Steve Lewis: New forum needed

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— Rejected Letters to the Editor can be very motivating. The three participating members of Concerned Citizens have each had one. My letter took issue with Herold Stout's letter about the Iron Horse Inn, another letter refuted the claims of a council candidate, and the third drew distinctions between candidates on west area annexation.

Print those three letters, and the Concerned Citizens group would not exist.

I understand it's impossible to fairly balance opposing views in this forum, but the result is that important questions, ideas and concerns from citizens are being lost. And if the question does get asked, condensed political rhetoric often leaves the central question unanswered. There is a large gap.

Ours is not the best solution, but I have a suggestion.

The current candidate forums are a great start, but only manage a narrow array of questions and limited public discussion. I suggest the Pilot & Today sponsor an Internet forum that presents a question a week to the candidates, beginning the day candidates are recognized in August. Citizens would be allowed brief follow-up questions so the issue is fleshed out. Such a conversation could take all of us beyond some of our current differences.

Obviously, Concerned Citizens' ads are not a forum. Obviously, we support the three city council incumbents. And it appears our incumbents have 5 opponents. Concerned Citizens will continue our effort with advertisement of facts and rebuttals that support our incumbents, and in some cases support the whole City Council.

I acknowledged that I stand with Concerned Citizens because it stands to reason that my neighbors want a neighbor's accountability for ads appearing in their newspaper. I get to start sooner than I thought: My Tuesday ad stated, "if Cari Hermacinski ever voted against a development project, we couldn't find it." (My source is the Planning Commission archives, dating back through 2005, on the city's Web site.)

Later, scrolling the archives, I did find one such vote occurring last March. When I told her I would be making this correction, she asked I also note a maternity leave and a family crisis that correspond with her low attendance records stated in that same ad.

I noticed a few "ethical halos" this week in the ads. This trend is better, because I agree the past weeks had set a new low. For our part, I feel our ads have only gone where opponents took us. I remain disappointed with campaigns that suggest we are voting about a candidate's inferior or superior ethical character. All our candidates are intelligent and obviously care about this valley.

Our vote should be about where they want to take us.

Steve Lewis

Concerned Citizens for the Future of Steamboat Springs

Comments

steamvent 6 years, 12 months ago

Steve - Your extremely poor attempt to explain yourself does not correct your disgusting public display of contempt for others who have had the courage to step up within the system, state their positions and run for office to effect change. Despite the compassion shown to you by one of your targets, the truth is, you have lost your effectiveness within the system, and if you had any courage, you would resign your position on the city Planning Commission before your spiteful nature hurts more citizens of this fine community.

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Vince arroyo 6 years, 12 months ago

now, now the truth does hurt when its spelled out. we must remember here that sensationalize sells and alot of people buy it. I do agree with Steve about the ethical halos have been coiming out since the start of the campaign.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 12 months ago

Steamvent, You sure are angry. That's such a mean spirited tirade, and way beyond any ad I've done. And with a 5:40 am blog entry to be first seen, I think you were waiting for my letter. When I emailed Cari about my correction coming in this letter to the editor, her response included a pretty selective argument about my 07 attendence being the same as hers. Its weird that you made the VERY SAME argument as Cari's in the Friday blog on the Ad Treasurer article. Wonder who YOU are? Steve Lewis

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steamvent 6 years, 12 months ago

Steve: Your paranoia exceeds your ability to reason. To think that the time of day someone reads the paper or that the order of a comment has relevance .. you are a scary person to be in a position of public service. You have set the bar for mean spirited dialog. You can dish it out, but can't deal with the result.

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yampaman 6 years, 12 months ago

I don't fully understand. . .According to this story, the Pilot chose not to print 3 letters that were signed with the authors' names in full view. And in frustration, the authors moved to form a political committee and print the same content of their letters (we are to presume) as display ads but WITHOUT listing their names at the bottom? And they chose to form that political committee with an out-of-town vacation property owner's name as the contact instead of their own, to further mask their identities that they would have gladly displayed in a letter to the editor? Doesn't add up. I do agree with SL's last remark: it is a matter of where our city council wants to take us. But it is also a matter of how our city council wants to lead us there: in a collaborative and open-minded fashion, or in the fashion of this current council that has, at times, been thoughtful but has also shown varying levels of intellectual arrogance, paralysis by analysis and micromanaging tendencies, and even outright hostility to each other and other thoughtful members of this community.

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trollunderthebridge 6 years, 12 months ago

Yampaman you are not the only one confused. Why would an out of town second homeowner who owns a condo on the mountain even want to support the very Council Member who has openly stated in his ads in the paper that we should not allow "second homeowners treat us like a commodity to be traded" ?

Sounds like some Council members are saddling up with people and then putting the screws to them.

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Richard Levy 6 years, 12 months ago

Just because a candidate is out in front of a campaign, do you really know who supports them? Who's on the "Committee to elect Walter Magill"? The pilot has used the word "secretive" to describe the "Concerned Citizens" group. In reality the ability to know their supporters is the same as the candidates. When they file financial reports all contributors (over a certain $) have to be listed. I have seen candidates "loaning" money to themselves early so they can report contributors at a later date in the campaign season.

If you really wanted to know who's whom all you had to do is ask.

All I needed to know is that Concerned Citizens are saying the things that people need to hear.

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stmbtisoutofcontrol 6 years, 12 months ago

"Concerned Citizens will continue our effort with advertisement of facts and rebuttals that support our incumbents, and in some cases support the whole City Council." Does this mean that Concerned Citizens will attack those candidates that are running on a platform to change the City Council? Unbelievable.... Or attacking those candidates that are running for seats that our being vacated?

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