New Aspen City Council members are sworn in
Within seconds of taking the Aspen mayor’s seat after a brief swearing-in ceremony Monday evening, Torre asked everyone in council chambers to share in taking a collective deep breath.
“Now, let’s go,” he said to the room full of supporters and observers, later saying, “I see this as a win to keep working … we have a great group up here and we’ll do great work.”
Torre, 49, won the mayor’s race in an April runoff election against current Councilwoman Ann Mullins.
A former councilman, this was Torre’s sixth attempt at the mayor’s seat in the past two decades.
He, along with new council members Rachel Richards and Skippy Mesirow, were sworn in Monday.
They replaced former Mayor Steve Skadron, and Councilmen Adam Frisch and Bert Myrin.
After a series of complimentary comments from fellow electeds, the former council members thanked each other, city staff and the community.
Skadron attempted unsuccessfully to hold back tears as he reflected on his 12 years at the council table and hit the gavel for the last time.
It didn’t take long for Torre to pick up where Skadron left off, promising that issues that arose in his campaign will be acted on.
He said better communication between City Hall and the community will occur under his administration, along with meaningful work on affordable housing in terms of protecting current inventory and building more units.
He also said this council will continue to build on the city’s environmental stewardship efforts, including reducing Aspen’s carbon footprint and plastics use.
“I’m excited for the job and the work ahead of us,” he said.
He said he will hold office hours every Monday from noon to 2 p.m. in the mayor’s office on the second floor of City Hall. To schedule an appointment, call 970-920-5199 or his cellphone, 970-948-2023, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We need to hear from you,” he told the public at large.
Mullins, whose campaign criticized many of Torre’s ideas, said Monday that after a “vigorous campaign we made a lot of promises and I look forward to getting to work.”
Richards, who has served as a council member and mayor in previous terms in the early and mid-2000s, said she remembers being sworn in for the first time at age 29.
Now she’s 58 and wonders where the time has gone, she joked.
She also noted that she and her fellow council members stand on the back of giants who served before them and is “very humbled knowing the challenges that lie ahead of us,” she said.
A few members of the public spoke in front of council, asking for them to reconsider the already approved city offices building slated to be constructed this summer between Rio Grande Place and Galena Plaza.
Issues concerning those individuals will be taken up at a work session on June 25.
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A ski season surrounded with uncertainty kicks off on Wednesday. The six inches of new snowfall Tuesday will allow opening of an additional 62 acres on Aspen Mountain, bringing opening-day total to about 160 acres.