Su Lum: Slumming | AspenTimes.com
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Su Lum: Slumming

Su LumThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

While everyone is scratching around deciding among the too-many council candidates, we need to consider the most important thing of all: the balance of the council after the dust settles.While distracting us with lost tempers, the long-standing P-cards and an aged Burlingame brochure, big money is banking on attaining a three-to-two majority on the council for more growth and fewer controls.Change really means Overthrow. Take over the reins of the council, fire City Manager Steve Barwick and, in one fell swoop, they (you know who They are) have control of the council AND the staff.The targets to get rid of are Mick Ireland and Jack Johnson, preferably both but only one is necessary if they can get a wild card for the second council seat. If you dont want to see the kind of development we had under the last administration, vote for Mick and Jack. They represent what voters have begged for in all the community plans and clicker votes: smaller scale, preservation of the towns character, adequate employee housing, and they are passionate about Aspens best interests.Theres no question at all about my first place vote for City Council: It is hands down Jack Johnson. He has a solid understanding of Aspens values, ideals, history and goals, with the extra plus of a brilliant mind and the rare ability to clearly articulate his views on complex issues, even in the seventh hour of a killer meeting. Affordable housing and historic preservation have no stronger advocate than Jack. He is a strong supporter of keeping locally serving businesses in town and maintaining mass and scale compatible with the downtown core and residential areas. He knows all three Aspen Area Community Plans by heart and uses them as his Bible.Keep Jack on the council or be careful what you wish for. Meanwhile, my eyeballs are bleeding in search of Number Two. I have watched all three debates (several times over), the self-serving Andrew Kole shows, the Jerry Bovino shows, the ACRA interviews and even the Ant have read the letters to the editor and the council candidate statements in the papers, read the crazed blogs on The Aspen Times website and have gone to the websites of the candidates, searching for Number Two.If youre looking for another J.E. DeVilbiss to fill the second spot, forget it. Candidates promise community unity (an oxymoron in itself), shorter meetings while welcoming every citizens input (a dichotomy there), less micromanagement (translation a staff-driven government with a new staff). Most agree that it should be a part-time job, but have never waded through the 40-pound packets.For second choice, Ive been keeping a grid of pros and cons. Ive eliminated candidates who are currently on P&Z, who dont support historic preservation, who support the Lift 1A project, who will vote for the Aspen Art Museum, whittling down, down, down and ended up, no matter how I looked at it, with Torre!Torre made a big mistake running for mayor last time around and is prone to pontification, but he took strong stands against proposed monstrosities when he was in office and has said in his campaign that he does not support Lift 1A in its present transmogrification. I started viewing the candidates in another way, asking myself, Which candidate would developer John Sarpa be the least likely to vote for? And that was Torre.Indeed, all of the developers and the supporters of change (overthrow) would least want to see Torre elected.If Jack loses, or if Mick loses, we would still have a council majority with Torre. Of course if both Mick and Jack lose (and I dont think they will), were screwed.

Su Lum is a longtime local who begs Torre not to even think about running against Mick Ireland for mayor in two years. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.


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