Myrin says he will run for Aspen City Council
The Aspen Times
Who’s likely running for mayor, council?
While candidates won’t be confirmed until their petition signatures are confirmed — signatures are due by 5 p.m. Monday — the following Aspen residents are likely to appear on the May ballot:
Planning and Zoning Commissioner Keith Goode
Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority board member Marcia Goshorn
Former housing authority director Tom McCabe
Torre, who served two previous terms on the council, will make his fifth bid for the mayor’s seat
Mayor Steve Skadron is seeking to defend his seat
Councilman Adam Frisch has stated he will seek re-election
Former Councilman Derek Johnson
Local blogger Andy Israel
Bert Myrin, the slow-growth advocate behind the “Keep Aspen, Aspen” campaign, announced Sunday that he’s running for one of two open City Council seats in May.
Myrin said via email to The Aspen Times that his goal is to align the land-use code with the long-term goals of the community “to avoid the ad hoc, one-off 1:30 a.m. negotiations between applicants and council.”
“A long-term plan for the community cannot be achieved piecemeal, one variance at a time,” Myrin said.
Councilman Dwayne Romero had told reporters he was undecided as recently as last week but released a statement Sunday confirming he won’t run for re-election.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve two terms on the Aspen City Council. I am pleased to have recently served with a great mayor and council; we have worked hard to represent all voices within our community. I am particularly excited about the momentum gained for better funding and support for our community health and human service initiatives. But my central focus continues to be on my family and my work in Snowmass. With that in mind, I will not be a candidate for this year’s Aspen City Council,” Romero’s statement reads. “I sincerely thank all of Aspen for the opportunity to have served this great community.”
Myrin said the city of Aspen needs clear goals that outline the community’s future for the next 20 to 30 years. He thinks the top issues facing Aspen include the so-called public negotiations that happen in the early-morning hours between development applicants and council, the constantly moving “goalposts” of zoning that he says are negotiated one-off at the council and restoring the balance between Aspen the community and Aspen the resort.
Setting 20- to 30-year goals for the community is critical in order to ensure that actions taken today align with such goals, he said. He thinks the land-use code needs to be aligned with the Aspen Area Community Plan “so Realtors, buyers, sellers, attorneys, applicants and neighbors are on the same page with expectations regarding development applications.”
He doesn’t feel the current council has represented the community.
“Council has avoided the tough work of aligning the land-use code with long-term community goals and instead pursues ad hoc, one-off negotiations without a long term vision set by the land-use code,” he said.
Myrin successfully gathered enough petition signatures last month to get a Home Rule Charter amendment on the May ballot — an amendment that, if passed, would subject council-granted variances on height, floor area, parking and affordable housing to a public vote. The proposal applied to commercial and lodging zones but not residential.
Myrin said he should be elected because of his volunteer work as a community advocate for many years. He said he’d continue to represent the community as a council member.
He entered the council race in 2003 but withdrew from the race before the election. He also threw his hat in the ring in 2005 for the mayor’s race, receiving 8.7 percent of the votes. Myrin served on Planning and Zoning from 2001 to early 2003 and again from late 2008 to early 2014.
Prospective candidates have until 5 p.m. today to deliver signatures from 25 registered voters to City Hall.
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