No runoff good for Aspen, bad for Milias
There will be no mayoral runoff election in June, and Aspen might be better for it.
We say that because we can enjoy the next month without being subject to the campaign vitriol spewed from the mouth and keypad of Aspen gadfly Elizabeth Milias.
Milias, Aspen’s version of Ann Coulter, is awfully good at patting herself on the back when she stirs up the local liberal base. She’s apt at crafting catchy, shallow attack-phrases, most recently the “Sick of Mick” slogan attached to her campaign to unseat the two-term mayor in Tuesday’s election.
For sure, all’s fair in politics, and Milias is free to say whatever she wants, and play however she pleases.
But, Aspen (or any town, for that matter) is better than that. This is a place known and revered for its progressive thinkers, a place that prides itself on civil discourse and intelligent discussions. Aspen residents are very good at disagreeing with each other, and often the debates are heated.
However, Milias’ MO is fueled by mean-spirited attacks that have no place in reasoned politics. She’s shameless about her mission, which seems to be none other than running dirty, personal political campaigns, and firing off nasty, irrelevant comments against those who mean well, whether you agree with their politics or not. She can’t resist herself, as evidenced by her even talking about the clothing Ireland wears, and making fun of columnist Su Lum’s oxygen tank.
We wonder if her gutter talk in the most recent election scared away other potential candidates for mayor and City Council. It’s one thing to live life as a politician in Aspen under a magnifying glass. That’s just a stubborn fact that people willing to run for office must accept.
It’s quite another to be in the line of fire of a woman with nothing more than a lot of time on her hands and a penchant for verbal drive-bys.
Milias crossed the line in this last election, and Aspen politics sunk to a new, dubious level.
But there is bright side to all of this. Ireland prevailed in Tuesday’s election, a big blow to Milias’ campaign of negativity.
Ireland will always have his detractors. He survived three recalls as a Pitkin County commissioner, and barely avoided going to a run-off after Tuesday’s contest. But even those recalls and previous mayoral campaigns did not see the nastiness injected by Milias in the most recent political contest.
Ireland is no angel himself, but compared to Milias, he’s Mother Teresa.
May will be a quiet month politics-wise in Aspen. Enjoy the silence while it lasts, because Milias shows no signs of slowing down. And that’s too bad for Aspen, no matter what your politics are.
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.