Backhanded move by Basalt Town Council

I am extremely disappointed that the Basalt Town Council has chosen to circumvent the will of the people of Basalt and approved throwing more taxpayer dollars at the Pan and Fork purchase without public comment and after losing the vote. This was an unexpected concept thrown out by Councilman Bernie Grauer that became a $10,000 action item and approved with no public comment within two weeks.

This is taxpayer money being spent to evaluate the purchase of a privately held piece of land. This Town Council does not get many things done in two weeks. With the expected report, due in another two weeks, the urgency is telling and the lack of transparency continues.

I wrote a letter in opposition to this happening and it was not entered as public record. No one was able to speak until Stacey Craft forced herself on council. Despite the mayor dismissing her she was allowed to speak, I assume by counsel. Jen Riffle made the comment that no public comment was necessary as they had not had public comment after the The Arts Campus at Willits feasibility study. I recall the study was paid for by funds earmarked for the specific town-owned piece of property by a special real estate investment trust.

The ballot item lost because a majority of the town of Basalt are happy with their original $5 million purchase of land along the river. We do not need a legacy park with a plaque listing the names of the current Town Council members. What we need is development approved by an open-minded Town Council that will revitalize that end of town and contribute to beauty and life of our entire town.

Carol Hawk