In Brief: Aspen seeks community input for next police chief

Aspen seeks community input for next police chief

The city of Aspen is launching a recruitment process to find and select the next police chief and is inviting community members to provide their input. Participants may complete a brief survey and provide comments online at 

The survey seeks public feedback about the skills and characteristics that are considered valuable in candidates for the position. The survey is currently open and will close on Oct. 3.

Community feedback will be used by Aspen’s city manager and recruiter to identify candidates, select a preferred one and establish priorities for the next chief of police. 

“The Aspen Police Department is known for its compassionate policing activities, in partnership with the community,” said Sara Ott, Aspen city manager. “I am looking forward to finding the best candidate for Aspen who can continue this community-minded focus in our law enforcement agency.”     

In accordance with the City of Aspen Charter, the city manager selects and supervises the chief of police, and Aspen City Council confirms the city manager’s appointment.    

Current Chief Richard Pryor will retire in December after 29 years of service with the Aspen Police Department, including 15 years as the chief.  

The city hired Strategic Government Resources to assist in recruiting and screening candidates and supporting the Aspen Police Department and the city manager in the search. In addition to the survey, the community will be invited to meet the finalists, city officials said.      

Writer in residence to talk at library

Tochukwu Okafor, Aspen Words’ September writer in residence, will speak and lead a writing prompt Thursday, Sept. 22, at 5:30 p.m. at the Pitkin County Library.

Aspen Public Radio Executive Director Breeze Richardson will moderate the 30-minute talk, and, then, Okafor will lead the writing exercise. The doors open at 5 p.m. for the free event.

He is a Nigerian writer whose work has appeared in the 2019 Best Small Fictions, the 2018 Best of the Net, The Guardian, Harvard’s Transition Magazine, Columbia Journal and elsewhere. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, he is an MFA fiction candidate at Emerson College with a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Worcester, Mass., and is at work on a novel and a story collection.

Potato Day features dance, ‘Marble Mash’ theme

Carbondale’s longest running tradition, Potato Day, will celebrate its 113th year on Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1.

The Potato Day Committee is bringing back the historical community dance at the Third Street Center from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, and Potato Day will follow the next day at Sopris Park and multiple locations in downtown Carbondale.

Events include a Carbondale Rotary Club pancake breakfast, The Ross Montessori School’s Tater Trot fun run, a parade, on-line and day-of contests, a community barbecue, live music, cowboy coffee, an end-of-season harvest farmers and artisans market and a youth gymkhana at the rodeo grounds.

The 2022 Potato Day theme, “Marble Mash,” is in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial. In the late 1870s, George Yule was prospecting for gold and silver in the Ragged Mountain Range when he came upon a vein of pure white marble. The Town of Marble was founded by William Parry and William Woods in 1881.

To volunteer in the potato and corn wrapping party before the event or on Potato Day, email or call Sue Gray at or 970-618-1849.

For more information, contact the Carbondale Historical Society or 970-618-1849 or Carbondale Recreation & Community Center at 970-510-1290 or