A weird election | AspenTimes.com

A weird election

Su Lum

I don’t know what Terry Paulson was thinking about when he decided to run against Helen Klanderud for mayor.

If we want to change the direction of the council, we have to change the balance of the board, and to change the balance of the board we have to keep Paulson and Klanderud right where they are, and take one of the two open council seats.

The definitive issue that had a lot of people up in arms was the 3-to-2 vote that conveyed the entrance to Aspen to the Colorado Department of Transportation, before we had the S-curve vote.

Helen Klanderud and Terry Paulson were the two holdouts against the conveyance, but they were outvoted by the triumvirate of Tom McCabe, Tony Hershey and Tim Semrau. Now Tom and Tony are up for re-election, and it’s an opportunity to put someone in who will break up that bloc.

I’ve always supported Terry Paulson for council, but it doesn’t make any sense at all for him to run against Helen, and I could never endorse that – they’re the ones on the same Side. I don’t think he’ll win, but if he did, his replacement would be APPOINTED by the new council, and that is totally unacceptable, as is taking any chance of ending up with a 4-to-1 split! No, no, no!

Helen Klanderud is a fine mayor (I’ve always supported her, too), Terry Paulson is a fine councilman, let’s leave well enough alone and keep it that way.

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As for Andrew “Long Shot” Kole, LONG shot is putting it mildly, and of course taxpayers should insist that he suspend his Grassroots show for the duration of the campaign due to conflict of interest. Let Nick DeWolf take over the show and get some real debates going.

Meanwhile, everyone and his grandmother is running for the two council seats, so it behooves the voters, if they want to change the balance of the board, to get behind one electable candidate and let the others whack it out in a free-for-all for the other seat.

That candidate is Tom Peirce, who not only favors the S-curves but would be a sane voice and intelligent voice on matters such as the dreaded Infill Program, Burlingame, open space and growth.

It’s a little early to be writing about the elections, since Aspen is a last-minute kind of political community, but this one is such a mess it demands your full attention.

And to the candidates, there’s still time to keep your names off the ballot. If in doubt, drop out.