Rappaport explains untimely resignation | AspenTimes.com

Rappaport explains untimely resignation

Aspen Times writer

Glenn Rappaport, a candidate for Town Council and a former councilman, assured voters at a forum Tuesday night that he won’t bail out of office on them again like he did after winning election in 1998.

Rappaport was first elected to the Basalt council in 1994. He won re-election in 1998 but abruptly resigned shortly after his second term started.

He stated at the time it was for personal reasons. He went from being a bachelor to marrying a wife with two kids from a previous marriage, and they had two more kids of their own – all during his first four years on the council. Rappaport repeated when he became a candidate last month that his family issues played a part in his resignation.

But his resignation also followed an alleged conflict of interest while he was in office. Rappaport, an architect, represented clients who were remodeling the old Rebekah Lodge on Homestead Drive in Basalt. When their project came before the council, Rappaport asked permission from the other board members to speak on a specific topic of the plan. No one objected, so Rappaport made a short presentation, then left the room.

He read a letter at Tuesday’s forum that explained his actions fell in a “gray area” of conflict of interest. He didn’t indicate he felt he was guilty of a conflict of interest, but he said he learned from the experience that an elected official must also take steps to avoid any appearance of a conflict.

“As a citizen and a board member, I did my best to understand what the rules were and acted in a way that I believe respected those rules. It is not easy to define the limits of what someone will perceive. I have learned a valuable lesson,” Rappaport read from his statement.

– Scott Condon

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