be tolerated as little as possible. Lest they forget, they’re unlikely to reap the benefits of living in a top-notch resort community without everything they find so intolerable.
They are unlikely to have the world-class infrastructure and abundant attractions to which they have become accustomed (abundant public transport by land and air, an exceptional hospital, top-notch cultural, entertainment and leisure attractions) without the economic support provided by those who come and go throughout the year.
The elected and appointed representatives of Pitkin County, Aspen, Carbondale and soon likely Snowmass Village and Basalt have begun to escalate rhetoric and action regarding development issues, acceptable uses of private property and land use. necessity and ramifications of a state-subsidized lifestyle.
All of these jurisdictions are positioning themselves to put in place short-term development and rental restrictions that would primarily impact many of those who make a living serving the residential and commercial real estate market – as well as those who pay the share of the economy. lion of the tab needed to keep this upscale paradise buzzing for everyone to enjoy.
Bureaucrats postulate that their proposed restrictions will open up many properties currently generating high-end returns to low-cost housing for labor. Based on the bribe so far in the form of loud opposition, lawsuits, referendum petitions, and more, it looks like bureaucrats don’t know what they’re talking about and are unlikely to come out of it unscathed. fight.
Confronting the forces of nature, the upholders of capitalism and property rights seems like a daunting task, but there is no way to stop bureaucrats once they set their sights on a target. Sadly, the target they’ve chosen this time around isn’t likely to wave the white flag just because they’ve set out to overturn the laws of the jungle.
Another group of Aspen benefactors have also poked their noses into what has so far been a successful childcare operation in the city-owned Yellow Brick building.
Clearly, the city needs to subsidize more child care to accommodate long waiting lists, but putting in place significant barriers affecting existing well-respected child care operators does not make sense. Once again, the bureaucrats got it wrong. They should quickly back off before this bushfire escalates into a real blaze.
Hopefully whatever could go wrong this year doesn’t come to fruition, but the history and incompetence of many of those running the show doesn’t bode well for a happy ending.
Here is a safe and healthy New Year.