Letter: Myrin deserves praise
I was shocked and dismayed by the lack of decorum, respect and basic understanding Mayor Steve Skadon exhibited at the Jan. 11 council meeting. State law requires City Council (and other public bodies) to conduct meetings exclusively in public. The law is the Colorado Open Meetings Law. The reason being so public business isn’t conducted in back room deals.
During that meeting, Councilman Bert Myrin opined that he favored both a citizens’ committee to participate in selecting the next director of community development and an amendment to Aspen’s Home Rule Charter (our city’s constitution) to give City Council authority over selection of the head of that department. This would be similar to its authority over hiring the city manager, city attorney and some other positions. Myrin said this could be done either by City Council placing such a measure on a public ballot or by circulating a public petition requiring it be placed on a ballot.
Did Skadron listen respectfully and thoughtfully to councilman Myrin? No. Instead, the mayor burst into an outrageous rage at Myrin for doing the unthinkable: making a public policy suggestion without “discussing” it first with the rest of the council in private.
Skadron needs to read the Colorado open meetings law! Or maybe he just doesn’t understand it? Discussing a proposal like that with the rest of council constitutes a the council meeting. It’s required by state law to take place in public, which is exactly what Myrin did. Obviously Skadron prefers the good old days of political conspiracies in smoke-filled rooms out of public view.
Whether one favors ideas advanced by Myrin, at least he has ideas, at least he voices them and at least he does it in public without first seeking permission from the mayor. Myrin deserves praise for this, not derision.
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