The Aspen Daily News (10/8/19) reported that Crown Mountain continues to fund work toward a sports complex after assuring voters that they would not do that. Just last year the District claimed that they could not maintain the park without a tax increase and that the funds would only be used for those purposes. I along with others agreed to vote for the tax on that promise. If 37 people like me had known that you were not revealing your true intentions, then the measure would have failed.
Prior to the election, Becky Wagner, Director of the District, was quoted in the Post Independent saying, “I can tell you this, the tax is not for a recreation center. It is for the basic needs to keep the park operating for the next 20 years” (3/8/18). The District’s campaign literature assured voters that the funds would be used for maintaining our common asset, 50% for replacing existing infrastructure, 32% for operations and maintenance, and 18% on building a reserve fund (Post Independent on March 18, 2018).
Voters were seeking assurance since previous boards had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars pursuing facilities that 71% of district voters rejected rather than maintaining the park for local residents. The message seemed clear to me, we will take care of what we have and stop looking at grand plans! Within the next year, Crown Mountain began spending money in pursuit of a new indoor sports complex.
I should have known better than trust Crown Mountain. By February 2019, Board President Bonnie Scott was saying a new sports facility “should be our number one priority” (Crown Mountain meeting minutes 2/12/19).
Crown Mountain has proven that they cannot be trusted. If the Board does not stop spending on building a recreation facility, then the voters should be asked whether they wish to continue the tax funding that was acquired by deceit.
Robert Hubble, one of the Crown Mountain Board members and El Jebel Mobile Home Park owners, has stated that he is considering building a sports facility on his El Jebel property as a private business (Crown Mountain meeting minutes 2/12/19) and that seems like a great response if there is a demand for such a facility. The Crawfords’ recent park upgrades in El Jebel are very nice and they have shown their ability to maintain their assets.
In light of Crown Mountain’s actions, it may be time to revisit their approved tax increase and ask voters an honest question about whether they want to fund a park or an indoor sports complex. I think the Crown Mountain Director and Board already know the answer and that is why they have been untruthful.
Editor’s note: According to John Fayhee, who has been reporting on Crown Mountain Park for the Aspen Daily News and Roaring Fork Weekly Journal, it’s stated in two stories that CMP is looking for alternative sources of funding as well as the possibility of constructing the facility on the Crawford property. CMP’s only expenditures are for the feasibility study and architectural renderings, Fayhee said.