Carbondale VCR backers spent 10 times more than opponents |

Carbondale VCR backers spent 10 times more than opponents

John Colson
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – The organization backing the proposed Village at Crystal River (VCR) development has spent ten times as much as their opponents in the election campaign concerning the project.

The two groups, “Say YES to Carbondale” and “Locals for Smarter Growth,” have been campaigning to win voter support in a mail-ballot election that began this week and concludes on Jan. 31.

Voters are being asked to uphold or overturn the town board of trustees’ Nov. 1, 2011, approval of the project.

According to documents filed on Tuesday with Town Clerk Cathy Derby, Say YES to Carbondale received a single check for $30,000, dated Dec. 30, 2011, from Crystal River Marketplace LLC, the corporation hoping to build the VCR development.

No other donations were reported by the Say YES group.

By comparison, the group opposing the development, Locals for Smarter Growth, reported receiving a total of $4,537 in contributions between Nov. 23, 2011, and Jan. 9, 2012.

The donations came in the form of 45 checks and cash contributions, mostly of $100 or less, according to the Locals group’s filing.

The largest contributions to the Locals group were $300 donations from Carbondale resident Kay Brunnier and Snowmass resident John McBride.

Four donations at the $250 level came from Carbondale residents Marc Bruell, Chris Chacos and George Stranahan, and from the Eagle Crest Nursery in El Jebel.

On the expenditures side, attorney Eric Gross, agent for the Say YES group, stated that group had spent $29,783 as of Jan. 10, all of it with the Promotional Concepts marketing company.

The money was spent for advertising, mailings and administrative coordination, according to the group’s filing.

The Locals group had spent a total of $2,977 as of Jan. 9, according to Denise Moss, registered agent for the group.

The group’s largest expenditures were $429 for campaign yard signs, and $475 for newspaper advertising in The Sopris Sun.

Other large expenses by the Locals group included $300 for ads with the Colorado Mountain News Media papers, $249 for ads in the Aspen Daily News, and $250 to Tim McFlynn of the Aspen Dispute Resolution company, for moderating a forum on Jan. 4.

The two organizations will file their second and final campaign finance reports on Jan. 27, the Friday before Election Day.

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