It’s pancakes and politics
On Tuesday evening, as City Council debated in executive session whether Toni Kronberg was eligible to run for office, I found myself on the City Hall staircase with C. Sack of The Aspen Times, and Toni. After engaging in some light conversation, Toni said I could come over to 230 N. Spring, her proclaimed home, and actually see where she lives. I accepted and asked when might be convenient. She suggested Wednesday morning. Sounded good to me. Then she went on to offer to make me breakfast – pancakes. Hey, who doesn’t like pancakes?At 8 a.m. the next morning, I arrived and was met at the door by Toni. The table was set – placemats and cloth napkins were in order. I was served pancakes in a number of sizes and shapes, with a side of bacon. Juice and coffee was offered. I felt as though I had walked into an IHOP.I must admit breakfast was delicious – did I mention the warm syrup? Conversation was limited to idle chitchat about the race. What was obvious was how badly she wanted to win. After breakfast, she took me on a tour of the house.After all, she was trying to convince me she lived there.As it turned out, I knew a previous renter, so I was familiar with it. The master bedroom to the side, the guest room in the back, and Toni’s room, which serves a dual purpose, housing the washer and dryer, and furnished with a bunk bed. Her clothes were thrown about – it was obvious she either lived there, or had made a real effort to make it look like she lived there.The question that popped into my mind was that while Toni might be a nomad to some degree, does she have the right to run for office? Legally, I am still not convinced. But based on effort alone, I kind of think she might, if you consider the aftermath of this current election. I’ll explain.After Toni’s residency came into question, the candidates were questioned. Dwayne had no real position – hey, he was in. Steve was annoyed, just 28 votes short of winning – who could blame him? Mike Wampler, who to his credit ran a solid campaign, was tired – after all, Mick drafted him, so walking away was a great option. LJ, not sure what was going on, but he, too, was ready to anoint Steve the winner and walk. Not sure what Mike Sullivan was thinking, and Hassen D. was never really in the race. Myself, if I had finished second, I would have enjoyed a runoff with Steve. It would have been interesting.The question I pose is: If the other candidates didn’t really want the job, WHY RUN?How Toni received so many votes is still confusing to me, unless I take into an account a report that said one-third of all U.S. adults have some sort of problem or disorder (alcohol, drugs, obesity, ADD, etc.,) and that this portion of the population relates to others with some sort of problem. In the case of Toni, her inability to focus, keep the facts straight and process might be considered a problem, but not to almost 500 voters who want her to be on City Council. Add that to the fact she is informed, ran a solid campaign, and really wants this office, which is more than a number of other candidates can say, and I am almost ready to say, let her run!Almost is the keyword. Do you realize if the proverbial bus hit Steve, Toni would be sworn in June 11? Is that democracy, or is it City Council playing the odds that Steve will win the runoff and Toni will go quietly into the night (or maybe not so quietly)? If there is more to the story, I suggest council tell the public. As it stands now, they don’t look very good.As for Toni, I applaud her effort. As for me, I do not have any more political ambitions. I’m done running for office. Right now, my thoughts are on deciding between waffles or French toast.Andrew Kole is a former City Council candidate, an Aspen resident and a self-proclaimed IHOP lover. Editor’s note: Soapbox runs weekly on the Sunday opinion page. This spot is a forum for residents to comment on local topics. If you’d like to contribute, contact Naomi Havlen at The Aspen Times at 925-3414, ext. 17624 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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