by Rick Langenberg:
It’s that time of year for Monday arm-chair journalistic quarterbacking from The Mountain Jackpot headquarters
Here is my take on a couple of key issues that have pervaded our humble abode:
Once again, Teller and Colorado residents have become obsessed with the idea of term limits and keeping as many positions as possible elected, when many of these should be appointed. This is the real solution to the debacle at the clerk’s office in handling elections. This is not to knock the current staff and head clerk and recorder JJ Jamison, as they have faced quite a challenge.
But in my opinion, both the clerk and recorder and assessor spots should either be appointed positions, or term limits should be abolished or extended. This would crate more stability in offices that must closely abide by state rules. Of course, this idea isn’t that popular among a Teller electorate with a romantic hang-up regarding
term-limits, but it’s time to face reality. These positions are extremely technical and it’s good to have an experienced staff from previous administrations manning these agencies.
Change is good for certain departments, but elections are definitely a tricky animal with all the new laws and regulations and the nuances of Secretary of State Scott Gessler (who is now wasting time hassling so-called alien voters). And with all the new laws, the last thing we need is to cough up $135,000 in extra expenses.
These positions aren’t the same as the county commissioner spots, or even slots like sheriff, which frequently attract a hefty field of competitors. The idea of changing the term limits situation for several positions was attempted a number of years back, but these campaigns weren’t handled very well.
In lieu of the latest controversy regarding Teller’s election situation, maybe now is the time to test the political waters with a local ballot issue. Some critics are still throwing out the “R” (Recall) word, but that won’t offer any real solutions.
Both Woodland Park and Cripple Creek have concluded the summer
with a big publicity bang with their various signature events. Woodland Park definitely hit the spotlight with the Stage 5 Sprint of the USA Pro Challenge cycling race. The highlights of the event were the pre-race hoopla, the amazing work of the organizing committee and yes, the crazy, enthusiastic locals. They didn’t rival the Flagstaff Mountain fans, who tried to chase the cyclists up the mountainside, but they were close. On the downside, I think better education is needed for the race details, such as what a sprint actually entails, and ways to get more businesses off the main drag involved. Also, a few perception problems occurred with the Hwy. 24 closure, which really didn’t amount to a big deal. But overall, this was a real winner of an event.
As for the Cripple Creek veterans rally, it’s kind of the same story. Everyone loves the veterans’ ceremonies and the honorary tributes, but
shutting the town down by Thursday morning really hurts local businesses. That and the need to send their head promoter to an etiquette class in dealing with photographers from The Mountain Jackpot. But that’s another story for another time.
In recent weeks and months, the city of Woodland Park has kind of tripped over its own regulations regarding alcohol
bans and not giving the city council a final look at site plans for key, signature projects.
Bad craziness. The city council approved a conditional use permit for a small Christian school in the middle of town that in essence bans alcohol from the core of the downtown (at least for new applicants). It seems like changing the rules would have made much more sense than taking up the bid of the Prayer Mountain Ministry and Christian Science Academy. Why approve a project with prohibition-like regulations? I agree with Councilman Gary Brovetto on that one. It amounted to putting the cart before the horse. Common sense took a back seat.
And then there is the issue of taking key site plan reviews away from the authority of key elected leaders. On paper, this idea probably sounded good years back as part of a way to streamline things. But with a project as important as Woodland Station that just didn’t make any sense and led to hourse of back-door negotiations and ill feelings. Several local business operators who opposed this system had a valid point. They elected city council members as their representatives and not city staffers or Board of Adjustment representatives.
Old Fart Rock n’ Roll
Legendary singer Grace Slick once said that anyone over the age of 50 shouldn’t be on a rock n’ roll stage. She is dead wrong.
That myth was dispelled by two recent shows I witnessed by Grace’s old band mates, the Jefferson Starship, and the British prog rock aces, Yes. Jefferson Starship was led by the youthful 71-year-old Paul Kantner at the Stargazers. Paul and company aren’t going to let the 1960s counter culture die, no matter how old they get. They performed very emotional versions of such classics as Wooden Ships and Volunteers of America and even gave a special tribute to the PussyRiot band (the ones jailed in Russia for several years for holding a mock protest). Jefferson Starship probably did one of their best shows since the mid-1970s.
Yes, who recently played at the Paramount in Denver, also did a stellar performance, despite the absence of some of their long-time members, such as singer Jon Anderson. Moreover, they definitely proved that the buffoons who run the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame are complete idiots for not letting Yes in their sacred or not so sacred institution. Guitarist Steve Howe is worth the price of admission alone, even though he makes Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones look healthy. Despite what you hear about aging rockers, both bands are worth seeing if you get a chance. They may not look as good as they did in the past, but you can’t mock their talent and enthusiasm.