Why vote for Hershey or Torre? | AspenTimes.com

Why vote for Hershey or Torre?

In an effort to not only keep the electorate informed about the upcoming Aspen City Council runoff election between incumbent Tony Hershey and challenger Torre, but to also remind people that there is an election on June 3, The Aspen Times is running a series of questions and answers throughout this week.

Today and Wednesday will feature questions we’ve asked of the two candidates. Friday will feature a question each candidate has posed to the other.

We also remind people to attend the second Squirm Night debate between Torre and Hershey at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, at the GrassRoots TV studios in the Red Brick Arts and Recreation Center.

Today’s question is: Give us two or three specific things that differentiate you from your opponent, and tell how it will affect the makeup of the council if you are elected.


There are many differences between us, and I believe it is exactly for those reasons that I am the best candidate for City Council.

There are both personal and political differences that demonstrate that I would be an excellent addition to council. I will focus on a few that show how I can be an effective leader and consensus builder.

If elected as your representative, the first difference will be immediately noticed as I seek to bring respect, fairness and integrity to the position. I will be an open ear and open mind to all citizens, staff and council.

We can put an end to old grudges and spite-ridden decision-making. I will not give away city assets and property just to “prove a point.” I will be available at informal lunch meetings and I will respect the rights of all Aspenites to voice their opinions.

It is time to bring a positive, creative approach to council. “Working with you, working for you” has been my way of saying that, together there is nothing we can’t do.

Another great difference between us is that I represent a broad spectrum of Aspen’s residents and visitors. I am part of the “X-Game” crowd, the new visitor we need to attract for our vitality and sustainability, but I also represent the old Aspen ideals of environment, culture and recreation.

I am a resident that’s trying to live and work and contribute to our community. I do face the challenges of housing, economics and viability. I will work very hard to protect our open space, view planes and character, but I will support appropriate development.

I believe we can and must balance our respect for the past and what has made Aspen great and our need to continue to evolve the “now” Aspen. I promise to promote and enhance Aspen’s legacy.

These are just a few of our differences, but all of them show that I will work well with the other council members and our mayor. Between Tim, Terry, Rachel and Helen there is over 25 years of experience. I can add a new voice and renewed vision to this council.

I have worked well with each of them, and we may not agree on every issue but there is a shared respect and the desire to work together to find the best solutions.

If you vote Torre for City Council on June 3, you will be voting for a fresh perspective, a youthful vitality and an open, communicative, respectful representative. I promise to give everyone equal consideration.

I will not be beholden, indebted or encumbered in my decision making. Instead, I will keep our environment, our community and our sustainability as priorities in these decisions. Thank you.

Tony Hershey

My commitment to real solutions to our housing and transportation problems is backed up by my record of the past four years. It is easy to bandy about cliches during an election; it is quite another thing to work for improvements, and real solutions, day after day.

Over the past four years I have worked extremely hard to get our affordable housing program where it is today; a program that houses half of our local workers, a re-tooled Burlingame Ranch project that will allow quality phased housing that will accommodate our needs for years, and privatization of our building program resulting in a 50 percent savings to our latest project: Burlingame Parcel D.

I am familiar with the new proposed housing projects. I know the players, the issues and the contracts that are the keys to the future of these projects. My experience with and knowledge of Burlingame and other large city projects will be invaluable as they proceed.

I helped to form our new Regional Transit Authority and I have worked for my entire term to improve our bus system in a wise and affordable manner.

I have also helped end the rail debate, saving the community millions of dollars, and I have put the entire transit issue in its realistic and proper perspective. We are now poised to build a new Bus Rapid Transit system with hybrid buses that will be invaluable to our residents, our workers and our guests.

The makeup of the new council will be integral to the success or failure of these crucial projects. Will housing proceed at Burlingame, or will we throw away our last opportunity for a large amount of affordable housing?

Will we get federal funding and approvals for a new Bus Rapid Transit System, or will we allow the best bus system in the state to stagnate and fail?

Will we improve our economy with sensible legislation, or do nothing while Aspen’s tourist economy stagnates? I believe our City Council needs my common sense, real world conservative outlook.

Today, I have the experience, in four years of service on the Aspen City Council, necessary to lead the city through whatever the future may hold. We may face major challenges to our economy and tourism industry, and it is imperative that we move quickly to address those problems.

My educational background has also prepared me for whatever tribulations we may face. I have worked as a government attorney and in the business community working for “real world” solutions. On the state and national level I have cultivated relationships that have benefited our community in many ways.

I have met several times with Congressmen Udall and McInnis, Senators Allard and Campbell, and with our governor to get funding and support for various projects. It takes time to learn this job, but I have made a commitment to do so and to educate myself on all the issues, and I am now ready to use that experience for the benefit of the people of Aspen.

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