Why Mayor Kole? | AspenTimes.com

Why Mayor Kole?

Editor’s note: Today, along with The Aspen Times endorsements, we’re running letters from candidates in the Aspen mayoral races. On Saturday, we’ll publish letters from the City Council candidates.

Dear Editor:

Throughout this campaign I’ve been very direct in respect to the issues in my efforts to convince voters how serious I am about this election.

If you have not had an opportunity to see or hear the mayoral forums/debates on Grassroots TV or KAJX, please consider the following:

• I believe our next mayor must protect taxpayer money – $43,240,961 was potentially wasted during the last four years.

• I believe our next mayor must respect the voters. No more Art Museum settlement deals.

• I believe our next mayor needs to focus on due diligence to protect the Aspen from bad decisions.

• I believe our next mayor needs to be direct and forthright to every voter, and non-voter who lives in Aspen.

Disrespecting voters:

1. After the voters crushed the Art Museum’s new building in the last election, it made an end run, got support from Mick, and ultimately approval from City Council to build on the Wienerstube lot. One reason for the settlement was to protect the AACP, which was the basis for the NO vote for the original development proposal. I don’t believe we should have been put in that legal predicament in the first place.

Wasteful spending: $43,240,961

1. The BMC land purchase for over $18 million, without an appraisal, when the assessed value of the land was in the $6M million. Today the land is assessed at about $3 million.

2. The AACP. As mayor I would have had City Council and the BOCC decide if the document was going to be either advisory (my preference) or regulatory, prior to spending $951,500.

3. The Hydro Plant leap before due diligence, resulting in $4.4 million of the $5.5 million bond already spent, and a project that is now looking to go down a different road after citizens spoke up.

4. Burlingame II. Over $3 million in prep work for a project we have no money to build. Even if we do build it someday, the work we have spent money for already could be obsolete.

5. Miscellaneous land banking totaling over $16 million.

Other Key Issues:

1. Affordable housing: As a member of the Housing Frontiers Group, a capital reserves shortfall was discovered. To protect the next generation of owners my idea is to raise the price of each unit 3-5 percent, and put the money in a fund for that unit.

2. Resort economy: To expand our brand, I would reach out to the next generation of potential visitors and hopefully residents. One idea is an event I call the ENTREPRENEURS MEET-UP. I believe the best way to reach a younger demographic is an event to introduce Aspen, and generate income for our businesses.

Final Thoughts:

• I will always give a direct answer.

• I will always respect the voters.

• I will always protect taxpayer money.

• I will always bring new creative solutions forward.

• I will always support Aspen’s small-town character.

Thank you for your consideration.

Andrew Kole



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