city of aspen

City considers suing Precise over parking scam

May 11, 2015
Carolyn Sackariason

  Aspen’s multi-year parking scam may not be resolved. The city is considering suing to get back some of the money it lost. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

Officials claim they were lied to by the company that sold them the pay stations. The city’s parking department thought the company, Precise Park, was flagging debit cards with zero balances when they were processed the end of each day. Randy Ready is assistant city manager.

themountainpact.org

A group of Western towns known as the “Mountain Pact” are sending a letter to Washington DC this week, urging lawmakers to hold the coal industry accountable. The group wants royalty payments from coal to fund efforts by communities to adapt to climate change. The City of Aspen is part of the Mountain Pact. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Ashley Perl, who’s working on the effort for the city of Aspen.

Ashley Perl is the Director of the City of Aspen’s Canary Initiative. 

What you need to know on election day in Aspen

May 5, 2015
Ginny/Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s election day in Aspen and if you haven’t yet turned in a ballot, voting centers will be open from 7am to 7pm. 

People can vote at City Hall or the Red Brick Center for the Arts on East Hallam Street. If you still need to register, head to the Pitkin County Clerk’s office then bring your registration certification to either voting center to cast a ballot. Voters who filled out a mail ballot can drop those off at the voting centers. You can register until 7pm.

Carolyn Sackariason

The City of Aspen is finding itself in the position of many employers in the valley who find it difficult to attract qualified employees. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the details.

The city manager’s office had to re-open the job posting for a parking director after the first round of 28 applicants didn’t produce the right candidate. One individual from outside of the area was offered the job but declined because of the cost of living and the lack of affordable housing.

aspenpitkin.com

Another development application has been submitted for a downtown building in Aspen. Already five projects have been turned into the city in advance of tomorrow’s election when a change in the charter amendment could affect projects getting approval. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.    

Downtown landlord Mark Hunt is under contract to purchase the old Guido’s Swiss Inn, as well as the structure next to it, known as the Salmon building because of its color. Both are on the Cooper Avenue Mall.

Aspen City Council is getting up to speed on a time limit for how long the municipal government has to review government development projects. The city's planning department is recommending Aspen follow a mandatory 60 day time limit for ruling on a municipal development proposal. That's according to state law.

Aspen mayoral race: Steve Skadron

Apr 28, 2015
Roger Adams

Steve Skadron is hoping to hang on to the mayor’s seat in Aspen. He has one challenger in the May election but says his proven leadership will earn him votes. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Skadron has served two terms on council. This would be his second term as mayor. He runs a marketing business and has lived in town for two decades. He says he’s pursuing re-election as a commitment to public service.

Carolyn Sackariason

The smells of legalization are emanating across an alley and into the homes of Aspen residents, prompting city officials to take action. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the details.

The marijuana dermal patch manufacturer Meachum and Company, which produces its product under the trade name, RX Green, was paid a visit by three Aspen city officials last week after neighbors complained of strong pot odors wafting up from its basement shop.

Aspen mayoral race: Torre

Apr 27, 2015
Roger Adams

The race for mayor in Aspen has become more heated as election day gets closer. Two people are running for the seat. Ballots will be counted May 5th. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen sat down with candidate Torre.

Torre isn’t a newcomer to city politics. He served eight years on council. This is his fifth attempt to become mayor. The tennis instructor has lived in town for two decades and says he’s running because he feels the public’s voice has been lost.

Squirm Night gets Squirmy at Aspen City Hall

Apr 17, 2015
Grassroots TV

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:

Creative Commons/401kcalculator.org

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.

Carolyn Sackariason

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.

Pothole problems pronounced in Colorado high country

Apr 1, 2015
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?"

Drivers Beware - Aspen Construction Detour Coming

Mar 31, 2015

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. 

aspenpitkin.com

A large pool of candidates is vying for three open seats on Aspen City Council. Monday at 5pm was the deadline for candidates to submit paperwork for the May election. A total of nine people are running.

Current mayor Steve Skadron and former councilman Torre are running for the mayor’s seat. Seven candidates are running for the other open council seat. They are Marcia Goshorn, Tom McCabe, Keith Goode, Andy Israel, Bert Myrin, Mick Ireland and Adam Frisch. City Clerk Linda Manning announced the list of candidates at Monday's city council meeting.

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