Aspen City Council to put in $1,000 for panel talk on chains | AspenTimes.com

Aspen City Council to put in $1,000 for panel talk on chains

The Aspen City Council agreed Monday to pitch in $1,000 to help pay for the cost of next week's forum that will address the potential of regulating downtown chain stores.

Council members Adam Frisch and Bert Myrin also agreed to participate in the discussion that will include landlords, retail representatives and other business leaders in town.

Former Aspen mayors John Bennett and Bill Stirling are helping organize the forum, which will be moderated by former Pitkin County Commissioner Michael Kinsley, Stirling told members of the City Council at Monday night's meeting.

Stirling said the event will cost about $3,000 to stage. Brooke Peterson of Ajax Holdings said his firm would match the City Council's pledge.

The forum is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19, at the Koch Building on the Aspen Institute campus.

Stirling also said representatives of other American municipalities that have implemented similar measures will be in attendance.

Bennett and Stirling are part of a group that introduced a proposal to the City Council in November about placing restrictions on new chain stores in the downtown core.

The council has expressed reluctance to approving an ordinance because, in part, it is in the final stages of amending its land-use code and wants to get that completed first before diving into what already has turned into a contentious issue.

In another development Monday:

• The council unanimously signed off on annual salary increases to City Manager Steve Barwick, from $173,763 to $185,058, and City Attorney Jim True, from $159,536 to $165,917. A headline in Monday's Aspen Times incorrectly said the mayor was up for a raise. The holder of that title, Steve Skadron, thanked, in jest, the Times for that error, but it won't have any impact on what he makes as the city's top elected official, which is less than $30,000 a year.