Letter: Basalt reponds to resident’s questions | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Basalt reponds to resident’s questions

Basalt reponds to resident’s questions

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent from Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon to Basalt resident David Schoenberger. Neither the questions nor answers were edited by this newspaper.

Dear Editor:

In reply to your letter of June 28, 2013, I hereby submit the following responses.

1. Who was the Town Manager after Bill Kane left and before Mike Scanlon took the job as Town Manager?

For a period of time, the position of Interim Town Manager was co-maintained by Bentley Henderson (Public Works Director) and Susan Philp (Planning Director). On November 13, 2012, Judi Tippetts was appointed the Interim Town Manager per the Town’s Charter, Article VI, Section 6.1. Mr. Scanlon was appointed on October 30, 2012, with his contract effective October 30, 2012. Mr. Scanlon was able and did provide direction upon his appointment. Day-to-day operations were maintained by Ms. Tippetts with Mr. Scanlon available by phone.

2. Who made important decisions in that period of time?

Important decisions during this period were made by Mr. Scanlon and Ms. Tippetts working together. Both Mr. Scanlon and Ms. Tippetts would seek the advice of relevant town staff depending on the type of decision.

3. Who set Council Agendas?

Town Council Agendas were set by Town Staff with input from the Mayor and Council.

4. Who decided the fate of hundreds of thousands of dollars during the Police Chief debacle?

All decisions involving dollars spent on the Police Chief settlement and subsequent court case were the decisions of the Town Council.

5. Was the Council advised to read the Basalt City Charter/Incorporation documents to help with proper procedures at that time?

I’m not sure of what the Town Council was advised to read. The Town Council understands general procedures and consults with the Town Attorney regarding procedural questions. I did direct staff that it appeared to me that the Town wasn’t following the Town Charter related to the co-appointment of an interim by Bill Kane, Contract Town Manager at the time.

6. What is the policy in having an appointed Interim City Manager?

It’s clear by the Town Charter, Article VI, Section 6.1 that the Town Council is responsible for appointment of an Interim Town Manager.

7. Who made the decision to allow the Roderick O’Conner situation to start? Who is deciding to continue this circus act with Tom Smith as the ringleader?

Bill Kane suspended Mr. O’Connor and then directed Town Hall staff to start an investigation. As to who is currently responsible for items related to Mr. O’Connor, that is me.

8. Did anyone question Basalt legal council Tom Smith on why no one could talk to or mediate the situation in the police department before initiating a $250,000 mistake?

Having not been here, I cannot answer that question. I understand that Tom Smith explained the situation to Town Council. There was no $250,000 mistake.

9. Also, it is imperative that Mayor Jacque Whitsitt disclose to the newspaper immediately the amount of money being paid from the City of Basalt to Austin Pierce and Smith and Tom Smith.

The approval of invoices occurs in accordance with Town Council Policy #102 and are open and available to the public. I will provide the Aspen Times with the information regarding payments to Mr. Smith for the last three years, if and when they ask for it. This information has been provided to you.

10. Pam Schilling’s letter of November 20, 2012 states that 190 signatures are needed for a petition to recall, and she directed me to the Colorado Municipal League. If the Recall Petition is in conformity to the State of Colorado, is there anything that Basalt Colorado can do to create administrative problems for this petition?

No. The Town must follow State law.

I’ve attempted to fully answer your questions. If I have come up short, please contact me and I’ll try to better answer or add to the answers given.

Mike Scanlon

Town Manager, Basalt

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