Basalt council candidate: Dieter Schindler optimistic for future, has plans to support kids |

Basalt council candidate: Dieter Schindler optimistic for future, has plans to support kids

Dieter Schindler
Guest commentary
Kirk "Dieter" Schindler

I am running for Basalt Town Council to make a positive impact on the future of Basalt — for all its citizens, kids, seniors, businesses, first responders, visitors and neighboring communities. I bring to the table a business sense, budget experience, thoughtfulness, respect, a collaborative spirit, and a healthy optimism for the future.

To address Basalt’s growth and affordability, I believe in respecting Basalt’s Urban Growth Boundary while developing mixed-use projects that fit the quality and character of the surrounding neighborhood to address affordable housing and other community needs. Sustainable affordable housing can be accomplished through deed restrictions, credits and subsidies. Further, the affordable guidelines need to be in tune with the actual income of our residents.

It is also time to act and implement solutions to address the shortage of infant care and early childhood education opportunities. We need support and encourage continuing education programs and livable wages for child care workers. We can also incentivize and/or fund a sliding scale payment system by which families can pay based on wage earnings.

And for our older kids, it’s time to bring to life a recreation and youth center to provide our kids much needed healthy space to congregate after school while offering the entire community health benefits and activities. One idea that the Town can explore is converting the current Art Base building into a youth center when the building becomes vacant.

I believe we can take bold steps to further protect our natural environment and enhance our recreational spaces. As Basalt Mountain continues to recover from the fire, we need to ensure that the vegetation and wildlife rebounds and thrives. Once reestablished, this could be a place for a more robust mountain bike or recreation system. We also can reduce carbon emissions and connect our community by enhancing our pedestrian trail system and exploring the viability of a town shuttle.

We need to support the Town of Basalt employees who are directly operating the civil services and protections. We need to rethink, study, bring fresh ideas and compromise to move Basalt forward.

Most of all we need to believe in ourselves as a community and work together through healthy respectful discourse. Spring is in the air and soon the summer sun will grace our valley opening our high mountain trails and campsites. Fishing enthusiasts will return to make the perfect catch. Our children will return to parks and soccer fields. Farmers will bring to market what they have produced. Soon enough neighbors will gather around fire pits and talk about their kids, the future and what adventures they are off to next.

I am running for Basalt council because I wish to make a positive impact on the future of Basalt, and, yes, I bring a healthy sense of optimism for the future.

Editor’s note: Leading up to the Basalt election April 7, The Aspen Times is publishing one guest commentary from each candidate. Schindler’s Facebook page is @DieterSchindlerforBasaltTownCouncil, and he can be reached at