Skippy Mesirow makes Aspen City Council campaign official
Skippy Mesirow has regularly attended Aspen City Council meetings for the past several years. Now the 30-year-old is aiming to sit on the other side of the meeting room.
Mesirow officially declared his candidacy for City Council on Tuesday, joining a field that includes incumbents Art Daily and Ann Mullins as well as challenger Ward Hauenstein. Former Councilman Torre also has expressed his intention to run. The election for the two open seats is May 2.
Mayor Steve Skadron also is up for re-election. As of Tuesday he was running unopposed. March 13 is the deadline for candidates to submit the required 25 petition signatures to the City Clerk's Office to earn entry on the May ballot.
Mesirow so far is the youngest candidate in the field; he also would be the youngest member on the current council.
"I think quite strongly that representative government must represent not just young people, but we need more women, more Hispanics, to reflect it," he said.
Speaking in general terms about his campaign platform, Mesirow said his chief talking points will be the advocation for "a functioning, effective government" and a "focus on a more livable Aspen. I think that's the challenge of our generation."
Mesirow, who chairs the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission and sits on other boards, said the city needs to be more active in reaching out to the public and letting all voices be heard.
"It's nonsensical to me that you could talk to a business partner in Tokyo or order a new shirt or comment on a movie in 10 seconds, but to have to be heard by (City Council), sometimes you have to go in a basement (where City Council meets) and wait 10 hours to be heard."
Mesirow has worked behind the scenes on the proposed chain-store regulations, one of the hot-button issues in Aspen's political scene.
"I think it's not a grand solution, but it is a conversation starter around a much bigger issue," which he said, "is the town's character reflected by our retail mix and our environment."
A transplant from Chicago, Mesirow moved to Aspen when he was 18, in November 2004. Because he was a member of CU-Boulder's free-ride ski team, he spent his winters training in Aspen while earning his academic credits in the summers. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications.
Aspen Times, March 1, 2017