Six candidates for Basalt Town Council outline their priorities

Staff Report

Glenn Drummond

Age: 38

Family: Spouse Genny Drummond, two dogs, Rosemary and Thyme

Education: Graduate of Sheridan High School and attendee of Sheridan Community College

Occupation: Shop manager at Matdog Towing and Repair

Neighborhood: Valley Pines/Midvalley Medical Center

Political or civic Experience: President of the Valley Pines Homeowner Association, member of Basalt Parks, Open Space and Trails Committee, member of Basalt mayor’s Cabinet, member of Say Yes to 3A Committee, volunteer for various other state and local campaigns in Wyoming

Why are you running for Basalt Council?

I will actively engage the community. I will bring awareness and understanding to the process of government by connecting with Basalt citizens and sharing information on community plans and projects. I will encourage public engagement in government matters and ask people to be involved in shaping the future of Basalt.

What are three priorities for you?

1. I support Basalt’s 2020 strategic plan; this document outlines the specific goals and vision to be achieved in 2020. I will ensure the plan’s implementation.*

2. Connect east and west Basalt via trails and transportation, improving the economic viability and vitality of both community nodes.*

*See strategic plan for the above at http://www.basalt.net3. Address the climate change emergency adopted by previous council by posturing Basalt as a regional leader. This will establish goals and objectives that encourage sustainability and environmental stewardship for the future.

See Eagle County climate action plan at:

We will continue the hard work and effort of town staff and past councils and as a community we will be amazed at what we achieve.

Tiffany Haddad

Age: 39

Family: Married with two sons

Education: I am currently enrolled at Colorado Mountain College to complete prerequisite courses in order to apply for the School of Nursing

Occupation: In addition to raising my two sons, I am a certified yoga instructor who leads retreats across North America. I am also a loving nanny for two young children in the valley.

Neighborhood: Willits

Political or civic experience: Giving back and volunteering my time is part of my civic duty in life. Which is why before moving to the valley, I have volunteered for several organizations in the Baltimore metro area including, Baltimore City Schools, Gilchrist Hospice, The Salvation Army, Healthcare for The Homeless of Baltimore (my home-town). Nationwide-Out Of The Darkness Walk for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Here in my home of Basalt, I have focused on being actively involved in volunteering with Basalt Schools where my children attend.

Why are you running for Basalt council?

I am honest and willing to stand up for what is true and will bring fresh ideas to our community while advocating for all of our towns residents and neighborhoods while listening openly to different perspectives.

What are three priorities for you?

I believe Basalt has an opportunity to stand out in a way that hasn’t before. We can create a model for other communities with mindful growth. A couple examples would be by providing affordable housing. We can do this by growing in a way that is mindful and respectful to the residents who live here year-round. I want to see our families and residents that live here stay here for years and years to come. I would also like to see a youth/recreation center for our families to attend for after school programming and recreation. This will not only help our parents in the community to keep them at their jobs without interruption: school pickups, scheduled school days off, etc. This will give our kids a safe space to socialize with their peers and physical activity, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety while limiting time behind a screen. More importantly, I truly believe all of this can be done with protection to our environment. Our rivers streams and wildlife are just as important as the growth I’d want to obtain. So, if I were able to fulfill the examples above, we as council must work with local organizations to protect what we have in place for our environment. With all of this moving forward, I understand we will have differences, but we as a community must see the gray areas because, this is not all black and white.

Elyse A. Hottel

Age: 46

Family: Partner

Education: Bachelors economics/env. studies, University of CA, Santa Cruz; Master of public administration in environmental science and policy, Columbia University, New York

Occupation: Marketing director

Neighborhood: Valero/Stubbies/Mtn Family — new apartment building by Highway 82; office in Willits

Political or civic experience: Six years working in local government in sustainability

Why are you running for Basalt council?

I participated in the Basalt Master Plan outreach process and the No. 1 issue was that people were frustrated/didn’t feel like they were being represented in government. I want to help change that perception.

What are three priorities for you?

Since I want to represent the community, my three priorities are their three priorities:

Balancing density over sprawl and relatedly bringing vitality to Old Town while maintaining small-town character;

Affordable housing — continuing to explore options for workforce housing, “starter” homes and aging-in-place;

Sustainability — helping the town to define what a “climate emergency” constitutes and actionable steps to address it.

David Knight

Age: 42

Family: Wife, Melissa, and son, Luca

Education: BS in management from Georgia Tech; MBA from University of Denver

Occupation: Senior manager at a technology company for a professional services team

Neighborhood: Elk Run

Political or civic experience: I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity at Basalt Vista and participated in ASE Vision as a member of the Airport Experience Working Group.

Why are you running for Basalt council?

Since my family settled here in this community I’ve been looking for a way to give back and make an impact. I’ve always had a passion about governance and politics as well. Serving on Town Council would allow me to leverage my strengths and experience in a way that would benefit Basalt.

What are three priorities for you?

1. I would like to see Basalt continue on the path to realize sustainable growth but not harm our community character. This includes implementing the best version of the master plan and also seeing the Pan and Fork and Clark’s parcels evolve into something that would add value to our community.

2. I would champion the arts. As a musician, I understand the importance of art in everyone’s lives and would grow opportunities for visual and performing arts in the community.

3. As an IT professional I believe infrastructure is critical. I would want to make sure Basalt has the best infrastructure possible in areas like high speed internet to help support our local economy.

Jennifer Riffle

Age: 42

Family: 1 husband, 2 dogs, 6 chickens. We can thank the chickens for hatching Jenn’s political aspirations in 2012 by initiating and writing the Basalt Backyard Chicken Ordinance.

Education: B.A. art education, certified accounting paraprofessional, certified estate manager

Occupation: Estate manager, luxury housekeeping business owner, international financial market analyst, organic private chef, and politician

Neighborhood: Old Town Basalt

Political or civic experience: Basalt Town Council 2016-2020, Crown Mountain Recreation District 2018-2022, Alternate Board Member RFTA, Roaring Fork Regional Housing Coalition, Basalt Emergency Management Committee, Basalt Affordable Community Housing Committee, Basalt Discretionary Grant Committee

Why are you running for Basalt council?

Now is the time to focus on the future. I am your incumbent candidate with immense institutional knowledge, who will continue working with integrity towards our community sustainability. The 2020 strategic framework (search Town of Basalt Strategic Framework) inspires the next four years and I am truly excited to carry these tasks forwards. The previous four years of my service we as a council focused on improving our governance organization. Now that foundation is solid we can collaborate with regional partners to address collective issues such as housing, child care, transportation, public improvements, public service, economic health and sustainability, public safety and emergency response.

What are three priorities for you?

First priority: Collaborate with regional partners to address collective issues.

There’s power in partnership, which is essential for our Roaring Fork Valley community. The key to intelligent growth is collaborating with our neighbors to complete a carrying capacity study. This technical tool for local jurisdictions shall “determine the ability of the RFV to withstand all impacts of additional land development activities” considering socioeconomic (including sustainable tourism), quality of life and community character issues such as the essential emergency responders, schools, medical, Highway 82, utilities infrastructure, emergency resiliency, and wildlife habitat. Much like the successful ’18 RFV Regional Housing Study, which provides data for a solid foundation for a regional solution. Through this study ways are being found to address a regional problem of high housing costs and a tight and constrained housing supply. Another example of multi-jurisdictional partnership success is the actualized innovative transportation organization of RFTA which started as a seed in 2000. Critics will be quick to point out the high cost of studies and their sometimes dubious findings, yet there are durable studies of merit we base much of our quasi-judicial decisions upon.

We each individually as jurisdictions are trying to solve and address the issues which affect our community sustainability — attainable housing, climate crisis, early childhood education to name a few. Just think of what we can accomplish in the next 20 years with championing leadership!

Second priority: Foster a well-designed, sustainable community

We have a robust local economy supported by our businesses, locals and tourists. Our economic well-being is directly tied to our natural environment and therefore we must take care of each. By pursuing a land-use strategy that protects our natural environment, provides generous open space and directs appropriate density to the urban core. We need to protect our water quality! I will negotiate strongly for requirements of transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements in new developments. Again, we need to investigate growth capacity for Basalt. Within the new developments I am very passionate of implementing and attracting green technologies and their entrepreneurial spin-offs. Importantly, the smile and emotion of our sustainable community is cohering a thriving arts and culture community.

Third priority: Continue to improve our governance model.

Straight from the strategic framework as these words say it best: Create a safe and vibrant community where all people feel valued and are motivated to be involved in making Basalt an amazing place to live. Thank you for considering me for your representation vote through 2024. It is my honor to work for you and our passionate community.

Dieter Schindler

Age: 47

Family: Wife, Michelle; daughter, Genevieve, second-grader at Basalt Elementary.

Education: BA political science from Metropolitan State College in Denver.

Occupation: General manager in Mountain Dining Division for Aspen Skiing Co.

Neighborhood: Elk Run

Political or civic experience: Interned for U.S. Congress candidate while in college; supported various local nonprofits.

Why are you running for Basalt council?

As our families’ roots grow deeper in our community, I hope to help our Town Council move to a thoughtful, vibrant and sustainable future. In a time of political divisiveness, I hope to bring parties together to find solutions that move our town forward.

What are three priorities for you?

1. Manage growth smartly while honoring urban boundary and protecting green space. A parcel such as Clark’s is a good example of where Basalt can increase the vibrancy of the core and place density for both residential and commercial uses.

2. Find ideas and solutions regarding affordability and access to early child care options.

3. Support the strategic plan and continue to move it forward in a fiscally responsible way while supporting staff as they implement the plan.

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