Candidate profiles: Pick an initiative | AspenTimes.com
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Candidate profiles: Pick an initiative

With Election Day on May 8 and absentee voting under way, today marks the last installment of a five-part questionnaire for the Aspen mayoral and City Council candidates.TorreIf elected Aspen’s next mayor, I promise to continue to spearhead our dedication to environmental excellence. But, to choose just one issue would be against the whole reason to run for Aspen’s highest elected office. I promise to bring equal dedication to all issues, big and small. As your representative, I will work diligently on the issues and solutions that concern you. I promise in the two-year term to make great improvement to our entrance problems, without building a new highway. I promise to create more affordable housing for all categories. I promise to limit growth, support historic preservation, lessen construction, and promote community beneficial development. I promise to continue greater support for senior, youth, the arts, and health and human services. I promise to make your city government work for you.Tim SemrauA City Council focused on real problem-solving rather than political clichés. We have an unprecedented opportunity to utilize this time of Aspen prosperity to address our three major challenges: Traffic, growth and construction-stress management, and the future of affordable housing. We CAN make Aspen a better paradise by keeping our eye on the goal – results. I have specific solutions in all three areas that I believe are achievable in the next two years. It’s time to engage Aspen’s diverse talents and phenomenal resources by a City Council truly welcoming all segments of our exceptional community. Mick IrelandThe city was presented a Canary Action Plan in March of 2006 and has yet to adopt that plan or any other. I am excited by the possibility that Aspen could become world-renowned as a place where its extended community of visitors, part-time residents and locals joined together to cut carbon emissions by 5 million pounds in the next two years. We can be the change that inspires others in the valley and state to protect the planet. Bonnie Behrend We have to move fast on several fronts. Create Rooftop Rocks, PlayPatio and Aspen Alley Shops, expanding use of rooftops and patios for dining and entertainment, and creating open-market environment in the alleys of the core. Increase teacher pay and expand space for early childhood education. Immediately shut off Truscott and Cemetery lights during p.m. exit, install E-Z pass tolls, raise money for Wagner Park construction vehicle limitations, add on-site tool sheds, reroute diesels, add construction mitigation officers.Dwayne RomeroI’d like to pave the way for new housing opportunities for families and individuals here in town, in keeping and in scale with our small-town character and feel. There are several existing properties and sites scattered through town that could serve as potential redevelopment efforts to obtain additional housing. None of this comes without an expense, and the tradeoffs are painful, but I sincerely believe that if we want to preserve our small-town character and have more of our work force living and thriving here in town, we need to pursue these opportunities. This also supports our goals and objectives as stated in the Canary Initiative – by housing more of our work force, we help to reduce our carbon footprint and move towards becoming a more sustainable and environmentally conscious town. LJ ErspamerI am not afraid of accepting difficult challenges. The biggest one we face right now is the Entrance to Aspen. But this is not just the only problem it has created. There are other problems that come with it. One is smooth traffic flow from the airport into Aspen. Intersections must be improved to prevent backup of traffic, as well as how much traffic is appropriate for our central core.If we manage our current traffic and parking needs with a forward-looking vision as to where we will be in the future, we can manage all the problems that will arise and be ahead of the curve. Our long-term goal is to reduce traffic in the core. This can happen with planning of public transportation, management of necessary vehicle traffic by locals, workers and guests. Our immediate need is to prevent this traffic from coming into the core area and at the same time providing smooth circulation for the necessary travel.There should be different levels of parking areas. Something like underground parking beneath the new Wienerstube for local resident workers and homeowners would remove the parking congestion on the streets. One idea in addition to the parking garage would be for those day visitors traveling through Aspen in the summer or those that do not need to be right in the core could park in an underground parking area beneath Paepcke Park.We will not be increasing traffic into the city but will be diverting cars from driving around town looking for places to park. At the same time we need to provide incentives to those that drive energy-efficient vehicles and give them priority parking in the core.Michael O’SullivanI would hope to work with the new mayor and City Council to move forward on the Preferred Alternative for the Entrance to Aspen. By curbing new large-scale development and moving existing traffic in and out of town more efficiently, we can improve the quality of life for everybody – locals, tourists and the working/commuting class.Toni Kronberg This is a tough one because Aspen has the opportunity to make quite a few dreams come true with a new council on board. I would like to finish up some of the projects I have already worked on: 1. Affordable housing communities, both rental and ownership, especially for the under served income brackets #1, #2, #3 2. Recreational and safety improvements to Rio Grande Park (street crossing, bathrooms, expansion of skateboard park)3. Outside swimming pools4. Improvements to recycle center5. Re-open the Record of Decision to reach a consensus on a multi-modal Solution to the Entrance from Buttermilk to Roundabout including a four-mountain aerial skier/transportation system if community support and funding is available6. Improve pedestrian and biking safety7. Maintain the library park plaza as open space But most importantly, work on the Civic Master Plan, by gathering public input and support for what the voters in Aspen would support for the city-owned land from Hunter and Main Street to the Rio Grande Park and from Hunter to Mill Street including the court house annex building, the library park plaza, the former youth center building, the three asphalt parking lots next to visitor center and the Zupancis property.Andrew KoleHere’s an idea: How about holding our elections when somebody is in town? Assuming whom we elect to City Council to serve the community is important, why not have the election when the voters are in town, when they can hear the issues and listen to the debate? I would support changing the voting date to either August or March. In addition, since I can multitask, and “I didn’t hear the fat lady sing,” I would work to retain the JerVail Hotel as a traditional Aspen hotel. How great would that be?Steve SkadronI would like to help create more quality affordable housing around town to house more of Aspen’s work force. That would help us sustain and protect our environment by reducing commutes, build community with families and roots, add vibrancy to downtown and grow a more diversified local retail economy. In the long run, it would help to keep a balance between resort and community, which I think is a defining characteristic that distinguishes us from other communities.Michael WamplerMy initial initiative would be to limit construction hours to between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with no construction on the weekends or holidays. This would give us two extra hours of peace on weekdays and give us our weekends back. Would that be great to sleep in on weekends without construction vehicle noise waking you up instead of your alarm clock? One final comment: The new council must reconcile with both City Hall and the various volunteer committees. A new, unified direction must be established so the citizens of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley can once again live as one.


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