Letter: Carry the torch for Basalt’s future | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Carry the torch for Basalt’s future

Over the past 20-plus years, Rick Stevens has accomplished so much in bringing the Basalt community together. Getting to know Rick is like getting a history lesson of Basalt and the greater Roaring Fork Valley. His kind spirit and genuine nature are the embodiment of small-town character.

I am voting for Rick to be our next mayor of Basalt because he has no personal agenda. Rick would collaborate with community and most importantly work as a team with town staff and the Town Council.

People ask my husband, Michael, and I often to open a fitness studio in Aspen or Willits, and the answer is always “no.” We love small-town Basalt. We live here and work here, and our kids go to school here.

Basalt deserves a mayor who is smart and realistic with good intentions for the greater good of the community. Basalt needs a leader who will not cause conflict and division but bring us together. We all can’t agree on every issue, but we need an honest, responsible leader who will not divide our town. With critical time- and budget-sensitive projects such as the Southside underpass at stake, we need a leader who can see past their individual agenda and recognize where town resources ought to be directed. (Thank you, Mike Scanlon, for keeping us in check.) Personally, I find it unsettling that our mayor would vote against the recommendation of our town attorney, who stated a petition to purchase the Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. parcel was illegal according to state law. There was nothing dismissive about the council vote — it simply voted to abide by the law, and our mayor voted to break it.

Rick would represent our town with honesty, integrity and vision of a future Basalt for our children and grandchildren. He represents a vision that supports sustainable initiatives, walkable neighborhoods and a thoughtful balance of open space and development. He has a 20-plus-year history of working collaboratively with the people of Basalt to accomplish dozens of community-enhancing projects.

Rick understands families; he’s raised two sons here in Basalt. As a parent myself, that’s extremely important to me. I asked him to email me a summary of his involvement in our schools both personally and as a councilman. If anyone would like a copy, I’m happy to send it over to you. He ended it with, “It is no wonder that I get a little teary-eyed when I think of all of you carrying the torch for us old folks.” Rick, thank you for stepping up to carry the torch with your young heart. Basalt needs a change. Basalt deserves to be represented by Rick Stevens, a solid candidate who has experience and knowledge while being honest, fair-minded and extremely devoted to our community.

Denise Latousek