In Basalt, vote for Paussa, Teague and Freedman
It’s hard to cast a ballot when you hardly know there’s an election going on. And that’s the way it feels this campaign season in Basalt.
We can be thankful that there have been no smear campaigns or nasty arguments. But we do wish there had been galvanizing issues to distinguish the candidates from each other as the voters – and us, for that matter – make these important decisions.
As it is, we have six candidates for three seats. Four of the candidates appeared at a recent election forum, but two chose not to attend. For the past few days, The Aspen Times has run the candidates’ responses to a series of questions, and we’ve read their responses closely. Here are our thoughts on the candidates:
Anne Freedman: Having served for two terms on the council before, we know Freedman is dedicated and unafraid to speak her mind. She prefers a slow-growth approach to development, but has admitted that Basalt’s current goal of 100 percent housing replacement at its two mobile home parks is unrealistic if the town wishes to see the parks redeveloped. This pragmatism will be a good thing for Basalt going forward.
Mary Holley: Holley skipped the Basalt Chamber’s recent election forum, which made us question how much she really wants this job. She seems bright and dedicated, and would bring architectural experience to the board, but Holley’s answers to our questions were somewhat unclear. She doesn’t seem quite ready for the council – yet.
Patrick Maley: We’re not sure what sort of a councilman Maley would be. He runs a construction company and says he would bring a business-oriented approach to government, but beyond that Maley the candidate hasn’t articulated any sort of vision for Basalt.
Jim Paussa: This photographer occasionally shoots pictures for The Aspen Times, and we weren’t sure what to think when he announced a bid for council. We’ve always appreciated his cautious approach to development, however, and we’ve been impressed by his commitment to engage the citizenry of Basalt. We think Paussa might freshen things up at Town Hall.
Glenn Rappaport: Like Freedman, Rappaport would bring an obvious affection for Basalt and a wealth of experience to the table; he has served two terms on the council already and makes his living as an architect. Rappaport is probably more hands-off in his approach to growth than we would prefer, but he’s also thoughtful and has shown he’s capable of getting things done at the council table.
Karin Teague: Teague too is a contributor to The Aspen Times, but that does not guarantee an endorsement. We were disappointed to see her skip the candidates’ forum, but she distinguished herself with thoughtful and forthright answers to the Times’ candidate questionnaire. Teague supports Basalt’s recently toughened land-use code, but through her work in an architectural office she also understands the applicant’s point of view and would bring a common-sense approach to development issues.
The Times recommends Anne Freedman, Jim Paussa and Karin Teague for Basalt Town Council.
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Determining where the fish are in the river can be a challenge in itself, but during runoff the predictability factor tilts in your favor.