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Weiss TABOR reform has votes to pass!

larry small john weissCOLORADO SPRINGS- I attended a COS city council meeting today, lured by the prospect that Vice Mayor Larry Small was going to call the CS Independent publisher a liar to his face.
 
I’m always excited at the prospect of differences of opinion reaching a level of incivility. Do we care about these issues? Or is it all about liking each other, regardless who’s oppressing whom? We gentlemen debaters, after all, are never those affected by the injustices in question.

To the city’s credit, Small made it a point at the very start of the meeting to make a public apology. He and John Weiss shook hands and that was that. What’s more, he cast his vote with Weiss’s proposal, a deciding vote, to put repeal of the city’s TABOR restrictions on the next ballot.

Small is not saying he’s for it, simply considering that it might be germane to consult the voters. Where it stands, the city council members declared their intentions on how they will vote tomorrow, and 5-4, they intend to back the proposal.

Without any name calling.

That said, some pyrotechnics can very easily be a bore. For example, there were grunts from the peanut gallery at this meeting, in particular from ex-editorial page tyrant Sean Paige. The silver-locked loudmouth, now shilling for Local Liberty Action, sat in the back and harrumphed as Weiss gave his reasons for reforming TABOR. Although Paige is no longer with the Gazette, I’ve seen him gesticulating at local Teaparty rallies. Like his Norquesque mentors, the editorial bully is set on strangling the baby in the bathwater.

How satisfying then to see Paige grovel before city council to urge them “not to throw [his TABOR] baby out with the bath water.”

Paige spoke as if “TABOR proponents” need to be consulted in any ongoing discussions about reforming it. Just because those idiots got the law passed, and doomed municipalities to impoverished services, who is to say their voice should have a grandfather clause? Here’s a chance for city council to hear the cries of outrage from Colorado Springs residents who want the damn thing repealed. They want their public services back.

TABOR was an initiative which asserted that a citizen couldn’t trust their representatives with tax dollars. What does it mean to have councilmen say they “believe in TABOR.” They know they shouldn’t be trusted? Did they run for election on that slogan?

Here’s a chance for the city pols to grab the reins. What else are they supposed to be deciding at their jobs?

And they took it, with four dissenting opinions. First, Bernie Herpin, who doesn’t see any reason to rush to address TABOR’s ratchet lunacy.

Another no vote comes from Jerry Heimlicher. The meeting’s highlight was Councilman Jerry Heimlicher’s kiss-fest with Sean Paige. Let Westside voters who rejected Democrat Dave Gardner as an alternative, note what Heimlicher can be very obstinate when he’s decided he’d rather give in to the Teabaggers.

Two more NOs came from Glen and Purvis. Purvis took the chance to compare proponent Richard Skorman’s voice to the sound of a belt sander. He explained how Skorman had interrupted his weekend of fixing his deck.

Tom Gallagher was the councilman who brought the issue for his colleagues to decide. He spoke about how incredulous it was that he was siding with Weiss on an issue, and hesitated greatly to defy his conservative friends. “I live on their side of the playing field.” But he lead the support. With Hente, Small, Martin and Rivera joining him.

Did I say Rivera? Yes.

We all looked at each other in surprise, but there it was, Mayor Lionel Rivera saying he thought it was a capital idea to give the citizens of the city the last word on whether to reform TABOR.

Scott Hente made the day’s most noteworthy remark. He thanked the assembled crowd for having upheld a civil discourse. He was impressed that it was unlike the many town hall meetings he’s been seeing on the news. I took this to be acknowledgment that he recognized the sawdust floor populism emanating from Sean Paige’s back corner.

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