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Letter to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Tom Stone

and glass houses

Woe is Commissioner Tom Stone. Who is he to be complaining of personal attacks, when several months ago his entire op-ed in the Daily was basically a personal attack on fellow Commissioner Arn Menconi? I would mention something about those living in glass houses and stones, but I fear the commissioner would probably take that as an offer to sell me a house I can’t afford.

Snide remarks aside, Stone’s grumbling about the recent Citizens for Responsible Government ad raises more questions than answers. It would seem that the commissioner is concerned with facts. However, his comments in the Sept. 29 Vail Daily refute few if any of the facts mentioned in the “Citizens” ad. I smell another of those odious op-ed pieces of Stone’s brewing. Let’s see how many cheap shots he manages at Commissioner Menconi in this one.

Stone’s opposition to the Bair Ranch proposal is the product of a larger debate within the valley and the West. As a society we have difficulty deciding the value of maintaining open vistas and working ranches. This is a tricky subject, since there is no way of placing a tangible value on our ability to drive through Glenwood Canyon and other parts of our landscape without the blight of ranchettes and strip mall development.

Any time we are unable to demonstrate a direct public benefit with a dollar sign attached, the debate tends to get particularly nasty. While it is obvious that I favor preservation, I am also in favor of public dialogue on the subject of open space.

In light of my previous statement, perhaps Tom Stone’s apparent turnabout and sudden opposition to the purchase of Bair Ranch is truly doing us all a favor.

There is no doubt that he has increased the amount of discussion while concurrently lowering its level of civility. The challenge now is to continue the discussion on how we value and preserve open spaces while elevating our level of discourse to a plane that is productive and not insulting. Hopefully Commis-sioner Stone will hear the call of the most important special interest group, his constituents, and temper his op-ed response with an opinion designed to encourage discussion rather than further division.

Ian Kruger

Avon


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