Letter: A true midvalley paradise is at stake in Basalt

Well Basalt, now’s your chance to really make a difference. When I first came to Basalt in 1997, the charm and old-town character was enough for me, and I loved the underdeveloped feel. During this time we have run our small successful business, bought a home, and have had two children who both attend the local elementary and middle school. We care a great deal about the future of our town, and like most of you want the right person to represent our values. We need to do something really smart with the Pan and Fork lot, and it should stay in the hands of the town regardless of what development occurs. The Community Development Corp. would like to see the town purchase the property, but it also needs to pay off its debt. I would love to see Alpine Bank take partnership with the town on that space, since it was recently reported the bank is holding part of the bank note. Alpine Bank is all about rivers and the community; maybe this is a better partnership? I think a lot of our answers for the upcoming election will come from asking the right questions, and then you will be able to discern who’s right for the job.

What will be the future of the Pan and Fork park? What do you plan to do to amend the affordable housing that was lost when the Pan and Fork project began? Four hundred people in Basalt thought this issue should go to vote, and Rick Stevens didn’t want to listen. What is the overall intention these candidates have for our town? We need someone who asks questions and doesn’t acquiesce to every developer who comes our way. I haven’t been impressed with Rick Stevens during the meetings — he cross talks, interrupts other council members and the mayor. I think he made it most clear what his intentions were when he voted in favor of the PIF tax in Willits. That speaks volumes about his values and willingness to listen to the community. When a fellow business owner called Rick to get some answers regarding this issue, Rick didn’t have the time, so he just hung up on him. This doesn’t sit well with me — these candidates are elected officials who are here to represent our voice and concerns, and then weigh the options and make a balanced decision. Jacque has returned my emails and calls. She hosts coffee with the mayor because she wants to hear our views. Jacque is on the right track,; she’s looking out for us and has a long-term vision, and with the help of Jennifer Riffle and Katie Schwoerer, they could give our town a balanced and tasteful makeover. Two rivers converge in our town — let Basalt be the place where our upvalley and downvalley neighbors come together to experience a true midvalley mountain paradise. I think Jacque Whitsitt, Katie Schwoerer and Jennifer Riffle can bring this vision to fruition. Please vote for them.

Emily and Bel Carpenter