A "new sheriff" is the old Mick | AspenTimes.com

A "new sheriff" is the old Mick

I still think that Mick Ireland was far and away the best of the mayoral candidates, but those who believed that time has mellowed and civilized him into the persona of “The New Mick” may have been as shocked as I was to see him in action at his very first city council meeting on June 11.This meeting began with the old council – Helen Klanderud at the gavel – finishing up old business, including the financing of a trail to the music school, the merits of which are not germane to this column.Public comments had been taken and the council was discussing the issue, finally finishing up and getting ready to vote, when Mick Ireland stood up in the audience and began making a SPEECH in favor of the trail.Klanderud made an attempt to stop him, on the grounds that the public comment section had long been closed, but finally acquiesced as Mick pressed on. Hadn’t even been sworn in yet and already making an ass of himself.The new council was soon sworn in (Mick swearing separately instead of in unison with the others – what was that about?), and the council ended up revisiting the same trail question, which is still not germane to this column but might be worth another one. During the ensuing heated discussion, Rachel Richards had her hand up to speak but was ignored.Finally, overcome with the urge to make her point, Rachel made a comment from the floor and, never mind that she was one of his strongest supporters, Mick snapped: “You have not been recognized, MISS RICHARDS.”There’s a new sheriff in town – we do this by recognition, not just by PIPING UP.”WHOA, big fellow!Was this the New Mick or the Old Rude Mick? A power play to say, “Watch out, enemies – I’ll even crap on my friends”?It was more than a little ironic that Ireland was chastising Richards for doing exactly what he had done to Klanderud not an hour before.There have often been complaints about long city council sessions, but the speed with which Mick hurtled through this meeting was an insult to the process. Seeing that he had the majority of three in favor of the previously denied trail, he called for a vote, bang bang bang – heard a NAY from Jack Johnson and proclaimed that the vote was four-to-one in favor.Steve Skadron hadn’t even voted, making him look in the press as if he’d inexplicably changed his position.Mick, you are not the new sheriff of Aspen, you’re the new mayor. Don’t be an embarrassment to us, make us proud. Slow down. Work, as your campaign slogan said, for the people’s benefit. Trust in them. Including your council.Su Lum is a longtime local who was horrified. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.

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