Letter: Basalt misinformation
Allyn Harvey’s column about the upcoming elections in Basalt is indicative of the misinformation that has been preventing citizens from having a substantive discussion about the future of our town. Rick Stevens, Rob Leavitt, Leroy Duroux and Hershel Ross have never indicated, as Mr. Harvey asserts, that they want to “turn the historic core of downtown Basalt into a commercial center filled with pricey condos, essentially another version of the Willits shopping area.”
Similarly, Jacque Whitsitt, Katie Schwoerer and Jen Riffle need not be worried about the “river park downtown.” Already 3.6 acres — the majority of the Pan and Fork parcel — has been permanently set aside as a park. Basalt voters decided that in 2013, when 66 percent of us voted in favor of the park bond ballot issue.
In an effort to bring civil, fact-filled, future-focused town planning dialogue back to Basalt, a grassroots organization has been formed. OneBasalt hopes to facilitate inclusive, thoughtful, long-range town planning that produces fiscally sound plans, creates sustainable vitality, and improves connectivity between the various neighborhoods, parks and amenities. The Pan and Fork parcel is just piece of a complex town planning puzzle.
OneBasalt wants to get people talking about the things we all agree on, and move the conversation beyond the river parcel. We all want to protect Basalt’s rivers and open space, connect bike paths and park trails, increase the quantity of affordable housing, build a safe Southside underpass, and see all parts of Basalt – historic downtown, Southside and Willits – thrive.
Using the tools provided on the OneBasalt.org website, citizens can engage in town planning dialogue that is positive, practical and productive. On the site, people can find information about town finances and learn about the new Basalt Downtown Design Center and the Midvalley Visionaries group, who share OneBasalt’s goals of results-driven dialogue about town planning.
OneBasalt is not endorsing specific political candidates. Instead, information about each mayoral and town council candidate can be found at OneBasalt.org. We encourage voters to understand the candidates’ positions on fiscal policy, long-range town planning, amenity priorities, and creating vitality.
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