Michael Pierce: Sour grapes | SteamboatToday.com

Michael Pierce: Sour grapes

It has been fascinating reading ethics questions about a City Council member by former City Council members.

The question I have is, “Is it really about ethics, or is it about personalities?”

Kathy Connell, as reported by the newspaper, stated, “We want people who lead our city to serve by example.” An admirable statement, especially coming from a woman who owns a management company and never stepped down on a discussion about the urban renewal authority prior to its being adopted. She felt she would in no way directly benefit from citizens’ dollars being spent to revitalize the base area and yet is now about to manage at least one of the projects going in because of it.

Hmm : did she develop that business contact while serving as council president?

Ethics? The newspaper reported Bud Romberg saying that “perception is perhaps more important than actual reality.” While serving on the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, Romberg purchased a market-rate lot in the affordable housing project at West End Village just a month after the project came on the market. It was certainly possible to do this, but the question is, “Was it appropriate?” If he really believes what he stated, then why would he do it at all?

Ethics? Bob Maddox questioned the validity of a complimentary ski pass. Is a ski pass proven unrelated to a council seat more important than serving on the Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Board of Directors while at the same time charging the hospital for Mountain Flight Services? I find it difficult to believe that being paid by the entity you are representing as a board member isn’t a little more unethical than receiving a ski pass for a job you have besides your council seat.

The truths about the ethics questions being brought up here are clear in the final comments Ms. Connell made. “There are hard feelings” toward Mr. Brenner about previous council campaigns. That to me means this is all about personalities and people who were beaten in an election now using the newspaper to vent their sour grapes. Get over it.

If these are the past leaders of our community, I am glad they are past.

These people all had a chance as our administrators and community leaders to address some of our important needs – needs such as affordable housing, protection of the Yampa River Basin and demanding more from our development community. These are things the current council is not shirking and has started changing through legislation.

Were these same community leaders spending more time on creating bad feelings then as they are now instead of working on solutions to our needs? Let’s ignore these ridiculous attempts to redirect citizens’ attention to unimportant topics and work as a true community to support the positive changes that are occurring and need to continue to keep Steamboat Springs the way we want it to be.

Michael Pierce

Steamboat Springs

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