Basalt Regional Library director says resignation isn’t political |

Basalt Regional Library director says resignation isn’t political

A tough year was punctuated for the Basalt Regional Library recently when highly regarded director Linda Levy announced her resignation.

In a letter to the board of directors earlier this month, Levy wrote she is leaving for personal reasons. She told The Aspen Times that deaths in her family in October require her to help provide support for survivors. She declined to discuss the deaths further.

Levy said she would stay in her position if not for the personal matters. “It was very difficult to write that letter of resignation,” she said.

Levy will step down Feb. 10, one year after she took the position. She was hired after Jean Winkler quit due to fights over where a proposed new library should be built. The fights were both internal and between the library district and Basalt’s movers and shakers.

The library district sought voter approval in November for two property tax hikes ” one to build a new library and a second to operate the expanded facilities. Both proposals lost by large margins.

In addition to the election controversy, the district is facing a budget shortfall of about $30,000 for the coming year. The board proposed closing on Mondays in 2004 to offset the shortfall. However, library supporters started a fund-raising drive to keep the library open.

Supporters need to raise $15,000 by the end of January to ensure that the library is open on Mondays through June. Thus far, $8,200 has been raised ” $5,000 of that from the town of Basalt.

Levy stressed that the trials and travails of 2003 have nothing to do with her departure. “It has absolutely nothing to do with the election results,” she said.

Levy said the campaign brought an awareness to midvalley library funding and other issues. She said if the people who were squared off over the new library location can put aside their differences, there is a good chance a question could be back before voters within the next couple of years ” and with a greater chance for success.

Levy said she will remain living in the Roaring Fork Valley, although family matters will require her to travel frequently. She said she leaves behind a “remarkable staff.”

Board members Bruce Gabow and Polly Pollard said they regretted Levy’s loss because she has done such a good job in the position. However, both said they understood her decision, given the family issues.

The district will start looking for a replacement for Levy after the holidays.

[Scott Condon’s e-mail address is]

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