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When a decision affects a large segment of a neighborhood population, many in that community have a flurry of opinions as to why it happened, especially when the news is unexpected and appears drastic. The recent news that Longmont’s shiny new SmartCo grocery store was closing and retreating from the community (and taking its other four new stores in Colorado with it) has sparked a debate on both a local level and a national one.
(As printed in the Times Call opinion section 5/24/10)
At the May 18th Longmont City Council meeting, I found it deplorable that a representative from a local partisan group would insinuate that because city council candidates who were appointed received more money, that they were only elected because they brought in more money. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Candidates who lost…lost because they were inferior candidates.
Voters who took the time to vote aren’t stupid. Then to read a letter from this partisan party representative in the Times Call looking for more volunteers for petition distributors to help push for Clean Campaigns to keep ‘special interests’ out of elections. Since when is a partisan group not working for their own special interests? Seeing how known members of one party keep speaking about this, it’s apparent that this is a partisan backed, agenda driven petition.
One candidate who overwhelmingly beat the incumbent raised a lot of money in this election because multiple community members donated to her (check her reports, most were small contributions). If her opponent was separately assailed by outside groups, it’s because her opponent had a lousy record of service while in office and angered a lot of people.
The majority of the campaign literature circulated during the campaign was information that had been public knowledge for awhile amongst those who take the time to follow council. I’m disgusted by all the hidden conspiracy rhetoric being thrown around and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from the partisans who gather as a group at council meetings and file down one by one to gripe about how their party line candidates lost the election. Here’s a tip: Get better candidates. The election rules will be ironed out, but the motives of those who question the process with nonsensical rhetoric need to be transparent as well.
Coordinator of Vote! Longmont
Case in point: Longmont’s Twin Peaks Mall, which used to be the source of 22% of Longmont’s tax base and now due to the economic downturn, is hovering around 6%. Seems these self-proclaimed ‘progressives’ in Longmont can’t wait to see if it goes down on the newest council members watch so they can barf up a headline “The Baum Squad blew up the Mall!” Continue reading
St Vrain Valley School Superintendent Don Haddad recently tweeted on his Twitter page that “I realize that there are some people who still do not fully grasp the seriousness of the state’s budget. We will continue to inform.” He hopes to use a series of meetings (schedule found below) to answer and take questions from parents and those affected by the expected current budget shortfall at the state level.
While the district is facing a $11M budget shortfall, Haddad also recently wrote that the SVVSD has opted not to apply for President Obama’s “Race to the Top” grant.
You knew something was up when many advocates for prairie dogs filed into the Longmont City Council chambers last Tuesday night to make pleas on behalf of the ongoing issue of prairie dogs at Longmont’s Vance Brand Airport. Others channeled world leaders and one was very persistent in being disruptive and placing signs within camera view of the live meeting.
But, speakers also stated that 3,500 people had sent emails and letters in support of the prairie dogs. Continue reading
I am a mosquito magnet, and so is one of my kids…so I was very attentive to the advice given during a conversation at a recent Boulder County Parks and Open Space meeting. The speaker was encouraging vigilance with mosquito repellent. She noted that we have received a lot of rain recently and temperatures will probably heat up, bringing out the mosquitoes and she was predicting that it’s going to be a “bad year”. I’ve heard stories from and know people affected by contracting West Nile virus from mosquito bites, so this was not good news.
Yet just last month, four of our Longmont City Council members (Hansen, McCoy, Benker and Levison) recommended changing our mosquito spraying policy and now will only do this when set traps in and around the city catch 100 or more mosquitoes showing positive testing for West Nile virus.
I’ve watched while some people in Longmont have voiced their concerns at council meetings about pesticides and how the fogging affects them. When fogging has occurred in the past, we get out of our hot tub and go inside. I have a garden alongside my fencing and should fogging occur, I will cover it up with plastic sheeting. Should my dog be outside during spraying, I will bring him in during this temporary spraying event. It’s not that difficult to avoid being “fogged.”
The City of Longmont often boasts about our outdoor spaces and our many parks. They also are offering many outdoor events this summer and need the income generated from citizens attending. There are millions of projected income dollars tied up in some of these events.
We live next to an open space that collects a lot of water every rainfall…let’s hope the mosquitoes are the only ones to have a bad year.
The following is my text from my speech at the public invited to be heard portion at the Longmont City Council meeting on June 16, 2009.
I’d like to talk about more than one topic tonite.
Firstly, I am a writer for the Longmont community for a variety of media publications and I think it’s a disservice to the Longmont citizens for councilmember McCoy to suggest that any other paper besides the Daily Times Call should be looked at as a source for local announcements, in particular legal notices. Why? The Times Call has the largest circulation in town and if you really want Longmont residents to best be aware of these notices, the Times Call is the best place to do that. I’ve also heard Councilmember Benker make comments about the paper being “a conservative paper” and have heard that she wants to pull city business out of the paper. They do seem very happy with the pricing Lehman Communications does for providing printing services for the new upstart Longmont Life “newspaper.” I really don’t see why this is being made a problem. Continue reading