Su Lum: Slumming

The Aspen Time
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Let the wild rumpus begin.

This year’s May 7 City Council election circus has four present councilmen running for mayor and came within a hair of having the mayor run for a council seat. I’m sorry that Mick Ireland declined the opportunity to run. I’m not sick of Mick, who, warts and all, has devoted the bulk of his adult life to the community.

Five others have joined the field, and it’s not going to be easy to keep your playing cards straight as you decide how you’re going to vote

On Saturday, I spent nine hours watching Brent Gardner-Smith interview nine of the City Council candidates on the GrassRoots TV program “ProbeLine.” I know, I’m a junkie: I admit it – I just couldn’t stop watching.

I was about to take an eyeball break when Maurice Emmer came on; I was about to take a shower, but Art Daily came on; I was about to scrounge up some food when Steve Skadron came on, and so it went from 2 p.m. until almost midnight.

The “ProbeLine” interviews are the very best means of getting to know the candidates in depth. Gardner-Smith is arguably the best investigative reporter in the valley, so these interviews are no ordinary chats. They are a full hour of intense interrogation with about half the questions asked of everyone so you can compare their responses and the other half on information that Brent has exhumed about the individuals, asking them to elaborate. It’s a helluva show – five stars.

You may not be able to hang in for nine hours, but you can go to, enter “ProbeLine” in the search box at the top, and pick any one of the interviews that especially interests you. I guarantee that you’ll get more information than you will from the stock answers to questions posed by the newspapers, or from the fun but hectic swirl of Squirm Night.

Here is the lineup of candidates:

For city council: Daily, Ann Mullins and Dwayne Romero are running for the two open seats, vacated by Derek Johnson and Torre, who have opted to run for mayor, and a last-minute wingnut who says he has no idea what a councilman does.

Johnson could have run for council, but Torre is term-limited.

For mayor: Johnson, Torre, Adam Frisch and Skadron, who all are currently on the city council, plus L.J. Erspamer and Maurice Emmer.

It gets complicated because both Skadron and Frisch are partway through their council terms. If they lose their bids for mayor, they will remain on the council. If one of them wins, his seat will be replaced with an appointment by the new council, and we will, in effect, get a four-year councilperson for whom we have not voted.

Since this is a likely outcome, it behooves us to be careful whom we pick for the new council majority.

If Johnson and/or Torre loses, he/they will be out of the picture. It’s a shame they didn’t all get together and come up with something other than this vote-splitting situation (Frisch with Johnson, Skadron with Torre), but it is, as they say, what it is.

As for me, I’m going with Skadron, Mullins and Daily unless some unexpected events occur.

Su Lum is a longtime local who will give more details next week. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at


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