A few clarifications | AspenTimes.com

A few clarifications

Dear Editor:

I am writing to clarify and untangle my interview with Scott Condon, part of which was included in his July 25 article, “New generation feels hopeless over housing.” I was very disturbed by how our conversation was presented.

First and most important, I am not hopeless about the current housing situation in Basalt. I agreed to do this interview because I am hopeful that our community can pull together and address the very serious challenge of sustaining the growth that we are currently experiencing. In fact, the main point I stressed to Mr. Condon was that while Basalt may have a similar growth pattern to Aspen, we are not necessarily destined to arrive at the same housing and employment dilemmas.

Secondly, I would like to address the gross inaccuracy of the statement, “She sees an evolution into a community that is concerned with making money above all else.” What I clearly stated to Mr. Condon was my suspicion that many Basalt homeowners must be in a catch-22 situation in terms of the current growth: while they rejoice in the growing equity of their homes, some of them must be saddened by the unpleasant aspects of our budding real estate market, one example would be that most of these people’s children would not ever be in a position to return here after college. I do not believe that my townsmen are concerned with making money first.

Thirdly the quote, “If people like me can’t come back, who is going to preserve it [Basalt]?”: What I said was, if people who grew up here don’t have the opportunity to return to their roots, and new people keeping coming in, who will have a strong enough vested interest to sustain the character of Basalt? I do not fancy myself the savior of Basalt, nor the knower of all things … I do, however, know how good it felt to come home after living away for three years, and I would like my fellow Basalt graduates to have the same opportunity.

The last specific quote I would like to address is, “Stop having the 50-year-olds talking about it themselves, get the 20-year-olds too. They are not all drunks or video freaks.” I stressed to Mr. Condon that in my humble opinion, ALL parties should be at the discussion table, not just the well-established and ensconced 50-somethings. I believe my generation has a voice that may contribute to the resolution of this challenge. And I would like to point out that it is up to the 50-somethings to stand up and get involved. The younger generation should not just wait around for the older generation to solve this, it must be a joint effort. I sincerely appreciate the efforts of such 50-somethings such as the town Mayor, Leroy Duroux, who is father to two Basalt graduates.

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Basalt is a community of educated, well-traveled and good-intentioned people. Consequently, I believe that with healthy, open and honest communication we can come together as a community to address the very real issues surrounding housing and economic opportunity for the younger generation of Basalt residents.

I appreciate where Mr. Condon’s intentions are: he is writing articles that may serve as catalysts to very relevant and far-reaching issues that face our community. I only wish our conversation could have been accurately recounted in his article, as it may have shown that there are twenty-somethings that care deeply about their hometown and that are willing to do the work of communicating with the older generation as to what the reality is of our situation.

Jen Donovan

Basalt