Su Lum: Slumming |

Su Lum: Slumming

Su Lum
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

When I wrote last week, I didn’t know that there was an Anderson Subdivision land exchange question on the ballot. This is the Hildur Anderson property to the right of the Cooper Avenue bridge, containing the old log cabin. The land swap would trade two parcels of equal size (each 6,092 square feet) and will make the new land available for a public park. It isn’t really an issue, only a technicality, that we have to vote for any land-use changes. I’m voting yes for this.

I also didn’t know last week that Brent Gardner-Smith was filming hour-long interviews with all the candidates, programs which are currently running on Grassroots TV (Channel 12) and are also available on demand on your computer. Go to and right on the first page you have your choice of watching Squirm Night, the ACRA forums and the Probe Line (Brent’s) interviews.

These programs are very informative, especially the in-depth Probe Lines, a real community service. If you are harboring doubts about or want to be more informed about some of the candidates, this is the best way.

Being a political news junkie, I watched all nine hours (six council, three mayor) and re-watched a couple of the forums. After so much saturation, I am still convinced that I am backing the right people – Ireland for mayor and Skadron for council – but was impressed that we have a better-than-usual group of council candidates. I can’t say the same for the mayor’s race but hey, you can’t have everything. For those citizens who are thinking of taking the route of “anyone but Mick,” be careful what you wish for.

I am not certain that I’m right about this, but I am not going to endorse a second candidate for council. Instant Runoff Voting was supposed to fix the problem of your first and second vote for council being equal, but after the city tweaked the rules, IRV ended up with the same issues as the present system: Your first and second votes count equally, and everyone’s second choices can end up winning.

No system is perfect, but I feel strongly that Steve Skadron is our best choice for City Council and I don’t want my second choice vote to dilute his chances of winning. I would love to see him win outright in the first round, though I doubt that this will happen. Steve is intelligent, thoughtful, has grown into the role, deserves to continue and my main reason for endorsing him is, of course, that he and I agree on the issues more than not.

Mick Ireland is the most knowledgeable person in office today. If you watch no other interviews, watch Brent Gardner-Smith’s conversation with Mick on Probe Line. You don’t have to like Mick or agree with him all the time, but he knows his stuff, is honest, has no hidden agendas and is far and away the best candidate. Consider the alternatives and stick with Mick.

Next day – I see that the Red Ant is supporting Ruth Kruger and Adam Frisch, who, coincidentally, are my least favorite candidates. That’s one thing about IRV – you could express your very last choices. I also see the Ant is agreeing with me on endorsing only two candidates, giving me pause.

Anyway, you can vote this week in the City Clerk’s office on the second floor of City Hall. Friday is the last day for that, so don’t put it off until Monday (no voting on Monday) – otherwise it’s Tuesday, May 3, at the polls.

I hope that in the November election, the following words will be expunged from everyone’s vocabulary:

• Challenge

• Incentivize

• Think outside the box

• At the end of the day

• Unintended consequences

• Win-win

• Win-win-win

Su Lum is a longtime local who thinks that whoever wrote the satirical pamphlet, “Aspen’s Common Sense,” is brilliant. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.

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