Clapper and Mooney meet again |

Clapper and Mooney meet again

Paul Conrad/The AspenTimes

Tim Mooney and Patti Clapper faced off at Squirm Night 2006 with a county commissioner’s seat at stake – picking up right where they left off five years ago.

Mooney called Clapper “a great soldier for Pitkin County” and applauded her efforts on behalf of the community. And Clapper congratulated Mooney on his ability to speak his mind. But the love ended there.Mooney said it is time for change. “I’m a deal-maker,” he said. “I think I can negotiate better.” As a real-estate broker, Mooney said he is versed in county land-use codes and knows the issues from the other side of the table.Clapper said that already being a commissioner means having a grasp on the wider issues in Pitkin County, not just being able to negotiate land deals. Being commissioner comes with a steep learning curve, she said, and it takes a while to come up to speed. “I have that experience,” she said, and she wants to use it for her third and final term in District 1.Mooney said there needs to be tougher debate at the board and claimed Clapper was “going along” and “getting along” with other commissioners. Pressed by the Squirm panelists, Mooney could not come up with an example from Clapper’s record where she’d been weak.

“I’m not here to beat up Patti,” he said. “I’m here to profess my capabilities.” He said he wants to create a new path and will bring more strength and energy to the table.”My concern would be his alliance with the real estate industry,” Clapper said. Asked if she was passive, Clapper joked, “Just ask my children. … I make my decisions based on information and what’s fair.”The two agreed the county needs more affordable housing. Clapper said the community is losing lots of downvalley commuter housing to employees in the oil and gas industry. Mooney said it is a larger lifestyle issue and big business should not dictate how the community runs.”What is good for the community is good for the resort, and not the other way around,” he said.

Asked about the lucrative renovation of his 1940s-era home – he is moving the historic home and building a spec house on an adjacent garden plot – he said he is just trying to make a living and “sell out but not move out.” He called himself one of a dying breed of 1970s ski bum who has done all he can to stay where he is.Like the candidates in District 2, Clapper and Mooney then stood toe to toe on the Entrance to Aspen question.”Let’s just do it,” Clapper said. She said she was against a direct route to town at first, but said that it is what voters want. The biggest issue, she said, is funding. Even with a plan that everyone agrees on, CDOT is underfunded, she said.Mooney claimed the bridges are the problem, not the S-curves. He suggested taking out the sidewalks on Castle Creek Bridge and making three lanes that alternate into two-lane traffic, inbound every morning and outbound every evening.

“I don’t think we build the cathedral for Christmas morning,” he said. “Then Aspen is a parking lot.” He said he uses the 15-minute wait through the S-curves to call his mom in Florida. He also said more cars coming in and out would kill the goose that laid the golden egg.”I believe that I have a lot of experience and knowledge,” Clapper said in closing. “And I’d like to take it forward.””I’m a businessman. I’m a decision-maker,” Mooney said.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is

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