Biased reporting by The Aspen Times |

Biased reporting by The Aspen Times

Dear Editor:

There is ample good sense contained in the first rule of public office: “Don’t respond to people who buy ink by the gallon.” And yet Scott Condon, a prominent Aspen Times journalist, has for years deployed his ink to question my integrity and undermine my moral fiber. His latest dispatch, published Friday, does the same. I write to set the record straight.

Most of us in and around Basalt Town Hall are well aware that Condon, the only valley writer who regularly covers Basalt politics, has had a long and close friendship with Jacque Whitsitt, my opponent in the upcoming Basalt mayoral race.

Over the decades it’s been frustrating – and rather frightening – to watch Condon cast me as the protagonist in a string of fictional scandals and then resurrect those fake scandals as official history in his ongoing coverage of Basalt politics. His latest version of this trick, published last week, revolves around my work as a consultant for the proposed Pan and Fork redevelopment project, a revitalization effort for downtown Basalt.

Because of my involvement, I have recused myself from voting on the project as a member of the Basalt Town Council – this is standard procedure for public servants whose private sector work comes up for review. Yet Condon raises doubts about my potential effectiveness as mayor, and even lightly suggests I could be breaking the law.

Ultimately he comes up short, leaving observers of Basalt politics to wonder at his timing. Even if there were a scandal afoot, why didn’t he write about it four months ago, when Harry Teague and I first signed on to consult on the Pan and Fork project? Did he hold off to give Whitsitt, his friend and my opponent, a proverbial bump in the mayoral race?

I don’t wish to badmouth Whitsitt – she has a long record of well-intentioned public service, and by now, voters should know where she stands. But she should stand on her own, not on the shoulders of Condon. So my request is simple: Back off, Scott, and let Whitsitt do her own PR.

I would urge all voters to conduct your own research on the candidates – visit our websites, attend the candidate forum on March 20 at the Basalt Public Library and talk with us personally. Don’t let The Aspen Times decide the next mayor of Basalt.

In my 25 years as a public servant and architect in the Roaring Fork Valley, my first goal has been simply to make our home better, press coverage aside. Please visit my up-and-coming website for more on my real background and beliefs:

Glenn Rappaport

Basalt town councilman

and mayoral candidate