Mayor hopefuls speak: Part 2 of 6
The Aspen Times
Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron and former Councilman Torre will compete for the mayor’s seat in the May 5 election. This is part two in a six-part series with the candidates. (Read part one here.)
Today’s question: What is the No. 1 issue facing Aspen, and how do you plan to address it?
The number one issue facing Aspen is the continual elimination of locally serving small businesses and the lack of affordable space in new development. With the latest of development plans coming in to the city, we are seeing a fast erosion of the mountain ski town community that most of us moved here for. As we eliminate the opportunity for affordable locally serving business, we increase the challenge on individuals and families to stay in the community. I intend to address this problem by a few land use changes; allowing local commercial development in the core, an idea my opponent voted against. I want to utilize the (service-commercial-industrial) and (neighborhood-commercial) zones to create more space for the businesses that are for locals by locals. While change is inevitable, and can be positive, maintaining community and character is what sets Aspen apart. We have a few opportunities left to balance development and community, but we need to act now.
A hillside of dirt, in January, beneath Chair 6.
Aspen’s economic and environmental future are inextricably linked. Over a century ago, the demonetization of silver destroyed Aspen’s economy. I don’t want disappearing snow to put us out of business again. I see it as my job to set Aspen on a course to prevent that economic vulnerability. The key to our quality of life and our economy is our environmental surroundings, and I intend to continue the city’s local, regional, state and national leadership in all aspects of environmental stewardship. I’m committed to caring for, sustaining and protecting the environment and believe these efforts are urgent.
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Basalt mayoral candidates Bill Kane and Rob Leavitt said at a Feb. 10 forum they endorsed the town government’s $1.34 million expenditure to expand a riverfront park. Candidate and councilman Bill Infante said not so fast and provided an alternative view.