Aspen council won’t call for impeachment
ASPEN There are hundreds of issues local officials need to address in Aspen. Impeaching President Bush and Dick Cheney isn’t one of them.It appears Aspen resident Sy Coleman’s request to have the Aspen City Council join a growing list of governments in officially calling for an impeachment will not be considered.The request came Monday, with Coleman pointing to several cities throughout America that have passed resolutions calling for throwing Bush and Cheney out of office.The Telluride Town Council is the latest, and the first community in Colorado, to join the list. Council members recently voted 6-1 for such a resolution. If the measure survives a second reading Aug. 7, it would become the town’s official position.It doesn’t appear that will be the case in Aspen, where local leaders said they’ve got too much on their plate to concern themselves with such a politically charged national issue.”People didn’t elect me to take a position on this,” said City Councilman Jack Johnson. “It is very difficult to take time away from what is important to us.”If city government were to consider backing an impeachment effort, significant public input would have to come first, including public hearings.”We don’t have time for that,” Johnson said, adding that if Coleman presented a petition with hundreds of residents’ signatures asking for a resolution, he would have to consider it.City Councilman Dwayne Romero agreed that a national issue of that proportion doesn’t have a place in Aspen politics.”It’s noble, but for the here and now, I’d like to take care of our own set of issues,” he said.City Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss said his work is “just too damn spread out” as it is.”There are so many things that our attention could be taken up with,” DeVilbiss said. “We need to focus on the business at hand, and I want to do the business in front of me. “My plate is full in doing work for the city.”City Councilman Steve Skadron said he thinks it’s an important issue but reserved making a decision until he can discuss the matter with his colleagues.”I think calling for the impeachment of the president is an important step,” he said. “But I would like to defer to my fellow council members.”On Monday, a resident also asked City Council to pass a resolution that as long as U.S. lives are lost in Iraq, all flags on public property in Aspen shall fly at half-staff.Romero, a former military officer, said he’d be willing to do it. And Skadron said he’d like to follow what the rest of the country does. Washington, D.C., flies its flags at half-staff.Mayor Mick Ireland was unavailable for comment regarding both national issues.It appears that Telluride is the first city in Colorado to call for an impeachment. A vote in Nederland ended up tied.There apparently are 82 cities that have passed similar ordinances. It began in places like San Francisco and Vermont. More recently, more mainstream cities such as Detroit and Chapel Hill, N.C., have joined.More than 50 cities are considering such a measure while more than three dozen have voted to deny a resolution, according to impeachpac.org, a website that helps residents organize impeachment efforts. The site offers a do-it-yourself kit to get impeachment resolutions passed in municipalities. Several state legislative districts, including in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Washington have passed impeachment resolutions as well.U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has introduced a resolution in the House calling for impeachment, but most Democrats have said they don’t see impeachment as a viable option.