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Aspen City Council candidates tackle questions from young professionals

Apr 22, 2015

Genna Moe, left, explains forum rules for Aspen City Council candidates.
Credit Elise Thatcher

Candidates for Aspen’s City Council met for another forum last night. It focused on issues that are key for many to residents in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Six contenders perched on bar chairs and answered questions in the Sky Hotel. Most were about affordable housing and how to develop better job opportunities in the community.

Candidate Andy Israel said it’d be hard to expand the range of professional jobs in Aspen since it’s a resort. “It’s a great place if you want to be a boot fitter or a ski tech or a ski pro. Or a bartender,” said Isreal. But it’s not a great place for most career opportunities because it’s small.”

Candidate Keith Goode said making it in Aspen depends on what’s most important to someone.

“If it’s about the money, then you can find your jobs. If it’s about fulfillment in your career, just like anything else it takes effort,” said Goode, who pointed out that tending bar is more lucrative for him than starting his own business in years past.

The Next Generation Advisory Commission hosted the event, along with the Aspen Young Professionals Association, both aim to improve work and living opportunities in Aspen for people under forty years old. Afterwards, Samuel Eugene Gemus was impressed by all of the candidates.

"My decision's going to be difficult,” he said, smiling. “I thought had two that I knew, but now I've got about four or five of them that I really want to vote for." So far, Goode is his number one choice. Seven candidates are vying for two seats open in the spring election. Contender Tom McCabe wasn’t present.