Skadron and Romero stand out among City Council candidates
With only two openings, voters face the prospect of picking two new City Council members in the upcoming election. We consider three of those candidates – Dwayne Romero, Steve Skadron and Michael Wampler – to have an edge over their five opponents. Whittling that list down to two is not easy, chiefly since each of these candidates has the potential to be an effective elected official. Our editorial board unanimously agreed that Skadron is a solid pick for City Council. This is a logical next step for Skadron, who has been a Planning and Zoning commissioner for four years. Skadron has sat on the board, where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, mulling over developers’ applications and becoming well acquainted with city government.Skadron strikes us as sincere in his intentions, and his candidacy shows no signs that he’s seeking a seat on City Council to advance his own ambitions. Skadron also is accessible to the public, and his seemingly open-minded approach would bode well for a City Council that will be tasked with some critical decision making for the future of Aspen, namely its downtown core, the Entrance to Aspen and the affordable housing crunch. Though contemplative by nature, Skadron also is clear where he stands. He doesn’t ramble on responses to questions about the issues facing Aspen, but instead gives direct and clear replies. That leaves us with Romero and Wampler. If elected, Wampler, who owns a bike shop and has lived here some 30 years, would add a retailer’s voice that currently doesn’t exist on the City Council. A retailer’s perspective is one we feel the City Council dearly needs, and from which it could clearly benefit. To be sure, the City Council will be tweaking the commercial core codes for years to come, and Wampler could bring the discussion a perspective that has been previously missing.But the one strike against Wampler – one we consider his biggest flaw – is his position on the Entrance to Aspen. Wampler wants to preserve the S-curves and is against brining four lanes into Aspen. We feel that is shortsighted, and it’s enough for us to give the slight edge to Romero. And to Romero’s credit, he has immersed himself in community service, ranging from his current position as board director of the Aspen Fire Protection District to being the co-founding member of the Aspen Business Improvement League. But it’s not as if Romero is “volunteering” his way into our City Council endorsement.First, like Skadron, Romero impresses us as being open-minded and not stubborn. Romero has vowed throughout his campaign that he will work with his constituents and colleagues on City Council to find solutions, not work against them because of his own personal positions. As voters, we must hold him to that. Some opponents have labeled Romero as a developer with an agenda. While we think that is a hollow attempt to discredit this candidate, we too must keep him in check to make sure he’s not beholden to the interest of developers if he’s elected to City Council. In the end, the intellect and passion of Romero and Skadron, along with their apparent open-mindedness toward running government, is what we feel will best suit the City Council at this time.On May 8, vote for Dwayne Romero and Steve Skadron for Aspen City Council.
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