Basalt Town Council has shown proper governance

Good governance is the responsible conduct of public affairs and management of public resources. Light should be shined on the many outstanding accomplishments in Basalt the past couple of years. The Town Council has exhibited a blend of progressive passion, pragmatism and decision-making in governance. It has been one of the most functional councils in recent memory because we are able to look civilly at areas of disagreement, consider alternatives and move on to decisions.

Town Manager Ryan Mahoney was selected after a thorough and community-driven search. Our new Basalt underpass was planned, funded and supported by council as the answer to pedestrian/student safety concerns and a way to upgrade the intersection that had been a source of frustration to Southside residents.

The town granted certificates of occupancy for 77 new units of affordable housing in Willits. With Pitkin County’s support, the town contributed significant resources and the approval of Habitat for Humanity’s 27 units of deed-restricted housing for teachers and others near the high school. The Real America project will be ribbon-cutting soon, after a joint effort to obtain funding and approvals yielding another 56 units of truly affordable housing.

Again in a town partnership with Pitkin County, the community celebrated the grand opening of the Basalt Whitewater Park. The Roaring Fork Conservancy River Center granted land assistance and permits and will soon be a great addition to downtown. We’ve expanded and funded child care in support of our working families. This council is now excited to go forward with a park and development review for the Pan and Fork Community Development Corp. parcel.

All these accomplishments have occurred while the town put its financial house in order, curbed previous deficit spending and replenished our depleted cash reserves. Our budget is solid and our working relationships are the best ever.

Special recognition should be given to our council members running for re-election. Gary Tennenbaum brings passion for the environment and vast experience in government as both management staff and longtime policymaker. Bernie is appreciated for his balance of pragmatism and community advocacy. Both communicate positively and can back up their statements. They are valued and needed members of a great council.

Jacque Whitsitt