Political newcomer Adam Frisch enters Aspen council race
ASPEN ” Adam Frisch, a newcomer to local politics, announced Wednesday his candidacy for an Aspen City Council seat.
Frisch, 41, a Minnesota native, has lived in Aspen for six years. He serves as the chair of the Pitkin County Financial Advisory Board and president of the board at Aspen Youth Experience. He also is associated with the Aspen Art Museum, Jewish Grassroots Initiative, The Aspen Institute and the Aspen Young Professionals Association.
Frisch said he is a consultant for an unnamed local nonprofit, as well as co-founder of an interior design firm. With a background in finance, he worked for four years as a financial analyst, and seven years as a currency trader in emerging markets and developing countries.
While traffic, affordable housing and growth continue to be the big issues facing the local population, there are others that need to be dealt with as well, Frisch said.
He said he’s running for the four-year term so that through his leadership, civil discourse between government and the community is heightened, and said his financial background will aid in addressing the economic challenges that Aspen faces.
“We have to be very honest about the economic decisions that need to be made in this town,” he said. “Collaboration is not evil, and cooperation is not selling out.”
He touts himself as someone who can provide practical leadership with an efficient, transparent and accountable government.
Frisch said the middle class, or the “vibrant middle,” needs the City Council’s attention, as the gap between the über rich and the town’s lifeblood of the 30- and 40-something working class continues to grow.
“Everything I want to do and talk about is those people,” he said, adding it’s become evident that it’s harder to live here than ever before. “For the first time in a generation, people will be packing up and leaving because jobs are being lost.
“Any good leader must think that your best days are ahead of you.”
Creating more affordable housing and preserving the current program would be on Frisch’s agenda, as would repairing the relationship between the council and residents.
“There’s room for improvement in the level of civic discourse,” he said. “And it’s not just out of City Hall, but everywhere.”
Frisch said the current council focuses too much on the minutia, like micromanaging land-use codes, city staff and particular development projects.
“The council should be focusing on vision,” he said. “The decisions that come out of City Hall affect the entire valley.”
Frisch’s vision is based on the principles of the Aspen Idea. He said he thinks the town deserves to have a progressive, optimistic and inclusive local government.
There are two City Council seats open this May, held by Jack Johnson and Jackie Kasabach. They are both considering running but have not yet made announcements.
Frisch has been married to his wife, Katy, for five years. They have two children, Felix, 3, and Quintessa, 1, and live in the Cemetery Lane neighborhood.
“I’m running as a nice family guy,” he said.
Frisch will officially announce his candidacy at Brunelleschi’s at 4 p.m. Thursday and is asking supporters to attend the gathering.
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