2009: What a year!

2009 was quite an eventful year for the City of Longmont, regardless of where you stand on the issues.  Obviously, it was better for some than others.  Personally, it was pretty busy but overall pretty satisfying, too.

So lets go through it, month by month:

January – Since I was still writing aviation related articles at Examiner.Com, the Longmont Examiner (my wife) picked up some of the slack of what was going on around town.  One of her first stories of the year was about the ongoing issue between George Marxmiller and the city over a ditch in his backyard.  As of the end of the year, it appears this situation has been resolved to Mr. Marxmillers liking.  The backyard chicken debate took a turn for the bizarre as a lady came to city council dressed like a chicken.  This issue took up far too much council time, but was eventually passed via ordinance.  On the day of President Obama’s inauguration, a couple councilmembers, in particular a bumbling Sean McCoy, couldn’t contain their soon to evaporate glee.  As the progressives in town tried to convince people they invented the theory of a “day of service”, contributor Dave Larison reminded everyone of LifeBridge Church’s ongoing activity in this area.

February – Feb 19th marked the day when normal people of the country (non-leftists, progressives, or liberals) decided to fight back against generational theft with Porkulus rallies around the country.  Longmont was represented by yours truly and future mayor Bryan Baum.  Around this same time, the nonstop parade of nuts continued their tirades at Public Invited To Be Heard, all caught on tape!  Longmont’s State Senator Brandon Shaffer voted against transparency for school district financial reporting.  The Chamber of Commerce hosted “Unity in the Community”, apparently some people didn’t get the word.  Councilmember Sean McCoy said we should support paying for higher education for illegal aliens.

MarchRocky Mountain Chocolate Factory leaves the Twin Peaks Mall.  Maybe Councilmember Karen Benker should have used them instead of Doves when lobbying for state funding, which occurred around the same time.  Longmont’s State Representative Jack Pommer sponsored yet another attempt at screwing with how Colorado splits up it’s Electoral College votes.  FasTracks starts going off the rail, as former supporter Dave Larison explains why he can’t support it any longer.  The Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act becomes law and the politically charged issue of picking those on the Election Committee is discussed.  The never ending saga of prairie dogs at the airport starts up again, this time it lasts for months, and does not end well for the prairie dogs.  Another of the never ending saga’s is the radicals assault on the LifeBridge/Union development – this time it’s over a drainage culvert.  Vote!Longmont makes its concerns known about the LFCPA at Public Invited To Be Heard – they should have listened, would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.

April – Longmont’s US Representative Betsy Markey got the first of what would be repeated attacks from her own people, this time over her vote against Obama’s budget.  Later it would be healthcare, where local loons savaged her for not staying in line.  Jack Pommer gets caught breaking campaign rules and owed $20,000 in fines.  Dave Larison pointed out the purely political appointments to city boards.  As I started writing less about aviation and more about Longmont and politics, I pointed out how easily people were “Obamboozled“.  This was less than 4 months into a presidency that would continue a downward slide.  In what became a front page story in the Times-Call, I exposed the shaky financial ground Thistle Community Housing was on, which was followed by a terminated agreement with them.

May – In the ongoing fiasco at Twin Peaks Mall, Councilmember Brian Hansen proclaims we don’t need a new theater, we have Netflix!  I started my weekly Longmont Foreclosure report, things were not looking good.  Contributor Greg Burt writes of LIFT‘s frustration with the city over the mall.  FOXNews covers our airports prairie dog issue as the city sets aside $14,000 on a fence that will eventually be taken back down within months.  Longmont then begins to kill prairie dogs after being threatened of witheld funding by the FAA.

June – A judge declares Longmonts annexations near the Union project null and void, yet the Bloc of 4 press on blindly.  Councilmembers float the idea of pulling legal ads away from the Times-Call.  Councilmembers continue to ignore the Open Meetings requirement to forward emails to the city’s server.  I did my first radio interview on the Amy Oliver Show.  In mid-June I resign as the Denver Aviation Examiner and devote more time to local politics.  Longmont Examiner takes on city council over their mosquito spraying policy, or lack thereof.  Brandon Shaffer gets caught having a Democrat-only retreat on our tax dime.  Contributor Nicolle Pratt slams leftist radical Kaye Fissinger and Karen Benker over the Union project.  Rubber stamping Betsy Markey goes along with the job killing “cap and trade” bill.  Councilmember Sarah Levison wants to find ways to collect taxes from estate sales, the dead can’t even escape her.

July – Karen Benker pledges a whopping $66 towards furloughed city employees.  Dave Larison points out yet another $11 million spent on Boulder Co open space.  Longmont drops off the list of “best places to live”.  Sarah Levison essentially drives the BMX track out of Longmont after requesting they pay a higher fee.  Contributor Stephanie Baum takes on a local leftwing slime machine after he gets shut down by Mayor Lange as the crowd applauded during a city council meeting.  Councilmember Gabe Santos tries to make a motion to end the lawsuits with Firestone as Sarah Levison interrupts and Mayor Lange refuses to allow it.  Council votes to direct staff to come up with a resolution to end the Clover Basin Fire Tax.

August – In what would later become a major point of a successful lawsuit against the city, I point out some problems with the recently amended campaign rules.  Karen Benker says Twin Peaks Mall is a “dying mall“.  Greg Burt writes about Karen Benker using her poltical influence for a favored non-profit, HOPE.  The Times-Call sues the City of Longmont over a vote taken during one of the many executive sessions.  I took the first of many shots at our local Obama-love operation Organizing For America (OFA) as they spread their lies about healthcare.  Transparency becomes a major issue due to email rules being broken and the unprecedented number of secret executive sessions.  I wrote a primer for the upcoming election.  Longmont’s chapter of OFA part of national issue over unsolicited emails.  Sean McCoy goes on a tirade calling members of the public all kinds of names.  I answered Karen Benkers ridiculous charge (which Sean McCoy repeated) about bloggers driving away businesses and jobs.  Contributor Rich Yale calls out Sean McCoy on his childish antics.  While playing Mayor, Karen Benker cuts off speakers at public invited to be heard.  Wrongmont revived for the upcoming election.

September – I first write about the LFCPA’s restrictions on and forcing of certain kinds of speech.  After supporting a civility committee, Sean McCoy gets pretty uncivil.  Longmont Examiner demands that the city reveal the costs of all the current litigation.  In an obvious campaign stunt, Karen Benker says she ended the Clover Basin Fire tax, which of course was false.  Sean McCoy makes a non-apology apology for his recent antics.  I become part of a group of plaintiffs that sues the city over the LFCPA.  News of past open meetings problems for Karen Benker with RTD is uncovered.  Sean McCoy plays the blame game over the airport prairie dog issue.  Volunteers for Karen Benkers campaign take down Katie Witt signs or place Benker ones in front of them on private property without permission.

October – Karen Benker and I duel on the editorial page over her open records problems.  A push-poll becomes an issue as a Benker plant tries to catch Katie Witt off gaurd at a Chamber of Commerce debate.  The Boulder Weekly does a big story on the contentious Longmont election.  Karen Benker and Kaye Fissinger stalk citizens as they drive around town looking up certain addresses of political enemies.  Times-Call makes their endorsements for the upcoming election.  Karen Benker uses the Election Committee as her re-election committee filing one complaint after another (eventually costing the city tens of thousands of dollars).  Longmont finally votes to actually end the Clover Basin Fire tax, proving the earlier claims by Benker and her supporters false.  After making complaints about robo-calls, Karen Benker makes some of her own.  I point to all the reasons why Katie Witt should win in her race against Karen Benker – and I was right.  Candidate Bill Van Dusen makes incorrect assumptions on reasoning of LFCPA lawsuit, does not help his candidacy.  Federal court judge grants preliminary injunction against the city in the LFCPA lawsuit, which paved the way for the eventual succesful outcome for the plaintiffs.  Longmont Ledger comes on the scene to try to take some ad sales away from the Times-Call.  Longmont version of YourHub stops being printed.  I call out political favoritism and bias on the Election CommitteeFirestone gets creative with their annexations basically cutting off Longmont’s legal attempts to stop Union.  My “Vote Out The Progressives” op-ed runs in the Times-Call, people took my advice.  As campaign reports roll in, it’s obvious where the financial support was, and wasn’t.  Karen Benker supporters resort to flat out lying in various publications.

November – Dave Larision writes “The Bloc is busted” as Karen Benker and Roger Lange are ousted from city council, and Katie Witt, Bryan Baum, and Alex Sammoury are elected and Gabe Santos is re-elected.  Longmont Area Democratspray for locusts” as they lick their wounds.  Wrongmont signs off after a successful campaign season run.  Pulling a Marilyn Musgrave, Karen Benker refuses to concede or congratulate Katie Witt, and basically disappears from sight.  I got invited back to the Amy Oliver Show to talk about our recent election.  On a KGNU radio show, the leftwing whiners come out in force, not always using their real names, and go after myself and others.  My guest editorial “Longmont never leaned left” runs in the Times-Call.  As the prairie dog problem slowly stops being a problem, I introduce “The Rodenator“!  Dave Larison answers 10 preposterous questions posed by the losers of the recent election.

December – I get appointed to the Airport Advisory Board – much crying and whining from Sarah Levison and some other nobody ensues.  Dave Larison writes of the Board of Environmental Affairs, and how their 3 year quest for more power is blunted by the new city council.  I call for a scrapping of the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act, or at least a major rewrite.  Airport prairie dog fence is pulled down, wasting around $14,000 on this foolish idea.  City hit with $40,000 bill for legal services during Election Committee meetings, all for around $700 in fines.


See what I mean?  What a year!  We’ll call it “The Perfect Storm“.  I have a hard time believing 2010 will be as eventful considering there is no local election this year.  Now, how about some predictions?  Maybe another time.

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About Chris Rodriguez

Chris is the editor/publisher of LightningRod Blog - as well as founder/editor of Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, Longmont Politics, the LightningRod Radio Network, as well as being the original Longmont Examiner. Chris is a writer and talker - whether it be blogs, podcasts, music, or public speaking. When he's not heard on Air Traffic radio, he can be heard on his podcasts or seen in the local paper causing trouble.

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