Two letters in support of Polly Christensen (T-C, Oct. 11), candidate for Councilor-At-Large, fired up a few neurons on the left side of my brain. I started doing a little math and came up with a total which is upsetting if not downright scary.
If elected, Brian Baum, Gabe Santos, Alex Sammoury along with incumbent Bonnie Finley (who voted consistently with the oil and gas interests) would form a 4-3 majority in a new and presumedly squabbling council, a la 2010-2012. We know where Mr. Baum stands on the issue of fracking (see below); the positions of Mr. Santos and Mr. Sammoury are less clear but still troublesome.
For the 60% of us who voted in support of Question 300 and want no part of fracking in or around Longmont, this quartet could pose a formidable threat to that which we fought so hard to achieve last year.
Each of these three candidates have web sites but you’ll find precious little comment or opinion on where they stand on the fracking issue.
Out of sight, out of mind I guess, for you’ll not find the words “Energy”, “Fracking”, “Oil” or “Gas” on the web sites of either Gabe Santos or Alex Sammoury. The absence of any reference to one of the most vital issues- and one very much still alive in the courts- is troubling indeed. Granted they did vote for the ban in a 5-2 decision, but I recall no great enthusiasm or passion on their parts in the discussion leading up to the vote. Where they stand today is an open question.
Mr. Baum’s site mentions the issue once only in response to a T-C interview in which he states; (re. Q.300) “… was the will of the voters and must be vigorously defended as such”. Note the qualification; “as such”. Regarding that part of the lawsuit dealing with regulations, he then states; “The regulations can be re-addressed by the council to fit with the state regulations and allow the suit to be dropped”.
Heaven help the children attending Trail Ridge Middle School, situated just inside city boundaries. Help from above might also be needed for the many residents living just beyond as they watch a state-friendly well rising into the sky 750 feet away and the value of their properties plummeting.
Mr. Baum threw his hat into the oil & gas ring last year when he showed up in a full color ad paid for by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. For his appearance in that ad- reprinted at least twice, Mr. Baum presumably received remuneration or benefit for his support. Today, I heartily question Mr. Baum’s definition of “vigorous defense”. Heading up a 4-3 majority, I also question the will of council to defend any portion of the lawsuits looming in court.
So what to do? Because of his open support of oil & gas interests, I believe that Brian Baum should be rejected and the incumbent, Dennis Coombs re-elected. A resounding victory for Mayor Coombs would temper the enthusiasm of others on council who might otherwise support Mr. Baum. Under Mayor Coombs leadership we can be assured of a council dedicated to protecting Longmont and defending against the oil and gas industry.
Which brings me back to Polly Christensen, the only challenger to incumbents Santos and Sammoury who openly and enthusiastically supports Q. 300 and the ban on fracking. Her election would not only bring in a breath of fresh air to council but a guaranteed (and vigorous) defense against fracking interests.
I suggest all who support Mayor Coombs and Q.300 take a long look at the field, do the math and support Polly Christensen. Longmont voters spoke last November; let’s speak again.