(Illegal) signs of desperation?

A couple of weeks ago I was going to write a piece about the lack of candidate signs around town. Since then I’ve seen some sprouting up. Anyone else notice these signs in places you don’t normally see these placed? Like in railroad track right-of-ways, landscaped areas not in front of homes, or greenways in front of businesses. In other words, places you wouldn’t or couldn’t ask the property owners permission. You can read the ordinance yourself at http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/code_enf/ord/political_signs.htm. Longmont’s Code Enforcement Division is supposed to enforce this. It appears either they are choosing not to, or they are making a half-hearted attempt to remove some signs, only to have other improperly placed signs replace them.

I can only report what I see with my own eyes, and all of these signs so far are Richard Juday signs. Knowing this statement will elicit cries from his supporters of ” attack” or ” partisanship” (in a non-partisan election), let me educate some of them with a little flash from the past.

Excerpts from the October 2004 edition of The Yellow Scene (used with permission) “…Longmont’s city council are bending rules of their own to sway votes on November’s municipal ballot issue…we agree with Chris Rodriguez, webmaster of www.wrongmont.com who noted that Pirnack’s letter in the September (2004) issue of CityLine crosses the line… CityLine is the city’s monthly newsletter included with residents’ utility bills…However, Mayor Pirnack used it to urge citizens to vote for FastTracks and against Ballot Question 2A, the proposed police and fire collective bargaining agreement. Rodriguez claims this letter breaks the Fair Campaign Practices Act which is part of our state constitution. That law states: No…council of the state or any political subdivision thereof shall…expend any public moneys from any source, or make any contributions, to urge electors to vote in favor of or against any: (A) State-wide ballot issue.. (B) Local ballot issue…The point is that if city council wants to campaign, they can do so on their own time and money. For public officials, spending taxpayer dollars to advocate a political position is against the law – even if they think it shouldn’t be.”

Pretty strong charges against our then Mayor and council, you know, the ones Mr. Juday’s supporters demanded had to go? So allow me to be ” equal opportunity” in calling bullflop on questionable campaign practices: Whoever is placing these Juday signs are knowingly or unknowingly placing them against city ordinance. I’m going with the former, as some are so blatantly displayed in places anyone used to seeing these signs can figure out they’re placed questionably.

Many have been up for over a week, and more keep getting erected. Are we to believe Mr. Juday or his supporters haven’t seen these (we’re talking major streets here) or aren’t aware of them? They are either aware of them, don’t live in Longmont, or are not very observant people. Let this get your attention: Each one is a separate violation for each day it stands. And the results of the election, win or lose, don’t change that.

Others have pointed out questionable financial disclosures in Mr. Juday’s filed campaign reports (not responded to), and his broken pledge not to accept monetary contributions (not responded to). Add these signs to the list. If someone can’t win honestly, not only do they deserve to lose, they don’t deserve to run.

Lazy Voters

Lazy voters. I probably don’t mean what you think when I use that term. I’m not talking about people who aren’t registered, or are and don’t bother to vote, or have no idea when there’s even an election. There’s probably a better term, and I’m not pointing towards the apathetic here either.

One type of person I’m talking about is the kind who waits by their mailbox for brochures telling them how they should vote. The other ones are the kind that read others opinions and based on them figure they should vote totally opposite to it. Intellectually lazy and taking the easy way out.

An example was a letter sent in to the Times-Call not too long ago. Only credit I’ll give this guy (can’t remember the name, wouldn’t repeat it if I did) is he was ” smart” enough to give his name. In reality, he made himself look like a dunce. He was fairly insulting as he sarcastically thanked a somewhat regular writer, Percy Conarroe, for stating his position so now this guy could know how NOT to vote.

It’s one thing to think like that or to actually vote like that, but to make assumptions on Mr. Conarroe’s knowledge and experience, as if it’s inferior to this writer’s, is just that, an assumption. And a risky one at that, as it leaves this brain surgeon hanging out in the wind, unless of course he’s right. He’s more than likely not (even if he is a brain surgeon).

I’d never met or had any contact with Mr. Conarroe, but was now curious about him after this slime job. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of having a conversation with him. Not only was he very personable, he’s also a former editor and publisher for a couple of major newspapers. For someone of that caliber to go out of their way to compliment me was truly and honor and showed what class he has, unlike the detractor above.

I asked him about this letter, he said it was nothing new and was used to it, along with far worse things including death threats back in the day. I could imagine so, once learning what he used to do. So this conversation verified what I figured; that Mr. Conarroe was not deserving of the insults, and this detractor showed himself as an uninformed buffoon. I guess we just have to say we’re supporting who we’re really NOT supporting and he’ll be totally confused. Too late.

Behind The Blue Skies

You may have heard of a donation recently to help keep the Roosevelt Park Ice Rink open this year. The good people at Mile-Hi Skydiving presented the $10,000 check to the city from the Jeff Sands Memorial Blue Skies Fund. You may have also heard of the Blue Skies Neighborhood Park on the southwest side of town, it also was in part a tribute to Jeff Sands. With the anniversary of his untimely passing coming up, I thought some of you would like to know a little more about my friend, Jeff.

Continue reading…

Meet The Bobbleheads!

Now for the lighter side of recent and upcoming events: As a former councilmember recently put it, there’s this ” new generation” of Longmonters. They really aren’t that new, or fresh (another word used by said writer), and some are downright frightening. Some aren’t even from or in Longmont – as pointed out by Councilmember Mary Blue in a recent meeting.

After getting the last council meeting of 2007 on DVD from the library, I have a better nickname for them: The Bobbleheads! Why, you may ask? Quite simple really, and pretty funny, too. On accident I had the disc running at fast speed, it was a riot!

You see, there’s this self-appointed group of complainers who feel empowered as they think they got a mandate on the last election. Nevermind, as previously proven, that their candidates actually did not get a majority of the vote, not even 47%. But that’s not a valid point, I guess. Anyway, they were out in force at a recent council meeting and figured they’d sit in front, that means being on camera. When one of them would say something, they’d all nod in agreement, and then look around to their new friends on council for validation. The cumulative result was something I rarely see at council meetings: COMEDY!

Of course, what was actually coming out of their mouths was anything but nice or respectful – unless of course they were addressing their new friends on council. The topper was at the end, four and half hours into the meeting, when one of them had the gall to rip into Mayor Lange for volunteering to be on some committee, basically saying that he couldn’t be trusted. Sometimes you just have to point out the obvious to some people, and he did, that no one else would volunteer for it! And that includes these clowns’ four friends on council. They were asked repeatedly, none would step up. So you get what you get.

I suspect that first meeting was the high point (or low point depending on your point of view) of their attendance, and since they didn’t get their way on leaving the Lifebridge Annexation on the ballot, the slow feeding-on-their-own frenzy I spoke of before should begin soon. Here’s a bonus: one of their own is running for council, Richard Juday. Just thought you’d like to know, that is if you planned on voting.

So if you Bobbleheads are thinking of utilizing this nickname, and I bet you wish you came up with it yourself, remember where you got it. Maybe if you spent less time running from action to action being ” over-reactionaries” (go ahead and use that, too), you could escape the groupthink and dream up something original. Yeah, I know, not likely. Enjoy.

Somebody Trying To Hide Something?

Different people in different ways make my work easier. Some people are outspoken, often offensive and abrasive. Then once in a while they screw up and try to bury it. Then other people, occasionally anonymously, do some of the footwork and get the information to me either directly or indirectly. I’m more than happy to be another outlet to get that information out to a wider audience. Nearly all of this latter group I’ve never met, emailed, or spoken to. And credit is deserved.

The people backing Richard Juday for City Council in this upcoming election are spending much of their time trying to smear opposing candidates. Yet at the same time they’re being very sneaky about hiding certain things their candidate has written in the past. The TakeBackLongmont website has been out in front defending against the smears on Gabe Santos, and has been blistering towards Mr. Juday in some of his comments conveniently removed from his website. You can find a link to a cached version of it at their website.

Another reader sent me a link to Mr. Juday’s Report of Contributions and Expenditures, click on it to read it, it’s public information. You’ll see some familiar names, including most of the often mentioned “bloc of 4” as already reported in the Times-Call. Oddly missing is an “in kind” contribution from the person who’s maintaining his website, or is that service free, or self administered? Only reason I ask is over these pages that were so abruptly pulled down. What was on the Science Vs Creationism page? Some of your potential voters might like to know.

(Pay attention Councilmembers Benker, McCoy, Levison, and Hansen, these questions are for you also, as you either accepted Mr. Judays support in your races, or have donated to his candidacy, or both. You can either respond publicly, or get repeatedly asked and publicly embarrassed. Remember the more open and listening council idea? Here’s to see if you really meant it.)

Mr. Juday wrote of big box stores and his obvious disdain for them, which is his right. But what he removed from his website was his idea, or approval of this: ” write down license numbers and trace them to residence” in reference to finding out who’s shopping where. Or having the customer report his city, if asked. He’s toned that down to its current version of ” recorded zip codes of shoppers.” So we have a choice of ” Big Box” or ” Big Brother” thanks to Mr. Juday and friends. Also, Mr. Juday needs to respond to whether he approved or encouraged the questionable practice of secretly videotaping signers of the Lifebridge anti-annexation petition. He proudly led his group to city hall with those petitions, if he’s the leader, he needs to answer. If I hear ” no big deal” over this, I can’t imagine the people being taped unknowingly would agree.

Here’s what it boils down to. Mr. Juday and his pals in and out of council don’t like places like Walmart, BestBuy, Costco (funny they don’t mention Target, quite a big box) and want to make it hard on them to do business. Not only that, they look down on you for shopping there and want to collect information on those of you that chose to go there, whatever your reason. This is NOT Longmont, at least not the Longmont I chose to move to. This is elitist thuggery and if Mr. Juday and those on council that lean with him don’t answer these important points, they should be held accountable, severely. And no answers equal agreement with these comments and actions.

I’m not asking you to vote for a particular candidate, but I am asking you NOT to vote for this candidate, Mr. Juday. If you have a problem with the new members of council over this, take it up with them, but they were already elected.

600% Can’t Be Wrong

I hate being misquoted, so in the interest of fairness I’ll include every word of councilmember Sean McCoy’s Lifebridge comments on 1/8/08.

“Umm yeah, last lastly I’d like to point out is a uh couple things that were kind of misleading in in the press here as of recently and uh one in particular was uh uh the uh Union vote. Uh myself uh uh Councilmember Hansen, Coucilmember Levinson uh not one of us voted on that to uh uh uh much the chagrin of uh some of those that weren’t keeping track of current affairs. But uh that’s uh a real issue that I feel is uh kinda sad that uh uh people are suggesting that uh by the very fact of uh some of us getting on here in council that that drove them away. I think what drove them away is uh their own uh information that they gathered and the fact that six thousand voters got in and uh signed petitions and uh were going to send them a clear message.
If you do any statistical analysis or data collection you’ll find out if they do a thousand uh polls and they come up with six hundred uh people in support of something that’s about sixty percent on about a hundred thousand people and often times that gives you a pretty decent uh uh idea of where people are at. We technically under our last census have eighty one thousand people here in Longmont and six thousand signed that that’s six hundred percent of the people. That was the reason why they chose to go elsewhere. So I would like that to be perfectly clear and also I’d like that to be pointed out in our uh communication to the uh uh public using our public forums so that people understand that I didn’t vote on that and I don’t believe these other members did either.”

A quick tip: people are bound to remember the very issue that pretty much propelled you and your pals into office. That, and the election party pictures in the Times-Call of all of you and the leaders of the anti-annexation petition. Now, why would ANYONE think you or any new member of council was against the Lifebridge annexation? A quick Google search also brought up:

Meet city council candidate Sean McCoy
YourHub.Com Longmont
Boulder Daily Camera Q&A – Sean McCoy
The SouthwesternWeldCountyUnion, LifeBridge annexation, is another prime example of the current city council’s failure to identify good residential and commercial development that shows an exceptional benefit to the city. A change is need on council and I what to be that change. So as a future city council member I see the overturning of the Union Life Bridge annexation as a good thing and have supported the individuals working on bring transparency to Longmont’s government and their commitment to community based decision making back to council. “

Rocky Mountain News
“In the three City Council races, the three candidates on record opposing the LifeBridge annexation appeared on their way to winning seats. “

Rocky Mountain News
“Also, city council candidates Sean McCoy, Sarah Levison and Brian Richard Hansen have said publicly that they oppose the annexation.”

The Agenda
I stand by my statement that the previous CC showed disregard for the people of Longmont who wanted that land to remain open space.”

Can fool some of the people some of the time.

Hyperventilating Hypocrites

The last Longmont City Council meeting of 2007 was so chock full of nuggets just waiting to be mined. Here’s one of my favorites, an example of “it’s alright for us, but not for you!”

Days leading up to this meeting, Lifebridge Church pulled their plans for annexation into Longmont. The question for the council was whether or not to leave the question on the ballot. Was there really any question? Seemed like a “duhh” moment to me, and I know they have to go through the formality of removing it properly, that’s not the issue. The issue was that some of the people, not all, that circulated the petition against the annexation strongly requested it stay on the ballot. A message needed to be sent, doggone it!

City Attorney Clay Douglas rightly pointed out it was pretty much a moot point, but that simple point was apparently lost on some people. One of the petition supporters rightly said that the end result was the same as if the question passed (as in NO to annexation), so the goal was reached, what was the point? Still missed on some. What some petition signers may not have known or believed (even though some of us have been repeatedly saying it) was that some of the petition backer’s motives were more than simply overturning the YES council vote on annexation.

They were after the punishment and embarrassment of Lifebridge and some members of City Council. Their request to keep this on the ballot is one example. The fact some of them said they’re now moving against Weld County on the Lifebridge issue is another. They also wanted there to be some kind of act of council to make it so Lifebridge couldn’t come back later and try again to annex. There were even some members of council asking the City Attorney about this ridiculous concept – so they bought right into this anti-Lifebridge mentality. Makes them no different than the angry mob that supports them.

Some have been writing lately that the new council had nothing to do with Lifebridge pulling out. The above is yet one example. Here’s another: remember the smiling faces of the people bringing the anti-annexation petition to the city clerk on the front of the Times-Call? I’ll give you one guess ( 4 actually) of who they strongly backed for city council. Who was leading that pictured group? Their current candidate Richard Juday, who was also, I believe, the campaign manager for one of the new council members. It’s all intertwined. If there’s any doubt, just ask one of the new council members or candidates where they stood, and where they stand, on the annexation, and Lifebridge in general.

So the people who wielded their right to petition government don’t want people they disagree with to have the same right to petition, which could include a church submitting plans and permits. They can muddy it up saying that’s not really what they mean, but that’s what it amounts to. City Attorney Douglas mentioned that when an annexation is denied there is a process to reapply and there may be some time restrictions. But this annexation was approved and voluntarily pulled. There is nothing stopping Lifebridge from resubmitting it or starting where they left off. Fat chance they will, so those against it can rest easy. Or can they? More on that in a bit.

I assume some of them are steamed that they spent a bunch of their time and money on something that’s become moot and pointless, but they still got what they wanted. Apparently that’s not good enough, and I’m betting half of you that signed the petition didn’t sign up for a crusade against a church. Feel free to say as much publicly, embarrassed or not.

The rich and fragrant irony of it is this: I’m hearing rumors of other petitions and recalls. Not by corporations or churches, but just ” normal everyday people“, the kind the anti-annexation crowd claimed to be. Suffice it to say those people will not like these petitions, but who said everyone liked their petition? Who knows, maybe one of the petitions is in favor of Lifebridge, plenty of people have been writing in how they feel they were railroaded. What’s good for the goose, and all that.

But I do have one question, what if that question stayed on the ballot and people voted FOR the annexation? What then? It was baseless wishful thinking to assume it was a slam dunk, sort of like saying a ” blue tide” would sweep in Karen Benker as Mayor ( nope) and this supposed mandate from a new majority (actual votes say, again, nope).

Misleading facts & endorsements about election

Sorry if the flurry of numbers and stats put you to sleep, but there were some misleading comments backing up an endorsement that I couldn’t let just slide by. Especially since in a previous blog entry delving into the numbers on the last election I already went through this, and I really hate repeating myself.

A former city councilmember, Tom McCoy, painted a picture of sore losers, a new generation of “Longmonters”, and a supposed mandate from the majority of voters. Now for those pesky facts. Only two races actually won a majority, Mayor Lange and oddly enough McCoy’s son Sean McCoy. The rest were pluralities, where as the winner did not break 50.1%, also known as a majority. Hey, I can’t help it if people don’t know the difference.

You know something else that’s not talked about a lot? 40,051 total votes were cast for Mayor and City Council members, the ” new generation of city councilpeople” McCoy speaks of received 18,453 votes. The other candidates received 21,598 votes. Now there’s a majority, 53.9%46.1%, a majority against Benker, Levison, McCoy, and Hansen. So where’s this so-called mandate? You won’t find it because it doesn’t exist. Nice try though.

So based on that ” fuzzy math” one should throw their full support behind Richard Juday, right? And apparently Longmont is about to become a player in the space industry as Mr. Juday could bring primary jobs here from his “fresh contacts” as a retired NASA employee. This would be funny if it wasn’t so offensive coming from a former councilmember who was no great friend to our aviation community.

Remember how I once wrote how some endorsements help, and others don’t? If you can make those numbers and statements justify your vote, then I guess you have your candidate.

Guitars, firefighters and Christmas

People who read me enough know I’m not the most politically correct guy in the world, and don’t much care whose feet I step on. Probably why I’ll never run for public office. I also don’t like being taken out of context or misquoted, which unfortunately has happened to me, and plenty of others.

I read a story recently that I thought was great – mixing music with Christmas and our local firefighters. A local music store, Guitars Etc., a place we frequent (as always I recommend shopping locally when possible) donated some guitars to some firefighters for their down time entertainment. They weren’t Kwanza guitars, or Fall Harvest guitars, they were CHRISTMAS presents. Just want to make sure that’s clear.

That last part was left a little fuzzy in the story that ran, but was clearly stated by Guitars Etc owner, Todd Skaw. I’ve no doubt that was a last minute editorial decision to leave CHRISTMAS out of the story as to not offend the much too easily offended in the city. So let me offend. I’m assuming ” live and let live” is dead is this PC environment of ours. If it’s not a certain type of people’s way, it’s not THE way, period. To them I say cram it, sideways, left.

Just because these people have been getting their way with complaining about anything and everything they deem inappropriate, doesn’t make them the authority on anything, except complaining. What I find odd and inconsistent and probably hypocritical (they sure don’t mind the holiday pay, or the day off, or using it to sell stuff at their own business) is how CHRISTMAS is singled out more than any of the other “holidays” at this time of year. It’s obviously a slam on the first syllable, which people are free to express, and others are free to tell them to stuff it.

A friend of mine told me he was “respectfully declining” to celebrate Christmas. What was refreshing was that there was no condescension, no judging, and no preaching on how anyone else should do it. But some others just can’t hold back telling you how it should be, can they?

It’s one thing in a government institution, another entirely in a private business such as this. ” You people” was heard being used towards workers at the store who celebrate CHRISTMAS! These are the same people who claim to be soooo tolerant, but continually expose themselves for the most hateful, intolerant, and often bigoted amongst us.

I want to congratulate and thank Todd and his son for thinking of this and following up on that thought. It’s nice to know there are still people out there that put others, especially our great first responders, before themselves. It’s a nice change from the others among us who can’t think of enough ways to get rid of anything CHRISTMAS related, or the self-centered need to get into everyone else’s business uninvited.

Merry Christmas and have a great 2008!