Entrance to Aspen going back to voters
ASPEN – In an effort to put to rest the 37-year-old debate on the Entrance to Aspen, the Aspen City Council agreed Monday to put a question on the November ballot.
The question will offer several alternatives that have been debated and analyzed in the past, with the hopes that a few of them will be narrowed down for a closer look.
Whatever the majority of city voters decide is what the council will move forward with, with the hopes that all five elected officials will come to a unanimous position on a solution so it can be championed to the community at large.
The council agreed that questions have to be crafted carefully, and each alternative will carry with it an estimated cost, time savings and whether it requires further environmental analysis.
Over the years, dozens of ballot questions have been voted on by city and county voters. And each time, it has turned into a politicized debate that has left the community at a stalemate.
Councilman Torre said he’s concerned that will happen again and is unsure whether this November’s results will offer any clear direction.
Mayor Mick Ireland countered with a theory that in the past, ballot questions have been “either or” for one or two alternatives. As a result, people have voted against proposed solutions to advance their own.
“Trying to narrow the debate has been futile because people game the system,” he said, adding that his concern is that people make decisions based on their immediate circumstances.
“Maybe the public doesn’t want to do anything,” Ireland said.
Perhaps that’s because the council hasn’t taken a position and carried a viable solution forward, said Councilman Dwayne Romero.
“The only way is for the five of us to anchor around a choice,” he said. “[It’s] the only way to move the needle on this thing … That’s my sense.”
Councilman Steve Skadron was prepared for the council to reach a unanimous position Monday night, declaring that he supports either keeping the S-curves or the Colorado Department of Transportation’s record of decision.
The rest of the council wouldn’t commit to a position.
Skadron said he finds it offensive that nothing’s been done over the years and the community has weighed in. Therefore, it’s up to the council to call the question.
Ireland said the council still needs direction from voters.
“Then we have some input and work with it,” he said.
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