Skadron, Frisch for council |

Skadron, Frisch for council

The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

Six candidates are vying for two open seats on the Aspen City Council. There is much to like about each individual seeking a four-year term on the local governing body, but the rules dictate that voters may only choose two of them on Election Day.

After careful consideration, The Aspen Times endorses Steve Skadron and Adam Frisch. It may seem unusual that we would recommend candidates who seem to be opposites in terms of political philosophy and background. But in their written responses to questions posed by this newspaper, and in public appearances over the last few weeks, both Skadron and Frisch have supplied the voters with no-nonsense, logical answers to questions surrounding the issues of the day. Each has a proven record of dedication to public service and independent thought, two attributes that are critical to the success of anyone serving in a council seat.

Skadron, 48, is the only incumbent in the race, given that the councilman elected with him in 2007, Dwayne Romero, resigned to take a job with the governor’s office. Skadron served more than ably in his first term on the council, and we see no reason why he would not continue to do so. He cast the only vote last year against the decision to allow the Aspen Art Museum to develop a new facility at the former Wienerstube restaurant site, a process that was fast-tracked by the city and allowed to bypass the usual reviews of the Planning and Zoning Commission, which counts Skadron as a former member. In 2008, he voted against a plan that would have redeveloped both sides of South Aspen Street at the foot of Aspen Mountain into new lodging properties.

Skadron, a marketing specialist, says if he is re-elected, he would work to amend the land-use code to better reflect the Aspen Area Community Plan, which is currently undergoing a revision. With Aspen already firmly established as a resort destination, he wants to encourage economic activities outside of the tourism arena to help the city diversify its economic base. He does not grandstand; at council meetings, his comments are thoughtful yet to the point. His votes consistently reflect a desire to protect the character of the community. He often appears overly serious but understands the occasional need for levity in his role.

Frisch, 43, is a relative newcomer to the political scene, but displays the passion and intelligence required for public service. The former New York currency trader lost in his bid for a council seat two years ago but maintained his presence and willingness to serve, sitting on advisory boards that deal with tricky problems surrounding affordable housing and public finance. His responses to queries regarding local issues reflect a straightforward approach to problem-solving; he would inject a dose of common sense to government proceedings.

Despite his support from conservatives and the pro-business crowd, Frisch is a free-thinking individual who desires to maintain Aspen’s small-town feel. Pointing to the large number of empty commercial spaces, he says there are ways for the community to grow “without adding a single brick.” He wants to adjust the city’s land-use code to take the subjectivity out of building decisions, a move that would help to reduce the friction that exists between city leaders and developers. He supports affordable-housing initiatives as long as the need for them is tangible. In addition, we believe that his positions would be along the same lines of Romero, a developer whose independent voice blended with amiability. Frisch will provide balance to the council in a similar way.

Vote for Skadron and Frisch for Aspen City Council on Tuesday.