Meet the candidates: Crown Mountain Park |

Meet the candidates: Crown Mountain Park

Storm clouds from the Front Range tower over a soccer game being played in 2022 at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel.
Austin Colbert/The Austin Colbert

On May 2, voters within the boundaries of the Crown Mountain Park & Recreation District will elect two board members to four-year terms. 

The board of directors will oversee the finalization of the park’s master plan — which has been in development for over a year. Other topics relevant to the park include separate pickleball and tennis courts, weighing the need for more parking, and the potential purchase of an old U.S. Forest Service building. 

Board President Leroy Duroux is running for re-election. Lari Goode and Shelley Lundh Freeman round out the three-candidate field for two open seats. 

Voters who live within the special district are eligible to vote. Check eligibility at the Colorado Secretary of State ‘Find My Registration‘ webpage. 

Polls will be open on Election Day, May 2, at the Crown Mountain Bike Park Clubhouse from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Voters can also request an absentee ballot mailing, faxing, hand delivering, or emailing the request form to the designated election officer by Tuesday, April 25. The absentee ballot will arrive in the mail. 

Then voters can mail their absentee ballot back to the address on the request form or drop it at the polling place on May 2. 

Meet the candidates:

Lari Goode

Recently retired after selling the restaurants she owned with her husband — Phat Thai and The Pullman — Lari Goode said she is ready to spend her time to give back to the park she has enjoyed since it opened in 2007. 

Lari Goode with her pup.

“I’ve got time on my hands now that I can commit  to give back to the community,” she said, recalling some of her favorite Crown Mountain Park memories. “I’ve had a lot of birthday parties at the volleyball pavilion. I was born Memorial, so it’s a good excuse to get everybody together anyway.”

She bought her home in El Jebel in 1993, just after relocating to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1992 from Chicago. She worked as an accountant back in the Windy City and applied those financial chops at the restaurants. Now, she said, is time to apply her skills for the benefit of the park. 

“I think that I’m at the point and (the park) is at the point where we could work together to grow the park sustainably and keep it in the black,” she said. 

Time was scarce when she and her husband owned the restaurants, but this would not be her first board of directors seat. She spent five years on the 5Point Film board, served on the Aspen Science Center Board, and was the finance director at the Aspen Community Foundation.

Seeing the park’s popularity and traffic level increase so much over her time going there, Goode said she wants to financially prepare the park to be its best without advocating for a tax increase in the district. 

“I don’t have any special interests,” she said. “At heart, I just want the park to be the best it can be.”

Leroy Duroux

With deep roots in the local political scene, Leroy Duroux (sometimes known as Mr. Basalt) said he has the experience to continue to lead the Crown Mountain Park & Recreation District board of directors in the right direction. 

Leroy Duroux outside his old office, Basalt Town Hall.
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

“I was involved with creating a park many years ago, when I was on town council when that was all going down,” he said. “I have a desire to see the park through to the next phase.”

He currently serves as the president of the board, and he sits on the Basalt Rural Fire Protection District board. He was born in Aspen, and his family moved to Basalt in 1963, and he has called the area home ever since. 

Along with a career in woodworking and cabinetry, he spent years in Basalt Town Hall wearing many hats, including town manager, council member, and mayor. 

He first decided to run for the park board three years ago — he has to run only three years later due to a state change in the timing of special-district elections from even to odd years — after seeing the park struggle financially and wanted to help right the ship.

“I just felt like it needed somebody who knew the history of the park, how the park was created, and all that just to get back on track,” he said. 

In his past three years and looking ahead, Duroux said his priority is to take care of the original features of the park before taking on new projects. 

“We have to take care of what’s existing,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s original, like the playground and several tennis courts. They’re tired, and they need replacing. My goal was to update and make all of our current stuff safe and usable for the public and also to address the need for pickleball courts.”

Writing the master plan has been an effort of viewing the park holistically, he said. And while that plan has been in the works for a while, it is not done yet. And he hopes to see it through.

“We need to get that taken care of, and I would like to continue,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m running for re-election is continuing to finish that document because I think it’ll be a good look into the future of what the park will be.”

Shelley Lundh Freeman

“‘Separate courts for your own sport’ is my slogan,” Shelley Lundh Freeman said with a chuckle.

Shelley Lundh Freeman on a hike with one of her dogs.
Shelley Lundh Freeman/Courtesy photo

She runs the tennis leagues that play at the courts in Crown Mountain Park, and after smoothing out a kerfuffle over pickleball lines to be painted on those courts, she decided that someone representing the tennis and pickleball players should contribute their expertise to the board.

After being born in Aspen then moving to Texas with her mom, she returned to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1988. She owns a business that publishes maps of Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, and Snowmass Village. 

As a Basalt resident, she frequents the park to let her dogs run free and stay active through her favorite sport. 

“I just think it’s wonderful to be able to have an enclosed area that’s big enough to let our dogs run free,” she said. “And we use the Crown Mountain courts for our league play in the whole valley. If we didn’t have those courts, I think the leagues might just fall by the wayside.”

If she is elected to the board, Lundh Freeman said, she is excited to work with park staff to help solve pressing issues like balancing the need to protect open space and still find land to expand park infrastructure. 

“If at all possible, let the board free their minds,” she said, “to do further investigation and make decisions rather than spending all their time doing all the legwork and gathering information.”

Looking into expanding the tax base for the district is also something she hopes to investigate if she wins a seat on the board. 

She has served as president on two HOA boards and as the treasurer on the Buddy Program board of directors. 

“I would be a good asset to the board with my experience, my knowledge, and my enthusiasm for being active,” she said.


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