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Mick being Mick

Dear Editor:

The only surprise about Mayor Ireland’s rudeness during the candidate’s forum was reading it in The Aspen Times. Let’s hope that signals a new willingness from the Times to expose the truth about how Mick conducts himself as leader of our city. Mick’s behavior at Wednesday’s forum was, as the local press dismissively tells me, “just Mick being Mick.”

Citizens who have experience in public meetings conducted by the current mayor know his standard operating procedure – filibuster, attempt to intimidate citizen speakers, make sarcastic and snide remarks to discredit others, and demand the last word – “just Mick being Mick.”

Mick himself frequently demands that citizen speakers “just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no'” as he starts to cross-examine them as if they are on trial. Grassroots videos of council meetings document hundreds of such incidents during Mick’s tenure. Why is it tolerated? Because the press chooses not to expose how poorly Mick represents this sophisticated, well-educated community.

Take, for example, the time that Mayor Mick made an obscene gesture on a public street to a citizen who had criticized him. In other cities that would be front-page news. I was told, “That’s not news. That is just Mick being Mick.” Or the time when I was visiting the Times office and by happenstance overhead Mick demanding that the Times publish a hit piece on me for criticizing the pending Burlingame bond issue. The letter readers will no doubt say, “You forgot to mention when Mick screamed at …” Or, “Why didn’t you write about how rude he was to Sister Cities’ guests …” Or, “Don’t you remember his mean attacks on …?” Citizens who watch could fill the paper with examples of “Mick being Mick,” in ways that should embarrass the genteel citizens of Aspen.

As you vote, consider not only Mayor Ireland’s inappropriate behavior which discourages citizen involvement, but also consider his “enablers” – the council. It is rare indeed when one of his peers at the Council table steps up to their responsibility to ask Mayor Ireland to honor proper decorum. I have seen Ruth do that, as well as Skadron at times. Andrew certainly has done it from the audience. Torre seems to be drinking the same mood-swing Mayor’s Kool-Aid recently.

Derek seems think it is not his responsibility. Seems to me that Frisch or Weiss would likely step up to that responsibility to demand Ireland be respectful. However, let’s hope it’s a moot point as the voters remove Mick from the dais this year! I’m sick of “Mick being Mick” as a style of governance.

Marilyn Marks

Aspen


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