Tag Archive for Coombs

An open letter to the Longmont City Council

Where's council?

Where's council? Might as well not be there.

Mayor Coombs and fellow Councillors:

Council, you (with the notable exception of Sarah Levinson) have lost my trust. I doubt that I’m alone in suggesting that you have betrayed your fellow citizens with your pusillanimous decision to follow a staff recommendation offering compromise and “Fast Track” permits to the oil and gas boys instead of approving an extended 6 month moratorium.

Week after week your Tuesday chamber was filled with your constituents pleading for time. How many from without the industry appeared before you in support of OCGCC regulations? None that I saw or heard.

Did those who appeared before you represent a majority of your constituents? Yes. Did you respond to their passions? No. You told them to go to hell, just as the COGCC told you a week ago when rejecting your proffers of appeasement.

Ex-City Manager Pedrow, once out of office, suggested you take a stand and fight. Instead you have chosen what you thought to be a compromise and have been solidly kicked in the butt.

Big Oil & Gas has threatened you with virtual bankruptcy if you choose to fight what at best was a modest proposal for modification of existing OCGCC standards. Offering such insulting defenses as “the state’s robust regulatory framework”- (a damned lie if ever there was one) their intention is obvious: Kill any and every effort of modification lest it spread to other communities.

You’ve been told to be good boys and girls or else; so exactly what do you now propose? More conciliation? More tinkering around the edges?

Will you forgive and offer a permit to that paragon of corporate citizenry TOP drilling which has been and still is “remediating” the benzene problem at Trail Ridge school whilst ignoring the robust discipline of the COGCC since 2009? Does their application for more drilling permits not concern you? Exactly what in hell does it take to persuade you that you are on the wrong track?

I have a suggestion. How about taking a step back and re-visiting the proposal to extend the moratorium for another 6 months? Much is happening at every level of government and within that time frame anything decided today may well appear foolish tomorrow.

It takes gonads to admit error and great political courage to stand for your constituents against the pressure of campaign dollars from entities such as Big Oil & Gas. The accusation that some of you have been so influenced has been made; please show us that those accusations are incorrect.

Why not begin a robust campaign to enlist all Front Range communities from Trinidad to Fort Collins in a concentrated effort to change state law? It may take one year or ten but this issue will never be decided at the municipal level, so face reality and work to undo what was undoubtedly a corrupt process.

Ask yourselves how it came to be that an entity such as the COGCC was given the right to tell a municipality that their regulations could be pre-empted and then answer the question without thinking of campaign dollars. The deal stank then and continues to stink- and you know it.

Thus far, Council, you appear weak, fragile and timid. For God’s sake step up to the plate and start batting! You were elected to lead, so start leading.

Fracking within our community is likely the biggest and most dominant issue you as council will ever face; that is until you are up for re-election. What you do in the coming weeks will be long remembered. To paraphrase JFK: “Think not what you can do for your political future but what you can do for Longmont”.

Untenable positions

Coombs made it clear it's NOT the city's position - Katie Witt has not.

I’ve been following this Coombs marriage equality hullabaloo since the Greeley Tribune broke the story several weeks ago (nice catch Times Call…). And, I’ve been fascinated by the arguments made by those who say he overstepped his bounds.

They act as armchair lawyers in order to hide their own prejudices. Most of those who make an argument against Coombs signing the list say that he was in violation of City Council Rule of Procedure 23. A rule which reads,

“No member of Council, employee of the City, or Council appointee shall state a position or policy of the City until said position or policy has been adopted by affirmation or resolution of Council. No restraint on individual expression is hereby intended, so long as the narrator clearly indicates that the position expressed is his or her individual opinion and not the position or policy of the City.”

Now, do me a favor. Read that again, starting where it says

“No restraint on individual expression is hereby intended.”

Go ahead…read it.

It says that as long as the member of council clearly states that the position he or she is expressing is their own position, not that of the council or the city, then it’s fine.

In Scott Rochat’s article that introduced the story to Longmont (and unleashed Rodriguez and the rest of the Baum Squad’s attack dogs) Coombs says, “This isn’t the council’s position or the city’s position.”  I don’t know how much more clearly he could have stated it. Those who say Coombs “stepped over the line” are out to push their own prejudice agenda, simple as that. They’ve seen the second half of City Council rule 23, and they choose to ignore it.

If that’s not the case, and I’m way off base here, then why haven’t they come out against Councilmember Katie Witt?

Since last year Councilmember Witt has gone around flaunting her support of Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. She’s taken an official position on the 2012 Presidential Election. However, not once have I ever heard her say, “This isn’t the council’s position or the city’s position” like Coombs did. So, are we as citizens of Longmont supposed to believe that, pursuant to City Council Rule of Procedure 23, the City Council has endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election? I sure as hell hope not.

Councilmember Witt is in clear violation of rule 23. One starts to wonder just why these same folks who are supposedly, “standing up for the rules” have been silent in regards to Councilmember Witt. Oh, that’s right. They voted for her. If they really do want to stand up for the rules, then it’s time for the Baum Squad to stop the hypocrisy, and call out Katie Witt.

Progressive Candidate Forum a Success

From LongmontDems.org

City Council/Mayoral Candidate Forum a Huge Success!

The year’s first City Council/Mayoral Forum took place at the Longmont Progressive Center this evening and featured questions covering a wide variety of topics posed to eight of Longmont’s candidates. 73 citizens (not including candidates) packed 723 Main for the standing room-only event moderated by John D’Amico.

Questions focused on such topics as affordable housing, small business climate, downtown and mall development, Latino-based issues, train noise and others. Due to the impressively sizable number of questions submitted online and in person at the event, not all questions were able to be addressed.

Candidates in attendance included:

Sean McCoy (Ward 3)
Ron Gallegos (At Large)
Sarah Levison (At Large)
Dennis Coombs (Mayoral)
Paul Tiger (Ward 1)
Suzzanne Painter (Ward 1)
Brian Hanson (Ward 1)
John Daniels (Ward 1)

Bonnie Finley (Ward 3) and Brian Bagley (Ward 1) were unable to attend due to prior commitments and current Mayor Bryan Baum and Council candidate Heath Carroll (At Large) declined their respective invitations to participate in the forum.


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