Letter: Five stars for Skadron | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Five stars for Skadron

Five stars for Skadron

Dear Editor:

The Aspen Times editorial “Appointment process exposes system flaws” ( July 5, 2013), points to flaws in resolving deadlocks for filling vacancies and correctly suggests the use of a special election for term vacancies longer than 15 months. At the same time, the city should look at the term limits issue vis-à-vis council positions and mayor to clear up this portion of the code.

But the Times editorial runs off the rails positing value in rolling the dice to break a deadlock. There is none other than material for the comics. Carried to its logical extreme council do the same with all decisions, complex land-use applications and the like. That would achieve a stated goal of reducing meeting time to a series of rolls of the dice. We would not even need five members of council as decision-makers, just hire a croupier (that would reduce the city budget).

Mayor Skadron saw the potential for ridicule and exercised a rare form of leadership to solve the problem. He abandoned a personally held position favoring one of two highly qualified candidates for the greater good, moving forward and sparing the city from the cynical laughs that most certainly would have been hurled its way. That the Times refuses to give him five stars is baffling, unless the reason is a thirst for sensational headlines over sound governance.

And along the way the editorial does not recognize that in addition to holding his ground to stand on principle or rolling the dice, a third alternative was available to the mayor. He could have resorted to bombast and demagoguery, browbeating his peers into submission and voting his way to end the harangue. But the city saw enough of that over the past six years; Mayor Skadron is not cut from that cloth and the city is much better off having him at the helm.

Neil B. Siegel


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