Spin zone in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Spin zone in Basalt

Dear Editor:At first, the audacious comments about me by Jim Kent (paid community spin doctor for the Roaring Fork Club) in Scott Condon’s Oct. 11 article really upset me (“Political potboiler erupts in Basalt”). His e-mail charged that I was a “conspirator” and asserted that a councilor’s request to hear all sides of an issue was “inappropriate.” Now, however, I am glad that his actions were made public because it shows Kent’s and his employer-du-jour’s true colors. Welcome to the spin-zone.As a commissioner on the Planning and Zoning Board of Basalt, I cast a dissenting vote on Aug. 29 against the RFC application. I voted as I did because the Club’s application does not meet the town’s master plan goals, one of which being that the project lies outside the Urban Growth Boundary. With my vote on the record, Kent has no grounds for his far-fetched conspiracy theories. Kent is the one who is out of line to make such inflammatory statements as that I am “in a conspiracy” or “in cahoots” with a councilor. My concerns about the project are public knowledge, and I have consistently stated my concerns about the project’s lack of conformance to the master plan throughout the entire review process in public meetings. Since the end of August, the project has been in the hands of the Basalt Town Council for review, and my official role in this application review process is finished.If a councilor is not allowed to seek input from community members about an issue or project, what exactly are they supposed to be doing? Since I joined the P&Z board almost five years ago, my focus has been on serving the people of Basalt by listening and gathering their views. The master plan is the collective voice of the community. Under the leadership of then Town Manager, Tom Baker, the community of Basalt produced a very thoughtful and comprehensive master plan after working through many meetings over several years. It is the central planning document for our town and should be used as such when making land use decisions. Ongoing community dialogue is essential as well to ensure all voices are heard. It saddens me to see how political power plays and financial interests are combining to suppress honest open community dialogue.Jenifer Seal CramerBasalt

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