No last-minute surprises in Aspen mayor’s contest
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
ASPEN – Qualifying for Aspen’s May 3 elections closed Friday with no last-minute surprises.
Incumbent Mick Ireland has drawn two challengers in the mayor’s race. As was previously reported, he will face interim Councilwoman Ruth Kruger, a commercial real estate broker, and marketing specialist Andrew Kole, who formerly hosted a local radio and TV talk show.
Six candidates are vying for two open seats on the council. Under Aspen’s election system, all council candidates run against each other and voters get to make two choices.
Before Friday, the qualifiers were: Councilman Steve Skadron, city Planning and Zoning commissioners L.J. Erspamer and Cliff Weiss, longtime community volunteer Marcia Goshorn and finance specialist Adam Frisch. Joining them with a filing at the City Clerk’s office early Friday morning was developer Scott Writer.
Writer, 53, has lived in Aspen since 1971. He is no stranger to the local political scene, having lost a bid for Pitkin County commissioner in the 1990s. He is a frequent writer of letters to local newspapers and has been involved in many community causes and issues, either as a volunteer or as an interested citizen expressing his opinion.
On Thursday, he sent The Aspen Times an e-mail explaining why he is seeking a City Council seat.
“I’m tired of hearing how our best days are behind us,” Writer said. “I’ve been here since 1971 and those were some great times, but I think Aspen is better than ever in most ways.”
Writer said his experience as a developer will prove beneficial if he is elected to the council. He suggested that the city is wasting opportunities for partnerships with the private and public sectors and lamented the friction that often exists between government leaders and businesses seeking opportunity.
“I believe we are able to maximize what we get from our (private-sector) partners when we come into the relationship like a partner, not a disrespectful, untrusting adversary,” he said. “We have an incredible place to protect here and we have to say no more than we say yes, but that doesn’t mean we should always say no.”
Writer added that a city project review system “based on whim and personality” is unfair. “We can make the hoop as small and difficult to hit as we want, but to tell people to just start shooting and we’ll tell you when you make a hoop is unfair, disrespectful and a colossal waste of everyone’s time and money,” he said.
In a recent letter to The Aspen Times, Writer wrote that he is “a huge fan” of what has been done with affordable-housing programs in the area. “However, I believe now with 2,808 units for employees, it is time to reassess the program, its goals and resources.”
Writer said he is not affiliated with any political party. He described himself as an “active parent” involved in youth sports, coaching hockey and soccer. Though he has spent most of his adult career as a developer, he said he is moving into the renewable energy field as a board member and investor in a start-up company called P4P Energy.