Open Letter to Council: Mayors aren’t dictators

(Open letter to Longmont City Council)

While the Times-Call comment section is burning up more than I’ve ever seen before, I hope all of council is paying attention to what’s being said there.  I waited until over 100 comments were made to weigh in, mainly because I’m trying to stick to what I said at council about not repeating others (not that I’ve really had that problem anyway), but there are some excellent points being made.

This is NOT about the actual issue of gay marriage, and the cop out of “if you don’t like it don’t vote for me next time” is petty and unacceptable.  Mayor Coombs, you were voted in, albeit by less than 200 votes out of over 20,000.  There is a good chance that a majority of voters in Longmont may agree with you on this issue.  But the others who are aware of procedure and process don’t appreciate our elected leaders to forget they’re not dictators.  Usually I wouldn’t resort to such language, but I only do so because you should know better.

You cited the city’s action, or inaction, on the Dream Act as your main reason for entering the mayoral race.  There was lots of public input and discussion among council members on that issue.  No mayor or council member went outside of council and decided, even if they lost the argument, to publicly support the Dream Act with the title “mayor” or “Longmont city council member”.  So ignorance of what was acceptable in non-local issues like this is no excuse.

You could have signed this as a “citizen” but took the conscious effort to sign as a “mayor” – to me that is a clear violation of Rule 23 regardless of what staff says.  And where does it say, other than the Times-Call article, that it was your own personal opinion?  It’s not on freedomtomarry.org because that just lists you with other mayors.  There’s no asterisk next to yours or any other names denoting even though it says “Current Mayors” and “Dennis Coombs, Longmont, CO” that it’s just your “personal opinion”.

On the bright side, the Boulder Daily Camera commenters are in much more solidarity with you than Longmont residents – reality check, you’re the mayor of Longmont, not Boulder.  Boulder City Council tends to vote on issues completely irrelevant to Boulder city issues, is that really the road you want Longmont to go down?

It’s not wrong to have strong opinions and voice them, and your move took guts, but it was inappropriate, in my opinion.  You made your point on this subject, but did any citizens ask you to make this point on behalf of the 90,000 residents of Longmont?  Show your fellow council members and the citizens some respect and remove your name from the “Mayor’s” list and bring it up in a council meeting for a public discussion and council vote.  You very well may get the votes on council to speak on behalf of the city as “Mayor” on this issue – and that will be fine.  But the way you did it is shady and borderline unethical.

Cordially,
Chris & Brigette Rodriguez

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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