Mayor pro tem issue stymies City Council |

Mayor pro tem issue stymies City Council

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Attempts by the Aspen City Council to select a mayor pro tem from among its ranks failed Monday in an exercise Mayor Helen Klanderud termed “ridiculous.”

Former Councilman Tom McCabe, who recently left office, was formerly second in command. He succeeded Councilman Terry Paulson as mayor pro tem after the spring election in 2001, though Paulson pressed to keep the post.

Although Paulson suggested seniority should be a criteria for the position two years ago, this time he said he’d like to see newly elected Torre fill the role.

“I’ve changed my mind about how important this is,” Paulson said. “I am interested, but I’m not going to make a big deal out of it, like last time.”

Torre indicated he had no interest in the post, while council members Tim Semrau and Rachel Richards both threw their hats in the ring.

Paulson said he would not support Semrau and argued the mayor pro tem should share Klanderud’s position on key issues like the Entrance to Aspen.

In their first secret ballot, Semrau and Paulson tied with two votes apiece. A runoff vote between the two men again produced a tie when someone cast a ballot for Torre.

“That’s ridiculous. It’s between Tim and Terry,” Klanderud said.

Richards and Torre then hinted they would refuse to vote again unless all council members were back in the field of contenders.

Torre suggested they delay the vote until tonight’s council work session.

“No. If we can’t do this now, this is ridiculous,” Klanderud replied, calling for another vote.

The next try, however, produced two ballots for Semrau and two for Paulson, while one ballot was left blank.

The appointment was left undecided.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is]

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