Torre, just Torre, runs for mayor |

Torre, just Torre, runs for mayor

John Colson

An Aspen man named Torre hopes to knock incumbent Rachel Richards out of the mayor’s seat in May.

Torre, who says that is his only name, was expected to formally announce his candidacy today. He filed his formal candidate’s papers at City Hall on Friday.

Three are now vying to be mayor, with Richards and former County Commissioner Helen Klanderud the other candidates.

In a press release about his decision to run for office, Torre, 31, said his main reasons are a need for dynamic, proactive, communicative leadership and the current administration’s failure to pursue the “virtues of Aspen.”

“My platform is for a revitalization of our community and a vision for the future of Aspen,” he explained. “Through better communication, a firm dedication to the `Aspen Idea’ and proactive, solution-driven decision-making, we should promote the natural, historical and sentimental attributes of Aspen, extolling the tenets of health, intellect and communion with nature.”

He said his campaign already has a title: “ASPEN AGAIN!” The title, he said, reflects “my call for a return to the vitality, the unifying energy and the spirit of togetherness Aspen is so loved for.”

In his written statement, he identified several policy-related topics he plans to address before the May election, including “housing, transportation alternatives, youth support and resource management.”

Although he was reluctant to go into details about his policy positions at this point, he said, “I have not only opinions, but I do have some ideas and proposals that I’ll be floating.”

Addressing the controversy of affordable housing, he said, “I believe that we have some great projects in the making,” but he added that “city-funded affordable housing has some problems.”

He said there is a need for more “family-establishing housing,” instead of smaller condominiums, and that the housing should have a “progressively forward-thinking, sustainable design” that accommodates open space and wildlife values, as well as giving young families a place to live.

He also said Aspen needs to focus more on creating alternative transportation, “downplaying the role of the automobile.”

And, he said, the city should do more in terms of “encouraging responsible waste management” by setting up recycling programs.

“I want to see us take the lead in green building, sustainable development,” he said. “I’m not just trying to dig up the dirt. I’m trying to plant a tree.”

Torre, who currently lives on Red Butte Drive, was born Ronald Wayne Maranian III in Silver Spring, Md., and has been living in the Roaring Fork Valley for the past eight years.

He makes his living with three part-time jobs, as a sound engineer at the Double Diamond night club, a snowboard instructor and a tennis teacher.

He said his parents began calling him Torre when he was a child, because of his father’s interest in the Tory political party in England, although the family spelled it differently.

Although his parents divorced when he was 3 years old, he said the name stuck throughout his school years, including his time at Florida State. He got a California driver’s license under the name Torre about 11 years ago, he said, but his social security number is under his birth name.

He is single with no children and said he has been attending city and county government meetings to better familiarize himself with the issues that will be debated in the election campaign.

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Posted: Monday, February 26, 2001

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