Election hopefuls speak: Part 4 of 6
The Aspen Times
The seven candidates for two open Aspen City Council seats are Adam Frisch, Mick Ireland, Bert Myrin, Marcia Goshorn, Andy Israel, Keith Goode and Tom McCabe. This is part four in a six-part series with the candidates. (Read parts one, two and three at http://www.aspentimes.com.)
Today’s question: What is the most important priority in addressing the city’s space needs?
The most important priority in addressing the city’s space needs is simply to do it. The city has known for ages that staff has been crammed into funky spaces scattered all over town for years. Way inefficient. We don’t need some over-the-top building built by some cutting-edge architect; we need a safe and durable building, which isn’t an embarrassment. The Zupancis property on Main Street was purchased by the council that I served on with a specific eye for use as city and/or county offices. The Zupancis property has just been sitting there for 14 or so years. Great leadership.
Of the proposed developments on the horizon, this may be the largest runaway project without public buy-in. City Hall must demonstrate that its plan is strictly necessary, economical and modest in scale. I will ensure that whatever plan is approved by council is one that includes your voice — the community voice — and would be supported by the voters.
I am not in favor of a large real estate project for City Hall. I realize there are space constraints, but I would like to understand the constraints better before committing the time, energy and money to a new City Hall. I am not confident in the city of Aspen’s decision to move forward so quickly with this project. I am surprised that the Old Power House was raffled off when the city of Aspen needs space so desperately. Another curious decision.
The most important priorities for city space needs are relocating the Aspen Police near downtown and close to the (Pitkin County) Sheriff’s (Office) and consolidating the scattered departments that are losing their rented space.
The police made a good case during their open house last year that the shared space in the courthouse basement is too small.
I do not support 70,000 square feet of new construction. I believe the first priority should be repurposing and reusing existing city-owned property before embarking on new construction. City Hall should be remodeled on the interior to create more efficient use of the space available.
I would like to see the full study that the city commissioned to study the space needs, and that should show how many staff members are in each department and why they feel the need to build so much space that seems to be excessive. I would also like the city to work with the county and other entities to solve the issues that we all share and to cooperate to best utilize the resources
Determining how much space we might need in the future. Anticipating the needs of the public 30 to 40 years from now would be my main concerns when building public buildings.
Some amount of new space needs to be built; it is a “necessary evil,” for lack of a better term. Build as small and humble as possible. The consolidation of City Hall offices from eight buildings to two or three will be a huge cost and efficiency savings over the long haul. I am a proponent of having any new building being located down and behind Galena Plaza. This will at least keep the building a story lower from the view in town due to the sloping topography. The city is losing half of its current 44,000 square feet due to rented space expiring.
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