Richards-True too tough to call; Clapper over Mooney
October 24, 2006
Too bad Jim True and Rachel Richards are running against each other. Either would make a great county commissioner in District 2, which encompasses much of Aspen’s north side.Richards has a 13-year record of public service as a member of Aspen City Council, including a two-year term as mayor. True served as county commissioner from 1989 to 1997, and currently serves as a hearing officer for Pitkin County. Both have shown unwavering commitment to public service.True was among the board members who in 1994-95 adopted rural and remote zoning, a bold move that resulted in the protection of mining claims and other backcountry holdings from development. He knows the workings of the county and isn’t afraid to take a stand for the betterment of this community. Richards, too, has been a thoughtful and energetic public servant. On City Council, she has provided leadership on big issues – from preservation of the North Star property to tax funding for the Aspen Recreation Center to the Burlingame housing project.Unfortunately, voters must choose one. The Aspen Times would be happy to have either one of these individuals on the county board. Take your pick: Richards or True.In District 1, two-term incumbent Patti Clapper faces a challenge from real estate broker Tim Mooney. This is a rematch of the contest from four years ago, and little has changed since then.Clapper is not a leader on the board, but she is accessible and willing to listen to her constituents. Occasionally she will take up a cause and fight for it. Given her years of experience, we would like to see her do more, push harder, lead the board.As for Mooney, one would think he would have more to say about solving local problems after 35 years as an Aspenite. Oddly, he had few answers for questions raised at the recent Squirm Night forum. He supports more funding for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, but has little in mind to loosen the bottleneck at the Entrance to Aspen. He wants to expand publicly funded affordable housing downvalley if legally possible. But leaving the Entrance to Aspen as is and pushing housing problems downvalley aren’t solutions – they are the problem.Clapper is our choice for District 1. We hope she’ll turn it up a notch.