Mayoral hopefuls discuss Aspen’s space needs
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 four in a six-part series with the candidates. (Read parts one, two and three at http://www.aspentimes.com.)
Today’s question: What is the most important priority in addressing the city’s space needs?
The most important priority is to build new space for the Police Department and some other office space to reduce the outside lease space we currently use. During this process our priorities should be on efficiency, modest construction and appropriateness. Instead, this council is spending $3 million designing over 70,000 square feet and four buildings. Our city government has grown by 15 full time employees in the last two years. We need to make our local government better, not bigger. Under current plans the city of Aspen will be building more than any other entity, with construction possibly lasting seven years. I look forward to leading a process to rightsize our city government going in to the future.
The biggest priority is to replace lost-leased spaces. The city proposes to do that on property the city already owns with work spaces that create efficiencies for better community service. The city is a tenant in the (Aspen) Daily News building. That building is being torn down. The city is a tenant in several county buildings. The county needs their space back. The community’s choice is: lease more spaces, at market rates forever, to replace the lost leases and be subject to the uncertainty of the marketplace; or control its own destiny by building on or renovating what it already owns. I’m not interested in a city monument to itself.
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The Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission voted this week to open the tract of land near Aspen for mountain lion hunting.