Aspen Times Editorial: Vote for Skadron, Ireland and Frisch
When candidates for the Aspen City Council finally emerged, we were underwhelmed with the field of mostly familiar faces — we didn’t expect “Keep Aspen, Aspen” to mean we should keep electing the same representatives over and over again.
But given the choices of the seven candidates for council and two for mayor, we’re endorsing two incumbents in the race: Adam Frisch for council and Steve Skadron for mayor, as well as former mayor Mick Ireland for council.
Skadron has balanced fiscal and social responsibilities during his two years as mayor. He runs a good meeting and deeply cares for this town. He’s a voice for community character and for Aspen’s image, although we think he sometimes focuses too much on branding Aspen. He keeps his cool during meetings, often voting with his conscience, which we think is in line with Aspen’s best interests.
The Home Rule Charter bloc and others appear to be blaming Skadron for all that’s wrong with Aspen, including the council’s Ordinance 19 mistake. (Skadron was one of the dissenters on Ordinance 19 — which could have resulted in taller buildings and less affordable housing.)
Placing blame on Skadron isn’t fair. Skadron is very deliberate in his decision making — sometimes maybe too deliberate — but he has been faithful to the Aspen Area Community Plan — Aspen’s guiding document — during his time as mayor. We challenge voters to single out one development variance during Skadron’s mayoral term that has changed Aspen’s landscape. We don’t see it, and we find it disingenuous to use Skadron as the fall guy for all of Aspen’s woes.
We think Torre, who is running against Skadron for the mayor’s seat, improved over the years when he served as a council member, although we can’t ignore past criticism of his lack of preparedness for meetings. Torre undoubtedly loves this town too, but we think he gets rattled too easily in the face of the slightest criticism, which isn’t conducive to leadership qualities needed to run Aspen.
For council, Frisch has shown up prepared for meetings and is a fiscally alert, fiscally conservative voice for the town. He’s a relatable family man and cares about affordable housing, and he’s not afraid to think out loud in meetings to outline the reasoning for his decisions. He’s passionate, knowledgeable and consistent in his positions about the issues.
Ireland would tilt the council in favor of more conservation and less development. He has rallied for progressive causes in Aspen, such as public transportation and affordable housing. We do have concerns that Ireland wouldn’t be able to take the backseat to let Skadron run the show should they both win the election, but Ireland maintains he’d be happy to be in the shadows this time around. It’s hard to argue against his knowledge and expertise as a city servant, especially with regard to land use.
The other candidates — Marcia Goshorn, Andy Israel, Tom McCable, Bert Myrin and Keith Goode — haven’t impressed us. Myrin has been riding the wave of the Home Rule Charter amendment he introduced onto the ballot and hasn’t had much to say about other issues. He seems unwilling to compromise and can be condescending at times, which isn’t what this council needs.
Goshorn has offered plenty of criticism but not many answers. McCabe lacks the passion we see in some of the other candidates and we’re not sure what his intentions for running really are, while Israel just doesn’t seem serious enough about his candidacy. We had high hopes for Goode because he would bring representation to the working class in Aspen, but he just hasn’t presented any new or interesting ideas.
The Aspen Times Editorial Board consists of Publisher Samantha Johnston, Editor Lauren Glendenning, Managing Editor Rick Carroll and community members Bob Braudis and Kathryn Koch.
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