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Basalt Town Council hears criticism after manager quits

Basalt residents packed the town council chambers Tuesday night in the wake of town manager Mike Scanlon’s resignation last Friday. Aspen Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stewart-Severy reports.




Over a dozen people criticized town council and voiced support for Scanlon, who had been town manager for nearly four years.

Just after appointing assistant town manager Judi Tippetts to Scanlon’s former post, Mayor Jacque Whitsitt told the crowd that council did not ask Scanlon to leave and that he did a good job. She said council could not speak publicly about Scanlon’s contract.

Scanlon supporters called for his reinstatement and criticized council for failure to lead, overuse of executive session, conflicts of interest and questionable ethics.

Basalt resident Denise Latousek praised Scanlon’s work with local schools and said she was compelled to speak in hopes of change. She addressed Whitsitt directly.  

“You have shattered this town’s trust in our local government," she said. "Look around at the outrage by the community with your complete disregard to systems, procedures, and the law, which you’re not above. Council, you should respect the community by communicating through transparency and honesty.”

Council members adjourned into executive session, where they discussed Scanlon’s resignation, which included a request for 12 months’ severance pay. Councilman Mark Kittle declined to participate.