Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Time for some CalvinBall

As of tonight (6:30 pm, I believe) [update: I really mean tomorrow night...just making sure you were paying attention.], Calvin Ball will be the new councilman from District 2. As I said earlier, it is not surprising that Ball, who finished a close second to David Rakes in the 2002 Democratic primary, was selected – he is a smart, engaging and active member of the community and probably won’t rock the left side of the boat.

The right side, however, is a whole ‘nother story. Certainly, the council Republicans have lost their semi-reliable third vote; more distance from the unpredictable Rakes, however, may save them some trouble in the long run.

The bigger question that remains unanswered, at least in my mind, is whether council chairman Chris Merdon can be replaced. A few weeks ago, David Wissing satisfactorily settled this question for himself, but I remain unconvinced. Don’t get me wrong, Wissing’s a smart guy, but he’s no lawyer – at least I don’t think he is -- which is ideally the occupation one should have when trying to answer tricky legal questions. I assume we’ll see tonight or sometime soon whether the Democrats found space in the county charter to oust Merdon.

Regardless of how many words go before Merdon’s name, the road ahead does not look smooth for him. Although his majority was short lived, he did manage to upset the Democrats substantially with his handling of the first smoking ban debate, using Rakes’ vote to muscle through a political bill that he knew was destined for a veto. Considering the importance of this bill to his competitor, it is unlikely Ulman will forget (or let Merdon forget) any time soon the way the issue was handled.

As we knew when Rakes announced his resignation, things just got a whole lot more interesting.


CommonSenseHC said...

The smoking legislation process has been the most transparent indicator of political ambitions on BOTH sides of the aisle. If Ulman weren't trying to use it for political gain, he'd have embraced the introduction of the bill by Merdon instead of trying to delay it. Why do you think Calvin Ball was not at the public hearing Monday night? Could it be that he was told to stay home by Ulman so there would be an excuse for Ulman to table it because the "new" Councilman didn't have a chance to be at the public hearing? When will our elected Councilmen - ALL of them - start making decisions on what is right, not on what makes the other person look bad...

hocoblog said...

thank you commonsense. I for one hope that the Democrats make the mistake of removing Merdon from the Chairmanship of the Council. It would look cheap and partisan and really really irk the Independents who decide the races in HoCo.

Hayduke said...

Yes, the entire smoking debate was political, but to varying degrees I'm too tired to get into now.

Also, hocoblog has a good point -- removing Merdon from his post could backfire on the Dems...or it could work out for them. But that's not really up to us to decide. The voters will take care of it.

Dave Wissing said...

I still think the charter is clear on this, but it would not surprise me to see the Democrats attempt to remove Merdon and possibly succeed with the help of whomever is the final decision-maker on this issue.

You are right, I am no lawyer. But that really doesn't matter when it comes to politics since many times, it does not matter what the law says as long as your side has more votes or people in the position of power to make the final decision. In this case, the Democrats have the votes/people in power, so they can pretty much do whatever they want.

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