Deadline set for candidates for open Aspen seat |

Deadline set for candidates for open Aspen seat

ASPEN ” The vacancy left on the Aspen City Council because of the death of J.E. DeVilbiss will be filled by no later than Oct. 20.

The council agreed on Tuesday to advertise for candidates to fill the fifth seat.

Applications are due to City Clerk Kathryn Koch by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30. Council members will then rank their favorite candidates during a public meeting that day in an effort to whittle down the field.

By Oct. 1, council members will formalize a couple of questions for the top candidates to answer in writing, which will be due by Oct. 7. Those questions will be available on Oct. 2.

The council will interview the candidates individually on Oct. 15, which will be open to the public. The candidates’ written answers also will be made public.

A special meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16, when the council will make the appointment.

According to the city charter, the council has 30 days to fill a seat made vacant by a member. Qualifications for a council member require that applicants “shall be an elector of the city and a citizen of the United States for at least one year and shall have resided in the city of Aspen for at least one year,” according to the city’s home rule charter. Applicants also can’t be employed by the city or perform professional services for the city, according to the charter.

The council’s remaining four members ” Dwayne Romero, Steve Skadron, Jack Johnson and Mayor Mick Ireland ” will have to reach a majority vote on the new

council member.

The appointment will likely become political as the current council has taken its share of criticism over its slow-growth policies and approach to developing affordable housing.

Andrew Kole, who ran unsuccessfully in the spring 2007 election, said he will probably throw his hat into the ring. No other citizens have publicly announced their interest.

Koch said 23 applicants vied for the last vacancy on the council, which was held by Rachel Richards who was elected to Pitkin County commissioner in November of 2006.

Aspen City Council members are paid $1,700 a month, or $20,040 a year, plus health benefits.

Applications will be available in the City Clerk’s office on the second floor of City Hall.

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