Seldin’s lack of judgment | AspenTimes.com

Seldin’s lack of judgment

So you’ve got a date to the prom, only to learn that the head cheerleader has taken a liking to you and two others. She’ll let you know in a week or two whether you ” or one of the other two suitors ” will escort her to the big ball.

For sure, this is a dilemma. But you decide it would be best to cut ties with your date, who you’ve been courting for more than two years, so that the head cheerleader will know that you really, really want to go to the prom with her. At the same time, you let your former flame know that if the cheerleader selects someone else, you’ll be happy to go with her to the prom after all.

For a 17- or 18-year-old kid in high school, this exercise in poor judgment is a bit understandable.

But for an elected official on Basalt Town Council, there’s really no excuse.

And, in essence, that’s what Chris Seldin has done.

Seldin, one of three finalists for the newly created judgeship in the 9th Judicial District, announced his resignation from the Basalt Town Council on Friday. In an e-mail to other council members, Seldin relayed he was stepping down immediately because he was a finalist for the bench. (Judges cannot serve on elected boards.) Fair enough ” we don’t begrudge anyone the opportunity for a better job. But, in addition to resigning, Seldin also asked the council to keep a seat warm for him, should he not land the judgeship, which pays more than $100,000 annually.

“In the event that I am not selected for that judicial position, I hope you will consider me for appointment to the vacancy on the Council created by my resignation,” Seldin wrote.

It seems to us that Seldin got way ahead of himself on this one. He could have waited to tender his resignation until he was actually appointed to the bench by Gov. Ritter. Instead, this conditional resignation is both insincere and presumptuous.

But if Seldin gets the job, then more power to him. But if he doesn’t, we would encourage Town Council members to appoint someone else. After all, Seldin’s early departure shows that he was willing to dangle his resignation in front of Gov. Ritter, as if to prove he was truly serious about the judgeship. Maybe so, but it also demonstrates how serious he isn’t about his post on the Basalt Town Council.

This clarification was published May 15 in The Aspen Times:

Wednesday’s Aspen Times editorial suggested that Basalt Councilman Chris Seldin shouldn’t have resigned from his town council seat until Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter offered him the judgeship for the Ninth Judicial District. According to Seldin, however, under Colorado law he had to change his legal residence in order to be eligible for the judicial position.


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