Eight seek two Aspen hospital board seats | AspenTimes.com

Eight seek two Aspen hospital board seats

John Colson
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The contest for two open seats on the Aspen Valley Hospital board of directors has heated up considerably, with eight candidates vying for the voters’ nod to steer the facility through the coming four years.

The two seats up for grabs are held currently by doctors Barry Mink and Greg Balko. Balko is not seeking re-election, according to the hospital district.

The election will be conducted with mail-in ballots only, according to AVH election clerk Nell Strijbos-Arthur. The ballots will be mailed to registered residents of the hospital district beginning April 11, and must be returned by election day, May 6.

The hospital district’s boundaries essentially mirror those of Pitkin County, excluding the Crystal River Valley and Redstone, as well as the Fryingpan River Valley and the communities of Thomasville, Meredith and half of Basalt.

The eight candidates are:

– Chuck Frias, local real estate agent and property manager;

– Christopher Hewett, who could not be reached for this article;

– Deborah Hutchinson, paramedic, businesswoman and valley native;

– Dr. Barry Mink, internist at Internal Medicine Associates and an incumbent seeking his second term on the board:

– David Missner, an attorney with considerable experience in financial management issues;

– Dr. Mindy Nagle, doctor of obstetrics and gynecology with the All Valley Womens’ Care clinics in Aspen and Basalt;

– Mark Rothman, attorney, builder and hotel developer and one-time member of the board of directors of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C., and;

– Albert Slap, an attorney, law professor and environmental activist.

According to the hospital district, the election is being conducted by mail because there is no May election scheduled for Pitkin County voters, and the county is not set up to run elections solely for special districts.

The hospital district, which is pulling itself out of a financial slump created by billing problems and poor management in the late 1990s, generally is running in the black and rebuilding its cushion of cash reserves in preparation for a major expansion and renovation.

The most recent hospital board election, in 2006, was canceled after the only ones registered to run were the three incumbents whose terms were about to end.

Board members for AVH are volunteers; board terms are four years.