Letter: Factual errors in commissioner candidate story | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Factual errors in commissioner candidate story

Errors in Monday commissioners race story

As a candidate for county commissioner, I am requesting the Aspen Times correct factual errors at the heart of the recent story about my challenge to incumbent Rob Ittner.

Contrary to the lead sentence in Monday’s paper, I did not run for office in 2009 (I could not, there was no election that year) and I did not run in 2010 when the last election for this seat was actually held. Thus, the statement that Rob Ittner defeated “then incumbent Clapper to win his seat on the board” is factually incorrect and must be retracted.

The election on Nov. 2, 1020 for this district was between Jack Johnson, a registered Democrat and Rob Ittner, a registered Republican. Mr. Ittner won with 53 percent of the vote. I was not a candidate.

The Times quote about “keeping the seat warm” and Mr. Ittner’s response that “it’s the people’s seat” creates a false drama premised on the notion that I am trying to somehow avenge a loss to Mr. Ittner. The drama is fiction

based on the erroneous premise I ran for office in a non-election year (2009) or in the election between Johnson and Ittner in 2010.

I am running for county commissioner against a self-described “right of center” Republican because I believe must we do a better job managing growth, fostering local agriculture and providing human services to our growing senior population.

Moreover, I believe neighborhood caucuses should be treated with respect and carefully listened to in making land use decisions. It simply is not appropriate to allow developers six hours of presentation time to persuade the commissioners in favor of a huge home in a hazard area and limit the neighbors to 30 minutes of presentation a week later.

Too often, Mr. Ittner sides with more development in scenic view planes and hazardous areas. We need a balance that respects our values and the environment as well as the rights of property owners. This balance must include meaningful input from neighbors, not token speaking time. We don’t need to rubber stamp every application that comes before us.

Finally, basic journalistic standards suggest that Mr. Ittner was improperly allowed to rebut my statements in an interview with The Aspen Times while I had no similar opportunity to comment on his interview. I believe I was materially misquoted by the substitution of grammar that is not my own and by changing words such as “deplanement” to “deployment.” We do not “deploy” guests and visitors at the airport as they arrive.

This is an all mail ballot election. You should receive your ballot later this week or early next week. The clerk must have the ballot in her office on or before Nov. 4. If you do not receive a ballot because you have moved or the post office does not deliver it, contact the clerk at 970-429-2713.

I respectfully ask for your support and vote in this election. Please make sure you get your ballot and return it.

Patti Clapper

Candidate for Pitkin Board of County Commissioners District 1

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