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Basalt backing Ireland

One of the first actions taken by the Basalt Town Council after last week’s election was to condemn the recall attempt against Pitkin County Commissioner Mick Ireland.

The council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to direct their staff to prepare a resolution in support of Ireland for their next meeting. The idea was proposed by Councilwoman Jacque Whitsitt, a political ally of Ireland’s.

“When there’s an ugly or sensitive issue going on, you have to have the courage to stand up for what you really believe in,” Whitsitt said.

She told the other board members she thought is was appropriate for them to take a stand against the recall since the governments of the Roaring Fork Valley are trying to take a more regional approach to issues.

No council members expressed opposition.

The recall was launched against Ireland last month. Organizers claim it is due to his rude, unprofessional behavior.

Ireland claims it is because of his tough stances on growth.

Wednesday, the day after the council meeting, Whitsitt said her proposal was fueled by a principle rather than support specifically for Ireland. When citizens vote for someone, that elected official shouldn’t be subjected to recall for what Whitsitt termed political reasons, she said.

Ireland has won election twice as county commissioner and he survived a previous recall vote.

Whitsitt, who won re-election as a Basalt trustee last week, acknowledged she avoided raising the issue during the campaign because she was uncertain how it would be accepted. She said she considered writing a letter expressing her personal view on the recall, but decided to bring the issue to the entire board because “it has more of a statement this way.”

When asked if she would have made the same proposal if the recall targeted a local elected official who didn’t share many of her political views, Whitsitt replied that the issue was a politically-motivated recall.

“I would still think it was wrong,” she said.


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