Skadron handily defeats Kronberg
ASPEN Steve Skadron easily won Tuesday’s Aspen City Council runoff election, garnering nearly triple the votes of Toni Kronberg.Out of a total of 2,061 ballots cast, Skadron earned 1,546 votes (75 percent) to Kronberg’s 516 (25 percent).And while Skadron’s victory puts to rest the controversy surrounding Kronberg’s residency and eligibility to run for office, the councilman-elect wants to revisit election procedures to prevent future runoffs that drain city resources.”I’m interested in seeing if there is a better means to select a candidate than postponing the decision for another month,” Skadron said. He then added with a laugh: “To get elected on Aspen City Council required more time than [electing] the French premier.”In the regular May 8 city election, Dwayne Romero won a seat on the City Council with 51 percent of the vote. But Skadron’s second-place showing of 39 percent fell below the 45 percent needed to avoid a runoff in the City Council election, but was well ahead of Kronberg’s 22 percent in the opening round. Skadron suggested an instant runoff or another solution to avoid any future drawn-out elections.”I feel a little bit relieved. I was anxious to get this over with so I could concentrate on some of the bigger issues,” Skadron said.And the first issue the newly elected councilman plans to address: affordable housing.”I want to get to work on affordable housing issues. I’m anxious to see if we can make things better,” Skadron said.Smeared”I knew I was going to lose big-time,” Kronberg said. “With everything I read in the papers, if I didn’t know myself I wouldn’t have voted for me.”Kronberg wasn’t sad about the result of Tuesday’s runoff election – she said she felt almost relieved not to have to sit on council for four years. But Kronberg was upset about how she was treated by the public and in the press.”I’m not sour grapes. I’m actually relieved,” Kronberg said, continuing on to refute claims that she was not a city resident, and adding that she was upset City Council did not make a decision and vindicate her.Letters to the editor in local papers and public reaction on the street was off-putting at times, Kronberg said. And to add insult to injury, Kronberg claimed she was assaulted at the polls on election day. (See related story.)”I’m really tired,” Kronberg said, adding she looks forward to not taking any more public hits. “Now I can focus on my own life.”Kronberg congratulated her opponent for staying out of a campaign she said pitted “Toni against Toni” and stressed that she plans to clear her name.”I think character is critical, especially in a small community,” Skadron said of the allegations against Kronberg, adding that his campaign was about the issues, not against Kronberg.”I think it’s important to follow the rules,” Skadron said, but if Kronberg said she was a resident, it was not up to him to determine whether she was an eligible candidate, he said.”I thought the press did a fair job covering all the candidates,” Skadron added.Asked what he planned to do to celebrate the victory, Skadron said he was going for a run before meeting friends at the Cooper Street Pier, a local watering hole.
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