Mitchell disqualified from Aspen mayoral race
Mayoral hopeful Cale Mitchell learned Monday that he is disqualified from running for office because he has not lived within Aspen city limits for at least one year.
“I’m not taking it hard, but it’s a very unfortunate thing,” Mitchell said.
With Mitchell out of the mix, just challenger Lee Mulcahy is standing in the way of incumbent Steve Skadron being elected to a third and final two-year term as mayor.
Mitchell, 31, said he and his wife moved into the Centennial housing complex in November. Centennial is within the city, but his prior address on Highway 82 near the Mountain Valley subdivision is not. Mitchell lived there for the previous four years.
Aspen’s Home Rule Charter states: “Each councilman and the mayor when nominated and elected shall be an elector of the city and a citizen of the United States for at least one year and shall have resided in the city of Aspen for at least one year.”
Mitchell said he was updating his voter registration at City Hall when City Clerk Linda Manning noticed his change of address. She and City Attorney Jim True concurred that Mitchell was not eligible to seek office, though the city verified his candidacy in March.
“It was an oversight on all of our part,” Manning said, noting Mitchell’s Highway 82 residence was merely yards away, “on the edge of the Aspen border,” from him being eligible to run for office.
In any case, Mitchell said he plans to get more civically involved in the future.
“This is a town that wants to see some change to a lot of things,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mulcahy continued his assault on local government during the public-comments portion of Monday’s City Council meeting, calling for an “independent commission to investigate the cronyism and corruption” at the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority.
The authority is trying to evict Mulcahy from his resident-occupied unit at Burlingame Ranch on allegations that he is not eligible for employee housing because he has not worked enough hours in Pitkin County.
Mulcahy has contended his work as an artist, along with his volunteer efforts both locally and in Africa, should be treated as labor time by the housing authority. He claims the city won’t respond to his request asking if his time campaigning for mayor constitutes work time under housing guidelines.
The municipal election will be decided through mail-in ballots. Election Day is May 2.
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