Profiling the Aspen mayoral candidates |

Profiling the Aspen mayoral candidates

ASPEN Aspens mayoral election is set for May 5, and this week The Aspen Times will be profiling the four candidates LJ Erspamer, incumbent Mick Ireland, Andrew Kole and Marilyn Marks in their own words. This feature will run through Friday. Next week, The Aspen Times will focus on the City Council candidates, whom will be asked the same questions that are being posed to the mayoral contestants.

Age: 56Years in Aspen: EightEducation: B.S. accounting, CPA (formerly) Harvard Business School, Presidents Program (multiyear Exec. Ed. program)Family: Single, no children. My parents live in North Carolina.Volunteer/board experience: Aspen Citizens Budget Task Force (Applied for P&Z, HPC not appointed. Volunteered for other housing, Financial Advisory and Historic Preservation Task Force and other city projects not accepted.) Outside of Aspen Board of directors, Eastman Chemical (1994-2003); Board of directors, Dana Corp. (1994-2007); Board of directors, Chief Executives Officers Organization (2004-07); Atlanta International School board of trustees; The Carter Center Board of Councilors (Jimmy Carters international effort)Interests/hobbies: Snowboarding, hiking, digital photographyBiggest regret: Recruiting another CEO for the company I led 13 years, only to return a year later to manage its bankruptcy.Describe your first impression of Aspen and why you live here.My addiction to Aspen began with my first of many ski vacations here in 1982. By my return trip in 1983, I had the dream of someday owning a place here. The small-town character, the diversity of sports, entertainment, culture, and personalities grabbed my soul. Aspen was so welcoming and non-judgmental, no matter ones pedigree or profession. Those characteristics, plus the inspiring mountain terrain, brought me back each year until I settled here permanently in 2002. Every day leads to new discoveries in Aspen, and Im energized knowing that will continue for years to come.

Age: 59Years in Aspen: 30Education: bachelor of science, University of Illinois; law degree, CU at BoulderFamily: Not married. Third of eight children.Volunteer/board experience: County Financial Advisory Board; Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers; Gov. Ritters Transportation Advisory Committee; Aspen City Blue Ribbon Capital Committee; football coach, Aspen sixth grade; softball coach, womens adult league; occasional broadcaster, Aspen High School sports; station chief, Aspen Cleanup Day; Ride for the Cure; volunteer, Obama campaign; 2008, mentor, sixth grade; Motherlode volleyball assistantInterests/hobbies: Reading, bicycle riding, swimming, nordic skiing, alpine skiing, electing good people, running uphillBiggest regret: Those occasions when I lose my compassion for the people who oppose me, and I misbehave and/or treat them badly.Describe your first impression of Aspen and why you live here.I arrived by hitchhiking with nothing. I will never forget the people who helped me find a place in the community. I was also amazed that this town is so much more than a resort it was and always has been a place with broad community participation in a variety of athletic, artistic and intellectual activities. And, finally, the sheer physical beauty of the mountains in town and skies above are still with me, as memorable as a first kiss with someone special. Aspen is a vibrant, lively place where people are active and engaged, and there is nowhere I would rather be.

Age: 64Years in Aspen: 38 (One school year we lived in Nice, France, 2003-04)Education: AA Orange Coast College (last year completed was my junior year as an accounting major, Long Beach State)Volunteer Experience: Accountability Committee, Aspen School District; president, Snowmass Wildcat Fire Department; truck commander, Snowmass Wildcat Fire Department; treasurer, International Speed Skiing Association; organizer and president, Aspen Professional Ski Patrol Association; chairman, city of Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission; SPARC organizer and vice president for ice rink fundraising; organizer and president of swim pool funding for the Citizens for Parks and Recreation; president of leisure pool funding and organizer of Swim, Skate and Recreate; organizer, Snowmass Ambulance District; EMT, Snowmass Ambulance; vice president, Aspen Junior Hockey; TV announcer for GrassRoots coverage of Aspen High School hockey games; referee supervisor, CHSAA Western Slope ice hockey; referee supervisor, USA Hockey Western Slope ice hockey; 1999 Citizen Volunteer of the Year, city of Aspen; original creator of North American Telemark Championships; founding member of Colorado River Outfitters Association; city of Aspen Historic Task Force; volunteer for Jazz Aspen; volunteer for Wheeler Opera House.Interests/Hobbies: Skiing, ice hockey, biking, hiking, community volunteer, P&Z Commission, and meeting interesting people in AspenBiggest regret: Not having more children. What a wonderful supporting community to raise a family!Describe your first impression of Aspen and why you live here.My first experience visiting Aspen was a skiing vacation in 1969. We camped out by Difficult at night in 10-below weather. After a fall skiing I cut my leg and went to the hospital. My fondest memory is of Dr. Oden sewing me up during Christmas break 1969 without anesthetic. I decided to take my last year off from college to work in Aspen in 1971. I haven’t looked back. I live here because of the wonderful caring people who have helped me so much, as well as the great outdoor environment that is always available for most any activity. We are extremely fortunate to have such wonderful cultural activities, school system and small-town character.

Age: 59Years in Aspen: 10? Occupation: Marketing consultant, business consultant for AVSC, writer, TV producer/hostEducation: University of Houston, B.A. business; (streets of NYC)Family: Mother (Hanging on after seven stokes), son (Matthew, 35 years old) and numerous friendsVolunteer/board experience: Commercial Core & Lodging Commission, Lift One COWOP, Housing Frontiers Task Force; I also have supported more than 50 nonprofits by interviewing and promoting their mission, and their events on my TV show. Additionally, I have applied for numerous boards.Interests/hobbies: Writing, film, theater, reading, traveling, museums, sports (basketball, football, baseball, tennis, scuba diving, golf), working (yes, I actually enjoy working), antiques, coffee shops, people watching, writing (said it again because I love to write)Biggest regret: Prior to my 13th birthday and my Bar Mitzvah, I asked my parents if my brother, Mark, who was 16 and mentally retarded, could remain at his private school that weekend, as I wanted my fathers full attention. Three weeks later Mark died.Describe your first impression of Aspen and why you live here.My first visit to Aspen was in 1980. I was with my wife at the time, and we were looking for a place to move from L.A. My first impression was, incredible. We ended up in NYC for a variety of reasons. Eighteen years later I came back for Labor Day weekend. I was watching Bonnie Raitt in concert, and thought this would be a great place to live, so I moved to Aspen five weeks later. While not a skier by nature, I learned. I stayed because of the friendships I made, and the fun Ive had. It is home.

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