Six seek Basalt council seats |

Six seek Basalt council seats

Scott Condon
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Laurie Dows decided to join the Basalt Town Council race at the last minute. Auden Schendler decided to stay out.

The final lineup features six candidates running for three council seats and two candidates running for mayor in the April 6 election.

Dows was the last candidate to enter the race when she picked up a petition near the end of Thursday and turned it in with the signatures of 25 Basalt residents before the deadline at 5 p.m. Friday. Also making the deadline were Nick Alcorta, Bernie Grauer, Mark Kittle, Jim Paussa and Glenn Rappaport.

Leroy Duroux and Anne Freedman are squaring off in the mayoral race.

Schendler explained last week that he felt the time commitment required to serve on the council would interfere with his personal and professional life. He is married and works as the director of environmental affairs for the Aspen Skiing Co.

Dows said she decided to run, in part, because she wanted a chance to serve on the council with Paussa and Schendler. “I just thought it would be a dynamic team,” she said.

She stuck with the decision to run even though Schendler bowed out. Dows said she worked with Paussa 18 months ago on an elected board, the town’s home rule charter commission, and learned she shares many civic and political beliefs with him.

Dows has held a variety of professional positions and is currently concentrating on being a full-time mom. She said has been active in school issues and on efforts to keep Basalt kids in the Basalt public schools. She said she would like to find a way to get the council involved on school issues.

She said she likes the direction of the current town government and wants to preserve Basalt rather than usher in big changes. “I want to keep it the best little town possible,” Dows said.

The six council candidates will run at large. The top three vote-getters will earn the three spots.

The current council members who are leaving are Duroux and Jacque Whitsitt, who are being forced out by term limits, as well as Jon Fox-Rubin, who decided not to seek re-election after serving one term.

The town’s home rule charter says council members and the mayor can serve two four-year terms. A council member isn’t prohibited from seeking election as mayor after serving eight years, thus enabling Duroux’s candidacy.

The current mayor, Rick Stevens, is also being ousted by term limits.

Freedman is currently in the middle of a council term. She will retain that seat if she is defeated in the mayoral race. If she wins election as mayor, the full board would have to appoint her replacement on council.

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