First, an acknowledgment to the Aspen Daily News and Aspen Times editorials, Doug McMillin, Emzee, and the other authors who have lucidly written about the Basalt-O’Connor debacle.
It is mind boggling that we can know so much about, say, David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, and nothing save conjecture about the Basalt investigation. Hiding behind what hopefully will be found as questionable and legally unsustainable state laws has nothing to do with transparency. Shame on the Basalt Town Council and the police department. Luck and speed to the newspaper’s investigation and legal team. May truth and justice prevail.
Trust is hard won and easily lost. It is the essential glue that holds together the fragile structure of a small community like ours. It is the by-product of honest and open communication as well as subsequently aligned actions. The complexities of a community require extra diligence to transparency and its attributes. As it now stands, the integrity of the current co-chiefs and the police department is not without question. Same for the council. They, and others, have some explaining to do if reparation is to be achieved.
Furthermore, I must at least suggest a slight level of collusion on O’Connor’s part based on his words from The Daily News article: “I get that people are curious, but it’s just the way it’s going to be. It’s a personnel matter, and [the secrecy] is meant to protect me, the town, everybody.” We, those people he mentioned, get his attitude as both understandable yet unacceptable at a gut level — the one that really matters to the many of us.
So who really is the man behind the mustache? Roderick had some part in creating the ridiculous level of frustration, and the weakening of our town’s fabric regardless of how good a job he did, and all the other worthy accolades bestowed upon him. This event has also adversely affected those up and down the valley. It is not an incident isolated to Basalt. That is true, unsettling and selfish.
Coins all have two sides — it is pathetic that we know neither. How did this incident get “top secret” designation? It certainly is not blessed with our clearance. It is enough to incite a riot, both of laughter and tears. Let’s get real and get to the bottom of this mystery. We, the people, deserve it and need it to reestablish our community’s equilibrium.