Mayoral candidate speaks out
I am saddened to see that The Aspen Times has seemingly made up its mind about the upcoming election before the campaigns and debates have really started. I am aware of the Times bias in this election, and that in my three previous campaigns the Times has never supported me, even when the community has. But, last Friday’s (April 6) editorial hit a new low for its lack of understanding our local politics.
Why didn’t the Times ask the other candidates about running for council instead of mayor? Rick Carroll, the managing editor, has suggested that both positions on council have the same vote strength, and that being mayor doesn’t mean anything more. That shows a complete lack of appreciation about how our council works. The mayor helps set the meeting agendas, chairs and controls the meetings, works closely with staff on all items, and ultimately is our top representative.
Yes, I do disagree with the politics of my opponents. I also disagree on several issues. Mick Ireland’s prime objective is to help CDOT get final approval for the highway into Aspen. They are hoping, once again, to place a ballot question in November to build across the Marolt Open Space. Mick knows that he can steer that process from the mayor’s seat. I say we can make the same improvements on the existing pavement path, for a lot less money and completed in two years, instead of eight.
Tim Semrau is just too development oriented and self-serving for me. He spent four years on council passing “infill” codes, raising heights and allowing more density. Then, he steps down because he says he was getting “institutionalized” and puts in a development application taking full advantage of the new allowances he approved. Hmmm … The Times, however, challenges my commitment, caring and motivations. The Times also says that my bid is a “lost cause” and that my chances are “slim to none.”
This also shows that the Times continues to be out of touch and out of step with Aspen. I have an equal, if not better, chance of winning because I truly represent a majority of Aspenites in every issue from affordable housing to environmental leadership and from traffic solutions to growth management. My “ego” has nothing to do with my decisions. I am not taken with the idea of being mayor; I am running because this is an important time in Aspen, and I want to help ensure Aspen’s brightest future. We are a small town, and we need to maintain the quality of life that has made Aspen the greatest place to live. I don’t agree with highways and high-rises. We must also balance the many competing interests and focus on what is best for Aspen.
I have helped create housing opportunities as much as my opponents; I have forwarded environmental efforts more, yes more, than my opponents; I have proposed a more attainable entrance solution, approved mass transit improvements; I am a committed volunteer and dedicated community member.
I know the voters of Aspen will make educated choices. On May 8, say “no” to power politics, say “yes” to politics by the people.
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