Four more applications filed for interim Aspen council seat |

Four more applications filed for interim Aspen council seat

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Four more Aspen residents have applied for the interim City Council seat that will be vacated by Dwayne Romero at the end of this month.

Marcia Goshorn, Dan Kitchen, Howie Mallory and Jag Pagnucco submitted applications with the city clerk’s office on Friday. That brought the total number of applicants to seven, as former Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Kay-Clapper, Aspen Planning and Zoning Commissioner Cliff Weiss and entrepreneur Adam Frisch had previously filed.

The deadline for applications for the interim council position is 4 p.m. on Thursday. Three council members – Derek Johnson, Steve Skadron and Torre – and Mayor Mick Ireland will have 30 days following Romero’s last day in which to choose someone to fill the temporary position. Interviews with candidates are expected to be conducted in early March. A decision is likely sometime between middle to late March.

The appointee will serve temporarily on the council during April and May. City elections for two permanent council seats – Romero’s and Steve Skadron’s – will be held May 3. Mayor Mick Ireland also is up for re-election that day.

Goshorn, a longtime community volunteer, is a self-employed property manager. In her application, she wrote that the council would benefit from a woman’s point of view.

“Aspen is embarking on a new revival and the decisions that will be made in the next several years will determine the direction that we take,” she said. “I believe that the knowledge of the past and the historical missteps could prevent repeating past mistakes.”

Goshorn added that her work with a citizens’ task force on the city budget proves “that even diverse opinions can come to common goals.”

Kitchen, who over the years has been an activist on many local issues, said he is seeking the interim position to initiate change. He described himself as someone who will be fiscally responsible.

“We should not spend money to promote special events like the upcoming Quizno’s bicycle event, etc.,” he wrote in his application.

Kitchen also said Aspen needs “a big box store” and that expanding the Castle Creek Bridge would improve the entrance to Aspen.

Mallory, the city’s 2010 “volunteer of the year” who works part-time at the Aspen Cross Country Center, provided short- and long-term goals in his application. He said he would work toward turning the sale of the Given Institute property into a long-term community asset, while at the same time realizing a fair sales price for the University of Colorado, which owns the land.

“There is wonderful potential economic and cultural synergy through good design and planning between the Given, [Aspen Center for Environmental Studies] and the Red Brick Center for the Arts,” Mallory wrote.

Among his long-term goals, he said it is the council’s “charge” to be proactive in planning and managing for the inevitable future impacts of development. He added that he wants to continue to improve on the city’s fiscal discipline and operational efficiency goals.

Pagnucco, a retired resident who has served six years on the city Board of Adjustment, noted his longtime service in the realm of civic affairs. Prior to moving to Aspen in 2003, he served 10 years on the zoning board of appeals in Beverly Hills, Mich.

“Since I am retired and single, I have no distractions that would deter my focus, energies and dedications as a councilmember,” he said.

Pagnucco said he first visited Aspen back in 1973, and was so taken by its beauty and history, “Aspen became my vacation destination for the next 30 years.”

Kay-Clapper, who was unavailable for comment after filing her application Wednesday, arguably has the most direct experience with government service, having spent 12 years on the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners.

Kay-Clapper, 57, said Friday that she wants to serve out Romero’s term in the interim seat, but has yet to decide whether to run for the permanent spot in the May election. She was term-limited from seeking re-election to the BOCC last year.

“I wanted to make my interest in the City Council known,” she said, adding that as a county commissioner she took a great interest in city affairs, and worked hand-in-hand with Aspen officials on many issues, including growth management.

Kay-Clapper said one factor that has kept her from deciding to run for a permanent council position is her employment situation. The BOCC position was a full-time job, while the council spot does not pay nearly as well.

A registered nurse, Kay-Clapper said she is looking for a full-time job. She’s not sure that she wants to return to nursing, but has kept her license current over the years.

“I need to find employment,” she said. “I need to use the knowledge I’ve gained over the years.”

Kay-Clapper added that her husband, Tommy, who ran for BOCC last fall, is faring better following a medical emergency in April 2010. His heart stopped while the couple was dining in an Aspen eatery, but a restaurant employee administered CPR and kept him alive until paramedics arrived.

The recovery has been slow for her husband, Kay-Clapper acknowledged.

“He’s a miracle,” she said. “Every day he gets better. But he wakes up some days and thinks he’s the same old Tommy Clapper. It’s been very frustrating for him.”

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