Basalt official joins race for council |

Basalt official joins race for council

BASALT ” A member of Basalt’s Planning and Zoning Commission decided Wednesday to try out for the big leagues.

Brian Dillard took out a candidate nomination petition for Basalt Town Council. He is the eighth potential candidate running in the race for three seats. The candidates will run at large rather than in specific races. The election is April 1.

Dillard said he decided he should be sitting on the council rather than the planning commission because he is “passionate, opinionated and vocal.” The self-employed property man­ager was appointed to the planning commission in 2005. That volunteer board reviews development proposals in detail and makes recommenda­tions to the Town Council. The plan­ning commission also did the bulk of the work on the update of Basalt’s land-use master plan, which defines the type and location of desired devel­opment.

Dillard said he has found it “dis­heartening” over the last couple of years that the council has placed less stock in the planning commission’s recommendations and seemed to make up their minds before receiving input. He said he has been approached recently by at least 10 people asking him to run for council. He was consid­ering it. Then a joint meeting between the planning commission and Town Council on Tuesday night “kind of pushed me over the edge.”

Dillard became upset at that meet­ing when it was suggested by town officials that the Basalt library district’s proposal for a new 21,000-square-foot facility should get an “expedited” review. He said it also irritated him that a councilman suggested the library’s approval was a “done deal.” He questioned if the process is being followed properly.

Prospective candidates have until the end of this week to enter the races for the three council seats and the mayor’s position. Candidate nomina­tion petitions must be signed by 25 qualified Basalt electors and submit­ted to Town Hall by 5 p.m. Friday.

Mayor Leroy Duroux appears to be running unopposed for re-election unless someone emerges Thursday or Friday.

The potential field of council candi­dates is a mixture of political veterans and newcomers. Former mayor Rick Stevens and former councilwoman Jacque Whitsitt are making bids to get back into town politics. The newcom­ers are Garret Brandt, Randy Fricke, Pete McBride, Bill McEnteer and Katie Schwoerer.

No candidate is official until they submit their petition signed by quali­fied electors.

Town residents must be registered to vote by March 3 to cast a ballot in the April 1 election. They can register at Town Hall, the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office or the Eagle County annex in El Jebel.

Applications for absentee ballots are available through March 31. All ballot must be received by the town clerk by 7 p.m. April 1.

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