Basalt town manager ‘proffered’ resignation, council didn’t accept
Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon looked about as comfortable as a lone Boston Red Sox fan isolated in Yankee Stadium at the first meeting of the new Town Council Tuesday night.
But he said Wednesday he was feeling better about his job and relationship with the council after he and six members of the seven-member board finished a one-hour discussion in a closed, executive session Tuesday night.
Scanlon acknowledge he contemplated resigning because the community changed direction in the election. He said Tuesday was the appropriate time to explore if he was the proper fit since the new council was starting to dive into issues.
“I explored it and discussed it and proffered it,” Scanlon said.
He didn’t disclose details of the meeting, but said he remains the manager and is no longer contemplating his resignation. The outcome of the meeting was Scanlon and the council feel more comfortable with one another, he said.
Scanlon and the council were scheduled to continue the executive session Wednesday evening, but he didn’t anticipate a change in direction from Tuesday night.
Mayor Jacque Whitsitt said she wouldn’t discuss the executive session because it was a personnel matter. She concurred that the council and Scanlon appear more comfortable with one another.
“We’re going to have a confirmation meeting this evening and it’s looking good,” Whitsitt said.
Two incumbents were voted out of council seats by comfortable margins in the April 5 election and three challengers — Auden Schendler, Katie Schwoerer and Jennifer Riffle — were voted in. Rick Stevens gave up the third contested seat to make a bid for mayor. He lost by a razor-thin margin.
The campaign featured a contentious debate over the fate of the Pan and Fork site. The town is grappling with how much development and how much park it wants there. Scanlon acknowledged he is concerned about ongoing bitterness hamstringing the town.
“When your community is this divided, it’s difficult to get anything moving forward,” he said.
Whitsitt and Stevens have agreed to write a letter to the community urging people to move ahead for the benefit of Basalt, according to Scanlon.
Speculation circulated Wednesday in Basalt that Scanlon resigned the prior evening. He said he received inquiries about the result.
“You try to prepare people for all possible outcomes, and I think some people got over-prepared,” Scanlon said.
He said he borrowed from Mark Twain to tell some people Wednesday that the report of his professional death was greatly exaggerated.
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Motorists and passersby could see a refreshed gateway to Rifle along Interstate 70 in the future.