Baum: Voters’ (Buyers’?) Remorse

Not what the public expected

No one's singing along

Tuesday city council meetings continue to be a challenge to the digestive system. And the reason for this is the colossal mistake the community made last November when it elected Bryan Baum as the city’s mayor.

After the cameras have been turned off and before the recorders are turned on, the true Bryan Baum surfaces.

The difficult issue before the council on Tuesday was the ordinance limiting open carry of firearms in government buildings. Despite a preponderance of speakers at Public Invited to be Heard (PITBH) who saw this ordinance as a Second Amendment issue (though Supreme Court rulings support the ordinance), discussion amongst council members made it apparent that the council was poised to pass the ordinance into law.

Dictators don’t like to lose. But since Longmont governance isn’t an on-the-books dictatorship, Baum found himself democratically challenged.

Over and over and over again he stated his positions opposing the ordinance in spite of the fact that it was clear he was not going to get his way. He even interrupted his right-hand man Council Member Gabe Santos who made a compelling argument in favor of the ordinance. His only ally was CM Katie Witt. Because Baum could not face reality, a consistent condition for him, the discussion proceeded ad nauseaum.

I’ve attended nearly every council meeting since November 2007. It is only since Bryan Baum assumed the mayor’s chair that our council meetings have been acrimonious and humiliating for the city. Former Mayor Roger Lange was a gracious man who always allowed his fellow council members to raise questions and present opinions before he offered his own. Not Baum, it’s not only his way or the highway, it’s his way first and foremost, last and only.

Tuesday’s agenda was considerable. That prompted Council Member Sean McCoy to ask for a point of order when the discussion was no longer productive. Not surprisingly, Baum threw yet another of his typical fits and insisted that he should have the floor to say anything he wants for as long as he wants and as many times as he wants. He was losing and he just couldn’t stand it.

Eventually a vote was taken passing the ordinance (5-2) and eventually the council meeting ended. But that wasn’t the end of it. Oh, no. Baum couldn’t wait to have it out with CM McCoy. McCoy was having a reasoned discussion with Santos when Baum stormed up to him, calling him a name that rhymes with the nickname for Richard that is often a synonym for the term. And if that wasn’t sufficient, McCoy was threatened with retaliation if he ever raised a point of order (“interrupted” him) again. There was more, but I didn’t hear it all.

At Final PITBH, a member of the community who attends most council meetings spoke in dismay that Baum and Witt didn’t see the merits of an ordinance that would serve as some measure of safety for the city’s employees and residents who come to city facilities to do business or to attend council meetings. Exercising his first amendment rights, this individual chastised both Baum and Witt for the likely support their votes would garner with the NRA.

Baum couldn’t have that either. So he shanghaied the speaker after council for daring to speak out against him. So that he wouldn’t be overheard, Baum pulled the man aside and read him the riot act. Now how’s that for diplomacy and treating members of the community with respect! And this was far from the first time Baum raked a member of the public over the coals. That’s a story far worse and for another time and place.

Compare this behavior with the massive dose of high fructose corn syrup that is the mayor’s dance of self-aggrandizement at the beginning of each council meeting. Do not misinterpret, those who are celebrated are deserving, but that’s not what prompts the mayor’s smiles and handshakes. Mayor Baum, most people can discern the difference between genuine praise and caring and opportunistic grandstanding.

So here’s some good advice to weather the Baumbastic storm until November 2011, stock up on Reglan and take it 30 minutes before the Council meetings convene, whether you’re watching on television or in the halls of government.

  4 comments for “Baum: Voters’ (Buyers’?) Remorse

  1. July 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    There are more and more people becoming aware of the mayor’s wildly uncivil outbursts. At what point do we stand up and demand censure?

  2. Gregory Iwan
    July 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Censure? I may offend him to a degree such that he challenges me to a duel. Then I get to choose the weapons: classic automobiles at 300 paces. I’d wager he won’t wish to subject his 1961 Mercedes egomobile to a game of “chicken.” Real leaders, not fiat emperors, are generally characterized by perspicacity, perseverance, propriety, fairness, patience, and a desire not always evident — a willingness to be LAST among equals. Mr. Mayor heard about that at a funeral July 20; I hope he took it all in. Hail, Caesar.

  3. Kaye Fissinger
    July 21, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Unlikely that he thinks a sermon would apply to him, Mr. Iwan. He’s perfect and always right. Just ask him. The equals that he would be “last among” are not the group that brings honor to our city.

  4. July 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Note that in this article I did not name the citizen who had to endure being raked over the coals by our mayor. This was deliberate. The article is about Baum’s behavior.

    However, an individual who goes by “Longmonter” in comments at the Times-Call and at the Longmont Ledger decided to name this individual in comments in today’s Times-Call article about the Open Forum last night at City Council and to use what the man *didn’t* say at last night’s Forum as evidence of ??? Longmonter apparently expected the man to continue to pursue the controversy from the previous week at the Open Forum. Perhaps this is something she might do. She apparently refuses to understand that these are matters of policy not ideology and they are matters of acceptable and appropriate behavior of persons in office who hold the public trust. Both Mayor Baum and his strongest supporter Longmonter are incapable of discerning the distinction.

    Let it be known, that this individual spoke with me after the altercation with Baum and described in general what took place. He told me that Baum’s intent was to intimidate him from further comments. He also told me that he would continue to speak his mind whenever he felt the need.

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