City Council seat a hot one
December 4, 2006
More than two dozen Aspenites, from all walks of life, want to be a City Council member.By Monday’s deadline, 25 people had applied to fill Aspen City Councilwoman Rachel Richards’ spot when she takes office as county commissioner Jan. 9. The council plans to come up with a short list for interviews by this evening. Applicants for the position include such familiar names as Andrew Kole and Toni Kronberg, as well as a number of newcomers to the political arena, including an Aspen High School senior whose resume is the longest of any in the pool.Representing Aspen’s youth, 18-year-old Andrew MacCracken is seeking appointment on the council; he won’t run for office in the spring, as he intends to go to college and major in political science. He called himself “the embodiment of those youthful Aspen ideals, especially those that concern the next generations.”Four members of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission have thrown their hats in the ring: Jasmine Tygre, Ruth Kruger, Steve Skadron and Brian Speck.Kruger, who said she has “no burning desire” to run for office in the spring, suggested the new council member, whoever it may be, should have “the depth of understanding of the code and its evolution” and “a thorough understanding of the process.” She said her experience on planning and zoning and in commercial real estate qualify her for the temporary appointment.Tygre also said she doesn’t wish to run in the spring.”I am not under pressure to win future votes,” she wrote. “This will give me the freedom to annoy all citizens equally.”Bert Myrin listed his employment as “volunteering to bring the voice of voters to City Hall. The application asks “what is the nature of self-employement” if self-employed, to which Myrin responded, “‘Employment’ An activity that occupies a person’s time. See Random House Unabridged Dictionary.” In addition to volunteering on behalf of Aspen’s voters and reading the dictionary, Myrin practices estate law.Michael Wampler, owner of Aspen Velo, said he wants to make sure his sons, 9 and 12, “will have an opportunity to possibly remain in the retail business … and to actually own property here in Aspen.”Newspaper columnist and Colorado Mountain College teacher Sheldon Fingerman thought the city needed “better candidates than those who have applied – so far.” Fingerman wrote that “even though a councilperson must represent their constituants [sic], they must also represent landlords, business owners, second home owners, employers, etc.”Longtime housing board member Marcia Goshorn wrote that “the next several months have the possibility to shape this town for generations to come” and that “the projects and hopes coming in the near future need current knowledge and not a situation where someone needs to learn on the job.”Coming soon to council chambersThe newly appointed council member will help complete the process of rewriting the city’s land-use codes as part of the current building moratorium, if the council sticks to its Feb. 28 deadline. Along with Richards, the other four City Council members have endured seven months of special meetings, in addition to regular meetings, to hear from a variety of consultants on how to recraft the code to steer new development in a more desirable direction. Community Development Director Chris Bendon told the council Monday his staff is shooting for Dec. 12 to accept final direction on code rewrites. After that, the council will discuss and fine tune the revisions before final adoption in February.The new council member will serve until city voters elect a replacement in the spring. If the appointed member wishes to continue on the council, he or she must run for office.Aspen City Council candidatesJon Busch, Wheeler Film SocietyMichael Connolly, private investorHassen Dagher, owner Hoss Fitness and TanL.J. Erspamer, real estate agent, Aspen Land and HomesSheldon Fingerman, computers/electronics/columnist/guitar-amp tech/teacher at CMCAdam Frisch, stay-at-home dadMarcia Goshorn, Molly Gibson LodgeRick Head, real estate brokerJohn Kelly, attorneyVitashka Kirshen, retiredAndrew Kole, writer, producer, talk show hostMarie Antionette “Toni” Kronberg, owner Water Babies Swimming, equestrian handler/groomer, activist for special eventsRuth Kruger, Kruger and Co., commercial real estateAndrew MacCracken, Aspen High School seniorJoe Myers, retired attorneyBert Myrin, volunteer voice for votersBrent Reed, certified public accountantTimothy Reed, physical therapistDwayne Romero, development manager, Obermeyer PlaceSteve Skadron, advertising/marketing/public relations, Skadron Marketing GroupBrian Speck, Principal, Valhalla Inc. (investment firm)Jasmine Tygre, Carol Ann Jacobson RealtyMichael Wampler, owner Aspen VeloCliff Weiss, self-employed (designs advertising for resorts)Jeff Wertz, attorneyAbigail Eagye’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.