Ann Mullins commentary: We can work together to make Aspen even better | AspenTimes.com

Ann Mullins commentary: We can work together to make Aspen even better

Ann Mullins
Guest commentary
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I’m writing today to ask for your vote for mayor April 2.

This is a critical time in Aspen, and I promise to provide the thoughtful and firm leadership the city needs as it hires new management, tackles tough issues like housing and transportation, and works to better connect with the community at large.

I will make sure Burlingame III is built, providing housing for families and individuals who want to make Aspen their home. We will start planning for new housing on the BMC West parcel. And we will work to sustain and expand our affordable-housing program for future generations.

On transportation, I will take the great work of the 2017 Community Transportation Forum, when dozens of Aspenites came up with real transportation solutions, and develop programs that address our challenges. We will collaborate with RFTA, High Mountain Taxi and the limo services to ensure our solutions support local businesses.

And I will work with council and staff to expand opportunities for community input on city initiatives.

Aspen is choosing between two very different mayoral candidates, both in style and substance. Perhaps the starkest difference between us can be seen in our votes on two very significant land use ordinances.

I voted against Ordinance 19, the lodging ordinance that would have allowed 60-foot, four-story buildings and incentives that were far too generous. It was clear to me that this ordinance would radically change the character of Aspen. Instead, I successfully advocated for a small-lodge program that has helped lodge owners save time and money in renovating their lodges.

Torre by contrast voted in favor of the infill ordinance when he was on City Council, allowing three-story buildings with penthouse suites in the commercial core. Then, when he realized there were unintended consequences, he mishandled the effort to change the law.

He proposed a moratorium that failed because he didn’t have four votes on council to support the idea. This alerted property owners, who rushed in applications before the law was changed. Now we have a canyon of three-story buildings on Hyman Avenue and still more large buildings approved under this ordinance.

I have a strong record in working for Aspen in a number of areas that I ask you to consider:

Land use

• Helped enact the tightest land use controls that Aspen has ever seen.

• Expanded and improved city parks in the core.

Transportation

• Advocated for half-hour bus service at Burlingame and year round Downtowner service.

• Expanded the pedestrian and bike trail system.

Environmental protection

• Secured eight electric buses for Aspen, reducing diesel emissions and noise in town.

• Worked to keep Aspen Electric 100 percent renewable.

• Secured a compost bin for the community gardens.

Arts and Culture

• Led planning for the bauhaus100aspen celebration.

• Advocated for the Shining Mountain Film Festival.

• Oversaw successful transition of the Red Brick Center to city ownership.

I ask again for your support. Together we can make Aspen an even better place to live.

Ann Mullins’ website is annforaspen.com and she can be reached at mullins.ann@gmail.com.


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