Former Aspen mayor may run for mayor |

Former Aspen mayor may run for mayor

Former Aspen Mayor Bill Stirling may return to the political arenato challenge council member Rachel Richards in the upcoming mayoralrace.Stirling said he is “still contemplating” the decision, and thereare a number of factors prompting a possible comeback attempt.The first for Stirling is his objection to a one-candidate race.”There should be no divine right of succession,” said Stirling,who was challenged in each election bid during his tenure as mayorfrom 1983 to 1991. “It’s always best if there are challengers…. It’s important to the health of the republic.”Aside from his feelings that voters should have a choice, Stirlingharbors some concerns about a perceived gap growing between thecurrent city council and the public it serves.”There needs to be a more direct line to the council. It seemsthat whenever a new issue comes up a task force is formed, andI think it’s very hard for council to go against their conclusionsafter they’ve done so much work.”It sounds democratic, but in practice it’s not because it meansthat the task force makes the decision and council simply endorsesit,” Stirling said. “That way the mayor and council can pointto the task force and say, ‘It’s not my doing.'”According to Stirling, people have been approaching him for weeks,asking him to enter the race. Obligations to his real estate company,however, are one reason Stirling hasn’t signed on yet.”[Being mayor is] an exciting line of work but an incredibly time-consumingjob,” Stirling said. But Stirling may not have politics out of his system just yet.Accomplishments that stir the most pride in the former mayor include:playing a part in the passage of the real estate transfer taxto fund the affordable housing program; the establishment of theRoaring Fork Transit Agency; master planning of Aspen Meadows;and banning smoking in public places.

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