Letter: Rick Stevens is the right person for the job

Basalt is at a crossroads. A confluence, if you will. Our small town is enduring a crisis of divisiveness a la what we are seeing nationwide. But we, I believe, are better than that. So is Rick Stevens, and I write to urge Basaltines to carefully reflect on who is the right person to lead us on the right path. I believe Rick is that person.

Unfortunately our current mayor has shown a propensity to ignore the people’s will in favor of a what I believe is a minority political faction who, although very well intended, in essence wishes to pull up the draw bridge and not welcome new faces to our town. Factions have been a fact of life in our democracy since before our union, as noted by Hamilton, Madison and Jay. But that doesn’t mean they’re always a good thing.

Basaltines voted for a world-class river park that will be owned by the town in perpetuity and will comprise two thirds or more of the Pan and Fork parcel. We also voted for some reasonable, appropriately sited and appropriately scaled development to complement the park that would only comprise a small fraction of the property. But when implementing the vote at the smallest scale development proposal came to a City Council decision, our mayor voted against it. She also voted to validate a petition our own attorney stated was illegal.

Like many of you, I am raising a young family here. I can only hope for a bright future for them. I hope that they will have the opportunity to land in Basalt, have a career, their own family; to lay down some roots. It is our responsibility to lay the foundation for that possibility. Rick will balance our need to protect the natural environment that makes our valley so unique with the need to provide basic economic vitality so that we can collectively raise a community. An example of this is that while on council he helped create the urban growth boundary, which provides a bulwark against sprawl while allowing growth to occur only in carefully considered areas. Please, vote for Rick Stevens, and let’s create a truly wonderful future for Basalt. Like my new friend Tim said, a park without people is just land.

Paul Noto