A full forty minutes after the official closing of the four precincts around town, City Council candidate Toni Kronberg began to doubt her chances.
“I’m fully prepared to lose,” Kronberg said. “After reading what the local papers wrote on my behalf, I probably wouldn’t vote for me, if I didn’t know myself personally.”
In the end, Kronberg was right about her premonition. When the polls were finally closed, the wide majority of the votes were given to her opponent, Steve Skadron. Kronberg only received some 25 percent of the vote.
The election for Mayor was a lot closer; with Mick Ireland winning by a 7% majority over his adversary, Tim Semrau.
Although certain she didn’t have a chance even after the poles closed, Kronberg was the only candidate present in the basement of city council building while votes were being tallied.
“What many people do not realize about me is that I have been a dedicated citizen of the Aspen community for over 32 years,” said Kronberg. “I have attended a wide majority of City Council meetings and have been involved with many referendums over the years. If it’s time for somebody new to get in there, then so be it.”
Kronberg was fully armed and ready to accept her defeat.
However, others were more skeptical about the direction the new local government would be leading our town into. Local Dennis Durgin believes that newly elected city councilman Steve Skadron will work to approve more development around town.
“Skadron has already voted on legislation that would essentially allow for more construction around Aspen in places such as the park across from the Rio Grande Meeting Room,” Durgin said, “along with the approval of a fourth-story addition to the Jerome Hotel on Main Street.”
As far as the race for mayor, Durgin confessed that it was a close call but he believed that the newly chosen Mayor, Mick Ireland was “the lesser of two evils.”
Other locals seemed to agree with the sentiment.
Before entering the 2nd precinct located at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church on East Main Street, Aspen local Bill Swanson raved: “I know Mick can get it all done,” referring mainly to the purposed construction of a four lane highway leading into Aspen that has been anticipated and at the same time feared by various factions over the last three decades.
Not all Aspen residents are convinced of Mick Ireland’s effectiveness as apart of the Pitkin county council. Long time Aspen resident and professor at the local Colorado Community College, Tom Buesch said. “ If you want Aspen to stay the way it is now, vote for Ireland.”
Basing his quip on the fact that Ireland has been apart of local government for a very long time, Buecsh gave two reasons why he voted in favor of Semrau:
1. It’s time for some fresh faces and new ideas to shine through the limelight as far as Aspen policies are concerned.
2. Buesch believes that Ireland will alienate the more affluent members of the community which he believes makes up at least 70 percent of residents.
“Aspen’s budget is way too vast to be thrown into the wrong hands,” Buecsh said. “It’s important to hold off and make the right choices.”
With the polls closed and the votes tallied, concerned townspeople have one last question to ask; what will the future of Aspen hold?