Kole’s bully tactics | AspenTimes.com

Kole’s bully tactics

About four years ago, shortly after Andrew Kole came to Aspen, I was at some meetings attended by members of the Aspen Recreation Department, representatives from the city of Aspen, gymnastics parents and a few basketball players.

The main spokesperson for the basketball players was Andrew Kole. Andrew Kole wanted the gymnastics department to share the gym at the Red Brick Arts and Recreation building during lunch hour with a handful of basketball players.

The gymnastics program had become a very successful local program with nearly 200 of our children participating and needed the space for additional equipment.

In order to share the space with the basketball players, the heavy gymnastics equipment would have to be picked up and moved on a regular basis. It would have seriously jeopardized the gymnastics program.

I was quite taken back by Andrew Kole’s arrogant, belligerent attitude. He demanded that the gym be shared between the gymnasts and his handful of basketball players with little concern or regard to how this would affect the kids in the gymnastics program. The gymnastics program has put out some of the finest athletes in the state.

In the end the problem was solved by Boogie’s generosity. The Aspen Club let the basketball players play at their club for $5,000 annually. Boogie offered to pay half of this if the city would pay the other half. Thanks to Boogie and the city, the gymnastics program was able to stay intact and effectively continue and expand.

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I did not care for Andrew Kole’s pushy, self-important attitude, which has since shown up on his TV show, and other actions around town. I think it would be a travesty to elect a mayor that would put a dozen men ahead of so many of our kids.

The men certainly had a right to their lunch games at the Red Brick, but a community leader would have looked for a solution where the kids and the men got what they needed without resorting to bully tactics.

Stan Bialek