It’s time for Basalt to listen |

It’s time for Basalt to listen

Dear Editor:During the first two years of Mayor Duroux’s term, he and his council have completely ignored the Basalt Master Plan. They should work to protect Basalt from the many downsides of growth and suburbanization. Citizens crafted the Basalt Master Plan in 1999. The planning commission and the council adopted it to guide future growth in our community. Candidates committed to that master plan won the recent election by a huge margin, demonstrating that people still care about this issue. It is time for the mayor to listen more closely to what our community wants.In 2003 Basalt adopted a separate Master Plan to deal with Roarking Fork River issues, such as flooding and development. Some councilors and the town manager are now jockeying to throw this River Master Plan overboard. Many citizens worked on that document. We decided that losing the trailer parks to flooding was bad for Basalt. We decided fixing the river channel was good. We knew we didn’t have enough money. We knew the issues were complex. We knew we didn’t have all of the answers but we real estate agents, architects, businessmen, tree-huggers, trust-funders and jerks like me, all worked together to make Basalt a good place to be. That level of citizen involvement is unheard-of anywhere else in the country.Under Leroy Duroux, citizen involvement has been reduced to two minutes of public comment at council meetings. I stopped attending meetings last year because the tone of the council and planning commission was arrogant and dismissive. Who decided to change public policy without connecting with the people? Mayor Duroux has a long history of working with Basalt citizens. He is diligent and has integrity, but what is the vision – a suburban blanket covering the midvalley? This is not the Leroy Duroux that I respect and have worked with in the past. I have one thing to say to the men and women that helped craft the Basalt River Master Plan, including the bozos and boneheads that didn’t agree with everything I said: I friggin’ miss you guys. Jim PaussaBasalt

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