Tag Archive for Longmont Mayor

Mayor Coombs: strength, courage and compassion

Dennis Coombs 2011

Longmont Mayor Dennis Coombs "broadcasts" his support for marriage equality

I would like to thank Mayor Dennis Coombs for demonstrating strength, courage and compassion in standing up for marriage equality. As we continue to work for the advancement of social justice and basic human rights, it is crucial that we have strong leaders such as Mayor Coombs who are willing to take risks and publicly voice their personal opinions in defense of those who seek equal treatment under the law.

No doubt some will argue that Mayor Coombs violated the edict, “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.”

But I will submit that Mayor Coombs was quoted in the Times-Call article as stating that his opinion “isn’t the council’s position or the city’s position” and that Mayor Coombs emphasized that this was his personal opinion on the issue when originally contacted by phone for said opinion. Try as they might, Mayor Coombs’ few partisan detractors will continue to obstinately ignore facts in their efforts to paint him in a negative light at every opportunity.

Fortunately for Longmont, we have leaders such as Mayor Coombs who will allow us to continue to grow and progress as a community, even as his partisan rivals seek to inhibit Longmont’s evolution for their own political gains.

Free Range Longmont Endorses: Dennis Coombs for Mayor

Dennis Coombs 2011

Dennis Coombs, candidate for Longmont Mayor 2011

Longmont is badly in need of a fresh start at the helm of the city’s leadership.  It needs someone who is courteous and respectful.  It needs someone who will genuinely consider the many and varied viewpoints within our city.  It needs someone who will make decisions based upon thorough and insightful analysis.  It needs someone with a proven track record in business, and especially in small business.  It needs someone who will set the city’s agenda on the basis of the betterment of the community and not on the basis of rigid ideology.  It needs someone who is not ego-driven.  It needs someone who will keep the needs of the people and city of Longmont at the forefront.

For these reasons and many more, Longmont needs Dennis Coombs.

Our current mayor, Bryan Baum, has divided the city and inflamed passions.  It is as if he is powerless to do otherwise.  Longmont cannot tolerate another two years of more of the same.

It’s time for a change.  It’s time for true leadership.  It’s time to begin again to realize the full potential of a community with much to offer.

Elect Dennis Coombs

Coombs: The clear choice

The following endorsement of Dennis Coombs was offered by Robert Miner.

Dennis Coombs, Longmont's next mayor

Longmont’s upcoming mayoral election offers a clear choice. We get to choose between hope and fear; compromise and divisiveness; between a man who has created jobs and built one of the most successful businesses in Longmont, versus a man who has proven to have the professionalism of a schoolyard bully. We get to choose between Dennis Coombs and Bryan Baum. In my mind this is no choice at all. Dennis Coombs has spent the last 31 years working to make Longmont the best community on the Front Range. Meanwhile, since being elected in 2009 Bryan Baum has broken promises, bullied members of the community, and proven that his hostile ideology is wrong for Longmont.

In 2009, I voted for Mayor Baum. I believed him when he said that he would work to get the mall fixed. I’m a lower-middle-class worker who is tired of having to drive to Boulder to see a movie in a decent theater. Baum campaigned on one promise: Mall redevelopment. All it takes is a drive down Hover to see that he has broken that promise.

Dennis Coombs is a compassionate individual. He’s known as “The Pumphouse Guy” but he’s really so much more. Coombs has worked for charities like Habitat for Humanity and Children’s Hospital. He’s served on the LDDA, and proven that he has the leadership skills needed to bring this city together. When my ballot comes, I’m making my choice for a man who will be a true mayor for everybody. I’m choosing Dennis Coombs.

Mayor Baum, you are a liar.

Longmont Mayor Bryan Baum, lying to the public

Factually challenged or just morally bankrupt?

It’s unfortunate that this has to be said so forcefully and without equivocation, but Mayor Bryan Baum, your statements to the press on Friday, July 23, 2010 leave no other reasonable choice.

Next weekend the Heaven Fest Christian revival and music festival is scheduled at Union Reservoir. This organization and its producer Worship and the Word filed an application for a Use of Public Places permit in November 2009 nearly immediately after the results of the Longmont city council and mayor’s races were known.

In the ensuing months many members of the community appeared before the Longmont City Council and at several different meetings and spoke during Public Invited to be Heard against allowing this event to take place. Still others sent emails to members of the council and city staff objecting to this event being held at Union Reservoir, a sensitive ecosystem for many wildlife species. Concerns came from a broad cross section of the community as well as members of a church and members of the Audubon Society.

Members of the community almost begged the Mayor and Council to take this major policy decision from the hands of Longmont’s City Clerk (and city staff) and deal with it openly and directly. You, Mayor Baum, along with Council Members Gabe Santos, Alex Sammoury and Katie Witt, insisted that the matter could and would be adequately addressed by staff and there was no reason for the Council to make a statement or take a vote on this matter.

On one occasion a 30-minute formal presentation was made to you and council in three-minute consecutive segments by ten members of the community. The presentation covered all aspects of the issue from economic benefits, to quality of life issues including traffic and noise, to the environmental and wildlife impact.

The effort and presentation was roundly ignored. But it certainly was not minimal and, yes, it certainly was vocal.

Yet you, Mayor Baum, are quoted as follows in the Times-Call in Saturday’s article, ludicrously titled “City is closer to heaven.”

Here is what you said:

He [Baum] added that a “vocal minority” has voiced concerns about the festival but “nobody [emphasis added] brought those concerns to any council members to bring up at council meetings.”

“If there was a great dislike or disdain for what was going on, we wouldn’t be doing it,” he said.

These were not misquotes, nor misunderstandings, as The Denver Post reported the same content in a more abbreviated article.

Mayor Baum, you intentionally lied about what is a matter of public record. It is in council minutes, on the video recordings of council meetings on DVDs at the library and the council meetings were broadcast several times by Comcast on then-Channel 3. There is a record “everywhere” of what took place.

Why you would think lies of this magnitude and so easily verifiable would go unnoticed and be accepted defies comprehension. Are you a pathological liar or are you psychologically challenged in some other way? Or are you simply a man with no moral compass and no comprehension of ethics?

You have a demonstrated history of insulting members of the public and fellow-members of this city council, sometimes openly and sometimes in private. You have a demonstrated history of throwing a tantrum when votes do not go your way. You have a demonstrated history of retaliating against same.

You, Mayor Baum, lack the honesty and integrity necessary to serve this city. Resign, and let us begin to repair the damage you continue to cause.

A Bully as an Archetypal Destructive Leader

The following Abstract is republished from the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies website. It has particular relevance to the Longmont City Council leadership.

A Bully as an Archetypal Destructive Leader

1. Michael G. Harvey,University of Mississippi Bond University, Australia
2. M. Ronald Buckley, University of Oklahoma
3. Joyce T. Heames, West Virginia University
4. Robert Zinko, East Carolina University
5. Robyn L. Brouer, Hofstra University
6. Gerald R. Ferris, Florida State University

ABSTRACT

Leaders do not necessarily have the best interests of the organization in mind when they make decisions. Many times, leaders treat their own personal goals as more important in relation to the goals of the organization and frequently adopt a short-term decision horizon. Thus, leaders become destructive and make decisions for their own good at the expense of the organization. This article examines the bully as a leader and how the bully creates a dysfunctional environment where the bullied, the observer, and the organization suffer negative impact due to the decisions made by the bully. The externalities of bullying (i.e., unintended explicit and/or implicit consequences of bullying activities on the members of the organization) are discussed to highlight the importance of examining the spillover impact of bullying activities in organizations. In addition, the authors propose a method to address the negative impact of those who engage in bullying on the organizational as a whole.

http://jlo.sagepub.com/content/14/2/117.abstract

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.”

Longmont Mayor Backstabs Community

Prefers Teabaggers to Council Member

Where people display questionable motives and intimidating communication to win arguments, display power and/or belittle others.

Elections are supposed to represent the will of the people.  However, if you accept this premise, then it would be necessary to conclude that the people of Longmont are suffering from a pronounced case of arrested development.  Is this the case or were the voters in Longmont hoodwinked?

Mayor Bryan Baum demonstrated today that he has not matured beyond the level of a junior high student, one with major character flaws at that.  Beyond immaturity, Baum demonstrated that he is one of the most vindictive members of the Longmont community.  The man dishonors and humiliates the City of Longmont at every opportunity.

This week the Colorado Municipal League (CML) meets in Breckenridge for its annual meeting to cover a number of areas important in the conduct of municipal governance.  As part of the agenda, each year the CML elects a certain number to its Board of Directors.  Amongst this year’s candidates was Longmont Council Member Sarah Levison.

When it came time to cast votes, Baum along with his accomplices, refused to cast votes in support of their fellow colleague.  A well-placed anonymous source revealed that when questioned about his lack of decency, Mayor Baum replied, “I’m not voting for her and you can’t make me.

“You can’t make me!” How many times have we as parents heard that from recalcitrant children who refused to behave properly?  While we all know that we can lead the proverbial horse to water but we can’t make it drink, as parents we have options.  We can call a time out.  We can deprive the child of something of value to him.  We can inflict a variety of punishment measures, especially if the behavior is egregious and persistent.

Mayor Baum and Council Members Gabe Santos and Alex Sammoury revealed the depths to which they would sink in recent city council meetings over the Resolution to endorse Council Member Levison in her bid to sit on the CML Board.  Even Council Member Katie Witt cautioned about the long-run implications of this food fight instigated by Baum and Santos and carried to its extreme by Sammoury.

This year’s CML conference began on Tuesday.  Fortuitously or serendipitously, early in the conference agenda was a session on “learning to face conflict in new and effective ways.” The material presented four environments that describe methods of conflict resolution.  It’s astonishing that the method that our current majority leadership follows precisely the “Harsh –Light” environment.

“Harsh-Light Environment”

Where people display questionable motives and intimidating communication to win arguments, display power and/or belittle others.

+ Debate +Questionable motives +Back-stabbing +Defensiveness

The CML Bylaws allow for member municipalities to cast votes in all of the three categories defined by population size.  Sources report that Mayor Baum chose to vote for every candidate that displays a “teabagger” mentality over intelligent, learned and dedicated public servants like Ms. Levison.

Evidence of collusion amongst Baum and others was in evidence up until the final votes were cast.  Apparently the deplorable behavior of our mayor even delayed the conclusion of voting for a period of time.

Mayor Baum, you do not  “play well with others” and you are in desperate need of an intervention.  Cease and desist, Mayor Baum.  You were not elected as “God”.  You were not elected as “King”.  And your dictatorial behavior has no place in a representative democracy.

The level of Voter Remorse is growing exponentially.  The community has only so much patience.  Your role as mayor is not a lifetime appointment.  Sooner or later you will be voted out of office.