Letter: Running in circles in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Running in circles in Basalt

It was once said of the Democratic Party that when it organized a firing squad, it would form a circle. It seems that we have had too many circles forming in Basalt lately. As my good friend and worthy candidate for Town Council Auden Schendler recently declared, “The Pan and Fork debate has been characterized as a conflict between conservation and development. It is not.” The environmental values of the river have been permanently protected with public acquisition of 3.6 acres of land and the plan to add 1 more. The current plan, which Rick Stevens endorses, will result in more than 4 acres of parkland and 1.3 acres of development property. The question now is what is the best use for the last 1.3 acres of development land along Two Rivers Road. Rick and the majority of the Town Council approved a resolution that limits the building heights and floor-area uses and ensures excellent, wide-open access to the rivers.

Rick believes we can have a great park and sensibly scaled commercial buildings. These could include lodging and an opportunity for a great local employer, which in turn would support viable commercial downtown.

I am voting for Rick because he supports:

1. A balance of growth control and economic stimulus for downtown.

2. Focus on affordable living to support the next generation with employment, housing and day care opportunities.

3. Implementation of key infrastructure improvements to include a Highway 82 underpass at Basalt Avenue; downtown urban design improvements to include sidewalks, lighting and improved street furniture; park improvements with the addition of a new kayak park; and improved trail connections.

4. Honest debate that is transparent and fact-based.

5. Adherence to sound principles of fiscal management. Let’s not saddle ourselves with debt for short-term projects that deter us from pursuing long-term community needs.

6. Old-fashioned care for the community. Rick has raised two kids in the Basalt school system, and he is a strong advocate of quality education.

In this election, be wary of empty, worn-out phrases like “small-town character.” Too often this really means no town character.

Let’s stop running in circles. Vote for Rick Stevens for mayor!

Bill Kane