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Richard Goodwin not your everyday candidate

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times
Richard Goodwin
File photo |

Richard Goodwin is not your typical council candidate.

The philanthropist and retired former developer doesn’t support the recall of Councilman Chris Jacobson, but he is running to take his council seat in an election Oct. 13.

Goodwin believes the recall is “political revenge” on the part of residents who personally don’t like Jacobson, particularly Fred Kucker, who Jacobson publicly alleged had ex-parte communications with an applicant during the review of a Base Village application last fall.

“He’s been a very valuable councilman because he’s called to attention certain wrongdoings,” Goodwin said at the council’s Sept. 15 meeting, when he also asked the council to cancel the recall election. “I feel that the people who have recalled this councilman are doing so for political reasons.”

Goodwin also believes Jacobson’s allegations and sued the town and Town Council last fall in an attempt to negate the approval of that application, which extends development company Related’s vesting rights on the project. The lawsuit specifically accuses Kucker and now-Mayor Markey Butler of ex-parte communications with an applicant because of conversations they had with a representative of Aspen Skiing Co., which has plans to build a hotel in Base Village if Related’s current application wins approval from the town.

While Judge Gail Nichols has not yet ruled on the motion to invalidate the council’s decision, she did rule in August that Goodwin made a clear showing of misconduct by Kucker but not for Butler.

However, Goodwin came forward at the Sept. 21 council meeting asking that Butler disclose how much money Related and Skico donated to Hospice and HomeCare of the Valley, the nonprofit organization of which she is executive director. That’s another viewpoint Goodwin and Jacobson align on, as Jacobson said in August that Butler should consider recusing herself from the review of Related’s current application because of her role at the charity.

When asked whether he would be able to get along with Butler if elected to council, Goodwin said, “I’m Mr. Nice Guy. Ask my family and my friends. I’m the easiest guy in the world to get along with. Ask my ex-wives.”

Goodwin said he doesn’t think it’s inappropriate for him to serve on the Town Council even though his lawsuit against the town is still open.

“This is over behavior that took place last fall, and it’s in the hands of the courts,” Goodwin said.

No stranger to litigation, Goodwin said last week that he also has been talking with lawyers about legal options for stopping the recall election.

“Colorado law says you can recall, period,” Goodwin said. “It doesn’t say what the circumstances have to be. If you don’t like the way somebody parts their hair, you can recall. Well, that’s flawed, and several lawyers have agreed with me there should be circumstances stated by the Colorado Constitution for primarily malfeasance in office.”

Goodwin is running against Jamie Knowlton and Tom Goode, both current members of the Snowmass Village Planning Commission. The votes for the candidates will only be counted if the majority of voters favor recalling Jacobson.

A question-and-answer session with all candidates as well as Jacobson will be published in Wednesday’s Snowmass Sun.

jill@snowmasssun.com


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