Rappaport’s aim, not reporter’s, true | AspenTimes.com
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Rappaport’s aim, not reporter’s, true

Dear Editor:

Anne Freedman’s letter in defense of Scott Condon (“Paper’s reporting was accurate,” March 1, The Aspen Times) ironically winds up enforcing Basalt councilman and mayoral candidate Glenn Rappaport’s central point articulated in a Feb. 29 letter to the paper alleging that Condon’s reporting has been biased against his career.

Freedman, in her letter, echoes Condon’s claim that Glenn resigned from the Basalt Town Council in 1998 over a “conflict issue.” What Freedman misses here is that the alleged “conflict” was more a product of Condon’s inflammatory reporting than the facts at hand. This has been a repeated pattern in Condon’s reporting on Glenn’s career.

Both Condon and Freedman reference Glenn’s 1998 decision to ask the council’s permission before explaining a model of a pocket park that the owner of the Rebekah Lodge, in Basalt, wished to donate to the town as part of an addition Glenn was designing. Because Glenn was then representing the owner on a separate issue, he followed the rules and asked the council for any objections. There were none.

Glenn explained the model and then appropriately left the room. At this point, all potential for scandal should have disappeared. The council had given Glenn permission to present, and you don’t punish someone found innocent simply because a member of the jury later has second thoughts.

But that’s precisely what happened. When Glenn resigned shortly thereafter, Condon’s press coverage played up complaints from some observers who thought he had acted improperly in the Rebekah Lodge case. Glenn was clean, but his name was forever sullied with the “conflict-of-interest” charge.

Furthermore, Condon published an article featuring concerns about the aesthetics of Glenn’s design for his proposed addition. (The design of the addition was not a part of the application.)

This set off a domino effect: The Rebekah Lodge owner scrapped the addition project due to the negative press. Glenn lost his contract, and the town lost a pocket park. Most reporters can only dream of having this sort of impact, sinister as its effects may be.

I happen to know that Glenn resigned in 1998 for family reasons – I was one of four children and stepchildren who had entered his life in the previous two years. Freedman’s contention, in her letter, that “There is no indication that his family situation had changed” is groundless and out of line.

Glenn Rappaport, my stepfather, has been a dedicated public servant in the Roaring Fork Valley for 25 years. He has applied his energy to numerous public projects, often without compensation. His love for Basalt is unmatched, and he hopes to further serve the town as mayor. We won’t let erroneous press stand in his way.

Nelson Harvey

Carbondale


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