Vote Bob Gardner for Holy Cross | AspenTimes.com

Vote Bob Gardner for Holy Cross

Dear Editor:

Every Holy Cross user has received a ballot for the three open seats on the Holy Cross board. I want to explain briefly why I am supporting Bob Gardner for the seat in the Southern District and want you this evening to mark an X in the box for his name.

When I served as mayor of Aspen from 1983 to 1991, the council and I formed a committee in the spring of 1991, which I called mundanely the Energy Efficiency Committee of Aspen. When I stepped down as mayor in June 1991, the mayor and the council asked me to continue chairing this committee and report to them regularly.

Alice Laird, now the director of CLEER, the Energy 2000 Committee’s leader, other committee members and I realized that all our members represented the demand side of the energy-distribution discussion. Soon we invited representatives of the supply side to join our committee. The supply side was made up of Holy Cross, Source Gas (then Rocky Mountain Gas) and the city of Aspen, the biggest energy providers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The representative assigned to us from Holy Cross was Bob Gardner, then a vice president of the Holy Cross Rural Electric Cooperative. Twenty-one years ago, all of the energy-efficiency opportunities were just coming to light, and the supply side was understandably nervous about how such innovative ideas might affect their distribution and revenues. Gardner quizzed and challenged us vigorously, seeking to fully understand the effect our notions might have on Holy Cross. He had risen through the ranks of a rural cooperative, which had provided power quite economically to its customers through quite traditional, large carbon-footprint sources.

After three years of educating our own demand-side committee members, informing both the Aspen City Council and Pitkin Board of County Commissioners at numerous work sessions, bringing around the supply-side group to cautiously put their little toe in the energy-efficiency pond and holding annual energy-efficiency conferences and forums, we launched CORE, the Community Office of Resource Efficiency, in 1994.

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We could not have accomplished this without the financial contributions from each of the governments and especially the supply organizations. Gardner led the charge to bring Holy Cross on board. He was instrumental in persuading Holy Cross to take a long-term view and support CORE financially and collegially. He was one of the founding members of CORE.

Gardner served on the CORE board of directors right up until he resigned from Holy Cross, just a few years ago. He and Randy Udall, CORE’s first leader, were highly innovative in bringing the general public around to accept that in the long run, energy efficiencies would mean lower energy costs for the consumer and be much gentler on the globe.

Gardner was a voice of intelligence, reason and innovation. He will bring these same traits along with his vast experience and practical knowledge to the Holy Cross board. Bob is just the kind of multifaceted individual to bring both a practical and enlightened voice to the Holy Cross board. Please put a big “yes” in the box next to Bob’s name and send in your ballot in the mail before May 30.

Bill Stirling

Aspen

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