Myrin seeks P&Z seat
April 21, 2003
Bert Myrin, removed from the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission in February by the City Council, has applied to be appointed anew to the P&Z.He also submitted applications for appointment to the Aspen-Pitkin County housing board and the Historic Preservation Commission, where he’d be working with a city staffer whose integrity he recently called into question.Myrin stepped down earlier this month as a candidate for City Council. He applied for appointment to vacant seats on all three boards before calling off his political bid, and said Friday he would be happy with an assignment to any one of the three. He is among several Aspenites who have applied for appointment to the various boards and one of six who is scheduled for an interview with the City Council today.Given the council’s decision to oust him from the P&Z, Myrin concedes his chances of a new appointment may be slim. He said he applied before withdrawing from the council race, reasoning that if he lost in the election, a council with new membership might be the one reviewing his application.”Whenever positions come up, I put my name in. I never know who’s going to interview me,” Myrin said. “I thought I might be interviewed by a new council.”He was first appointed to the P&Z in July 2001 by a newly seated council, though he had applied while the former administration was still in office.”You have no idea when you put an application in, whether it will be one month or six months,” Myrin said.Since the current council just recently ousted him from the P&Z, Myrin said he “can’t imagine” why he is being interviewed. “I’ve applied for other jobs and not gotten an interview,” he said.After his removal from the P&Z, Mayor Helen Klanderud said it was Myrin’s attempt to influence council members during an appeal of a Historic Preservation Commission decision on a proposed fence outside his West End home that led to his dismissal.He brought up allegations against Amy Guthrie, the city’s historic preservation officer, within the context of his fence review. Myrin was hoping a council member would urge Guthrie to resolve the matter in his favor so his allegations would not become public, Klanderud contended, charging Myrin with “unprofessional” and “insensitive” conduct in a letter to the editor.Myrin urged the city to reinvestigate a 5-year-old matter involving Guthrie, but the city manager concluded there was no reason to do so.Asked why he would apply for a seat on the HPC, given what is likely a strained relationship with Guthrie, Myrin facetiously said: “We get along so well, Amy and I, we should work well together.”I think maybe they [the HPC] need some diversity. It’s sort of peers reviewing each other’s projects,” added Myrin, noting most of the commission’s members are architects. He is an attorney.In addition to Myrin’s multiple applications for board appointments, two other citizens have applied for the P&Z, which has two openings – a regular member and an alternate. Also applying are John Rowland, an architect with Bill Poss and Associates, and Scott Snare, a director at the Aspen Skiing Company’s Channel 16.Also applying for a seat on the housing board are David Guthrie, Amy’s husband, who works for a local construction contractor. He is already on the housing board and is seeking reappointment. Other contenders include three individuals who all reside in affordable housing: Jon Song, an investment adviser; Shannon McDaniel, owner of Sei Bella, a local day spa; and Michael Blakeslee, a lift mechanic on Aspen Mountain.Applicants for the HPC also include Sarah Broughton, Rowland’s wife and an architect with Harry Teague Architects; and John Hufker III, who is self-employed as an architectural intern/designer and is working toward a license in architecture.