Aspen council convenes for goals-setting retreat |

Aspen council convenes for goals-setting retreat

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland and the City Council will meet at the Aspen Alps resort’s conference room Monday and Tuesday for their annual goals-setting retreat.

Monday’s action starts with lunch at 11:30 a.m. followed by a discussion of last year’s top 10 goals and what worked or didn’t work and why.

Tuesday’s gathering, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will involve the setting of new goals for the remainder of 2012 and the first half of 2013. It’s safe to say that some of the old goals will make it onto the new-goals list.

Ireland, who last month entered his final year as mayor, said that while although there is an agenda, the discussions are wide open. Term limits prevent Ireland from seeking the mayor’s office for a fourth term next year.

He said that if he had to name a few of his own top goals, he would list environmental protection, which includes more methods of reducing the city’s carbon footprint; new approaches for dealing with the city’s homeless population; and ways of making the city more bicycle-friendly.

Recently, Ireland and council members have discussed the need for developers to create more affordable hotels as a way of stemming the erosion of “hot beds” in the community. Over the past two decades, many moderately priced lodging facilities have fallen by the wayside to make way for high-end luxury accommodations.

Ireland said the affordable-lodging issue could end up being one of the retreat topics.

“I don’t know what the other council people will want to bring up,” he said. “There is an outline of how the retreat will proceed, but we don’t say in advance what we all want to list for our top 10 goals.”

Last year’s goals included the environment, the “entrance to Aspen,” lodging options, the creation of an incubator for small businesses, employee-housing strategies, the Aspen Area Community Plan revision, new operational guidelines for the Wheeler Opera House, youth involvement in government, Wagner Park usability and emergency preparedness.

Some city government staffers and department heads are expected to participate in the retreat discussions.

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