Citizens won’t pull initiatives off ballot |

Citizens won’t pull initiatives off ballot

Janet Urquhart

Two housing questions slated for Aspen’s May 3 election won’t be removed from the ballot, and ringleaders of the group that brought the measures forward blasted the City Council today for suggesting it.

Former Pitkin County Commissioners Dwight Shellman and Joe Edwards, opponents of the city’s planned Burlingame Ranch affordable housing project, convened a press conference on GrassRoots TV today to confirm they have no intention of withdrawing the citizen-initiated questions that the council has already agreed to place on the ballot.

They also used the forum to level a host of charges against the council regarding the controversial housing project and abuses in the worker housing program, portending a spirited campaign season.

With the two initiative questions aimed at preventing what Shellman called “Burlingame-type abuses” already on the ballot, he urged the council to poll voters on the annexation of land for the housing project.

The council hinted this week they’d be willing to ask voters to either uphold or reject the annexation if the backers of the two initiatives would withdraw those measures.

Roughly 1,000 people signed each initiative and Shellman said it would be inappropriate to pull them off the ballot.

“We’ve got a thousand people who said they like these ordinances and the want them adopted,” Edwards added.

For more on Wednesday’s discussion, see Thursday’s Aspen Times.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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