Lum: The last (I hope) election column |

Lum: The last (I hope) election column

There probably will be so few voters participating in Tuesday’s mayoral runoff election that it could easily end up in a tie. If I recall correctly, this happened once in the far past (I don’t know for which office) and was settled by the flip of a coin, the throw of dice, “one potato, two potato” or something like that. Whatever the rule is, we’re not going to like it.

If you’re still undecided, check out Brent Gardner-Smith’s hourlong interview with Torre and Steve Skadron on GrassRoots TV or at

Skadron and Torre were nice to each other, but there was a good deal of eye rolling and body language that spoke louder than their words.

I was surprised that Torre still doesn’t know that he’s term-limited and cannot apply for the empty council seat if Skadron wins. Steve tried to set him straight, and Torre said he’d have to look it up.

On the other hand, Skadron thinks that The Aspen Times is still merged with the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, which goes to show we all have our lapses.

Speaking of lapses, I hand-delivered my May ballot to the county courthouse instead of City Hall, a blunder that I dearly wish I could say was not typical.

All along, I have supported Skadron for council and for mayor. I believe that he’s the best candidate for mayor, the one who will work hardest to protect the community (from THEM), the broadest thinker of the two. I also appreciate Steve’s sense of humor and his modesty. Who would know that under that sweater vest is a dyed-in-the-wool Ironman who runs 100-mile races?

On the subject of elections, it’s about time we made the mayor post a four-year job, the same as it is for council. Two-year terms just mean an endless circle of campaigning.

My druthers would be for a five-person council with four-year terms, rotating the “chair” every year, as they do in the county.

It’s also about time we paid these people a decent wage rather than a third (if that) of what the county commissioners get. If you’ve ever seen one of those Bible-thick council “packets,” you might well wonder why anyone would run … and then to have to sit through those marathon meetings — argh.

While we’re at it, we need to change the appointment process for vacated council seats due to death, illness, relocation or terminal ennui. Somehow along the line there should be a public vote.

As for Marilyn Marks’ scheme to be appointed and then recalled, I’m taking bets on whether the new council would appoint her under any circumstances. If you haven’t followed this story, it’s way too complicated to explain and not worth it.

Between the visitors and the demolition zones, the town is a zoo already, and it isn’t even June. The cute new bike lanes give the impression that only bikes are allowed on some streets — Rio Grande, for instance. Since the new majority of us are geezers (and the few under-40s aren’t even voting these days), maybe there should be electric-scooter and wheelchair lanes instead.

But I digress.

It’s election time again. Mail or deliver your ballots to City Hall — not the courthouse annex — cast an absentee ballot (again, City Hall), or vote in person at your polling place Tuesday. I hope you vote for Steve Skadron, and I hope that more than a dozen people determine the outcome.

Su Lum is a longtime local who thinks we’ll have the answer 15 minutes after the polls close. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at

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