The Aspen City Council spent weeks narrowing down a pool of applicants to decide who will fill the seat left vacant by Mayor Steve Skadron. The council made its final decision this week, but it almost came down to a tie-breaking dice roll. Aspen Public Radio’s Rebecca Kruth reports.
One applicant is resting easy after a last minute change of heart lead the Aspen City Council to a consensus earlier today (Wed., 7-2-2013).
Former councilman Dwayne Romero says he’s “elated” by the council’s decision to appoint him to the vacant seat.
“My learning curve, or my ramp-up, should be relatively brief, and I look forward to engaging with the rest of the council on the issues of the day,” Romero said.
Though the decision seems clear cut now, it almost didn’t work out that way.
After four separate votes Tuesday night all ended in ties, sitting members Art Daily, Ann Mullins, Adam Frisch and Mayor Skadron were unable to reach an agreement.
On Wednesday morning, Romero and fellow applicant Howie Mallory sat side by side, while the council continued to weigh its options which included the possibility of a third applicant.
“I don’t feel that we would be well served by seeking a compromise candidate,” Councilman Daily said. “There are good ones out there, but none that are of the quality of the two men before us.”
Daily and Frisch maintained their support for Romero, while Mullins stuck by Mallory.
The air was heavy with anticipation as everyone waited to see if it would come down to the city charter’s official Wild West-style tie-breaker - a dice roll.
In the end, though, it was Mayor Skadron’s vote which broke the deadlock.
“My decision is to break this tie, not to delegate to the roll of the dice, and I believe that’s in Aspen’s best interest,” Skadron said. “That said, and Howie, I apologize for this, I’m going to cast a vote in favor of Dwayne Romero, because I believe moving forward serves the community’s interest.”
The mayor called both men “stellar candidates,” but said that difficult decisions like this one are part of serving on city council.
Romero will be officially sworn in at the council’s next regularly scheduled meeting on July 8th.