Carbondale pro-development group outspent its budget on election campaign | AspenTimes.com
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Carbondale pro-development group outspent its budget on election campaign

John Colson
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – A group of proponents of the proposed Village at Crystal River shopping center, called Say YES to Carbondale, went more than $14,000 into the red by the end of the recent electoral battle over the project, according to final campaign finance reports filed Wednesday.

The group that convinced voters to reject the shopping-center plan, Locals for Smarter Growth, meanwhile, spent all the money it collected, $7,108, but no more.

In a mail-ballot election that ended Jan. 31, voters overturned an ordinance passed in November by the Carbondale Board of Trustees, which had granted approvals for the project.

In the final campaign finance report filed by Say YES to Carbondale, attorney Eric Gross reported that the group had $614 on hand on Jan. 27, the beginning of the final reporting period.

On Jan. 31, Election Day, the Say YES group paid a final check of $14,664 to the Promotional Concepts marketing company, which was hired to manage the election campaign.

Over the course of the campaign, the Say YES group spent a total of slightly more than $59,000 on work by Promotional Concepts, according to town records, but garnered only $45,000 in contributions.

All of that came in the form of two checks from Crystal River Marketplace LLC, the developer of the project. Both checks were written before Jan. 28, the deadline for the second period of campaign finance reporting.

That left the organization $14,000 in the red for the third and final report, filed Feb. 29 with Town Clerk Cathy Derby.

Gross, who acted as the group’s agent, said on Friday the difference will be made up by a final check from Crystal River Marketplace LLC.

Developer Rich Schierberg, who worked for several years to get the development approved, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Locals for Smarter Growth, according to spending reports, pulled in a total of $7,108 in contributions over the course of the election battle and spent every penny of it.

The final report indicated that the group had $546 on hand as of Jan. 28.

That was supplemented Feb. 20 by a $300 check from project opponent Russ Criswell to bring the group’s account to $846.

That amount exactly matched the final list of expenses by Locals for Smarter Growth, according to the report prepared by the organization’s official agent, Denise Moss.

That money, according to the report, was spent on advertising, printing, purchase of voter lists and other campaign activities.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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