Basalt hopefuls tout their perspectives |

Basalt hopefuls tout their perspectives

BASALT – Five candidates are running for three seats on the Basalt Town Council in the April 3 election. The Aspen Times quizzed the candidates throughout this week. Today’s question is: Some of you have held elected office in Basalt or elsewhere before and others of you are newcomers to politics. Describe why your prior service or fresh perspective is best for the town right now.

In this day and age you need to wake up every morning with a fresh perspective. My prior experience as an elected official is a value-added proposition. In the last eight years we have been fortunate to gain ground on several fronts and now it is time to realize long-term community goals. My knowledge of the past and my ability to see what is possible for the future will serve our community well. I promise to listen, learn, and lead with what is best for all of us being the first priority.

I have never held elected office in the town of Basalt but I have been an appointed member of the planning and zoning commission for 14 years and its chairman for four. I have seen many councils come and go, I have seen some make mistakes and others fix what was broken. I feel that I have the benefit of observing opportunities missed and paths not taken as well as the successes of the past.

I commend the work and dedication that all our current and previous town officials have provided over the years. They have exemplified leadership and care for our community that we should all strive to carry forward. I believe that the process of local government is strengthened by having new leaders developed. The infusion of diversity and new perspective will be a catalyst for finding solutions to the problems we face through new ideas. This is one of the primary reasons I am running for Town Council. I believe that Basalt is at a crossroads, with new projects like Whole Foods, we will certainly see great opportunities and new problems that arise. Having diversity in our board will balance our approach to making the decisions that will make Basalt better today as well as set the course for the future of our town.

When I first moved to Colorado, Aspen was often the focus of the valley. Over the years, Basalt has grown into a desirable town, attracting more and more young families, like my own, who recognize and appreciate the quality of life we have here. This “new breed” of Basaltines want a thriving community, high-quality schools and small-town charm. I have not served in public office before, but I represent these families and hope to provide a voice for them on the council.

A long-time friend said to me when she heard I was running for council, “How great! You have both the experience and a fresh eye for our town government.” I have to agree. Having been through the pressure cooker of upvalley elected office both as a town councilman for Snowmass Village and then as a Pitkin County commissioner, I certainly know what I’m getting into with the big important projects that are coming on line for Basalt. On the other hand, I’m coming to Basalt government with a fresh eye and perhaps a wider and longer-term view than some. I’ve not only been involved with more of the Roaring Fork Valley as a whole, but also had time to see what’s become of the issues, hopes, and plans that were so desperate 20 years ago. I think this unique combination of perspectives might be very valuable to Basalt in the next four years. I hope you think so too.

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