If you are on the fence on whether or not Longmont Councilmember Karen Benker deserves another chance at being the Ward 2 representative, you only need to consider one thing:
The current state of the Twin Peaks Mall.
Actually, there are several other things (some quite nasty) but to keep it simple, this one issue should be enough to eliminate her from serious consideration at returning anywhere near Council Chambers on Tuesday nights. Except for Public Invited To Be Heard of course. That’s apparently open to any yayhoo.
In a couple of her speeches, she has basically asked that you not look at the mall, that people should “put aside what they currently see” there. Funny, it wasn’t that long ago (July 28, 2009 to be exact) when Ms. Benker referred to it as a “dying mall“. I submit that Ms. Benker, along with the three other councilmembers who consistently vote against the mall (yep, same cast of characters – Hansen, McCoy, and Levison) should now be known as the Twin Peaks Mall Executioners.
Hey, she used the “dying mall” term, not me.
I’ve written about this situation several times over the last couple of years, not just around election time. And I made it clear to anyone reading or who would listen to me that Karen Benker was the important swing vote in how things would progress, or not, with this mall. And, that if this was an eyesore of a failure in the Fall of 2009, this would squarely fall on her shoulders. Well, unfortunately, that prophesy has come true, and Ms. Benker needs to face the wrath of the voters and be held accountable for the dismal condition of the mall.
As a matter of fact my exact words were: “There is another dynamic, Ms. Benker is the only of these four to be up for re-election in 2009. The other three aren’t up until 2011. There’s some safety in the knowledge that if you royally screw up this Mall decision (and they have), you’re safe from the voters wrath for quite a while longer. By the way, all four of the councilmembers who have consistently voted in favor of the mall redevelopment are up for re-election in 2009 (Mary Blue since then decided against running for re-election). The three who have consistently voted against it aren’t up until 2011.” (Again, that would be Hansen, McCoy, and Levison)
So, in summary all you need to remember is this:
Think Twin Peaks Mall failure – Think Karen Benker.