Quieting the Kronberg quandary
We prefer not to bang the same drum too many times in this space, but the drama surrounding Toni Kronberg’s residency has dragged on for too long. The City Council had an opportunity Tuesday to end the fiasco, but sadly copped out.This newspaper first raised the question of whether Kronberg truly lives in Aspen because the city regulations call for political candidates to live within city limits. Numerous people had told The Aspen Times (and continue to tell The Aspen Times) that Kronberg lives in Aspen Village, well outside the city boundary. If true, these claims would mean that Kronberg is breaking the rules and deceiving voters.After reading our reports, three people complained in writing to the city, throwing the ball squarely into the city’s court. Where does Toni Kronberg live, and does she meet the residency qualifications to run for office in Aspen?These are fairly straightforward questions, and the answers are well within the reach of Aspen’s capable staff. Furthermore, the integrity of this entire election depends on the answers.On May 8, 487 Aspenites voted for Kronberg, enough to push her into a June 5 runoff against Steve Skadron. Those 487 voters certainly deserve to know whether they supported a viable candidate. Anyone considering a vote for Kronberg on June 5 deserves to know whether they’ll be throwing away their vote. And what of the other candidates, who might have had a chance at the seat?The Council met behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the Kronberg matter, and decided to wait until after the election to make a determination. This is a lame and cowardly decision (Indecision? Non-decision?). It means that, if Kronberg wins the runoff, she could be disqualified before she even takes office. Needless to say, this possibility throws the entire election process into doubt, and will likely alienate many voters.Only 44 percent of Aspen’s registered voters cast ballots in the municipal election, and history leads us to expect an even more dismal turnout in the runoff. This unresolved Kronberg conundrum is one more strike against voter participation.We call on the City Council to investigate this matter aggressively – before June 5 – so voters know the lay of the electoral land. Either allow Kronberg to run, or disqualify her, but do it before the runoff.In the end, the integrity of the electoral process must be upheld. The election should not go forward amid this kind of doubt and confusion.
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