Baum & Lange: From the left and from the right

Bryan Baum, the sneering mayor

No point of order OR honor

From the left: “Longmont mayor’s actions diminish the community” by Duane Leise — Times-Call, July 5, 2010

Mayor Baum’s behavior at the recent CML election is unprecedented. Baum’s autocratic vote and dictatorial style set a new tone of intolerance and ideological rigidity that is not the Longmont I know. Longmont, if nothing else, is about community. We may differ, but we work together to benefit Longmont. We support our own, even if we differ with our local opponents. All of this is threatened by the behavior demonstrated by Mayor Baum. Community cohesion torn asunder like this will surely diminish us all. The value of life is rooted in community. Indeed, survival often depends on community.

This entire issue was initiated by Gabe Santos when he took a perfunctory consent agenda item off the consent vote and made a special issue of a fellow council member running to represent Longmont on the Colorado Municipal League. It should be noted that no one else on council was running or showed any interest. Why did Santos do this? I’ve never heard him give any specifics. I would offer the fact that the other councilperson, whom Santos singled out, is the only person to ever beat Santos in an election. Could the reason for his opposition be something as venal as that?

Let us revisit the very first council vote concerning this issue. It came down 5 to 2, with Baum and Santos dissenting.

I long for the diplomatic and statesmanship polish of Roger Lange as mayor. Here was someone who made me proud of Longmont when I saw him representing us, whether I agreed with him or not. He served the community – whether he was in 100 percent agreement or not. Roger Lange is a statesman. Baum is not.

Community does not demand 100 percent agreement; only dictatorship does.

From the right: “Lange led council by example” by Jack Dickens, Jr. — Times-Call, July 13, 2010

Responding to Mr. Leise’s letter to the editor, resident Jack Dickens, Jr. observes much of what Mr. Leise described above and more. Mr. Dickens’ letter is to editor is excerpted below:

“As mayor, [Roger] Lange conducted himself with class and grace. As a leader, he was respected by all political stripes and accomplished positive goals from a minority position. Above pettiness, partisanship, arrogance, vindictiveness, authoritarianism or narcissism, he didn’t preach or judge but led by example.”

“If Mr. Baum had not chosen to run against a member of his own party, we would still have had a Republican majority on City Council, proving that it was really all about him.”

“Now before anyone calls me a ‘hard-left progressive’ and invites me to leave town, I will affirm myself as a registered Republican whose family has lived in Longmont for many decades.”

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