Skico, Alpine Bank back RFTA campaign | AspenTimes.com

Skico, Alpine Bank back RFTA campaign

Janet Urquhart

Intrawest and the Aspen Skiing Co. have jointly given $2,500 to the committee pushing ballot measures for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, while Alpine Bank has contributed $1,500 to the cause.The Intrawest/Skico contribution comes from Intrawest Brush Creek Development Co. of Denver, though it was inadvertently omitted from the most recent campaign spending report filed by the Citizens for Trails and Transit.Renee Black, a RFTA attorney who is filing the campaign group’s reports as a citizen volunteer, said Tuesday she had mistakenly failed to include the single largest contribution to the campaign, but intended to amend the report yesterday.”RFTA benefits not only our employees but our guests, as well,” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle, explaining the company’s decision to back the campaign.Mass transit also fits with the company’s environmental ethic, he added.Bob Young, president of Alpine Bank, could not be reached for comment regarding the Western Slope bank chain’s support for the campaign.The Citizens for Trails and Transit reported $3,641 in expenditures from Sept. 30 to Oct. 13. The group recently stepped up its campaign efforts, distributing 10,000 fliers last weekend in the valley and in communities along the Interstate 70 corridor, according to Jacque Whitsitt, a Citizens board member.Voters throughout the valley, and in Silt, New Castle and unincorporated Garfield County, will be asked to support RFTA with tax measures at the polls on Nov. 2.The Citizens for Trails and Transit is reporting its campaign contributions and expenditures with the Colorado secretary of state’s office, rather than local county and city clerks, as it is conducting a regional campaign that involves multiple jurisdictions.The most recent report, due Oct. 20, indicated the group had $1,589 in funds on hand at the start of the reporting period and received $3,005 in contributions, though the Oct. 4 Intrawest Brush Creek Development donation is missing from that sum.The committee’s efforts have focused on educating voters, rather than campaigning, according to Dan Richardson, a RFTA board member and Glenwood Springs city councilman. “I guess you could call it the same thing,” he conceded.Richardson is chairman of the Citizens for Trails and Transit.An early mailing from the committee, seeking contributions, offered information about RFTA’s commuter services and dispelled misperceptions that the requested tax support would subsidize resort bus service in Aspen and Snowmass Village. The Aspen Skiing Co. and Aspen Music Festival, for example, contract with RFTA to provide their shuttles, fully absorbing the costs. The cities of Aspen and Glenwood Springs also pay separately for their in-town services through contracts with RFTA, notes the campaign material.With passage of the RFTA ballot measures, a valleywide trail can be completed by 2010, says the mailing, which went to 7,200 households, according to an expenditure report.Among RFTA’s early contributors were a number of RFTA board members who opened their wallets.Richardson and Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud each gave $100, and Pitkin County Commissioner Dorothea Farris gave $50, according to a report filed with the state.Dan Blankenship, CEO of the transportation agency, contributed $200 and Aspen Councilwoman Rachel Richards, who is active with the campaign committee, gave $100. Ralph Trapani, former local highway engineer with the Colorado Department of Transportation, also gave $100 and Woody Creeker Jimmy Ibbotson provided $250 to the effort, records show.Other contributions from individuals and couples came from throughout the valley and I-70 communities. One Houston couple and a Palm Beach couple each gave $200.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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