Is no one home at Aspen’s City Hall? |

Is no one home at Aspen’s City Hall?

Been trying to call City Hall or the Pitkin County Courthouse lately, and discovering that nobody’s home?

Well, it’s not really that there’s no one on duty, it’s just that the telephone system has been on the blink.

Specifically, the “voicemail” system shut down on Labor Day, and has yet to be fixed. City Clerk Kathryn Koch, who is in charge of the telephone system that is used jointly by the city and the county, said she hopes it will be fixed by the end of October.

Meanwhile, some of those working in their offices, according to sources who asked not to be named, have decided it’s easier to ignore their clamoring phone than deal with irate citizens who are probably trying to reach somebody else anyway.

So, for citizens trying to get through to a specific person at either the city or the county, Koch said, the best option for now is to call 920-5000 and leave a message with the receptionist.

Koch said the system was eight years old and due to be replaced anyway when it broke down. In fact, a $35,000 new voice mail system had been delivered in July and was awaiting installation, along with 16 new lines that are needed to accommodate the new system.

But even before the old system crashed, she said, the U S West crews for some reason could not get here for their scheduled work – first in August and then in September.

“I called the CEO of U S West, and you know what? I got voice mail,” Koch said of her attempts to get the project done.

The crews have now been on the job for two weeks or so, and the 16 lines are installed. But they weren’t hooked up correctly, Koch said, so technicians worked all that week to fix them.

In the meantime, because of a programming error, all voicemail calls were going to one desk in the building department, causing considerable confusion for Russell Grance, the occupant of that desk.

In any event, Koch said, the voicemail system should be back up and running within a couple of weeks.

“I’m reluctant to give a certain date, because I’ve given so many dates and they’ve all been wrong,” she lamented.

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