Changing of the guard in Basalt |

Changing of the guard in Basalt

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Lynn Goldsmith Special to The Aspen Times

BASALT – It was a changing of the guard at the Basalt Town Council Tuesday night when Karin Teague, Glenn Rappaport and Anne Freedman took the oath of office and joined the board.

The three won election April 6, topping a field of six candidates for the three positions. They succeed Gary Tennenbaum, Amy Capron and Chris Seldin, who each declined to seek re-election after serving one four-year term.

Tennenbaum was the only one of the three departing council members who was able to attend their last meeting Tuesday.

“It’s really quite amazing it’s been four years since I was elected to the council,” Tennenbaum said, pausing for effect at the end of the sentence, then adding: “It’s moved so slowly.”

He got a good laugh from the crowd of town staff members, the existing and new council members and a handful of observers. He said running, winning and serving the town was a great experience and he was proud of what was accomplished over the last four years.

The accomplishment he featured was the voters’ approval in 2006 of a 1 percent sales tax for open space purchases and trails development. That gave the town the funds to participate in the purchase and preservation of the Grange ranch, right on the outskirts of town, as well as the Emma store. The dedicated revenue stream also allowed construction of a hard surface on the Willits Trail.

The council in the last four years also approved a growth management system that requires affordable housing and created a scoring system with criteria that developers must meet. The town will also grant a limited amount of building permits per year and it defined an area where growth will be allowed.

But as Tennenbaum noted, the recession has changed the issues facing the council. Instead of growth, the board is grappling with how to help invigorate the town’s small businesses.

He wished the new council members well and warned them that hard work is ahead. “You think it’s just two meetings per month, but it’s never just two meetings per month,” he said.

After the brief words of warning and encouragement, Tennenbaum grabbed Mayor Leroy Duroux’s gavel and said, “This is one thing I really wanted to do but never did.” With that, he banged the gavel on the desk and relinquished his seat.

Teague, Rappaport and Freedman join Duroux and council members Jacque Whitsitt, Pete McBride and Katie Schwoerer.

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