Local Elections

  Concerns about  Aspen's Chamber of Commerce and a ballot referendum got a close look at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Backers of the referendum argue it's inappropriate for the Aspen Chamber Resort Association to lobby against the local measure, since the group receives public funding through the City of Aspen. They also point out it looks shady that two City Council members are part of the Chamber's campaign.

Elise Thatcher

Ballots will be dropped in the mail today for the Aspen municipal election. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the details.

Around 6,100 ballots will be mailed to registered voters. City Clerk Linda Manning hopes to get back less than a third of those--about 2,500. If you haven’t received a ballot by Friday, contact her office in City Hall, or just come in person.

aspenvoteknow.com

A campaign against Aspen Referendum 1 is beginning to take shape. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association says it’s part of a coalition of organizations aiming to convince residents to vote against the ballot question. If passed, it would amend the City Charter to require a public vote on development projects with exceptions for height, size, parking, or affordable housing.

Mountain Edition - April 9th, 2015

Apr 9, 2015

Good afternoon, it’s Mountain Edition.

A federal mid valley investigation turns out to be a gang crackdown.

Glenwood Springs residents elect two new city council members.

Questions are raised about an Aspen City Council candidate running in the spring election.

He and other candidates tackle issues at the chamber of commerce forum.

Forest Service offices reopen in Glenwood Springs.

We hear what comes next for Explore Booksellers in Aspen...as well as for local alpine skier Wiley Maple.

Elise Thatcher

Last night, Aspen City Council candidate Bert Myrin defended altering opposing campaign materials ten years ago, to benefit a political cause. The issue came up during the Aspen Chamber Resort Association candidate forum.

https://twitter.com/bertmyrin

Questions have been raised about the integrity of an Aspen City Council candidate. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the story.

An affidavit signed by Bert Myrin acknowledges he manipulated a message from a powerful local business group deliberately misrepresenting the organization’s position on a visitor’s center proposal in 2004.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Vox Efx

Glenwood Springs residents have chosen new city council members and decided on a ballot question. Steve Davis won the council seat for Ward 1, which covers the western section of Glenwood Springs. Kathryn Trauger won the At Large seat.

The candidates and issues in the upcoming Aspen election will be debated Wednesday evening. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association is holding its forum for the 2015 election at the Limelight Hotel on April 8th from 4:30pm to 8pm. The event will be a moderated forum that will allow the public to hear from city council and mayoral candidates. The mayoral candidates will start at 5pm, followed by the city council at 6pm, and the evening wraps up with a discussion of the charter amendment on zoning at 7pm.

Glenwood Springs Voters - Hand In Ballots

Apr 6, 2015
Elise Thatcher

If you’re a Glenwood Springs resident, you still have time to vote. Though, city officials say mailing the ballot is no longer an option. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Ballots in the all-mail ballot election will be counted Tuesday. To make your ballot count, you must drop it off instead of sticking it in the mail. Ann Green is deputy city clerk.

“They must drop off their ballot either at the county courthouse east door, or here at City Hall. There’s a box in front of municipal court.”

Town Hall Meeting on the “Keep Aspen Aspen” ballot referendum recorded on Wednesday March 25th, 2015 at the Belly Up Aspen.

The forum is moderated by Aspen Public Radio News Director Carolyn Sackariason and features supporters and opponents of the May 5th ballot measure that would force a public vote for development variances over a particular threshold.

aspenart.org

The Red Brick Center for the Arts will be Aspen’s second vote center for this spring’s election.

All registered voters will receive mail in ballots, which can be mailed back or dropped off at City Hall. On election day, residents can also cast their ballot at the clerk’s office in City Hall or the Red Brick Center for the Arts. 

plexiglassplus.com

If Aspen voters pass a charter referendum this spring, that will mean rewriting the city’s land use code. On Monday, City Council decided to tighten up when developers can build extra large buildings. Council Members restricted exceptions, called waivers, to five percent bigger than the square footage normally allowed, and two feet higher than maximum height. They also removed affordable housing waivers, except for projects benefitting the community or part of the historic preservation program. Council did not change parking requirements.

Join Aspen Public Radio for a live broadcast of a Town Hall Meeting on the “Keep Aspen Aspen” ballot referendum, Wednesday March 25th from 5:30-7:00pm from the Belly Up Aspen.

This moderated forum is open to the public and will feature proponents and opponents of the measure along with Michael Kinsley – an architect of the slow growth zoning in Pitkin County.

The town hall is free to attend or listen live worldwide through Aspen Public Radio, on-air or on-line, for this special event.

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

The City of Aspen just got the results of an audit of a multi-year parking scam. Elected officials wonder if they should look at other departments as closely.

After three months of analyzing and negotiating, the Roaring Fork School District finally inked contracts with its superintendent and assistant superintendent.

AspenSpin.com

A retired Wall Street money manager turned local writer is running for a seat on the Aspen City Council. Andrew Israel says is behind the website AspenSpin.com.  Israel says, if elected, his first plan of action will be to keep city council meetings from going into the early hours of the morning.

Former Aspen Mayor Seeks Council Seat

Mar 6, 2015
Roger Adams

A well-known retired politician around Aspen is taking another run at city council. Former Mayor Mick Ireland says he’s seeking a council seat in this spring’s election. The former mayor says his emphasis will be on moderate, sustainable growth that respects the community’s character with a keen eye on land use and zoning issues.

“We need some more through thinking about our future and we need an alignment of our values with our land use code… and I think we have gotten a little off track.”

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

Aspen lost another longtime local in avalanche. And this week marks the first anniversary of the murder of Aspen native Nancy Pfister.

Municipal elections are coming up in Glenwood Springs and Aspen. This year, it’s all mail-in. But in Aspen, you can still vote in a traditional way at two polling places.

Meanwhile, Aspen City Council is countering a citizen ballot measure on development limitations. Will it just confuse voters more?

Elise Thatcher

This spring’s municipal election in Aspen could cost twice as much as previous ones. That’s in an effort to increase voter turnout. The majority of Aspen City Council earlier this year decided to hold an all mail-in ballot election. The theory is that more people will vote from the comfort of their homes, rather than going to a polling place.

Your Morning News - February 11th, 2015

Feb 11, 2015

Aspen Development Proposal to Go to Ballot

The Aspen City Clerk says a proposed charter amendment about development in Aspen will be on the ballot this Spring. That follows the collection of enough signatures by Aspen residents. Ballots for the mail-in election will go out in the spring. Election Day is May Fifth.

Your Evening News - February 10th, 2015

Feb 10, 2015

Hotel Jerome Sold for $69.1 Million to Auberge Board Member

The historic Hotel Jerome sold for $69.1 Million on Monday according to Pitkin County assessor records. The sale makes it one of the largest commercial real estate transactions for a single property in downtown Aspen in recent years.

The new owner is Houston businessman Dan Friedkin. He also bought an adjacent property for $3.35 Million that was once the Aspen Times office. Friedkin is the majority shareholder of Auberge Resorts Collection – the company that manages the Jerome, along with other high-end hotels.

The seller was Chicago-based Don Wilson, the managing partner of DRW Real Estate. He bought the 93-room hotel on Main Street out of foreclosure in 2009 for between $25 to $36 Million, according to conflicting media reports. DRW then invested over $20 Million on a major renovation of the 113,000 square foot building in 2012.

Tony DiLucia is the hotel’s general manager. He says he couldn’t more pleased to have Friedkin as the new owner.

“So, here is a guy that truly wants to be in the hospitality, hotel business. Again, it’s handing over stewardship. Don did his magic with his team and re-did this whole hotel which we are so grateful for. They are into the whole what this hotel means to our community.”

All operations and staff will remain the same at the Hotel Jerome.

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