Old Town residents Kevin Bennett and Cari Hermacinski are running against each other for the Steamboat Springs City Council District 1 seat.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Old Town residents Kevin Bennett and Cari Hermacinski are running against each other for the Steamboat Springs City Council District 1 seat.

Hermacinski says record speaks for itself

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Election 2009

Visit www.steamboatpilot.com/election2009 for complete coverage of this year's races and issues.

Highlights of Cari Hermacinski's political career

March 25, 2003

The Steamboat Springs City Council appoints Hermacinski to the city Planning Commission. Her four-year tenure included opposition to later-adopted affordable housing policies known as linkage and inclusionary zoning and support for most development applications including the Edgemont project at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

Nov. 6, 2007

Hermacinski defeats incumbent Councilman Towny Anderson by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in the race for a two-year, at-large seat on the Steamboat Springs City Council. The decisive victory followed a contentious campaign that saw Hermacinski and other candidates accused of being "in developers' pockets."

Nov. 13, 2007

After being sworn in, a new City Council elects Hermacinski its president pro tem over Councilman Steve Ivancie in a 4-3 vote. Hermacinski wastes no time overturning the work of the previous council and leads a successful push to repeal a moratorium on the demolition of structures deemed historic while a committee was reviewing the city's historic preservation ordinance.

Winter 2007-08

Hermacinski leads an effort to remove the City Council from quasi-judicial liquor licensing decisions due to liability concerns. The decision followed the controversial revocation of a liquor license held by a Ski Time Square restaurant and bar owner. A hearing officer now hears such cases.

July 19, 2008

City Council reaches a severance agreement with former City Manager Alan Lanning. Hermacinski and Lanning disagreed on issues including the city's purchase of the Iron Horse Inn, but Hermacinski denies accusations that she intended to fire Lanning from the outset of joining council. The city later hires Jon Roberts to replace Lanning.

August and September 2008

Hermacinski votes in favor of applications from proposed annexations Steamboat 700 and 360 Village to extend the urban growth boundary by a combined 432 acres. Both efforts failed and forced the two developments to reduce their size.

Sept. 26, 2008

Hermacinski voted in favor of an ordinance that would have prevented city accountants from reconciling building-use-tax deposits on open permits issued during the previous three years. The ordinance failed, 4-3. While Hermacinski was in favor of reconciling permits going forward, she said it was unfair to retroactively enforce the previously ignored reconciliation process.

Nov. 18, 2008

Reversing the practice of recent years, the City Council adopts a 2009 city budget that does not include deficit spending and a reduction in city reserves. Hermacinski, one of the main proponents of reducing the budget, votes against the budget because she still thinks revenue projections are too optimistic. Early in 2009, as revenues continue to fall, the council is forced to make drastic cuts including a furlough program for city employees.

Feb. 10, 2009

Hermacinski's efforts to rewrite the city's affordable housing ordinance bear fruit when the council votes, 4-3, to both repeal the linkage impact fee and also begin work to replace inclusionary zoning with simpler compliance methods such as a fee in lieu.

July 7, 2009

Council votes unanimously in favor of an ordinance simplifying the development application process for projects at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area. The new process allows buildings as tall as 105 feet by right. The previous height limit was 67 feet, but variances were allowed if mitigated with "public benefits."

Oct. 13, 2009

Hermacinski is in the minority of a 4-3 vote approving the annexation of Steamboat 700.

— Whether or not you agree with her politics, voters would be hard-pressed to say Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski hasn't kept her 2007 campaign promises.

Hermacinski defeated former Councilman Towny Anderson with more than 60 percent of the vote in the November 2007 election after running a campaign focused on open and transparent government, fiscal responsibility, and repairing the city's relationship with Routt County and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

In the two years since, the City Council has balanced its budget, embraced the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and the Routt County Regional Building Department and reduced the frequency with which it meets in executive, or secret, session.

Although state laws allow public bodies to meet in executive session to discuss sensitive matters such as real estate transactions and personnel decisions, Hermacinski is fond of saying the laws don't mandate such closed-door meetings.

From its first meeting Nov. 13, 2007, through its last scheduled meeting Nov. 3, the current City Council has held an executive session at about a quarter of its meetings. The 2005-07 council met in executive session at about half of its meetings.

"Whether you disagree or agree with what the person representing you is doing, you need to be accountable. The way you do it is by being open," Hermacinski said. "You've got to be able to say what you believe publicly and stand behind that."

Cutting the frequency of executive sessions hasn't been easy, Hermacinski said. At agenda review meetings, she said she often has to threaten to "throw a fit" to prevent an executive session from being scheduled.

Hermacinski also has publicly challenged her fellow council members and city employees about some issues. She insisted that final interviews of city manager candidates be conducted in public, despite initial objections of City Council President Loui Antonucci and City Attorney Tony Lettunich. And in an effort to scale back the city's 2009 budget, she openly challenged former Finance Director Lisa Rolan's prediction that sales tax would decrease only 4 percent. Through August, city sales tax revenues are down about 17 percent.

"My mom says I'm like a puppy who grabs a hold of your pant leg and doesn't let go until it gets its way," Hermacinski said.

Linkage suspension

There are some who feel the same way about Hermacinski, but they express it in less affectionate terms.

"In my opinion, Cari hasn't really proved that she can work as a team player," Councilman Steve Ivancie said. "She tends to want to cut to the chase quickly. : Some people approach this work as if they have all the answers, and I don't."

Ivancie, who is reaching his term limit, said he supports former council member Kevin Bennett in the race for the seat he's vacating. He said Hermacinski too often takes a my-way-or-the-highway approach to council business and that he was turned off by her efforts to reverse some of the policies of the previous council.

"Kevin builds on previous accomplishments," Ivancie said. "Cari seemed to come in there with an attitude to dismantle. : Kevin believes in what the good government can do. Cari's philosophy of government is that many times, government is the problem."

Among his examples, Ivancie cites an effort led by Hermacinski to rework the city's affordable housing ordinance, the No. 1 policy initiative of the previous City Council. Hermacinski successfully pushed for the suspension of linkage, an impact fee, and has led an effort to replace the city's complex inclusionary zoning policy with simpler compliance methods.

Hermacinski counts it as one of her top accomplishments on the council.

"I thought suspending linkage was really good for the community because, you know, I don't think it's something that's good in any economic environment and especially right now," she said, adding that linkage tacked on a six-figure fee to the development of even modest-sized office buildings and is thus a barrier to job creation. "We lose that kind of job we say we're after."

Other council members are fond of Hermacinski. Councilman Jon Quinn has gone as far as to allow his words to be used in Hermacinski's campaign advertisements.

"She really has her heart in the right place," said Quinn, who said he admires the fact that Hermacinski is willing to challenge city staff and others. "There's no question that she always comes really prepared.

"I feel like Cari doesn't have an agenda," Quinn continued. "That she really reads the materials and tries to approach everything with an open mind and tries to make a decision that's best for the community."

Development issues

Asked whether she enjoys the competitive nature of a political campaign, Hermacinski's grin says it all. Before deciding whether to run for her current two-year, at-large seat or a four-year District 1 seat, Hermacinski often said she wanted to run against the strongest candidate.

A lawyer and small-business owner, Hermacinski said she loves to debate, but she was often frustrated two years ago when incumbent candidates and a particular political committee labeled her and other challengers pawns of the development community. Hermacinski was a city planning commissioner at the time.

"I couldn't find a case of her voting against any development application," former Planning Commission Chairman Steve Lewis said during the 2007 campaign.

The sentiment also was fueled by a leaked e-mail Hermacinski wrote to developer Jim Cook in April 2007.

"I am very concerned about the direction this (City Council) is taking this community," Hermacinski wrote. "I would like to see more vocal and represented involvement of the development community and wonder if you, as a group, are turning your minds to the November elections when 5 of the seats will be up for re-election."

Hermacinski said she sees no problem with the e-mail or other efforts to reach out to the development community. At the time, she said, about 35 percent of the community was employed by the development and real estate industries.

"You have to make sure you're reaching out to large demographic groups in a campaign," Hermacinski said. "I've never made a decision that I don't believe is good for the community at large."

To a lesser degree, the tag has stuck with Hermacinski. Council candidates Bennett, Ken Solomon and Jim Engelken have said they think the current council is too pro-development, citing decisions such as one amending development standards at the base of Steamboat Ski Area to allow buildings as tall as 105 feet.

Before Hermacinski had chosen which council seat to run for, Engelken said that whoever faced her would be running against "the combined weight of the entire development community."

Hermacinski said she doesn't regret any of her votes as a council member, and she thinks she handles issues fairly, regardless of who is involved. She also has been criticized for voting in favor of an ordinance last year that would have prevented city accountants from reconciling building-use-tax deposits on open permits issued during the previous three years. Although Hermacinski was in favor of reconciling permits going forward, she said it was unfair to retroactively enforce the previously ignored reconciliation process.

"Any constituent group would expect that kind of fair treatment from me," she said. "This time it just happened to be developers."

Moving forward, Hermacinski described herself as "a pretty boring politician" who will remain focused on the same core issues such as open government and fiscal responsibility. She also is excited about a couple of issues coming up, such as an ordinance that would allow hens to be raised in city limits and a new activity being developed by Routt County Riders and the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. that could help boost local tourism.

"I think that the future of Steamboat, in terms of diversifying its tourism base, is based on all kinds of biking," she said.

Comments

Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

Maggie, I believe your every post since your recent registration at this forum has been an attack on one candidate.

Surely, insulting me from your anonymous perch reflects poorly on your candidate. May we have your real name?

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steamboatsprings 5 years, 2 months ago

I commend Cari for being very prepared, willing to question city staff, challenge assumptions like sales tax only going down 4% in last years budget and her work with the council to balance our budget in such difficult times. It has been a refreshing change from Towny and Ken. Cari says it how it is. I wish the same was true for Kevin Bennett

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 2 months ago

If I was Kevin, I wouldn't mention Haymaker, as it was essentially proven before the award that the bid had been rigged. Council voted to go ahead in spite of the bid rigging, this could have resulted in a lawsuit if not for an apology. In fairness Kevin was not the lone culprit on council.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

This is NOT an active discussion? I wonder why?

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

I was going to stay out of these arguments, because I respect both candidates. But the Pilot has simply gone too far, and is apparently not willing to give us a level treatment of the two candidates.

The 2 titles on today's cover show preferential treatment of one candidate. And blatantly negative treatment of the other.

In Cari's title, its Cari expressing her opinion, a positive talking point, my "record speaks for itself"

In Kevin's title, its the Pilot expressing its own opinion, a negative talking point, straight from Cari's supporters. "Polarizing Bennett..."

Are these headlines equal treatment? Not even close.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

Now its an active discussion. Maybe because I called Tyler? Great. Except every viewer who looks at this webpage sees a negative reference to Kevin, and a Cari talking point.

Equal treatment? Not even close.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

How about those lead in sentences?

Kevin gets: "... lingering anger and questions about his value to the community..."

Cari gets: "Voters would be hard-pressed to say Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski hasn't kept her 2007 campaign promises."

Equal treatment. Not even close.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

On Tuesday Mike Lawrence did Cari's job for her and wrote an article questioning a Bennett ad, "Bennett defends voting stance".

The article title let's us know that Kevin is on the defense.

Where is the matching article questioning Cari's ads? Oh... that's right, we'd be "hard pressed to say Cari hasn't kept her promises".

Equal treatment? Not even close.

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Paul Hughes 5 years, 2 months ago

Aw, cry me a river, Steve. Your guy didn't come off as well as you'd like in the signed articles (for very good reasons), so you're going ballistic and whining about equal treatment. Yet in 2007 you and Steve Aigner didn't hesitate to write sleazy, unsigned, anonymous attack ads against her. Where was the equal treatment then? Talk about hypocrisy!

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

The Pilot bullet-points 5 events of Kevin's tenure. The first 3 are written as negatives.

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maggie 5 years, 2 months ago

steve - you are a mess, a real mess and I might add one of our best hypocrites!

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

Paul, Re: 2007. Anonymous? I gave my name in a Pilot coverstory before my 2nd ad ran. I agree, the first ad unsigned was a mistake, even though my name would be published by law before the election. And there were ads in 2007 that attacked me as well. No complaints. We lost. No complaints.

Ads are about getting one's candidate elected. This is far different. Newspaper journalism is supposed to serve everyone.

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Paul Hughes 5 years, 2 months ago

Steve, you and Steve Aigner continue to lie about your attack ads. The fact is that you would never have admitted ownership of them if a smart reporter hadn't outed you in print. Only then did you identify yourtselves. Spare me the weasel words.

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maggie 5 years, 2 months ago

Newspaper Journalism is to get to truths regardless of how difficcult. Isn't it interesting that there has been no information on the cost to the city over the Kay Sieverding feud with Kevin. Isn't it interesting that the paper never wrote about that Kevin had a felony record - it took the Rotary to get to the truth? - If you apply your reasoning, we the public should be upset that the paper did not uncover these truths - contrary to what Kevin says, to get a conviction of a Felony - it ain't the first time baby! You just whine Steve when it doesn't go your way. Any question that gets to the truth is good. Like the deceptions that Kevin advertised aout Haymaker... and Fish Creek reservoir and on and on - do you really want all of this past to come forward? I don't think so. the paper has a difficult job - it would be less so if we didn't have all of this attack mentality that is going on.

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JLM 5 years, 2 months ago

I must say that I appreciate and applaud the quality of the "steves" thinking but I am quite put off by the tactics used to make that voice heard.

This says something about character --- well a shortage of character perhaps --- and it is quite telling.

Today we need men and women of character first, good ideas second and thoughtful decision-making third to step up and lead.

There is no need for folks who plot and plan in the shadows and who are afraid to share their views in the light of day. A pox on their houses.

I am reaching for my checkbook as I write this to send a check to the candidate of my choice.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

Paul, My comment you're refer to would be this one, from Nov 11, 07:

"The day after my first ad, a Pilot reporter said people wanted to know who we were, and I responded with my name. "Secret organization", "hiding", "public pressure" are criticisms I disagree with. I put my name on it."

I do not deserve your insults, and I have not lied. My name was in print only after I gave it. The only other comments from me would be this:

But please let me know where you've read anything by me to substantiate your insult. Meanwhile, I'll ask you to reconsider your tone. I have been posting here under my real name since 10/29/06. You spent a long time here in anonymity before switching last March to your real name. Thanks for joining me.

Perhaps you feel the 2 headlines and the 2 lead-in sentences were examples of fair Pilot journalism? You never said, Paul

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

JLM, You write: "There is no need for folks who plot and plan in the shadows and who are afraid to share their views in the light of day. A pox on their houses."

You are so easy with that curse. Nor have I earned that insult. In fact my views have been offered here and at the council podium regularly, in person, for years. Meanwhile we do not even know your name or your $$ stake in these matters you've been posting to for years.

Please reconsider the ugly curse you offer my family and my home.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

So quick to insult me.

So slow to address my points.

I've complained against neither candidate. I respect them both. My complaint is with this newspaper and its unfair journalism.

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JLM 5 years, 2 months ago

Steve No. 1 ---

Back the ego down a notch, Steve No. 1, you are only a small portion of the 'steves', my good man. You have no particular target on you. You have no particular reason to include your family within your aura of sensitivity. Though your faux outrage is charming to observe. So noble, so chivalrous but oh so boring! Deal with the truth not the delivery!

My comments, however, stand as you have actively participated in the organized and cynical efforts to influence, together with the other Steve No. 2, the local political scene in a manner which indicts your alligator tears --- by your own admission. Am I not right?

I don't get your continuing rant about the anonymity of posters to a commentary which is specifically designed to be anonymous. In many ways anonymity is a paen to truth. It spurs candor and speaks truth to power.

This commentary belongs to the Pilot, so if you have problems with the rules, go change the rules. I'm OK with them and would say the same thing in person. I have, in fact.

A reasonably astute observor would assume that every commentator has some "interest" in the subject at hand --- "some" interest not necessarily a pecuniary or financial interest. But so what? Does the interest of the author lend more credibility or is the truth simply the truth?

Put me down for liking the truth to all other explanations. Less strain on the memory, don't ya know?

Calm down, Steve No. 1, don't give yourself a heart attack. Consider a bit of reform to relieve the stress. And, hey, everybody likes you!

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 2 months ago

I'd say Steve Lewis' overall point on the biases contained in the article is fair. I had the same reaction when I read these two pieces. The article on Cari was written with a positive slant, while the piece on Kevin went with the negative slant from the beginning. It's pretty easy to see. Past that point, I don't really care to engage in the 2007 baggage that's being carried around.

JLM - Steve's umbrage with your post is more than fair. Your choice of a closing quote to your first post in this thread is hypocritical, and that's probably charitable. Anonymity is hardly a paen to truth when it comes to many of your posts. Unless the truth happens to be slurs and back-handed compliments. You can certainly post rational commentary occasionally, but I would charactarize many of your posts as inflammatory and small. Most of us here have been at the receiving end of some a**clown slur from you, but hey, everybody likes you!

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 2 months ago

JLM - thanks for making my point (again). Your quote: "There is no need for folks who plot and plan in the shadows and who are afraid to share their views in the light of day. A pox on their houses." stinks of your hypocrisy as you sling mud and slurs from your anonymity, oops your paen to truth.

As for you being "liked" I was just repeating your tired backhanded compliment. (that was sarcasm in my first post JLM, I forget you need cliff notes)

News flash, name calling isn't biting commentary, you legend in your own mind. Perhaps you should re-read what you post, it might help. Nah. Each of your posts is simply a paen to yourself.

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JLM 5 years, 2 months ago

Sue, Steve No. 1 is lucky to have a defender like you to wet nurse him through his and your delusional sensitivity. Get back on the porch, you sweet little chihuahua.

And, yes, everybody likes you just fine! LOL

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

This is my last piece of this conversation for a day or so. Thanks Joe.

JLM, I can't say much registered past your paragraph about my faux outrage. It strikes me... you are very smart and very knowledgeable but I doubt you take your words seriously. You just enjoy writing I guess. Do you actually feel what you say to others? My wife is very intentional in both her wishes, and her efforts, for everyone's good health. If you knew her you would understand the ugly in your casual offer of pox on our house.

I am too puzzled to go further, having learned after work that dad's latest return to the hospital bodes poorly. None of this is your fault. Alzheimer's is predictable.

If you didn't understand that your words hurt before. Perhaps you do now.

My business with Pilot fairness can wait. Have a nice weekend.

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 2 months ago

JLM - Read my first post, I never defended Steve. I did agree with his initial premise and still do. The two articles were written with different slants, or biases if you will. I also agree with him about they hypocrisy in your "pox on your house" quote. Is agreeing with a point the same as defending Steve, I think not. I joined in because you were predictably posting with false points, slurs, innuedos, your usual load of crap. I often find that you make up points or put words in others mouths to try to make a point, a consistent fault with your writing.

Somehow you believe the name calling and slurs you use in your posts make you some sort of "big dog". You are indeed a legend in your own mind. Your posts remind me of eighth grade boys. Calling me a girl's name, oooooh, biting commentary. I liken your posts more to the skunk under the porch, tossing out stink bombs and running away.

I'd guess you do a fair amount of drinking and it clouds your cognitive process. Like a drunk driver thinking they can make it home, you post from your computer after a few cocktails or eight and think "I'm a modern day Mencken!". It's really more like the proverbial monkey banging away at the keyboard hoping to produce a Shakespeare, but its always the same load of crap.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 2 months ago

Affirmative action moved journalism solidly into the liberal camp. In politics today we are approaching a one party system with the media serving as an auxilliary unit for the left. Our watchdog is asleep on the porch and we receive an "alls well" report. When a less than complimentary comment surfaces we have henchmen to deal with the uprising. In local matters Steve seems to be the designate to discredit and accuse other viewpoints of high crimes. Rob Douglas was neutered for the greater good and Brandon may be next. On the national front we see an administration floundering and always seeming to find a culprit to chastise for ruining everything. Any journalist presenting a questionable viewpoint is besieged with a full court press to control the message. George Bush may have had faults but he never responded to unfavorable trivialities, his self confidence allowed him a measure of dignity.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 2 months ago

Kyle Pietras did not receive good press on his coverage, but I didn't see Steve clamoring for justice in this instance. We need more than single agenda censorship in our communications.

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seeuski 5 years, 2 months ago

justsomejoe can't take the heat in the kitchen. For what other reason did you associate me with meanness in the Joanne Palmer blog when it was your blog buddy freerider?

Quote:"freerider - what's the point of being mean here? It's not like seeuski is posting here."

So you don't like name calling, poor little joe.

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 2 months ago

Fred - all due respect, but I think you have made too much of a leap here. The point of differing biases in the articles on Cari and Kevin is a fair one. You have taken this point and turned it into way more than it is. Affirmative action, henchmen? Rob Douglas Neutered? I thought he quit. I'm not quite tuned into conspiracy theories, was there more there? Is there a secret cabal I'm not aware of?

It's a simple point, one article was written with a more negative point of view than the other. It's not worthy of Beckian tirade.

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 2 months ago

Seeyouski - your post is a mess, it's why i generally ignore you. First you start of with cliche that has nothing to do with your point. Second, I didn't call you a name, although I did equate your posts in a general sense, (Freerider's posts too) with mean-spiritedness. So, go ahead and re-read the posts again and let it sink it. I'm putting you back on ignore.

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seeuski 5 years, 2 months ago

Dang it you can't be serious justsomejoke what do I do now? Oh well, there's more football to watch.

I had not posted on that story and you being the mean spirited one couldn't help dragging me in. Just because you don't like my political stance on issues does not give you credibility in your accusations here or elsewhere. As is usual when left leaning minds are challenged you revert to name calling and then you start the whining as is evidenced in your attacks against me and others. I am putting you on double ignore.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

Getting back to unfair journalism.

I happened to see Mike Lawrence, the Pilot reporter, Tuesday before the City Council hearing. I asked him when we could expect, in fairness, a matching article questioning the truth of Cari's advertising. The upshot was that there was no such article forthcoming.

That was just not fair journalism in my opinion, so I asked Mike about what I consider a slam dunk: Cari's 2007 advertised pledge that "I will treat every taxpayer dollar as sacred".

I asked Mike, how does that campaign promise square with Cari's vote to limit audits of the Use Tax, a vote to forgo a significant amount of developer's taxes due ($ millions), at a time when we were cutting many programs in the budget.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

The Pilot has reported on Cari's use tax vote, but without meaningful detail. More relevant, after Tuesday's negative treatment of Bennett's campaign promises, the Pilot has on Thursday given Cari a complete pass in the same area. Given I pointed the Pilot directly to that broken 2007 campaign promise, how can the Thursday article read,

"Whether or not you agree with her politics, voters would be hard-pressed to say Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski hasn't kept her 2007 campaign promises".

If the Pilot knows this is a matter of debate, how can it print that sentence? It seems quite wrong to be falsely crowning Cari flawless in the very area where you have made a biased effort to malign Kevin as flawed. This seems to be manipulation of public opinion masquerading as journalism.

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AGM 5 years, 2 months ago

Steve Steve Steve,

You play the victim card with more zest than anyone I've seen post on here. It is an interesting ploy. It is really tiring. You are not a victim. Aigner was not a victim. Bennett is not a victim.

If people want to lead - people should be ACCOUNTABLE. I'm sure you are a nice guy but wow this constant "so and so is a victim" card has been played too many times.

The Pilot took very specific recent quotes from Kevin and simply did a fact check.

You point to Cari giving a very broad open-ended statement and attempting to call her out on it. Any logic would dictate that these two things are nowhere near equivalent. I know you will disagree but I hope you take a breath and think about it for a minute.

Cari is by no means perfect and I don't agree with all of her decisions, but please......

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pitpoodle 5 years, 2 months ago

Investigative Research?

In an email to the Pilot and Today from Cari Hermacinski on October 11, I learned that she asked the Pilot to "do some good journalistic work" meaning she asked them to go after Kevin Bennett. They did.

Her email states, "Not only is it hard for me to respond to all of Kevin's ads; I want to keep focused on my positive message. I believe that the media has some responsibility for fact checking and digging into a candidate with such an extensive record." To do her dirty work, she goes on to suggest what the Pilot should investigate. They followed up with an article that tried to repudiate his statements by using innuendo and less than accurate "facts".

The newspaper's job is not to go after a candidate at an opponent's request.

Their job, not done at this writing, should be to investigate City staff claims that there is enough water in Fish Creek Reservoir for a huge annexation.

So far the paper has taken at face value the claims of so-called City "experts" who think it is okay to allocate 45% of the city's water reserves for the new development. The City owns a finite amount of water for municipal use and needed reserves. The Pilot doesn't seem to understand that water rights do not necessarily translate into actual water for the City without huge costs to current residents.

The Pilot's job is to investigate why City Council voted for the annexation without a report that tells how much new water filtration and waste water treatment plants will cost existing residents. Find out why SB 700 has committed about $1 million dollars toward "firming up" water rights but apparently not obligated to pay for the systems that will be needed to use that water (except within SB 700), if it ever becomes available.

The Pilot should not be an arm of the City Council. Residents deserve to have a newspaper that gives them independent, accurate information not a regurgitation of what the City wants residents to know, or to kowtow to a candidate for City Council.

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Karen_Dixon 5 years, 2 months ago

To Loretta Van Norstrand; aka pitpoodle

I agree with you on the following statements contained in your message: 1) "The newspaper's job is not to go after a candidate at an opponent's request."...... Indeed, it is a shame that it took that in order for good journalistic work to be done. 2) "Residents deserve to have a newspaper that gives them independent, accurate information".... I hope the SP&T takes that criticism to heart, as the people of this community deserve better from their primary source of information.

The rest of your message is rhetoric, implying that investigative journalism would indeed divulge the conclusions you yourself are pushing from an anti-growth platform.

Knock yourself out holding the Pilot & Today accountable for good investigative research. But don't be so upset when it reveals something other than what you expected.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

This will be my last post for awhile.

AGM, For me its not about Cari or Kevin. Its about the newspaper. I would rather have stayed out of this. Kevin has my support, but I respect Cari enough that I was going to leave it at that. And I did for many weeks, until the Pilot stepped into the race as it has.

The victim is less relevant than the lesson. The lesson is: "The Pilot can affect your race, if not your life".

And more important than Aigner or Bennett is the fact that the Pilot's negative impacts are consistently falling on citizens who have questioned development.

If you plan to run for council in the future as pro-development, you can rationalize such treatment is probably unlikely. If you plan to run against a pro-development candidate, well then... this year has offered fair warning.

It can get very rough. After Aigner's experience in July, at least one potential candidate decided the stakes were too high - if you were playing for the wrong team.

That's what concerns me.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 2 months ago

One more post. :)

Karen, I know some local Democrats have been frustrated by those large ads they feel are using innacuracies to attack Bill Ritter. I think the Pilot has heard their complaint.

Did the Pilot follow up? I haven't seen anything on that. I guess the ads were accurate? Otherwise this "accuracy" standard would seem to be unevenly applied.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 2 months ago

The entitled Community Alliance has dominated city politics for some time now and the challenge has seemingly ruffled their feathers. Bullying and intimidation are proving to be the weapons of choice to regain control, victimhood is bought in for sympathy. I wonder how many will buy this show? My suggestion would be to have done a better job when they had the chance. This whole operation is based on a no growth scenario as I have seen no other evidence. They seem intent on destroying anyone not buying their agenda.

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Karen_Dixon 5 years, 2 months ago

Steve, Keep holding the Pilot accountable. I don't disagree with you.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

jsj, babe, if I could cross the creek after rolling down the hill, I wouldn't even have to turn the engine on to get to work --- on those days I decide to actually go into the office that is.

I admit that I do like a nice cab from time to time but go for months without imbibing. And I will have a celebratory cold one after a good hike or a round of golf.

It's all natural, babe, and it's damn easy with such obvious 'victims' needing a bit of guidance from to time.

But, hey, thanks for asking. Might want to get the crystal ball re-calibrated?

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

As to the Pilot's focus, it seems blatantly inaccurate to suggest that the newspaper focused on Steve Aigner because of his philosophy rather than the huge disparity between his public utterances in SBS and his utterances amongst his academic brethren.

Whether he was speaking of religion, cooking or development --- he spoke w/ forked tongue. It was almost irrelevant to the subject at hand. Not quite but almost.

His churlish and duplicitous utterances were important and relevant because they were in fact about issues which were important to SBS.

But make no mistake, his character, or lack thereof, was the centerpiece of the articles.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 1 month ago

This had to wait. In my opinion the Pilot's impact on the election was irreversible, and there was no upside to further pressing this during the election. My beef was not with any candidate.

In the past 4 months, the Pilot's journalism has had a disproportionate and negative impact on the reputations of two men who stood against development. In each case, the treatment could not have been better timed to cause maximum damage their prospects of success.

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Roger Good 5 years, 1 month ago

And now the truth is told,not smart growth

two men who stood against development

a lot like your group has said all along no growth

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 1 month ago

Where do you get that Bennett was No-growth? He was a "no" on the annexation deal that was on the table, and wanted a public vote. Along with many others in Steamboat. The no-growth label hardly fits everyone would ask for a better deal from development.

Am I no-growth? I just posted elsewhere giving Cindy Constantine a rationale that supports the commercial space at SB700: "In... the WSSAP update, there was a very prominent goal that the west area residents not rely on downtown and even south Steamboat services and goods. Nor would it be smart if all of their jobs were downtown or even further south....Even if I do end up voting for the project Cindy, you've got my respect "

Does mine sound like a no-growth voice? Not even close. For me, standing against development begins when you ask development to do better. It does not mean no-growth. I've been standing against SB700 for months. Along the way they've delivered much of what I asked for.

All of which is beside the point I make - that the Pilot's journalism went to far in its negative treatment of both Bennett and Aigner.

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Roger Good 5 years, 1 month ago

Stevie Stevie Stevie read your 11:12AM post you said "the two men who stood against development"

that sounds like no growth, unless growth without development is the plan, explain to those of us who are not as enlightned how standing against development is not no growth, and how growth without development works

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 1 month ago

01, "Against development" were poorly chosen words. But thank you for ignoring my explaination of the words meaning to me. Thank you for insisting on your own conclusion and brushing it as a false stereotype across a large and divergent group of people. And thank you for your myopic focus on two words while entirely ignoring the actual point I was making.

You illustrate quite well the ethic, the agenda, and the effect of the Pilot's journalism re: Steve Aigner.

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