Phillips: Elect a mayor who cares about locals
As the former budget officer of the city of Aspen 2003-05, I had the opportunity to work with former Mayor Helen Klanderud and council members Torre, Rachael Richards, Terry Paulson, and one other member (a local developer) whose name escapes me because I found him less engaged than the mayor and other council members.
I have continued to follow the landscape of local politics in the Aspen community, and given the upcoming election, I would be thrilled to hear if Torre, Rachel, or Terry were to become mayor. They all have the local Aspen communities interest in mind. They are all long-time locals and know Aspen.
None of them — in my experience as the guy who used to present the budget to them and get their feedback — was motivated by self-interest. I saw a lot of developers come and go on the council for years, and I always felt they were angling for personal gain. That’s not uncommon with politicians.
I will say that I believe Aspen needs a mayor who cares about the community and who has been in the valley long enough to remember what it was like before Skico bought Highlands. Aspen has always been a special community. The voters need to elect a mayor who cares about the town and locals, so it doesn’t become another Vail.