Aspen voters to decide term limits, vacancy procedure
The length of city of Aspen elected-office term limits and the process in which a vacant seat is filled will be decided by voters in November, the Aspen City Council decided Tuesday.
The first ballot question will ask voters to approve or deny a 14-year cumulative term limit for the offices of mayor and council.
The second question will ask voters to decide the process for filling a council vacancy. As proposed, if a council seat is left vacant, and the remaining council cannot decide on an appointment within 30 days, the decision is put to voters at the next available election.
The question of council-appointed seats stems in part from 2013, when Mayor Steve Skadron vacated his spot for the seat of mayor. By rule, the vacancy was to be filled through an appointment process, but because the four-member council was tied, 2-2, on two candidates for the position, the decision nearly went to a dice roll. That’s because earlier in 2013, the Aspen Election Commission officially came up with a way of breaking a tie in an election: Each of the candidates with an equal number of votes rolls a single die, and the highest number wins.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.