Aspen, Pitkin County elected officials approve APCHA board direction
Elected officials from Aspen and Pitkin County on Thursday unanimously supported a compromise about the role of the executive director of the area’s affordable housing authority.
The compromise was worked out Wednesday by members of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority Board, who decided that the board’s chair will be included in the future in personnel matters regarding the director.
APCHA Executive Director Mike Kosdrosky prompted the compromise Wednesday after he complained that his job was “untenable” because he must answer to both Aspen’s city manager and the housing authority board, which are sometimes at odds.
On Thursday, Aspen Councilwoman Rachel Richards said the complaints reflected “baggage and bruises from past management in the city” that pulled Kosdrosky in different directions.
Pitkin County Commissioner George Newman said that the compromise, coupled with plans to draft a five-year strategic plan and an annual work plan for APCHA, will help clarify Kosdrosky’s responsibilities and keep the city manager from “throwing out things” that conflict with the board’s direction.
Kosdrosky did not attend Thursday’s joint meeting between members of the Aspen City Council and the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners. The other civilian members of the housing board also did not attend.
Commissioner Steve Child wondered where Kosdrosky now stands in light of the compromise agreed to Wednesday and supported by members of both boards Thursday if he thinks his position is “untenable.”
“Fundamentally, that’s Mike’s choice if he believes it’s untenable,” Aspen City Manager Sara Ott said. “It requires everyone wanting success to happen.”
Ott said she didn’t feel comfortable talking further about personnel issues in Thursday’s setting.
The APCHA board was recently restructured to include two members of the City Council and two members of the board of commissioners after 17 years of only civilian members. The new structure was meant to improve the board’s decision-making process.
Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock and Ott both recommended staying the course for a year and seeing how the new arrangement works before making any changes to the board structure. Kosdrosky pushed Wednesday for the board to adopt a new structure wherein he reports to the board and not the city manager.
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Ballots will be counted Tuesday evening for the city of Aspen municipal election.