Endorsements | AspenTimes.com

Endorsements

Su Lum

This is very much of a coin-toss ballot, and while I’ll willingly tell you how I’d vote right this minute, it could come down to heads or tails in the voting booth.For school board, I strongly endorse Elizabeth Parker and Charla Belinski, and may leave it at that. If I vote for a third, it may be for Andrew Kole because of the remaining three he is a marginally better candidate, and if he finally wins an election he might stop running for everything. On the other hand, I can’t imagine voting for him, and it sticks in the craw of my computer just to write the preceding words.The historic directors are running unopposed; no choices there.State questions C and D were tough to decide. It’s been a nasty campaign on both sides, and it goes against my grain to de-Bruce and to give more money for the state bureaucracy to waste. On the other hand, there is no increase in taxes, I haven’t gotten a refund in years and I am pretty sure that if we turn it down there will be serious reprisals to the school systems and social services (where it hurts), so I am voting yes for C and D.The city question, 2D is one of those coin flips. This is a de-Bruceing to let the city retain excess property taxes for 1) nonpolluting buses, 2) beginning a program to clean our mountain runoff going into the Roaring Fork River, 3) design and construction of an outdoor summer pool at the ARC, and 4) speeding up sidewalk improvements (including wheelchair cuts) and trail improvements. I wish these questions had been separated, as another pool is low on my list of necessities. And does the city need more money? Isn’t the city richer than Donald Trump? On the other hand, why not? The other three are good causes – let them keep the taxes already paid. Right this minute I’d vote yes.I am voting yes on 3A, for $700,000 in salaries and program improvements for the school district.Last week I wrote my nonendorsement of 3B for the new middle school, and I would add that if the leaks and sewage problems are as bad as they are now dramatically being portrayed, those issues should have been taken care of long ago with existing contingency funds or asking for a leak-in-the-dike vote. The schools had the opportunity to ask for something less than a $33 million new middle school on the heels of the $43 million high school, but they chose to go for the whole enchilada, and voters are leery.Question 5A, 1.5 mills for Aspen Valley Hospital is a yes. The new administration has made great strides in cleaning up its financial mess, and I think it’s appropriate to show our support and also to have a monetary stake in the operation.Questions 5D, 5E and 5F will save the Aspen Historical Society, and all three merit YES YES YES votes. The current board of the historical society inherited some very deep trouble from the previous incumbents, and we need to help them now. Su Lum is a longtime local who wouldn’t think of addressing the Snowmass questions. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.