Jack’s snotty attitude
As voters consider how they want to be represented by their county commissioners, the dismal anti-democratic, anti-transparency track record of one candidate is well documented. Recently Jack Johnson exclaimed that citizens should “vote and then shut up.” Jack supports heavy-handed actions by government officials to pursue their own agendas, despite the will of the public.
In 2007, Johnson initiated the “emergency” ordinance (using bogus data) to declare all 30-plus-year-old homes historic, prohibiting even changing a doorknob without Big Brother approval. Johnson proposed this measure after 10 p.m. one evening, and it was law 24 hours later without public notice, despite citizens’ pleas for transparency and a hearing. Council had no legal authority to pass such emergency legislation, but that didn’t stop Johnson’s determination to ignore his constituents’ rights and requests. Homeowners had to fight to extract the list of homes that the city was secretly eyeing for special restrictions, which should have been a public record. Those surprised homeowners are still under a murky cloud of restrictions.
Elected in 2005 when the voters also approved Burlingame, Johnson eschewed any fiscal accountability for Burlingame. Until citizens discovered the dirty secrets, Johnson and his colleagues failed to acknowledge the $75 million cost misstatement in the 2005 election materials. Johnson still minimizes the misstatement as a “brochure error” instead of the purposeful election deception that it was. He excoriates those who exposed the sham, rather than its perpetrators.
Johnson showed his snarling disdain for transparency when I attempted to ensure that all council sessions could be videotaped and made available to the public. Johnson and Mayor Ireland claimed that the right to record public meetings was theirs alone to convey, denying that it is the public’s inherent right to make such a record of a public meeting. Their public personal attacks were scathing.
Johnson brought Aspen the instant runoff voting fiasco which could have been averted by full disclosure of the problems discussed in nonpublic meetings. He helped lead a group of city insiders and some citizens in establishing the fundamentals of the election method in private meetings, unbeknownst to the public – fundamentals that violate Colorado laws on voting methods.
Even Johnson’s e-mail address encouraging citizens to WriteJackNow@yahoo.com is disingenuous, considering that as a council member, Johnson routinely refused to read e-mail messages from constituents, arrogantly boasting that he didn’t have to. Perhaps Johnson should consider a more fitting e-mail address – WriteJackNowOnlyIfYouAgreeWithHim@yahoo.com.
Vote in the Aug. 10 primary, regardless of your party affiliation. Vote for candidates who desire to humbly represent their constituents’ interests, honoring those who elect them and the fundamentals of a transparent government.
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Onsite parking won out over a Turkish bath at a new lodge planned to be built across from City Market. Aspen’s elected officials didn’t want to burden the neighborhood with offsite parking for the new hotel.