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Roberts makes it official

Sarah S. Chung

Mary Roberts is officially the new head of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority.

At Wednesday’s housing board meeting, Roberts announced she has accepted the offer to take over the housing authority’s reins as its new executive director.

There’s “certainly a lot to do,” noted Roberts, who assured the board she feels up to the task of meeting the community’s high expectations for the affordable-housing program.

“I’m excited, very pleased,” Roberts said. “I really feel the support of the board and the confidence of the city and county managers.”

Roberts has had some time to get her feet wet, first as assistant executive director for the agency, then as interim executive director following Dave Tolen’s resignation as housing director on June 30.

But in light of a recent joint directive from city and county officials to have seven proposed housing projects – totaling 715 units – either approved or built by the end of 2000, there’s going to be “lots of change,” Roberts said.

In addition to Roberts at the helm, the Housing Authority will sport some other new faces as it enters a new era of heightened responsibility.

Tim Semrau, a longtime critic of the authority, sat in on his first meeting as a housing board member last night. Semrau was appointed by the City Council to fill Frank Peters’ seat after Peters retired from the board.

“Tim’s succeeding a legendary advocate for housing, but I think he’s up to the task,” said fellow board member Mick Ireland, a county commissioner.

“It’s rare to have someone with your combination of skills and I look forward to working with you,” Ireland told his new colleague.

New housing board officers were also chosen yesterday. Jackie Kasabach will serve as chairwoman, Bob Helmus as vice chairman and Cari Britton as treasurer.

Also new for the housing board will be the appointment of two alternate members – one to be chosen by the city and one by the county.


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