Feeding frenzy in Basalt
Dear Editor:The pressure that an “onslaught of developers” will bring to our elected officials, and to our community, may have been increased with the denial of the Roaring Fork Club application. I know that may sound confusing, but without an “ace in the hole” you can lose traction during any negotiation.After having spent many years watching Basalt be developed without the necessary tools in place, a concerned group of citizens determined it was time for a change. We spent 10 years developing tools and measures to ensure that the community would be in a position of strength at the table with developers. We also began to understand the difference between the “farmers,” who committed to a long term relationship with our community and the “hunters” who kill everything they eat. My gut tells me that, because of several reasons, we are about to experience a feeding frenzy.The Aspen/Pitkin model of governance that seems to be in vogue now in Basalt demands significant resources to be successful. Unfortunately, we are neither Pitkin nor Aspen, and we will be out-resourced at the table. Our electeds will need all the help they can get. A basic understanding of the resort economy that is currently lacking in our system would go a long way to better understanding our role as a community and a commodity and perhaps allow us to have the best of both worlds.As an aside, the April 2006 election that has been touted as an election that established a “mandate” for certain behaviors had the lowest voter turnout by percentage since the 1994 election where five people ran for six seats. The assumption that there was a landslide is exactly that. To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite letter writers and mentors, be brave comrades.Rick StevensBasalt
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Amid the pre-Thanksgiving gloom of grim pandemic news here in Aspen, across Colorado and the mountain west came a small but significant dose of hope in the unlikely form of an Aspen Music Festival and School announcement.