Planning is underway for the second political forum hosted by the Roaring Fork Weekly Journal, following the conclusion of this week’s mayoral forum at the Element in Willits.

On Monday, Feb. 24, the six candidates for three seats on Basalt Town Council are invited to take part in the forum from 5-7 p.m. that will be moderated by Roaring Fork Weekly Journal Correspondent Todd Hartley. GrassRoots TV will provide a livestream of the event and will have subsequent airings of the forum.

The third candidates’ forum of this election season is Monday, March 2.

Organized by the Basalt Chamber of Commerce (with support from several sponsors including the Roaring Fork Weekly Journal), it will feature the three mayoral candidates – Bill Infante, Bill Kane and Rob Leavitt – as well as the six council candidates – Glenn Drummond, Tiffany Haddad, Elyse Hottel, David Knight, Jennifer Riffle and Kirk “Dieter” Schindler. It’s set for 6-8 p.m. at the Basalt Library and will feature a live broadcast from GrassRoots TV as well as subsequent rebroadcasts.

The Chamber’s forum takes the place of the RFWJ’s previously announced March 23 candidates’ forum from 5-7 p.m. That event has been canceled.

According to Kris Mattera, executive director of the Basalt Chamber, the organization has historically hosted a candidates’ forum dating back to at least 2008.

Population, participation grows

Ballots for the Basalt Town Council election will be mailed out between March 16 and 23, according to Town Clerk Pam Schilling. They are due back by 7 p.m. on April 7, though Schilling said this week, “the sooner the better” in terms of when they are returned.

Schilling said a total of 2,186 citizens are registered to vote in Basalt. Of that number, 1,668 reside in Eagle County and 518 in Pitkin County.

In the last election, April 2018, which also saw six council candidates on the ballot who were vying for three seats, a total of 856 people voted, according to town election records.

By comparison, in 1994 just prior to the annexation of Sopris Meadows (the parcel that would be developed into Willits Town Center), there were 730 registered voters in Basalt. For that year’s annexation vote, 423 people took to the polls, according to the town records.