Editor:

I would like to thank Paul Menter for his comments in his May 1 column regarding Basalt’s handling of recent TABOR issues. Basalt’s council and staff have been transparent and accountable with our taxpayers regarding its mill levy rate. It is unfortunate that this situation happened as it may have caused concerns about our town’s finances and governance .

We are committed to the communications, transparency and accountability that are necessary to restore confidence in our town’s governance.

As council and staff work to identify a solution to the mill levy, it’s important that we keep all options open, including asking voters to set the mill levy at its current rate of 5.957 and possibly retaining previously collected property taxes. Although previous councils believed they were doing right by the community and saving taxpayers $5.4 million over several years, it is now up to this current council to fix past errors and rebuild trust. We accept that task, but we ask our community to remain engaged in this effort.

As Menter pointed out, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requires approval for all multi-year fiscal obligations through a vote of the people and we did fail on this count. However, council and staff are working hard to determine the best interpretation and guidance on TABOR to help the council make its decision regarding a potential question or questions that could be referred to the voters.

Bottomline is, we want to get this right so the Basalt community can move forward in the right direction and begin the process of rebuilding trust in town governance.

Jacque Whitsitt

Mayor of Basalt