Mallory withdraws bid for Aspen council seat |

Mallory withdraws bid for Aspen council seat

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Howie Mallory

ASPEN – And then there were seven.

Howie Mallory has withdrawn his application for the Aspen City Council seat vacated by Dwayne Romero, leaving seven candidates under consideration.

The council is scheduled to meet again Friday, at 3 p.m., to make the appointment after failing to agree on a selection Tuesday.

Mallory, a former local banker and member of the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails board of trustees, applied for the vacant seat, but then discovered the county’s open space charter does not allow him to serve on the open space board and the council simultaneously. Nor is there a provision that would allow him to take a leave of absence from his county post while he fills in on the City Council.

“It’s not doable, regrettably, so I had to make a choice,” Mallory said. “I didn’t want to string it out any longer, once it became clear I couldn’t do both.”

Mallory, serving in his first five-year term on the county Open Space and Trails Board, is also a member of the city’s Open Space Board. That dual role is permitted.

Weighing his choices, Mallory opted for the open space position rather than a short-term seat on the City Council. He had already announced he did not intend to seek election to the city post in May. The appointee will serve out the remainder of Romero’s term, which expires in mid-June. Romero resigned to take a job in Denver as Gov. John Hickenlooper’s director of economic development.

Mallory said his goals in seeking the council post were to keep the city from losing momentum on adoption of the Aspen Area Community Plan and in negotiations regarding the fate of the Given Institute property.

Though Mallory will remain on the county open space board, another seat on that board will open up in April. Member Franz Froelicher’s term is expiring and he has announced he won’t seek re-appointment. The county is now seeking citizens interested in serving in the District 5 seat; the district covers a large section of the northern part of the county, including the Crystal and Fryingpan River valleys and the Emma area.

Meanwhile, the four remaining City Council members now must choose from applicants Patti Kay-Clapper, Adam Frisch, Marcia Goshorn, Ruth Kruger, Cathy Markle, Jag Pagnucco and Cliff Weiss to fill Romero’s seat. Dan Kitchen, who had also applied, previously withdrew his candidacy.

Council members, voting by secret ballot on Tuesday, failed to come up with the necessary three-vote majority to appoint Romero’s replacement. On Tuesday, three applicants received votes, with the count recorded as 2-1-1. The city did not divulge which candidates received votes.

The city’s home rule charter states that the selection of an interim council member requires three votes, not a simple majority of those voting, Mayor Mick Ireland said Tuesday.