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The Jack attack

Su Lum

I’ve been getting e-mails from Bert Myrin urging me not to endorse Jack Johnson in the upcoming City Council runoff election. Since there are only two candidates in this particular race, I infer that Myrin would like me to endorse the other one, Dee Malone, whom he supports. Bert Myrin is attacking Jack and has filed a complaint against him for misrepresenting himself as an architect when he is unlicensed in Colorado. This is just the first in a list of other charges he plans to bring up in his last-ditch smear campaign to discredit Jack. Jack is not an impostor – he has an architectural degree and has worked in several architectural offices. You could knock on the door of every architectural firm in the valley and find hundreds of qualified but unlicensed architects busily at work. This is not illegal – in fact, working under a licensed architect is required in order for them to proceed to their own licensing exams. Meanwhile, they all refer to themselves as architects because that’s what they do. It’s all a matter of semantics. If the architectural body wants more nuanced definitions, they will have to work on their language.Bert Myrin could be said to be the architect of the petard he has hoisted himself upon, because I think that saying things such as “Jack’s actions are a disgrace to those who have worked hard to earn and maintain their licenses … and he should be ashamed of his cavalier attitude toward misleading the public” will backfire on him. My response to Bert Myrin was: “I care about this crap about as much as I do about Dee Malone’s SUV – which is to say, not at all.”In his e-mails, Bert didn’t say a word about Dee Malone, from which I infer that the less said the better and the only way to pull her faltering campaign out of the hat is to attack Jack.Malone came in third in the council race on the strength of early and absentee voters. I think that when voters began seeing her on GrassRoots TV, they, as I did, lost their enthusiasm. When I heard her say, “I am a strong proponent of rail,” going on to envision high-tech rail in conjunction with hybrid buses, it was déjà vu all over again to then-mayor John Bennett’s enticing dream of Autobahn buses connecting Aspen and Snowmass Village to the rest of the valley, a dream that ended with a big thump when the numbers came in.When I heard her talking about the impacts of rampant, unconstrained growth, I did a double take. What we have is rampant digging. Not more people, just more “improvements.”When she said there should be Transferable Development Rights in the city, which would keep development out of the county and contain it in the city, all the other candidates jumped on that saying that would mean even larger trophy homes in the city. Dee said that she thought that putting a cost on larger homes would contain them, as if cost was ever a deterrent in Aspen.Dee Malone is scary and Bert Myrin is a dirty trickster. Jack Johnson is straightforward, intelligent, rational and engaging. I’m not even thinking about changing my endorsement of him.Su Lum is a longtime local who thinks it’s no contest. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.


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