Give Common Sense A Chance

~ by Rick Langenberg ~

Let’s not get stupid and give common sense a chance in these trying times.

This is a message TMJ plans to hammer away at in the next few months, especially with our local elected leaders, and of course, our state buffoons in Denver who baffle us on a daily basis.

Recently, the Woodland Park City Council opted to cost the taxpayers 10 grand  because they want to turn a decision regarding an appointed council position over to the citizens; and have residents foot the bill for a coordinated election to decide the issue.

This decision is absolutely absurd, and maybe our Woodland Park leaders need a lesson in history, or come up with the 10 grand themselves. With the city facing tough lean times, that money could come in handy. That type of expense is totally wrong, when other more common-sense alternatives are available.

The council has three fine candidates for the position: Darwin Naccarato, Stephanie Alfieri and Don Dezellem.  Also, all three partook in interviews with the council for the seat vacated by  Noel Sawyer. So, why the cop-out charade?

The original process for handling appointments was changed about five years ago due to an awkward scenario, when a former council couldn’t resolve a split decision between mayoral finalists Neil Levy and Phil Mella.

After trying several times, and facing a then pressing deadline for  making a decision, based on the city charter at the time, the city was forced to partake in a chance drawing to resolve the issue. This specific action involved pulling the winning name out of a bowl.

The process sparked many complaints and jokes, with Woodland Park experiencing somewhat a black eye, and even getting grilled by key civic leaders.  In this case, the decision was quite important, as the council was deciding on a mayoral pick for a nearly full term of office.

The city then opted to change its charter to have a special election in case an impasse occurred over an appointed council/mayoral selection process. Great.

But since then, our area has experienced two regular elections, both in Woodland and Cripple Creek, where a tie vote occurred for council positions, and the winning candidates were forced to draw cards to determine the victor. So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the real world in Colorado small towns and cities: chance picks for elected seats are not unusual events.

The Woodland Park Council appeared to have alternatives in this recent case, and are simply passing the buck to the voters. More importantly, the November election is already filled to the max with a presidential vote, tallies on key ballot questions and a vote on a U.S. Senate seat that could determine whether this distinguished body stays in the hands of the Republicans or reverts to the control of the Democrats. So, this Woodland Park question is just going to add more complexity to an already complex November ballot, not to mention the money and headaches involved.

The city’s attorney, Jason Meyers, suggested one change, with a resolution change. Or, the council could give it a shot, and try to make an appointment decision in a forthcoming meeting, instead of telling the current council candidates they wasted their time in going through the interview process and in applying.

In other words, give common sense a chance.

Fear and Loathing in Denver

The need for common sense also needs  to be relayed to our brain-dead, governor, Jared Polis, and his royal court.

The governor is apparently continuing his assault against rural counties, and is playing politics when it comes to the reopening of casinos.

The state recently granted the county a variance request, and approved most of their proposed areas of re-openings, except for casinos and bars. Why these entities couldn’t get reopened still remains a mystery. Why a bar or casino would be more dangerous for a coronavirus outbreak than a restaurant is still not quite clear.

And in a broad, extremely vague statement, the director of the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment, in their her to the county, stated in bold letters, “The state of Colorado will be issuing guidance around casinos soon.” Talk about a politically vague statement. However, most folks interpreted this as the state is going to call the shots over the main rules for all casino re-openings in Colorado, which should occur shortly.

Then, the governor  in a press conference, backpedaled and indicated the final decision should be based on an agreement between the counties and CDPHE, and it was a local matter. He contradicted the ruling of his own agency.

Again, let’s not stray too much from common sense here.  Let’s just do the right thing, and leave politics at the doorstep.

We all know what is happening here. The governor is trying to play to his base, while acting like he is concerned about the economic plight of small towns in Colorado.

Maybe, the royal governor should visit Cripple Creek these days, where more canines roam the streets than people. The  gaming community, and the entire county, is badly hurting. Hopefully, the situation will get resolved soon and the state will act favorably towards the county’s new variance request, aimed at reopening casinos immediately (see related story).

Yes, All We Are Saying Is Give Common Sense A Chance.