Michael Cleverly, VIle's Aspen Bureau Chief
Submitted by: Editor
Company Town - Part 12
Following Elizabeth Milias’ announcement that she was going to mount a smear Mick Ireland campaign, with or without an actual candidate to run against him for mayor of Aspen, candidates began to appear.
Andrew Kole, a transplanted New Yorker, serial self-promoter, talk radio and public access television geek, threw his hat into the ring. This brought no surprise and little joy to anyone as Kole had, seemingly, run for every available office he could, for as long as anyone could remember, and had never garnered enough votes to wallpaper your Chihuahua’s doghouse. Early in 2011 Colorado’s new Governor, John Hickenlooper, appointed Aspen
City Councilman Dwayne Romero as Director of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development. This left an empty seat on the council for the remaining members to fill. They decided to request that candidates agree, when one was appointed, to not to run for the seat in the general election in May, so the appointment didn’t give any candidate the advantage of being an incumbent without actually being voted in. That is if, indeed, being an incumbent was an advantage. Several citizens offered themselves up for the seat and made the promise. After what was apparently a long, agonizing, process involving many internal votes, the council finally appointed a realtor named Ruth Kruger. Kruger was pro business, pro growth and development and someone who was generally sympathetic to Marks and Milias way of thinking. Two weeks into her term as appointed city council member she announced that she would be running for Mayor. When the press pointed out that she had given her word not to run, she countered that she had promised not to run for City Council, and that she was running for Mayor. Of course the Mayor is a member of the City Council so this was a fine distinction worthy of the most seasoned sleazeball politician, and displayed a great deal of natural talent for someone who had never had even one vote cast for her. Kruger’s prior political experience had been five years on the Planning and Zoning commission, an appointed position. When asked what prompted her to join the mayoral race after essentially promising not to, she responded that she’d had no idea what a mess city government was in and it became clear that the community needed her. Aspen Times columnist Andy Stone pointed out that if she had managed to spend five years on the P&Z and had not noticed how screwed up things were until she’d spent two weeks on City Council, then she must be an extremely stupid candidate indeed. Now that Elizabeth Milias and Marilyn Marks had someone to root for they redoubled their efforts to get their names and agenda in the news with the virulence of a pandemic and a fervor and lack of self-esteem usually associated only with the most degrading reality TV shows.
Part 13: Endless M&M