Letter: Basalt needs vision

My family and I have lived on the outskirts of Basalt for 30 years. We own a business in downtown and a home in Old Town, where we plan to retire. We are deeply committed to the wonderful town of Basalt. We have seen the highs and the lows. We want what is best for our special town. We have seen downtown Basalt struggle in the past few years. Struggle through the recession, struggle through the adjustment to Willits’ huge success and now struggle through the political process of deciding Basalt’s future.

I love Basalt. That is why I support Rick Stevens for mayor.

Basalt is in need of strong leadership. We need a mayor and a council that are dedicated to lead us into the future, not let us stagnate in the past. We all relish the small-town wonder and peaceful nature of our town, Basalt. We wouldn’t live here if we didn’t.

Unfortunately, if there is not an infusion of vitality and vision, we will not have a place to have lunch or meet your friends for drinks or dinner. Many of the current businesses in Basalt struggle to thrive and, without progressive leadership, will no longer survive. They will join the more than 20 businesses that have had to close their doors in the past 10 years.

We the residents have been participating in this process for many years. First, the hard work that went into the river master plan. Next, the residents voted 66 percent to relocate the trailers and dedicate 2.3 acres for commercial development to complement the riverfront parks. Next came the Our Town planning process that engaged a multitude of Basalt residents, including the children who attend school here. Finally came the Downtown Area Advisory Committee process. Now we have those who want to discount all of the above and propose a new and selfish way to go, discounting the many residents who participated in the process and all the hard work that went into creating a wonderful direction for the town of Basalt.

We need new leaders who will bring Basalt together with a vision and a plan to make our town the best, most beautiful, sustainable and complete community it can be so we can all survive and thrive. When we work together, we all succeed.

The Rocky Mountain Institute is one of the most sustainable buildings in the United States. We need an upscale hotel to house all the visitors who come to this wonderful organization and the town of Basalt. If they have to get in their cars and travel on the highway to stay in an upscale hotel, we have negated that ecological savings. We also lose their business and the taxes generated by their hotel nights, dining and shopping.

It is time for Basalt to come together. I implore you to learn the facts and cast your vote for Basalt. Elect Rick Stevens mayor.

Laura Clasen