Basalt Town Councilwoman Anne Freedman resigns
The Aspen Times
Anne Freedman resigned as a Basalt town councilwoman Monday after serving 11 years in office since 1998.
Freedman submitted a letter of resignation Monday, and it was released to the public Tuesday. There is one year left in her four-year term. The council will appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term.
Freedman’s letter didn’t disclose the reason for her resignation. In an interview Tuesday, she said she and her husband, Phil, are moving to Asbury Park, N.J., with their dog, Wat. They sold their home in Elk Run subdivision and must be out by the end of May.
Freedman said she made more friends in Basalt after moving there in the late 1990s than she made in 30 years in Evanston, Ill., as a professor at Roosevelt University.
“I love this little town, and I know it’s going through a crisis, the downtown,” Freedman said. “The problem is Willits is in competition with the downtown.”
Freedman, 75, was appointed to the council in 1998 to fill out the remainder of a term after a resignation. She was elected to a two-year term in 2000, and she ran unopposed for a four-year term in 2002. She ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Leroy Duroux in 2004 and was term-limited out of her council seat in 2006. She ran again and won a four-year term in 2010.
Freedman was blunt in speaking her mind on issues and wasn’t worried about being politically correct. She was generally tough on growth, though in the last campaign she said she felt the town’s affordable-housing regulations were too tough to realistically spur redevelopment of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park. The regulations require that a developer replace all 38 mobile homes with new affordable hosing, either on- or off-site.
Freedman chuckled when asked about her fearless political style.
“I figured, what could they do to me?” she said. Freedman said she never had “ulterior motives” with her actions on council. She voted in ways she felt were best for the town.
Freedman served for most of her years on the board with Jacque Whitsitt, a former councilwoman and current mayor. “We worked together a long time and campaigned side by side,” Whitsitt said. “She was thoughtful, well-spoken and outspoken.”
Freedman said she believes the council’s scrutiny of development proposals created better projects. Riverwalk was a great addition to the downtown commercial core, she said, and Riverside Plaza at the intersection of Midland Avenue and Two Rivers Road also enhances the town, she said.
“I hope I contributed a little bit,” Freedman said.
She said she feels the town is in good hands with Town Manager Mike Scanlon, appointed in October, and Whitsitt. “I think Jacque walks on water, I really do,” Freedman said.
The town government will advertise the vacancy and accept letters and resumes through May 31. The council will appoint a Candidate Review Committee that will review the applications and select three candidates on June 5. The finalists will be interviewed June 11, and a recommendation will be made that way. The council is scheduled to make a decision, and the person selected will be sworn in June 11 for a meeting that night. Basalt has a seven-member council, including the mayor.
The candidate selected will be up for election in April 2014.
Tenants at the city’s oldest deed-restricted housing complex, Centennial Apartments, faced rent hikes as high as 30% in January that sent city, county, and APCHA officials into closed-door meetings with the relatively new landlord, Birge & Held.