Clapper, Richards for commissioner | AspenTimes.com

Clapper, Richards for commissioner

Su Lum

I’m voting for Patti Clapper for county commissioner because she is a woman with a lot of courage and moxie, who singlehandedly took on the EPA’s fatuous remediation plans for the Smuggler area and who, astoundingly, learned how to get along well with Mick Ireland even though he told her (on air) to “eat shit” when she first came into office.

Her opponent, Tim Mooney, who ran against Patti before and lost, is a personable, loose cannon who claims to be an idea man who can bring a creative viewpoint to the table; but he hasn’t articulated what these ideas are.

Mooney is also a real estate man, which makes some of us a bit nervous, and is very strong on employee housing and keeping families in the valley. “No one should ever be told ‘No,'” he said on GrassRoots, but what does that mean? No “NO” to our children, who might want to stay here? No “NO” to spec home builders, of which he is one? No “NO” to anyone who might want to live in the valley? How would he pull that out of the hat in today’s economy?

Patti Clapper has served us well and deserves to be re-elected for her last term.

Rachel Richards and Jim True seem to be on the same page on most issues, but are running a truly weird campaign focused on the Entrance to Aspen, which is not even in their jurisdiction since the entrance is a city vote.

I see this as kind of a diversionary tactic ” diverting our attention to an issue they disagree about even though it has nothing to do with what they actually can do in office. Rachel is for a straight-shot/transit and Jim is for four-laning the S-curves. I asked him if he had any maps or position papers to back up this improbable proposal, and he didn’t, saying it was “just an idea.”

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I can’t back either one of them on their entrance positions, but the positions are moot on the face of it, so I threw that out of the equation. As for the issues that ARE within their purview, there are no clear differences.

The way I see it, Mick Ireland is leaving office; we need somebody as strong and dedicated as he was to replace him, and Rachel Richards is the proven, dedicated pit bull we need in Mick’s seat.

A big issue for me was that, if elected, Rachel would resign her city council seat (legally, she could keep them both), which she has promised to do, and I have confidence that she will knock herself out protecting our interests (preserving open space, stemming development, protecting water rights) in that office.

If elected, Rachel should in no way interpret our votes as an endorsement of the straight shot, bus lanes, light rail or any other “solution” that ultimately will be put into the hands of city voters.

It is ridiculous to cast a vote for either candidate on the basis of the Entrance to Aspen question, and the media interviewers are at fault for bringing it up in interviews and debates. Forget the Entrance to Aspen and vote for the candidate who can best replace Mick Ireland.

I think that’s Rachel Richards.

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