Basalt mayor hopefuls — see how they run
The Basalt mayoral candidates are familiar faces in midvalley politics. They have been in office a combined 30 years since the mid-1990s. One of them will be in office for another four years.
Incumbent Jacque Whitsitt is finishing her first four-year term as mayor. She previously served three terms as a councilwoman.
Challenger Rick Stevens is finishing a four-year term as a councilman. He previously served 10 years as mayor.
The winner of the race will remain on the board. The loser will be out.
The election is April 5, although ballots will be mailed the week of March 14. Following are biographies of the two candidates. The six candidates for three council seats were profiled last week.
The Aspen Times will run questions and answers on specific issues in March.
Age: 64 years young.
Family: Married to Diane for 35 years, sons Jeffrey, 33, and Tyler, 27.
Years in Basalt: 30
Current and past civic activity: Planning and Zoning 1991 to 1994, mayor of Basalt 1994 to 2004; Basalt rep to Valley View Hospital board, 2003 to 2008; founding member of BACH; Basalt rep on Ruedi Water and Power board, 2012 to 2016; Basalt rep on AVSC board, 1998; Basalt soccer, lacrosse, recreation program volunteer coach; member of Aspen Valley Foundation Cradle to Career Initiative Roundtable; Roaring Fork School District head lacrosse coach at Glenwood Springs High School, 2011 to 2015; Basalt rep to Aspen Shootout tournament at Crown Mountain; founding member of Basalt Public Education Foundation, 1996 to 2000; Fields of Dream volunteer; current elected official on Basalt Town Council.
Why do you want to be mayor? I am running for mayor because I want to be part of an emerging and creative trend that is framing a new model of governance for how the future of our world will be determined. Decision-makers in variety of communities are linking local economy, community and environment as a means to enhance livability and increase the overall benefit to the greater community. Together they address issues holistically, using genuine inclusive collaboration between residents and community leaders. Rather than deciding which will prevail — economy, community or environment — facilitative leaders understand that each of these are important to the overall well-being of the community. Facilitative leaders are seeking ways to strengthen all three and are transforming their communities, instead of merely managing transactions. By embracing a facilitative model of governance where leadership is permitted to shift and the community and staff are empowered, we can be assured of a solid vision of the future built on support from all three sectors: public, private and nonprofit. I firmly believe that my record stands for itself, the accomplishments of my last efforts as mayor are visible and long-lasting. I am running because, as Basalt’s mayor, I can contribute to the community by creating an environment where we will facilitate an increase in civic capacity, nurture and train the next generation of leaders, and bring people on board who have the capacity to embrace rapid change. If elected, I am committed to expending the energy it takes to meet all of our residents’ expectations. I sincerely appreciate the support I’m receiving and respectfully ask for your vote.
What is the single biggest issue facing Basalt? Affordability on all fronts, and the opportunity to transition in to, or even remain a resident in our community is my primary concern. The concept that Basalt is becoming, or has become an independently affluent bedroom community is a risk to our community legacy and social capitol. I believe that in order to sustain our town we must have young, old, families, entrepreneurs, artists, people of all walks and backgrounds. It is what makes living in a mountain community fun, vibrant and optimistic about the future. By working together, supporting informed decision making and embracing the opportunities the currents of change bring we can nurture a community where we all express care, expand possibilities, grow smart, share power and support each other to achieve success in all we do. Thank you, and I look forward to the opportunity of being able to serve our town once again.
Family: Tim Whitsitt
How many years have you been in Basalt? 21
Current and past civic activity in Basalt? In Basalt or representing Basalt: Council, RFTA chair, Mid-valley Trails, English in Action, CMC Board, Colorado Municipal League Committees.
Why are you running for mayor? The silent majority needs strong representation. An average Basalt resident expects their elected officials to represent them and their best interests. My goal is to continue to represent the average resident by staying true and voting consistently, as I promised. My vote is always for slow growth, parks/trails, affordable housing and protection of open space and our small town uniqueness.
What is the single biggest issue facing Basalt? We must make decisions about growth and the future that recognize the reality of our capacity to grow. Before we move forward on large scale developments such as Willits, we need to know what it will cost the community. Development increases the demand for employee housing, child care, transportation and education. Understanding these challenges should be part of a dialogue between government and residents. Government needs to be directly responsive to the people who live in the neighborhoods. A community caucus approach will allow each neighborhood to decide whether and how they want to see development, street improvements, trails, parks and other changes. Decisions should be made at the most local level and referred to council for legal adoption. Absent a community caucus approach, developers will continue to dominate the process and the outcomes.
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A family of moose made their way through downtown Aspen on Thursday afternoon. The moose traveled across Main Street, into Paepke Park then meandered to Wagner Park with a police escort before moving toward Aspen Mountain.