Boardless in Aspen
December 13, 2007
From: Andrew Kole, Aspen
I recently applied for a number of “volunteer” board positions. HPC was the first. A few weeks after my “group” interview (the new rage in Aspen) I received a letter thanking me for applying, but that there were too many qualified candidates, and I was not selected. After making the film, “That’s Historic ” The Saga of Ordinance 30,” I would have thought I’d be an ideal candidate. Strike one!
Next came the Wheeler Board. I had spent 20-plus years in the entertainment business doing marketing and promotions work, so I figured this was a good fit. Another interview, and another letter, Strike two!
I then decided to apply to the Commercial Core and Lodging Board. I had been a member a number of years ago, and during my term we expanded the Saturday Market, generated more outdoor dining, and put tables and chairs on the mall. Not bad. I figured my record of service would certainly qualify me this time. Another letter arrived, this time with a note, in eco-friendly green, from Mayor Mick himself. Strike three!
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In California three strikes earns you a prison sentence without parole. In Colorado, I think you have to live in Silt.
What I find curious is that most of our current City Council ran on the fact that they were qualified based on their body of work. Mick is certainly at the top of the list with pages of qualifications. Dwayne looked good on paper with a Silver Star as a bonus. Steve used the fact that he was on HPC as a major part of campaign and why he should get your vote. He definitely played the “qualification” card.
But, what I don’t understand is how you can have too many qualified people on volunteer boards? The key word here is “volunteer.” I understand they could become unwieldy. But why not let the members of that board decide? If the current council really wants resident input, I say let’s open up the boards a bit. Maybe the problems associated with Ordinances 30 and 48 could have been avoided? How many times have you heard how many experienced and creative people are living in Aspen? If we could only get them involved, pick their brains. Well, we can ” if we really want to. Of course many of them are retired and live on Red Mountain, so I am not sure the current council really wants to hear from them. Time will tell.
Since I am boardless, I’ve decided to go another route and became a partner is a new web magazine, aspenexposure.com (note the shameless plug). One of the first things I am going to do within the context of the magazine is start my own board. I’ll call it the, People Other Boards Rejected Board. To be qualified, just submit your rejection letter, or a piece of mail proving you can’t vote in Aspen in city elections. Our mission will be to act as a watchdog to the boards we were all rejected from. We’ll meet twice a month in the morning over coffee. Should be fun. The best part is that I am (almost) sure, I can get appointed.