A Response To Robert Miner

Robert Miner recently wrote a letter to the editor in support of Dennis Coombs:

Letters to the Editor, Oct 5

I’ll start by saying I do not know Mr. Coombs, have never met him, but I frequent Pumphouse and Red Zone often.  He seems like a personable enough fellow, and I believe his intentions are good.

Mr. Miner has characterized Bryan Baum as someone who “has broken promises, bullied members of the community, and proven that his hostile ideology is wrong for Longmont.”  I think I see where Mr. Miner is coming from with these, but I think they are a bit misleading and not really true.  Miner claims Baum campaigned on one promise, that he would fix the mall.  My recollection of that campaign was that he campaigned on many more issues than just the mall, and I’m sorry if anyone thinks that the mayor even has the power to fix ANY business himself.  All he can do is work with the council and the appropriate city groups to make the environment more friendly (which he’s done on many occasions).  The mall is still a disaster, but Baum certainly didn’t claim he could fix it just so he could get elected, then decide he’d wash his hands of the situation after that (ie. broke his promise).

As for bullying members of the community, the one rallying point for most of the anti-Baum crowd focuses around Baum’s response to a gentleman who was pushing solar power in Longmont (his name escapes me unfortunately), and my understanding is that that same gentleman later apologized for the way he acted, and the two essentially shook hands and made nice.  Considering some of the utter contempt and disrespect Baum is forced to put up with from a handful of squeaky wheels daily, I give the man credit for being as professional as he’s been.   Many of Coombs supporters have contrasted him to Baum, saying he can work with everyone and is well liked.  Again, I have zero beef with Coombs, and if he has that reputation…awesome.  There should be more people like that in the world.  But look at the issues facing our city.  NO ONE is going to please everyone every time.  There are too many things that are exceptionally polarizing that are always going to piss off one side or the other.  Every time I hear “this candidate works well with others” or “will bring both sides together”, I always think that he is engaging in complete campaign-speak.  It sounds like a great thing of course, everyone working together towards a common goal, but the reality is that there are too many strong willed people on both sides of many issues, and the chances that they’ll ever agree on the way to get to those goals is usually very remote at best.  If I recall, Obama campaigned on the same promise.  How’s that working out?

Finally, Baum’s “hostile ideology is wrong for Longmont”.  Again, this phrase has always seemed like simply a rallying cry for the anti Baum crowd.  I would be interested in hearing some concrete examples (Kaye, Doug, feel free to point me towards links on  your site) that aren’t simply someone disagreeing with a position Baum has taken.  My guess (again, just a guess), is that certain people would say Baum’s vote to do away with inclusionary zoning is “hostile” and “wrong for Longmont”.  If that is the kind of thing that brings about the hostile ideology response, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Again, I have nothing against Dennis Coombs and would love to meet the guy sometime.  He’s got great intentions, but I don’t think his perception of what he can do is realistic, and consequently, I don’t think he’s the best choice for mayor.   Mr. Miner…thank you for giving us the chance to respond to your opinion!



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