Pitkin County: Newman vs. Malone
Aspen Times Weekly
PITKIN COUNTY ” In the Pitkin County race for the District 5 seat on the Board of County Commissioners (Redstone, the Crystal and Frying Pan valleys and the northern parts of the county), two newcomers are hoping to take over where outgoing Commissioner Dorothea Farris left off.
Farris has served two consecutive four-year terms, so she is required to step down under state-mandated term limits. Observers of her actions on the board have generally counted her as a common-sense advocate of slow growth, care for the environment and affordable housing, among other interests.
Dee Malone, a 54-year old biologist, educator and environmentalist living near Redstone, is emphasizing her understanding of science and community activism as the reason voters should support her in the Nov. 4 general election.
She is divorced, single and living with her boyfriend and two dogs. She moved to the Aspen area in 1989 after living in a wide range of communities and either attending or teaching in schools in Pueblo, Colo. (where she attended high school), Michigan and New Orleans (where she attended college and taught in public schools). She last made a bid for public office when she ran for a seat on the Aspen City Council in 2005. She currently teaches summertime classes for the Rocky Mountain Nature Association at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Among her public service credits, Malone includes two three-year terms on the board of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, a decade on the board of the Independence Pass Foundation board and work on the Aspen Air Quality Board in the 1990s. She currently serves on the board of the Roaring Fork Audubon Society.
Malone’s council candidacy in 2005 was challenged by questions concerning her residency ” she was living in Snowmass while renovating a home she owned in Aspen ” and officials concluded that because she intended to move back to Aspen she was a qualified candidate. She lost to current councilman Jack Johnson.
She said her background as an environmental scientist and biologist is “not only incredibly valuable, but missing from the county commission.”
She pointed to a decade spent working on environmental assessments of the health of the Roaring Fork River watershed as and example of that work, and commented, “Streams are the lifeblood of the West. The health of the streams impacts our lives [in everything from tourism to health issues]. We need a healthy environment to maintain the community.”
George Newman, 56, of Emma, is stressing the fact that he has served on volunteer boards and committees in Pitkin County for decades and believes he has what it takes to bridge disparate viewpoints and divergent goals among the county’s populace.
A 35-year resident of the valley (30 of them in Emma), Newman is married with a daughter in college; he currently works for the ski.com travel company.
Although he never has sought elective office before, Newman has worked with such efforts as the task force to create an Aspen sales tax for child care and affordable housing, establishment of the Aspen Cross-Town Shuttle system, creation of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency (CORE), and service on the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council in its early years. He also was a founding member of Leadership Aspen (now Roaring Fork Leadership) and a director for nine years, and membership director for the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.
He also points with pride to the Emma Caucus, which he says he founded “about five or six years ago” as a way for those living within the caucus boundaries to influence county decisions on land-use issues that affect the neighborhood.
“That got me interested in running for county commissioner,” he said, adding that his record shows he has “a much broader base [than his opponent]. I’m not just a one-issue person,” a reference to Malone’s emphasis on her environmental background.
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