Basalt candidates discuss their priorities
BASALT – Five candidates are running for three seats on the Basalt Town Council in the April 3 election. The Aspen Times is running questions and answers throughout this week. Today’s question is: What project or broader endeavor will be your highest priority in four years of office and how will you accomplish it?
My primary goal is to promote Basalt as an economy distinct and separate from our larger upvalley neighbor. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with what Aspen does and is, but Basalt is developing into an economy unto itself and I believe that this is a good thing. I will do everything I can and base many of my positions and decisions on encouraging this one thing.
It’s difficult to choose between the several very exciting proposals coming into the town council now. The RMI application, the redevelopment of the trailer park project, the great ideas for the new park next to the high school, new applications to improve Willits and the possibility of a first-rate hotel in that area are all things that could be very positive game changers for Basalt, if, and a very important if, handled well by the town. Dealing with land-use applications that benefit the town and its residents is my highest priority and where my experience is the strongest.
The redevelopment of the Pan & Fork property is critical. I participated in the acquisition of the Levinson property and the creation of the River Master Plan and completely understand how important this close-to-final piece is to the future of our town. The plan has been in place since 2000, and we have a chance to complete another piece of the puzzle working with Basalt Affordable Citizens Housing and the mobile park residents. The current owner of the land will be submitting a development application to the town of Basalt in the near future, and it will be incumbent on council to give it serious consideration and not treat it as a typical opportunity.
Getting the Town of Basalt to communicate in a modern way is one of the reasons I am running for Town Council. We can foster a new level of civic awareness and participation by creating new avenues of communication. I want to be able to engage our citizens by giving them new ways for them to stay connected to town issues and express their ideas. This includes getting modern and utilizing new media and social networks to connect to our citizens. The tools we have available to us today allow us to strengthen the process by giving more people a voice.There are many times when we get caught up in our own bubble and believe that we are the only ones with issues. However, our duty is not only to do what’s right for our town, but also to bring awareness to the issues facing our neighbors.
As the only candidate running for Town Council (or sitting on Town Council) with children currently enrolled in the Basalt public school system, my priority is establishing a clear voice on behalf of our local public schools, as well as creating an open line of communication between the schools and the town. While I believe that townspeople have the obligation to choose the right educational opportunity for their children, even if it’s outside our local community, our schools, parents and children deserve the representation of an invested parent on the Town Council.
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