Former judge ponders run for City Council |

Former judge ponders run for City Council

Former Pitkin County Judge J.E. DeVilbiss is thinking about joining the race for Aspen City Council, although he emphasizes that he hasn’t made up his mind yet.DeVilbiss on Friday said he has been circulating the required petition to collect signatures for a run for council, but he said he has mostly been talking to people about his potential to run.DeVilbiss, 70, spent 26 years on the bench as the Pitkin County District Court judge. He retired in 2002 and now says he’d like to have a chance to impact the community in a different way.”In all my time on the bench, I read the newspapers and watched, but I wasn’t an active part of the community other than doing my job,” he said. “As a judge I had to stand aside from politics – I didn’t sign petitions, I was scrupulous on not taking any positions on things. Now that I’m not doing that job anymore, I can participate a little differently and more fully.”DeVilbiss said he is a staunch supporter of affordable housing and feels that the local housing program is “under attack.” He is the man protesting a pair of citizen initiatives put forward by opponents of the Burlingame Ranch affordable housing project. The initiatives propose new policies that would govern the city’s development of housing.”Aspen is my home, and it’s a wonderful, beautiful place,” he said. “I’d like to do my part to see it stay as wonderful as it was when I got here.”Just 25 signatures are needed from registered Aspen voters in order to get a name on the May 3 ballot. One registered voter is allowed to sign only three petitions, however: one mayoral petition and two petitions for city council.If DeVilbiss does decide to run for office, he has until April 1 to return the petition. After that he has until April 8 to withdraw his name from the ballot, or “chicken out,” as he put it.There are two seats on the city council up for election in May, and so far Jack Johnson, Marcia Goshorn and Dee Malone have announced their candidacies.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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