Three council seats up for election in Basalt
At least one and possibly as many as three incumbents won’t run for re-election on the Basalt Town Council for the April Fool’s Day election.
Three seats on the seven-member Town Council are up for election April 1. Councilman Glenn Rappaport said Thursday that he would not run again. He is completing a four-year term.
Councilman Mark Kittle said he “doubts” he will run for the seat.
Councilwoman Karin Teague said she is “pondering” a re-election bid but hasn’t reached a conclusion.
Today is the first day that candidates can circulate nomination petitions. Petitions must be submitted to the Town Clerk by the end of the business day on Feb. 28.
Town residents must be registered to vote by March 3.
Teague said she is interested in continuing public service but must weigh it against other time commitments. She has two school-aged children, and she works as office manager for Harry Teague Architects, her husband’s firm. Teague is also president of the Wilderness Workshop board of directors and is busy helping coordinate events for this summer’s 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act.
“I’m finding myself stretched really thin,” Teague said.
Teague was elected to office in 2010. She said she would like to remain on the board to help with continuity at an important time. She said the board members work well together and she lauded Town Manager Mike Scanlon.
“This is such an exciting time to be on the board,” she said.
The town government is embarking on a major visioning process for the downtown. The outcome could set the course of the town’s development for decades to come.
In addition, two nonprofit organizations are preparing to build headquarters west of downtown. Rocky Mountain Institute is planning an office that will demonstrate its energy-efficient building principles. Roaring Fork Conservancy is raising funds for a river center.
The town government is working on a park along the Roaring Fork River where the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park is located. That will open a lot more of the riverfront to the public near the core of town.
Willits Town Center also is appearing before the council for amendments to its approvals that will chart the remaining course for the half-completed project.
There is a lot going on in Basalt, Teague said. “I think it’s a seminal time in its history,” she said.
“There’s a lot calling me to run again,” Teague added. She will decide in roughly two weeks if she is running again, she said.
Kittle was selected in June to fill out a term vacated by Anne Freedman when she moved away. Kittle served on the council from 2004 to 08. He works as the building inspector in Snowmass Village.
In contrast to Teague, Kittle isn’t particularly pleased with the direction of the town government. “I am not real happy with some of the way things are going down there (at Town Hall),” he said. Kittle said he has questions about Town Manager Mike Scanlon’s handling of some personnel issues. He also said that he is taking a wait-and-see attitude on whether the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park redevelopment project is a success.
Rappaport, an architect, served on the Town Council from 1994 to 98 and from 2004 to 08. His current term started in 2010. He declined to comment on why he isn’t running.
The incumbents on the board whose seats aren’t up for election this year are councilmen Rob Leavitt, Herschel Ross and Rick Stevens as well as Mayor Jacque Whitsitt.
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A family of moose made their way through downtown Aspen on Thursday afternoon. The moose traveled across Main Street, into Paepke Park then meandered to Wagner Park with a police escort before moving toward Aspen Mountain.