News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

City Council members will meet with a new land-use planning consultant at their regular meeting tonight. Maryland and Missouri-based White and Smith, LLC, has been brought in to replace Clarion Associates. Conflict between Clarion’s company’s representative, Chris Duerksen, and Aspen Community Development Director Chris Bendon prompted the Denver-based firm to resign in August.Mark White, of White and Smith, LLC, is expected to address the council Monday night.White’s background is in land-use planning and law. His partner, Tyson Smith, has experience in local government and land-use planning law, with an emphasis on growth management. Smith has also worked as a planner in resort communities.The council imposed a six-month moratorium on building applications and permits in April. It recently extended the ban until the end of February to accommodate further meetings regarding growth in Aspen, including commercial and lodging developments.If the council approves the $50,000 contract with White and Smith, the firm will work with the community development department and local planner Alan Richman to help revise the city’s land-use codes.

Aspen Police are searching for an employee who allegedly took more than $2,000 from Cooper Street on Saturday night. The alleged burglary took place sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning when it was discovered by a manager that more than $2,000 was missing.

With dropping temperatures, black ice has been developing on Highway 82 with dire results. On Sunday morning, there was a three-car pileup and several other one-car accidents in the upvalley lane.The Pitkin County Sheriff’s department said no one was hospitalized due to the crashes, but that people should take care with speed and watch for ice on the road.

With election day, Nov. 7, a scant two and a half weeks away, Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf is urging voters to use absentee ballots or to vote early to avoid long lines and waiting times at the polling places. The local ballot alone carries seven races for elected office and 12 ballot questions. State questions will include 13 candidate races and 15 ballot measures.Alsdorf said her office has processed more than 6,000 applications for absentee ballots already but would like to send out about 10,000.