Lum: Reflections on the elections
I could not have been more pleased with the results of the May 7 election. Every time, I worry that this might be the year that the political worm turns, but every time, the Aspen residents come through with the right decisions. Yes!
The Red Ant contingent is falling all over itself trying to rationalize the outcome and juggling the numbers based on the false premise that if one of their guys had dropped out, none of his supporters would have voted for Torre or Steve Skadron. Hang on to those dreams.
Maurice Emmer already has announced his candidacy for mayor in 2015. Good luck with that. I anticipate a lot of visibility and fewer nasty letters to the editor, but by then, the hydro-plant issue will be moot, and I predict that Skadron will be re-elected mayor in 2015 in a field that will include — but will not be limited to — Steve, Torre, Adam Frisch, Emmer and L.J. Erspamer.
It was especially encouraging that Ann Mullins and Art Daily swept in without the need for a runoff in the council election. This makes the prospect of the two-year appointment of Skadron’s replacement a lot less frightening than it would be if we were facing a 2-2 split on the new council.
A friend of mine, who is quite politically savvy, said that she was still confused about the appointment thing and asked me to clarify it, so here goes.
Skadron is in the middle of his second and final four-year term of office on the City Council. If Steve loses the race for mayor, he will continue to serve his remaining two years on council. If he wins in the runoff and is elected mayor, his replacement will be picked by the new council, which will consist of Skadron (mayor), Mullins, Daily and Frisch (who also has two years remaining on his council term), requiring a 3-1 vote.
Candidates for Skadron’s remaining council seat have to fill out an application. Dwayne Romero could apply, but the council is under no obligation to reward him for coming in third in the election. Mick Ireland could apply, and needless to say, I’d love the irony of that, but it’s not going to happen. Mick already has said that he will not apply. Torre cannot apply because he is term-limited.
I like Torre and think he’s most often on the right side of things, though I thought it was rash for him to call for an emergency ordinance on building heights without having sufficient votes to pass it, setting off a political maelstrom, and sometimes it seems that he just wants to be mayor too much. He’s been running since 2001. His campaign platform of “Vote for me and get us both” rings weak.
I’ve always supported Skadron, who has grown in his experience in office and is solid in his positions regarding the preservation of what’s left of Aspen’s “character” (and was the sole vote against the art museum).
Skadron announced that he was running, and then Torre jumped in, rocking the boat.
With a firm (I hope) 3-1 vote for a good replacement for Skadron’s council seat (and I’m not convinced that Frisch wouldn’t do the right thing, as well), I’m going to trust that this will turn out all right.
The names of the applicants will be released because this is public information, and I can’t wait to see who applies. I hope the actual applications also will be revealed. Inquiring minds want to know.
Su Lum is a longtime local and ex-small-time gambler. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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