‘We’re Aspen’: Tygre earns her stripes
December 7, 2006
Jasmine Tygre will take a seat Jan. 9 on Aspen City Council after the departure of current Councilwoman Rachel Richards, who was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in November.Tygre said she was pleased with the decision.”I felt that being able to help council in this transition period until May would be good for me because I have such a huge background in land-use issues, which is what they’re working on now,” she said.Tygre has 26 years of experience on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, including two terms as chairwoman. She will resign from that appointed position to take the spot on the council, and if she wishes to return to P&Z, she will have to seek reappointment.She enters the arena during a building moratorium the council imposed to scrutinize the city’s land-use codes. Watching the effects of the current codes on applications before P&Z influenced Tygre’s decision to apply.”I was very concerned about the direction the town seemed to be moving in terms of the emphasis on development as a solution to some kind of problem I didn’t think existed,” she said.While the council has explored virtually every aspect of the code that influenced development, from affordable housing mitigation to lodging incentives to design standards, Tygre said the issue for her is one of scale. “I would like to see the codes reflect the importance of maintaining a certain scale … that reflects the environment and the neighborhood and that we’re not just Anywhere, USA. We’re Aspen,” she said.
Style, on the other hand, should not be dictated by the council, she said.”I don’t think I, or anyone, has the right to say, ‘This is the correct style,'” she said. “I think you can have a lot of different styles, and one person will like one and not the other.”Tygre’s experience on P&Z played heavily into two council members’ support for her as a replacement, particularly in the midst of code rewrites.”My No. 1 criteria was familiarity with the land-use code,” said Councilman Jack Johnson. “Jasmine has a good knowledge.”Councilman Torre agreed that knowledge is important, but he had other goals as well.”By far the most important thing we’re doing right now is the land-use codes, and I think Jasmine really reflects the direction we’re trying to pursue,” he said. “But the most important criteria to me was someone who was representative.”Torre said he wanted Richards’ replacement to reflect, as much as possible, her viewpoints, since Richards was elected.
“I don’t like appointing a council member,” he said. “They’re supposed to be an elected official. It was not easy.”That issue didn’t trouble Johnson, however.”I try to be consistent, but I sometimes I change my opinion over time, so I don’t know how wise it would be to hold someone to Rachel’s opinion,” he said. “I don’t expect her to be anybody other than herself. That’s why I supported her.”Tygre, too, called the appointment “entirely my own boat.””On most issues I tend to be on the same wavelength as Rachel anyway,” she said, “and I feel honor-bound to try to bring to the job the same degree of thoroughness that Rachel did.”Tygre said she’s not interested in running in May because she’s not sure she wants to be an elected official.”I’d much rather give my own opinion,” she said. “I don’t think I have the temperament to be an elected official.”Torre said Tygre’s assertion that she wouldn’t run didn’t play into his choice to appoint her.
“I really tried not to consider whether someone said they were running in May, because anything could change,” he said.Johnson said Tygre’s experience in the community is to be commended, not only her quarter-century on P&Z, but also her understanding of Aspen from having lived here so long.”Whenever I want to know what this place was like in the ’70s and all the changes, I give Jasmine a call, and she sets me straight,” he said.Tygre will have to recuse herself from projects she’s already seen on P&Z, but she will be able to take part in discussions pertaining to the moratorium.She saw no real conflict of interest with her job at Carol Ann Jacobson Realty, because as an assistant managing broker, she’s not active in sales.The council received 25 applications for the temporary position. Each of the council members, other than Richards, ranked the applicants with a number from one to 25, one being their first choice before the interview process. The city totaled the numbers for each applicant and interviewed everyone who earned a total of less than 40. The council then discussed the applicants they interviewed and settled on Tygre.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is email@example.comThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.