Friday, December 18, 2009

Not puzzling at all

From the Letters to the Editor at the Longmont Ledger:

Council’s board appointments puzzling

I find two recent city board appointments rather puzzling.

The first was Councilman Gabe Santos’ appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Council members were asked to list their top five choices for board appointments weeks ago and Santos gave no indication that he was the least bit interested in Planning and Zoning. Yet when board appointments were being voted on, he announced that he wanted to be onto this board.

It seemed strange that he would change his mind at the last minute but what seemed really strange was that Mayor Bryan Baum and council members Katie Witt and Alex Sammoury would support this apparently hasty decision. This despite the fact that councilwoman Sarah Levison was already serving on the board, had previously indicated that it was her top choice for board appointments and was much more qualified for the position than was Santos.

It seemed a rather harsh rebuke and left me wondering: Why didn’t Councilman Santos declare his intention to seek the position on the Planning and Zoning Commission when he was originally given the opportunity to?

How did each of the supporting council members come to the same last-minute conclusion that the best thing for Longmont would be to ignore the hard work and devotion of one council member in favor of the whim of another?

Was this actually not a spontaneous decision at all, but rather one the four of them agreed upon, in private, before the public meeting?

The other appointment I found puzzling was Chris Rodriguez to the Airport Advisory Board. Baum, Witt, Sammoury and Santos voted Against the vice chair of the committee — a well-qualified and highly respected committee member, in favor of someone who didn’t even show up for his committee interview but who is a vocal supporter of the new council.

Fair and open? You decide.

Paula Burr

Longmont

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Paula, Paula, Paula... clearly you don't understand politics. Here, let me 'splain it to you:

Gabe Santos is what is known as a 'machine politician' - he worked as office manager for Tom Delay, arguably one of the most corrupt politicians of this decade. He changed his mind because he was, in all likelihood, told to. He's what's referred to in the Soviet Republic as an 'apparatchik': "It is also frequently used to describe individuals, appointed to positions in any government, on the basis of ideological or political loyalty rather than competence."

You've no doubt heard the endless howling of right-wing apparatchiks condemning the Progressives on Council in round terms for incompetence - this was carefully orchestrated to make their subsequent appointees seem competent by comparison (which they are not). It's the GOP formula - blame your opponent for what you, yourself are doing and demonize anyone that argues with you. It's a time-tested method backed up with tons of experience and oodles of money.

As for Chris Rodriguez, why, Paula, he did 'show up' - he's been blogging his little heart out (assuming he actually has one) - and helped run Katie Witt's campaign and was (still is) the loudest and most vitriol-laced voice on the Times-Call comment streams, his multiple blogs and pretty much anywhere else he can get published. He won't ever have to submit to interviews or any of that tiresome 'little people' stuff - he's paid for his apparatchik-ness with a political bodycount - an election won and a majority on the council. Why, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him make a run for council himself - with the kind of backing he's obviously got, we'll be hearing his loud, angry voice for years to come (barring karmic intervention). Be prepared for endless harrassment though - it's not politically correct in Longmont to criticize the 'apparatus' but it is quintessentially American.

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