Citizen Kane is new Basalt manager |

Citizen Kane is new Basalt manager

Bill Kane

BASALT ” Basalt’s next town manager is a familiar face in the upper valley.

The Basalt Town Council picked Bill Kane on Friday from a field of 24 applicants, according to Mayor Leroy Duroux. Kane, 63, takes over for Bill Efting, who is leaving the post Feb. 20 after five years. Efting took a job as city administrator in the Front Range town of Dacono.

Kane starts March 9 but has already started meeting with Efting to work on the transition. Kane is leaving a position as a project manager with Design Workshop in Aspen for the Basalt job. He said it is a great opportunity for him.

“I think it’s a gem of a little community,” Kane said. “We’re moving to Basalt, or we’re trying our damnedest.”

He and his wife Carolyn had a house under contract in Basalt, contingent on their house in Aspen selling. The deal fell through when their Aspen house didn’t sell, so Kane will start his new job as a reverse commuter, driving against the main flow of traffic in the morning and afternoon.

“We just have this yearning to live in Basalt,” Kane said. “We probably know more people in Basalt than Aspen.”

Kane has held some relatively high profile positions over the last three decades in Aspen. He was the planning director for the city of Aspen and Pitkin County from 1974 to 1978. He also was the vice president of planning for the Aspen Skiing Co. from 1996 to 2005. Between those jobs, he worked as a manager for Design Workshop, which specializes in resort development.

Kane said he is ready at this point in his career to return to public service. He said his projects with Design Workshop are slowing down because of the tough economic environment.

The Basalt manager’s job pays $120,000. He said one of his first duties will be establishing priorities for the town with the council.

Duroux said Kane was selected for his management skills in general and his planning background in particular. Kane’s experience should be valuable helping the town government complete updates to its growth management regulations and affordable housing rules, Duroux said. The town placed a moratorium on most major new development applications in June so it could work on those rules.

Kane said Basalt’s goal of enhancing civic engagement ” getting more residents involved in decision making ” and implementing a master plan for property along the Roaring Fork River will be major parts of his job.

When he applied for the job and started investigating the issues that Basalt is involved with, he realized the manager’s position was something “I was born for,” Kane said. “It was sort of an alignment of the stars.”

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