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Basalt Chamber of Commerce to host mayor and town council election candidate forum

Staff report

The Basalt Area Chamber of Commerce announced that it’s hosting an Election Issues & Candidates Forum for the 2016 Basalt Town Council election to be held March 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. The forum will take place at Grace Community Church of the Roaring Fork Valley, 1776 Emma Road, in Basalt. Seating opens at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m.

The forum will provide voters with an opportunity to meet and hear the positions of the candidates prior to the April 5 Basalt Mayor and Town Council election. Candidates for mayor are incumbent Jacque Whitsitt and councilman Rick Stevens. Six candidates are vying for three at-large council seats: Leroy Duroux, Jennifer Riffle, Auden Schendler and Katie Schwoerer, along with incumbents Robert Leavitt and Herschel Ross.

“The Basalt Chamber and volunteers have worked to design a forum and shape questions that challenge candidates to seek visionary and uniting solutions for Basalt,” said Chamber Board of Directors Chair Charles Spickert. “We encourage the community to join with us in this effort.”

Questions for the candidates will cover current pressing concerns such as traffic, affordable housing, childcare and maintaining a vibrant workforce as well as general topics around economic vitality and sustainability, regional collaboration and fiscal responsibility.

Eight candidates will be on-stage for two hours answering a series of eight to 15 questions each. To bring more depth to candidates’ positions and provide ongoing accessibility for the public, the Basalt Chamber has also arranged for each candidate to be filmed post-forum elaborating on questions drawn from the live forum and others received from the public. Andrew Spickert and Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Barry Stevenson, along with long-time local resident Haley Thompson, are part of a new professional video team working to capture significant moments around the Basalt community. Videos will be posted online and on social media by the Chamber for public viewing.

Questions may be submitted for consideration to BoardChair@BasaltChamber.com or on the election thread on the Basalt CO Community Page on Facebook. Questions chosen will best reflect the key issues of the day and elicit substantive candidate comment.

The election will be held on April 5. Ballots will be mailed March 14 to 21 to registered voters. March 14 is the last day to establish residency in the Town of Basalt in order to vote in April. The new mayor and city council are scheduled to be sworn in on April 19.


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