Letter: Pan and Fork article got it wrong
October 26, 2013
I'm trying to get to the gist of Nelson Harvey's "report" in the Daily News Tuesday edition.
First, Friends of the Fork doesn't "want Basalt to issue bonds for trailer park redevelopment." We strongly support our Town Council's decision to issue the bonds to accelerate the process of recapturing the waterfront site following the removal of the trailer park.
This is only one step in a long line of decisions that were discussed and reached back to 1999 that dealt with the rivers and the adjacent wetlands. Thank you for recognizing that the funds that have been raised are from Basalt residents and not some "corporate interests." The committee, as it has been designated, is made up of concerned Basaltines who have seen the downtown core devastated by the wilting economy and see this bond issue as an opportunity to rebuild our precious waterfront and, yes, begin the community process to bring back economic vitality.
We could even go so far as to call it "a grassroots effort" since that is precisely what it is. The report suggests, through innuendo, that this is a fight between "a committee" and the grassroots effort. The opposition would love to see this interpretation used as a "David and Goliath" battle — which it is not!
It is, however, between a huge group of supporters who recognize the precariousness of our town's viability as we have attended meeting after meeting to keep us informed, and a "squeaky wheel" who gets as much press as all of us combined.
He was quoted as saying "I understand the town manager is a numbers guy." How embarrassing! If he had been to at least some of the well-publicized meetings, he would have a much clearer sense of where and how these bonds will be repaid.
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Our elected officials created an environment a couple of years ago — in really hard times — that encouraged Whole Foods to complete its project in Willits. Many of our core businesses saw that as an opportunity and moved over to the center and have prospered beautifully.
The increase in revenues from their successes has all but ensured our immediate future. Willits is part of Basalt and, for now, it is the engine that will help to revive downtown Basalt. The author's focus on contributions and expenditures misses the fact that millions of dollars have been lost from the core over the last several years and much of it continues to drain out.
The naysayers, or naysayer-in-charge, does no favor to our community and its potential future.