An introduction to District 3 Pitkin County commissioner candidates
Editor’s note: This is part one of a five-part Q&A series with Pitkin County commissioner candidates this week.
Today, The Aspen Times begins a weeklong focus on the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners District 3 race between Scott Writer and Greg Poschman. The Times posed five questions to the candidates and will run one answer each day this week.
The District 3 seat is currently held by Michael Owsley, who has served three four-year terms on the board and is term-limited from running again. District 3 essentially wraps around Aspen’s city limits and includes Independence Pass, Brush Creek and Woody Creek, though members of the board are elected by all county residents on an at-large basis.
The District 4 and District 5 seats, held respectively by Steve Child and George Newman, also are up for re-election, though neither commissioner is being challenged this November. Child will serve his second term on the board, while Newman will serve his third.
Question: Please provide biographical information, including name, age, where you live, years in the Roaring Fork Valley, education, family, professional experience, board experience, political affiliation and why you are running for the county board.
Greg Poschman, 57
I live with my wife, Maureen, and my two daughters on the downvalley side of the roundabout in Brush Creek Village.
I was born in Aspen to a 10th Mountain Division soldier and a mother who was in the Colorado Mountain Club. My father helped construct the No.1 chairlift in 1946. He was the sole operator of the Chamber of Commerce in the early 1950s, a ski instructor, a builder and a Realtor. My parents also owned a ski lodge called the Edelweiss Inn.
I went through the public schools in Aspen, as my kids do today. I have an engineering degree from CU-Boulder, with minors in business and filmmaking. I have been an entrepreneur and businessman my whole career, creating films and productions with teams of one to 100 people. I still enjoy working as a producer and director.
I have served on the boards or advisory boards of local groups, including the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen Hall of Fame, Aspen Public Radio and, most recently, Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams.
I am a Democrat.
Fallout from Aspen’s stellar popularity has stressed housing, transportation, open space, rivers and the wild lands. My top concern is preservation of our livable community in a healthy environment so our children and their children can thrive here.
Scott Writer, 58.
Residence: Knollwood (east Aspen) and in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1971 when my parents moved here when I was 12.
Education: Aspen High School, 1976; CU-Boulder, 1982; Business major, political science minor.
Family: Wife of 28 years, Suzanne; son Bo, 25; and daughters Coco, 24, and Chloe, 12; all born and raised here.
Professional experience: Restaurant work from age 15 to 30, from kitchen cleaner to assistant manager and everything in between, and including notable restaurants like Arthurs, “Old” Andres and Ute City Banque. Real estate: 1988-present; Hines River Valley Ranch, director of development, renewable energy, 2008 to present; wetland mitigation/creation, 1996-present; extensive direct water-rights experience.
Board/volunteer experience: Voice of Youth Concerns, chairman, 1989-1992; focused on political advocacy for young valley residents seeking housing and job opportunities; Leadership Aspen, 1992; active volunteer in all Aspen Area Community Plans, including Maroon/Castle Creek neighborhood plan, 1992-2014; Aspen Junior Hockey, coach and volunteer, 1996-present; Mountain States Girls Hockey League, president, 2007 to 2009; SPARC, the entity that partnered with the city of Aspen to build the Aspen Recreation Center, volunteer chairman, 1998-present; Aspen Recreation Center advisory board, chairman, 2011-present.
Political affiliation: Pitkin independent.
We all believe in environmental and growth controls here, and I have more experience in those arenas than my opponent, but I am most passionate about making a difference in housing, jobs and local-resident business creation in the Roaring Fork Valley. I want to help create a future in which future old timers (today’s young adults) come from here.
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The field for three open seats on Aspen City Council in this spring’s election is set at 10 people, most of who are newcomers to Aspen’s political scene. Eight are going for the two council seats and two candidates are vying for mayor.