Su Lum: Slumming |

Su Lum: Slumming

Su Lum
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

I’ve been watching Probe Line on Grassroots TV – hour-long interviews by Reid Haughey with each of the four commissioner candidates, sponsored by the Thrift Shop and a real asset to the community.

These in-depth interviews are better than all the debates and the fun of Squirm Nights because you can get a real sense of the candidate. They are especially good because Haughey, a former county manager, knows what he’s talking about. He’s like the author interviewer who is an actual reader and has actually read the author’s book. I don’t know where he lives, but he might consider running for office himself.

To watch the interviews, go to, click on “Watch Grassroots,” then “Grassroots Video Now,” then enter “Probe Line” for the requested program and “Watch Now” and there they are. Or you can look at the Grassroots schedule and watch on TV, channel 12. He’s highly recommended.

After watching them all, the one candidate who really stood out was John Young. John is a longtime resident (Old Snowmass) with extensive experience in employee housing and airport management.

The county is presently sitting on a big pot of housing money and John would be a good representative when it comes to allocating those funds. He is not a fan of a gigantic new airport terminal and is against the Wexner land swap, all good points in my book.

He also considers Shellman and Edwards his mentors, more points.

As a past Snowmass town manager, well-versed in water rights and land-use codes, and presently working as a consultant about affordable housing, he could step right into the commissioner job.

Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s married to the valley’s dearly beloved midwife, Linda Vieira, which John capitalizes upon so blatantly that when you read his ads you’re not sure which of them is running. Hey, why not?

I had just concluded that Young was my pick when – zut alors! – the Red Ant endorsed him. Lordy lord. Moi? Agree with the Ant about anything?

I watched all the interviews again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, but again came up with John Young, so there it is. He’s my choice and I’m sticking to it.

My ballot came in the mail. I get a democratic ballot and was surprised to find that in addition to the four commissioners (the top two go on to the November election) there were five state and federal seats with all candidates unopposed. The purpose of the primary being to weed down the candidates, I wondered why those who were unopposed were on the ballot at all.

I called Dwight Shellman III, who explained that, under our Home Rule Charter, Pitkin County doesn’t hold uncontested primaries, but the state does. That’s extra expense for absolutely nothing -just like having presidential conventions when the candidates have already been picked. No wonder the country is in trouble.

Mail your ballot in (65 cents postage) or drop it by the courthouse annex or vote at the polls on June 26.

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