I don’t think the councilmembers have any idea of the depth of passion in the community at large that this issue has aroused. I have a terrible suspicion that they think that if condemnation fails, someday there will be a touchy-feely “Burying of the Hatchet” on the courthouse steps, with the Mayor, Stu Fraser, Neal Blue and the Valley Floor Preservation Partners hugging and grinning before a cheering crowd. They are way, way out of touch with reality.
Working class folks here have undergone real financial hardship to put their hard-earned money in the Wishing Well, with no chance of ever getting it back if condemnation fails. People have sold paintings, marched in Valley Floor cow suits, been mocked and scorned, been forced to battle cynical lies about how if we didn’t buy the valley the money would go to African orphans and affordable housing; the VF Preservation Partners have worked 100-hour weeks, totally exhausting themselves, God bless them. Local attorneys have donated their own time and cash to uncover the jury malfeasance in Delta that upped the cost to the town to a surreal $50 million.
Through it all, the town council has adopted a Pontius Pilate-like posture: “We’ve done all we can do; now it’s up to you—and we’ll make sure your job is more difficult by agreeing to a radically earlier deadline than the court decreed. And some councilmembers, totally ignoring the expressed will of the voters who put them in office, have actually editorialized in print against the condemnation the voters overwhelmingly endorsed again and again.
Are the councilmembers so out of touch that they don’t think anyone has noticed?
And do they really expect an automatic “forgive and forget” from the rest of us if they sit by with barely disguised glee and watch the condemnation process fail?
The local citizenry have fought with blood, sweat and tears to make the Valley Floor’s future a reality; the least the council can do is act radically now, and look into how they can get the final 6 percent or so of the money before it’s too late.
Make it happen: that’s what you were elected for.
Otherwise, I foresee a bitter, divided Telluride community far, far into the future; perhaps the end of Telluride as a community forever. No one wants to see this place engulfed in a cloud of eternal recriminations and resentments, but mark my words, that’s what we’ll get if the council doesn’t step up to the plate and do its job.
Just wait and see.