City Council seats continue to attract candidate interest |

City Council seats continue to attract candidate interest

John Colson

Two familiar faces joined the ranks of the politically hopefulover the weekend, swelling the field to a total of eight knowncandidates seeking or considering a run for city government.Two City Council seats and the mayor’s post will be up for electionon May 4.Steve Felt and Roger Haneman, both of whom ran unsuccessfullyfor council seats in 1997, confirmed over the weekend that theyhave taken out petition packages from the Aspen city clerk’s office,and are considering their options for the May election.Felt, who also made a failed bid for a Pitkin County commissionerseat in 1998, said he is thinking about running for mayor, butis putting off making a final decision for a couple of reasons.One, he said, is he wants to see what other names pop up in thenext week or so. The other is that he is thinking of taking ajob in Denver.Haneman indicated he would run for a council seat if he runs foranything at all. Although he campaigned on a platform advocatingaffordable housing last time, he said that high on his list ofreasons to run this time is the lack of candidates who openlysupport the idea of a valleywide commuter train.He said he is still concerned about the need for affordable housingfor Aspen’s workers, but added, “Something that will make me evenmore interested in running is, no one’s coming out in favor ofthe train issue this year.”Felt and Haneman join another newcomer to the race, developerTim Semrau, who declared his candidacy for a City Council seaton Friday.Semrau is a recently appointed member of the city Planning andZoning Commission, and has been an active affordable housing advocate.He has argued that local governments don’t have the expertiseto develop housing projects efficiently or as cheaply as privatedevelopers can do it.That brings the list of potential council candidates to four,including Aspen native Tony Hershey and businessman Tom McCabe.Those running for mayor include incumbent council member and Mayorpro-tem Rachel Richards, former county Commissioner Helen Klanderud,and relative political unknown Michael O’Sullivan.

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