Rec center fans spent 5 times the funds of foes in midvalley election

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

The proposal for a midvalley recreation center failed in a landslide in the Nov. 5 election even though supporters spent nearly five times as much money as foes in the campaign.

The latest campaign finance reports, filed right before the election, showed that the issues committee working for approval, Friends of the Mid Valley Recreation Center, collected almost $9,500 in cash donations.

The group also received $8,251.40 in in-kind service from the Denver company that would have helped with the $25 million bond issuance to fund construction of the facility. GK Baum and Co. provided the $8,251.40 for copies, shipping costs, postage and printing, the campaign finance report showed. The contribution was made Oct. 21 when the campaign was heating up with direct-mail pieces to voters.

As of the Nov. 1 report, Friends of the Mid Valley Recreation Center had spent $6,996,78, in addition to Baum’s in-kind support, and had $2,453.12 left over in their account with four days remaining in the campaign. The total spending, with Baum’s in-kind contribution, was $15,248.18.

A formal issues committee opposed to the recreation center received $3,711 in contributions during the campaign and spent $3,196.04 at the time of the last report. The opponents, No on 4C and 4D, got a lot of bang for their buck.

Question 4D, seeking approval to issue bonds and raise property tax to repay the bonds, failed, 2,298 to 921. That’s a margin of 71 percent to 29 percent.

Opponents said after the election that they hope the issue is put to rest and that officials with the Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District won’t pursue another vote for a recreation facility in the future.

Bill Reynolds, president of the recreation district’s board of directors, said the board would have to assess its direction at its next meeting. That meeting is set for Dec. 4.

A final campaign spending report is due in December.