My name is Tim Semrau, and I would like to thank you everyone for coming, and my thanks to Jimmy Yeager for having us over to his TRENDY place. On the way here my wife asked, “My god, are you really going to run for mayor?”
“I said, maybe a little too quickly, yes, and she proceeded to ask how could I possibly subject myself to such abuse, that I would be accused of being everything horrible you can be in Aspen, from being a dirt pimp to one of those growth addicts you hear about all the time standing on street corners waiting for the next fix and finally you’ll be accused of being the most horrible thing of all; successful.”
“I answered her, “look, I just survived raising my kids here by building our own home, then homes for other locals, and by keeping our stores alive.”
“She said I know that’s true, but I’ve read about this machine they stick you into when you run for mayor and after the machine chews you up nobody believes anything about who you really are, you come out the other end a dirt pimp or a hero.”
I told her not to believe everything she reads in the local papers, nobody else does.
Aspen has more resources in people and funding than any city of its size anywhere in the world. Why can’t we solve our problems? Why have we spent 27 years talking about what to do about traffic? What will it take to engage more of our extraordinarily talented citizens in solutions?
I believe in inclusive governance. Everyone contributes to the greatness of Aspen; locals, tourists and second homeowners. At heart I’m a problem solver and a doer. It will take all of us working together to maintain our pristine environment, to solve the traffic problem, to agree on how to limit construction stress, to ensure a dynamic downtown into the future. These are the important issues that I pledge to resolve. I envision a city government listening to everyone, even those who don’t come to meetings. I truly believe leadership should say little, honor the people, and get the work done.
I’ve spent most of my adult life in Aspen raising kids, skiing, starting up some businesses, enjoying everything we have here. Aspen is the only small town I know of with the resources to privately underwrite an Explore, a Belly Up, the Music Institute, the Lewis Ice Arena, and more. With a little government creativity we can engage private resources to save icons such as the Isis and the Red Onion without resorting to a government freeze and buyout. Divisiveness seldom leads to problem solving; only headlines. Inclusiveness, especially in a town with the resources of Aspen, can solve almost any problem.
We all want most of the same things in this community. By focusing City Council on what unites us rather than what divides us we have a much better chance for effective leadership. City Council needs to hear from the business community, the art’s community, at risk locals, our non-profit institutions, the ski company, and our philanthropic part-time residents. We live in an exceptional community and there is no reason we can’t have exceptional local leadership.
I believe in me and you, in the people of Aspen who work and play hard and make this town what it is. I love t his town, I’ve lived here most of my adult life and I intend to live here the rest of my life. With the talent we have in this town, in people and resources, there is no reason we can’t fix our problems. It’s not like figuring out peace in the Middle East. We have simple problems which can be solved with common sense and persistence.
Quite simply here’s what I want to do; preserve and enhance our pristine environment, fix the damn traffic, reduce construction stress and expand retail diversity. These challenges don’t have to be divisive; with civil discourse and inclusive leadership solutions can be found. My intention is to unify and not divide.
I’m not going to bore into the specifics of the problems I want to fix; it’s all explained on my web site TimFor Aspen or on handouts on the bar.
I truly believe that leadership should say little, honor the people, and get the work done. With your help, I’d like to start May 9th working on making this town even better. The answer is yes, I really am running for mayor. If any of you can help, there are sign up sheets and information on the bar.
Thanks for coming, and I’ll leave everyone with an election question.
How many mayoral candidates does it take to change a light bulb at city hall?
It depends how many announce on the same day.