Klanderud wins third term | AspenTimes.com

Klanderud wins third term

Jeanne McGovern
Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud is joined by sons, Erik, front, and Soren, Tuesday at City Hall. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox.

Helen Klanderud will serve a third term as mayor of Aspen.Klanderud garnered just more than 51 percent of the votes cast in yesterday’s mayoral contest, narrowly avoiding a runoff with challenger Torre. Klanderud received 1,169 votes; Torre collected 597; 1,143 votes were needed for the outright victory.City Councilman Terry Paulson received 318 votes. Bert Myrin, an active local resident who is politically aligned with Paulson, collected 199 votes.”It’s wonderful …,” said a clearly relieved Klanderud after the final votes were tallied. “Now I want to take a vacation.”

Of course Klanderud realizes her final term in office will not be an easy one. She said top priorities will be looking closely at the city’s affordable housing program, transportation issues and how to handle Aspen’s graying population.Of her legacy, Klanderud said: “I hope that Aspen will always be remembered for what it has always been – a glorious, resilient, exciting, risk-taking place.”Torre, who is in the middle of his first term on the council, will retain his seat. He said he has great respect for Klanderud and looks forward to continuing the work he has done on council.”I feel great … like a million bucks,” he said. “I was in it to win, but what it’s really about is representation … the voters’ will.”

Torre, 35, was a relative unknown when he ran for mayor in a four-way race in 2001. He returned in 2003 and captured a council seat from then-incumbent Tony Hershey in a runoff vote. He would not predict last night whether another bid for office is in his future. He did say, however, that the approval of Burlingame bodes well for the town.To Paulson, who was readily defeated by Klanderud in the 2003 mayoral contest, the town’s future is “pretty scary.””I’m disappointed,” said Paulson of the election results; he will be forced off the council this spring by term limits. “I’m happy to have served for 12 years, but I had hoped to leave a better legacy than what I’m seeing with this vote.”The 54-year-old Paulson, a staunch environmentalist and no-growth proponent, believes the city – with Klanderud at the helm and Burlingame now approved – is headed in the wrong direction.

“We’ve just got to say no at some point,” he said. “But I just don’t see that with the present council.”Myrin, who said he was “pleased” with his personal election results because he did no campaigning, agreed.”Terry and I, even together, didn’t get the number of votes that Torre did,” he said. “What that tells me is that this election was pro-Burlingame, pro-development.”I think Aspen is headed where America is headed, where everything gets developed. I thought Aspen was different. I thought Aspen was special, so in this regard it is very disappointing.”Jeanne McGovern’s email address is jmcgovern@aspentimes.com

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