Gang of four Council partisan lock step voting

Note: It was this address by a citizen that caused the mayor to make a very snide remark. Watch that video here.

I’m seeing a very concerning pattern from the new majority consistently voting in partisan lock step.  This includes the mayor, Councilwoman Witt, and Councilmen Santos & Sammoury.

Specifically, in the 2 months since you’ve been elected the four of you have:

  1. Chosen petty partisanship in Board assignments.  By removing Councwoman Levison as representative of Planning & Zoning and voting 4-3 to seat Councilman Santos having less credentials and not even expressing a desire for this seat on the list of preferred boards you had each provided.
  2. You 4  denied the Board of Environmental Affairs the same stature as other City Citizen Boards for no apparent reason.
  3. You 4 voted against endorsing the Da Vinci project – an innovative & creative contest encouraging the building of green homes. The endorsement would cost Longmont nothing in time or money but held the potential of shining a very positive light on Longmont by promoting a growing industry.  Again, petty partisanship prevented this worthwhile gesture.
  4. The 4 of you voted to empower Wal-Mart to renig on their promise to build a Sam’s Club rather than another Super Wal-Mart.
  5. The 4 of you voted against using federal stimulus money to continue the Solar rebate program – the kind of program that, again, puts Longmont on the map for innovation and smart energy-saving partnerships that spur private sector job creation. Adding insult to injury, the mayor growled at a citizen who challenged this decision at last week’s open forum.

Finally, 3 of you appear to have violated the Colorado Sunshine Law. This statute prohibits any governmental body of 3 or more from meeting to discuss public business in private.  These meetings must be publicized & open to citizens. On Dec. 11, Mayor Baum, and councilmen Santos & Sammoury met in the back of these chambers after attending  the Election Committee and were accompanied by the City Attorney.   Someone overheard one of you say  “So do we have enough for a meeting?”

While I also saw the 4 of you talking, I did not intend to make an issue of it. However, it’s sadly ironic that tonight you’re intending to gut our Fair Campaigns Practices Act which addresses transparency, integrity and accountability in government.  Therefore, I am compelled to come forward about what appears to be a violation of our Sunshine Law and ask that the minutes from the December 11 private meeting be made available to the people of Longmont.

My hope is that the very partisan, lock-step voting pattern, as well as the mindless rejection of energy and environmental conservation programs is not a harbinger of more poor judgment to come.

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