The right mayor for Aspen’s future |

The right mayor for Aspen’s future

Dear Editor:

As a former Aspen resident and New York City public official, I have rarely been motivated to publicly weigh in and offer my opinion about local political races for public office. However, this upcoming mayoral race in Aspen is different, as it takes place in the midst of a major economic paradigm shift in our country’s evolution. Aspen, which has historically been somewhat invulnerable to mainstream economic indicators, finds itself in the crosshairs of this seismic shift in our way of life in America. The repercussive impact from this financial “perfect storm” is being felt in the city of Aspen in a way that it has never before experienced. It is critical to Aspen’s future that its leadership demonstrates clear thinking and wise decision-making to weather the seismic shifting that is upon us and that lies ahead.

For these reasons, I am proud to express my endorsement of Andrew Kole in the upcoming mayoral election for the city of Aspen.

Having known Andrew for the last 15 years, I have had an opportunity to get to know a rare and special individual as a friend and colleague before he was a local “celebrity.” I have been able to observe and experience how Andrew has responded to situations and challenges in times of calm and crisis. To paraphrase our First Lady Michelle Obama, the true measure of one’s character is determined by how you respond to situations when no one is looking.

To that end, I have great admiration of Andrew’s character, particularly in those situations where he has personally immersed himself into community issues where he would derive no direct benefit or personal gain but the resolution of the issue would provide an overall benefit to the community-at-large.

Andrew’s remarkable people skills and true brilliance as an accomplished “listener” have been repeatedly demonstrated in fractious settings where he was able to forge working solutions for opposing groups and everyone involved felt that someone actually heard their voice and responded to their views.

Andrew’s business acumen is evident in his ability to identify and leverage business trends and to craft appropriate responses and strategies. His business vision is uncanny and his resolve to respond to a particular direction is refreshingly creative, strategically focused and doggedly determined.

I am convinced that Andrew Kole has the political will and courage to make the right decision, albeit not the most politically popular. He is an individual who manifests the leadership qualities, capabilities and vision to direct the course of Aspen’s future in these precarious and unsettling times with a steady hand on the everyday and an creative eye to the future.

I ask you just to listen carefully in the upcoming political venues for discussion and debate. I am confident that you too will be convinced that Andrew Kole is the right person at the right time for this crucial leadership role.

Kevin T. Smyley

Whitefish, Mont.


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