Silence is golden…

Thu, Apr 2, 2009


So what did Council discuss during that three-hour closed meeting on Monday?  We don’t know (somehow, the mini-tape recorder that I left on the Council dais was gone when I snuck back in to retrieve it).

But we may be in the midst of a “Silver Blaze” scenario.

For those of you who may not recall A. Conan Doyle’s story, Silver Blaze was a famous racehorse who had disappeared from his stall on the eve of an important race.   Sherlock Holmes was called in to investigate.

Asked by an impatient local policeman whether he’d found anything, Holmes replied

“I was struck by the curious behavior of the dog at night.”

“But Holmes,” said the policeman, “The dog did nothing at night.”

“Precisely,” said the great detective.

A three hour closed meeting with no visible outcome is, in politics, the dog that didn’t bark. It means that something’s up, and that whatever that something is, it’s unlikely to please the taxpayers/voters.

Consider this: as of yesterday, only 20 percent of the ballots that the city mailed out to voters for Tuesday’s election had been returned.  At least one council seat is being seriously contested, and there are four referred issues on the ballot.

For the voters to approve any of the four referred issues, they must believe that the city has, is, and will act prudently and wisely in spending the funds that we taxpayers so grudgingly dispense. If the voters think that the city of Colorado Springs is run by a bunch of clowns who couldn’t organize a one-car funeral, bye-bye issues 1A-1D. 

Of all the issues before the voters, IA looms largest for the business community.   Open Space advocates were sure, a dozen years ago, that all of the pristine open space around the city would be subdivided, bulldozed, graded and gated absent a dedicated funding source to buy such lands for public use.  Much of the business community feels similarly about 1A, which would guarantee a funding stream for economic development, and, they say, allow the city to compete effectively with other municipalities that already enjoy such funding.

That may be why city leaders are staying mum about Monday’s meeting, and have yet to say whether the city will have to add more taxpayer dollars to the pot in order to keep the USOC in town.  They’re just adhering to the first law of politics: No bad news before an election!

And they’re hoping that, at the next city elections two years hence, the second law of politics will take effect: No one remembers anything that happened more than a year ago!

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