Candidates for mayor of Basalt sound off |

Candidates for mayor of Basalt sound off

The Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado
Glenn Rappaport / Jacque Whitsitt

BASALT – Basalt voters will choose a mayor and three Town Council members in the April 3 election. The Aspen Times will run profiles of mayoral candidates Glenn Rappaport and Jacque Whitsitt as well as their answers to top questions Monday through Friday.Profiles of the six council candidates and their answers to questions will run March 26 through 30.In addition, the Basalt Chamber of Commerce will host a candidates’ forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the community meeting room of the Basalt Library. The candidates will be there at 5:30 p.m. for a meet-and-greet.

Age: 58Occupation: Architect/ArtistNeighborhood: Old TownYears in Basalt: 20Years in valley: 40Prior experience: in elected office: Basalt Town Council 1994-8, 2004-8, 2010-presentCivic endeavors: Though I have enjoyed all of the work in which I have been involved in the valley, I have been most excited to lend my design and planning expertise to public projects. I was instrumental in the design and planning of the Basalt Midland Avenue extension bridge, and was a leader in the effort to keep the Basalt library and Basalt post office near the downtown core. I also donated my time to design the new Basalt Outdoor Amphitheater located in Lions Park and redesigned the Midland Avenue Two Rivers Road intersection to be more pedestrian friendly. As an architect, I’ve worked on many public-minded projects, including the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen, the Powers Arts Center in Carbondale, a small rural fire station in Missouri Heights, the offices of the Aspen Foundation, and the Willits Bend Artist and Craftsman Studios. The architectural design work produced by my office has received numerous awards and commendations for its attractiveness, environmental innovation, and sensitivity to place. Summarize why are you running: I am a 40-year resident of our valley and a veteran of local politics, who is passionate about the future of our town and about the way good buildings and public spaces contribute to our love of place. I am a terminal optimist, who resists a politics of sound bytes and confrontation. I am a candidate who has been on both the public and private side of the table in initiating new projects and initiatives for Basalt. As mayor, I would be excited to be a facilitator, serving the process before my own agenda. I would be thrilled to serve as an ambassador for Basalt, to the outside world, and continue to help shape the future of the town we all love. Please visit: for more.

Age: 58Occupation: Health Club Member Sales and Service Neighborhood: River OaksYears in Basalt: 16Years in valley: 25Prior experience in elected office: Elected: Basalt Town Council, Colorado Mountain College board, Eagle County Home Rule Charter CommissionCivic endeavors: Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board chair, English in Action Board chair, Aspen Valley Land Trust, Midvalley Planning Commission, Midvalley Trails Committee chair, New Century Transportation Board chair and most recently, staunch supporter and volunteer for the RE-1 school campaign last NovemberSummarize why you are running: Basalt has been my home for almost 18 years – the Roaring Fork Valley, almost 25. I feel a deep sense of commitment and fondness for the people and places here. As a member of Basalt Town Council, I have supported Basalt-style growth and have opposed growth whose costs were too high in traffic impacts, environmental damage and loss of small town feel. I have opposed developments that I felt were too massive in size and scale. The citizens’ survey and my feeling is that growth needs to be approached in a way that allows us to remain a small town. I would also ask us to imagine that we can have economic and job growth without getting physically big. We have businesses in Basalt that support many employees without covering acres of land or rising high above the town. Long-term employment should always be in the package. In the future, we should more proactively invite a variety of ideas and discourse when making decisions about growth, traffic, vitality, economic development and more. Citizens and business owners may have different views regarding the vision for Basalt and they should be at the table. Engaging the community at all levels is a priority to me. It means going out to people rather than expecting parents and busy adults to be available on government’s schedule. Reaching out through technology and just “dropping by” are great ways to find out what people are thinking. You can expect me to be transparent, open and welcoming as mayor.

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