Dear Editor:Last week after reading articles in the Aspen dailies, that with two days remaining to submit qualifying election petitions for council in Basalt, and learning that only one person had submitted a petition for the three vacancies, I felt duty calling. I have never run for office before, as nothing had ever inspired me. I am now one of six candidates running for council in Basalt.For those of you who do no know me, I thought a brief background would be helpful in considering me as a candidate. I came to the valley fresh out of graduating from the University of Vermont in 1983, and for 11 years lived in Aspen. Five other years were divided among Snowmass Village, Brush Creek, Gateway in Old Snowmass and on the Crystal River. This gives me a pretty good flavor of different parts of the valley and how they all are interrelated.My first jobs here were ski shop tuner and sales at L’Equipe and Sabatinis in Aspen. During the summers I was a house painter. In 1985, after realizing that I would be staying on and not returning to my home state of Vermont, I joined Mason and Morse in Aspen as their youngest broker. The first property I owned in the valley was an employee housing unit at Hunter Creek, which I paid $93,500 for in 1992.I have lived in Basalt since 1998 and now own a home here. In addition to local affairs: transportation, high standards of education, trails development, speed control, lighting ordinances, better recycling programs, adequate parking, and making sure that any development that gets approved pays its own way both in dollars and intangibles, both now and in the future – I will, if elected, take initiative to help shape the community by proactively and creatively focusing energy to preserve what we have, and to direct the seemingly unending flow of development pressure by wisely and judiciously reviewing, debating and granting approvals only after we have determined that what is proposed is the absolute best effort. If you have any specific concerns or questions, please e-mail me at email@example.com. Thank you.Mark KwiecienskiBasalt
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I try to remember to give thanks every day I spend outside, whether it be floating the Colorado or Roaring Fork, fishing an epic dry fly hatch on the Fryingpan, or teasing up tiny brook trout on a remote lake or stream. We’re spoiled rotten here, so it’s easy to be thankful.