Choose Brandt, Seldin and Capron for Basalt | AspenTimes.com
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Choose Brandt, Seldin and Capron for Basalt

Basalt may never have been so fortunate when it comes to local politics.Five articulate, well-educated candidates have stepped up to fill three open seats on the Town Council. Voters will choose Tuesday between Garret Brandt, Amy Capron, Chris Seldin, Gary Tennenbaum and Joe Zuena.The hard part for Basalt residents, as it has been for the editorial board at The Aspen Times, will be choosing three to vote for. We’ve chosen to focus here on the four strongest and most thoughtful candidates.Brandt, an attorney, represents a pro-business point of view that may scare off some voters. But his perspective is tempered by the fact that he grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley and has lived here for most of his adult life. Brandt supports an economically healthy Basalt but also says developers need to pay for their impacts. We think Brandt is the right kind of pro-business candidate for Basalt.Seldin also believes development must pay its own way. His answers to questions in the candidate’s forum and to The Aspen Times indicate he is committed to capping growth at roughly 5 percent. Seldin seems most willing among the candidates to say no to developers.Along with most other candidates, Seldin is keen on making the trail and transit connections between neighborhoods. During the candidates forum, he was the only candidate to have actually used buses to get around Basalt. And he has consistently raised the need for Basalt to find the right mix of housing through both land-use restrictions and incentives.The differences between Capron and Tennenbaum seem slight, making the choice for our third endorsement a bit of a coin toss.Tennenbaum, like Seldin, is keenly focused on fostering development of “attainable housing” in Basalt. He, too, would likely seek free-market solutions to the town’s need for a wide mix of housing. We also like Tennenbaum’s background in open-space acquisition and trails development, which makes him a good person to have at the table when a developer buys the next Basalt-area ranch.Of all the candidates, Capron has most consistently cited the need to honor the dictates of Basalt’s community plans and surveys. When asked about the future, Capron’s first instinct has been to abide the dictates of the river master plan, the town master plan and the citizen survey.Either would bring enthusiasm and energy to the Town Council, but Capron’s focus on the citizen-generated plans will be important as the town grapples with the effects of continuing growth and development.On April 4, vote for Brandt, Seldin and Capron.


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