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Whitsitt will help protect town

Dear Editor:

Say what you will, local elections are primarily about growth. How much, where and at what cost or benefit to both developer and the community. Thirty years from now, all that will matter about this election is who stood up for the hard-fought victories that we have achieved in controlling and channeling inevitable growth demands, soon to resume after a recession-induced quiet spell, and who stoked the fires.

Jacque Whitsitt consistently has fought to create, refine, tighten and live by the rules governing growth, development impact mitigation, affordable housing, urban growth boundaries and open space. She is not anti-growth, but since she has no financial ties to the development community, she also has no bias in favor. Glenn Rappaport, on the other hand, is dependent on development for his livelihood. This is not a mark on his character; it is just what he does for a living and defines his politics.

Glenn has proven that he is willing to loosen, bend or abolish rules that stand in the way of a project that he, in his unilateral wisdom, deems good for the community. A case in point is the Roaring Fork Conservancy project, a good one that we can all get behind.

The first draft of this project encroached on the river corridor and presented a blank face to the town. Planning and Zoning said to the developer, “You have to rethink this design because it doesn’t meet our criteria and looks like a wall from town.” Glenn took the position that the architect knew what was best for the town, saying “Council should not have a say in design and should leave professionals alone.” In other words, the town should substitute the professional’s judgment for the people’s judgment and impact mitigation needs.

Glenn recently acknowledged that he has worked professionally on another development application coming before the town soon. This is not acceptable for someone sitting in the mayor’s chair, if for no other reason than because it is the mayor’s job to run the meetings. Since he must remove himself from the meeting to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, he will be unable to perform the basic duties of the office. He will have to turn the gavel over to the mayor pro-tem every time any project he has a financial interest in is before the town.

Folks, I would buy stock in his company if he were running for CEO because he is a very driven, determined, hardworking professional and a good architect. But I submit to you that these are not the acts of a consensus-builder, as he has tried to rebrand himself, and not the kind of leadership that we need from our mayor.

Please vote for Jacque Whitsitt for mayor. And while you are considering the council candidates, vote for Herschel Ross, Rob Leavitt and Bill Maron. You’ll get real consensus from this group in both protecting and growing our special town.

Monroe Summers

Basalt


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