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The candidates running for Aspen City Council and mayor were grilled Thursday night at the annual Squirm Night forum. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Affordable housing, development and the residency of one candidate came up during the two hour forum in council chambers. Editors from local newspapers grilled the seven people running for two open seats on council.

One question asked the candidates to grade the City Manager’s Office. Retired affordable housing director Tom McCabe and former mayor Mick Ireland:

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The candidates running in Aspen’s spring election are already raising thousands of dollars in the race for elected office. The first of three campaign finance reports was filed Tuesday.

Construction in and around Mill Street may have let up a bit but there is still plenty of work that will continue in the coming weeks. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason talked with Jack Wheeler, the city’s capital asset manager, and has the details.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

Glenwood Springs has two new council members.

It looks like the Thompson Divide will be safe from oil and gas drilling. But, what about other areas and how do residents there feel about that sort of activity in their backyards?

There’s movement and millions of dollars in play in getting a base village built at the base of Snowmass ski area.

Meanwhile, a new executive director has been hired at the Wheeler Opera House.

And, an Aspen City Council candidate is being scrutinized for something he did 10 years ago.

Joining me this week are Curtis Wackerle, editor of the Aspen Daily News, Jill Bethard, editor of the Snowmass Sun, Randy Essex, editor of the Glenwood Post Independent and Michael Miracle, editor of Aspen Sojourner magazine.

Marci Krivonen

It’s that time of year...when the weather’s freeze-thaw pattern causes deep caverns to form on city streets and state highways. Potholes are ubiquitous almost everywhere but in the high country, the weather’s more extreme so the roads are ripe for ripping open. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

It’s the morning rush hour on West Main Street in Aspen. Buses, cars and construction vehicles stream into town.

Reporter: "So this is the problem area?"

Tomorrow starts ten days of construction that will impact Aspen drivers. Between April 1st and 10th, North Mill Street between Bleeker and Main will be closed to through traffic as several construction projects take place. Detours will be posted for drivers and parking restrictions will affect Bleeker, Aspen, and Spring Streets as well as Rio Grande Place and North Mill Street. Also tomorrow, the Colorado Department of Transportation plans to replace traffic signals at Main and Mill. Expect lane closures for that work during the day on Wednesday.

aspenpowerplant.com

Negotiations begin this week over the lease for Aspen’s Old Power House. The Aspen Brewing Company and local TV station Aspen 82 won a competitive bid to move into the space, located off Mill Street. The proposal also has incubator space for new businesses. The City of Aspen owns the building, and because the new tenants include private companies, they are likely to pay more than the previous rent of $1 a year.

Marci Krivonen

This election voters in Aspen will choose from a full list of candidates. A history of several candidates running for local office isn’t uncommon in Aspen. In fact, it’s the norm. This year, two people are running for a two-year mayor’s term. Seven are running for two open council seats. Council terms are four years. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Bill Stirling was mayor of Aspen for eight years from the mid 1980’s to the early 90’s. In one race, he decided to meet the public outdoors.

aspenpitkin.com

Staffers at the city-owned Aspen Recreation Center are updating their business plan in an effort to save taxpayers money. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, the facility is heavily subsidized.

Taxpayers pitch in to pay for community recreation centers around the country. Tim Anderson is Director for the Aspen Recreation Center that has a $4 million annual budget. He says the facility raises more than half of that. The rest is subsidized by city government.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

This afternoon Aspen City Council will review an audit of city finances, and take comments on who should take over the Old Power House building. The audit comes after a widespread parking scam. The review shows the parking scam cost the City more than $200,000-- much less than previously thought, because the audit assumes people who took advantage of free parking would have found a way to avoid parking in the first place, rather than paying the usual twenty eight dollars a day. 

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