Candidate’s residency under review
ASPEN Aspen has launched an investigation regarding City Council candidate Toni Kronberg in the wake of three formal complaints with the city clerk challenging her residency.Area residents Ron Erickson, Jim DeFrancia and Andrew Kole filed separate complaints on Wednesday with City Clerk Kathryn Koch, asking city officials to investigate whether Kronberg is a resident of Aspen, as is necessary to run for city office. The only proof the city requires is a signature on a voter registration form.Questions about whether Kronberg has been an Aspen resident for the past 12 months have surfaced after several sources told The Aspen Times they believe she lives outside the city limits in Aspen Village, based on her continual presence there.Kronberg insists that she lives at 230 N. Spring St. in the Oklahoma Flats neighborhood and that she lived there last summer and winter. Denver-based real estate agent Denice Reich owns the home. Kronberg said she also lived at the Burlingame seasonal housing for a time.On her voter registration form and petition to run for City Council, Kronberg listed 230 N. Spring St. as her permanent address. Kronberg changed her address around the time she filed her petition to run for City Council. She listed 377 N. Spring St. as her former residence, a large riverfront property with a caretaker unit, which Reich also owns.Kronberg told the Times last week that the reason she is at Aspen Village frequently is because she rents an office there – in the basement of unit No. 60.Lauren Walkiewicz, a former caretaker at a Woody Creek ranch, said Kronberg lived on the property for nearly a month last summer before the owner requested that she leave so he could have her caretaker unit for guests.Kronberg denies those claims, saying she lived on the Woody Creek ranch for four days. In response to the complaints, Koch said she has done background research and has forwarded her findings to local attorney Jim True, who is working on contract with City Hall. City Attorney John Worcester is on vacation.Koch said she spoke with Kronberg on Wednesday afternoon and asked her to produce proof of her residency for the past 12 months in the form of either a lease or utility bills with her name listed on them. Kronberg has until the end of the business day today (Thursday) to produce the documents, Koch said.Kronberg garnered the third-highest count in the May 8 council election, with 487 votes, or 22 percent. In second place was Steve Skadron, who received 862 votes, or 39 percent. In order to win a seat on the council in the first go-round, a candidate must garner 45 percent of the vote, plus one, a threshold only candidate Dwayne Romero reached. There will be a runoff election June 5.Kole, who received 300 votes in the May election, said he filed the complaint because he simply doesn’t believe Kronberg. And he said he expects City Hall to investigate.”If the city had a suspicion, maybe they should have checked it out,” Kole said. “I think when you have an extraordinary situation like this, they have the responsibility to the citizens to make sure the election process is as clean as possible.”DeFrancia, a local businessman and developer, said he filed the complaint because he believes the integrity of the electoral process must remain intact. He added that Kronberg’s involvement in citizen initiatives and having a constant presence as a gadfly at City Council meetings has been beneficial to the political process.”If you run for office, there are certain qualifications and you need to meet them,” he said. “Toni, in many respects, is an admirable citizen but at the end of the day, you need to qualify.”Erickson, a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission who relinquished his seat because he moved out of the city limits in 2002, said Kronberg’s refusal to provide evidence of her residency has piqued his curiosity and suspicions.”I just feel that she has made a mockery of this election,” Erickson said. “She is wasting our time, money and energy.”Everybody has wondered about [her residency], and if you are going to be a public servant, full disclosure is required.”Carolyn Sackariason’s e-mail address is email@example.com.
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