D.R.: Stupid is as stupid does | VailDaily.com

D.R.: Stupid is as stupid does

Don Rogers

I dont believe the three organizers of the effort to recall Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi on the eve of his last of eight years in office are stupid.I question their sincerity. I question their concern for their community and the taxpayers interests. I question their respect for simple truth. I question their honor. I dont question their intelligence. I might if I thought they really believed their own twisted rhetoric and mischaracterizations they present in their reasons for wanting to throw the commissioner out of office.They actually are quite clever. The recall is stupid; they arent. The reasons on their petition are stupid; they arent. The timing that pretty much ensures that a recall election would cost the taxpayers an estimated $37,000 is stupid; they arent. Being able to fit only five of a supposed 20 reasons on their petition is stupid; they arent.Reaching way back to 2000 for their top reason and making up stuff about the commissioners interest in vacant property for the Snowboard Outreach Society is stupid. They arent.The organizers implying that they actually care a whit about battered women, county budgets, at-risk children or taxpayers is stupid when their own action (and utter lack of action) belies their words.The Womens Resource Center folks point to the evil child helper as the most supportive commissioner they have worked with. I dont believe theyve seen hide nor hair of these oh-so-concerned recall organizers around the shelter or otherwise helping them in their work. Those are the people saying Menconi doesn’t care about battered women and therefore should be recalled? Sure, that makes a ton of sense.The recall organizers have tried to paint a picture of Menconi trying to take an operating womens shelter away from battered women for his own evil desires. But thats not at all what happened in 2000.Menconi was interested in a vacant property that the county was offering to non-profits. SOS, which Menconi founded, was one of two groups to express interest in the site. As it turned out, the Womens Resource Center was the only one to turn in their proposal by deadline. The SOS proposal came about a half-hour after the deadline.Menconi, a county commissioner then, recused himself from any vote on the matter. And only one group met the deadline anyway. Since then, the womens group says, Menconi has been very helpful. Now, you can quibble with the commissioner even expressing an interest in helping his community service group through the county. But thats a far cry from how the recall organizers have twisted the story into something thats just not true.Thats not a sign that they are stupid people, only a bit devious.It may be that they truly do not understand the difference between a dedicated tax for child development that would net $3 million a year and a three-member Board of County Commissioners deciding to spend $830,000 from the general fund for one year for such programs.I think they are smart enough to know the difference. But who in the public at large pays attention to such detail? The rhetorical raving that voters said no just feels so satisfying. Even if its not really true. And even if three commissioners supported the decision, so getting rid of one would not change anything.I agree with them about prudence with county reserve funds. But a policy aiming for closer to 15 percent than 25 percent is well within the accepted standard. Its hardly reckless. Its still multiple times what state law requires.And its not really a reason to recall anyone. Never mind that again, removing Menconi would not change the policy.The “Menconi doesnt care” blah, blah is the stuff of tantrums, not reason. That does, however, strike close to the truth of this matter. Some folks just dont like Menconi. They dont like his ideology. They dont like his comments. They dont like what they think he stands for a big step into a more liberal era in local governance than Eagle County had taken in the past.So the recall effort is a test of this, really. As if electing Democrats Peter Runyon and Sara Fisher these past couple of elections werent a clear sign of how Eagle County has changed politically.That would seem to be the bigger problem for the conservative hardcores (mainly Republicans) and the lone member of Democrats to Recall Menconi, Mike Lederhause.But they are correct that I completely oppose their recall effort and reasoning. Im fickle, though, as Im sure Menconi and other politicos would tell you. I supported Tom Stone when the Democrats twisted events up this truthlessly to try to keep him from getting re-elected to his second term as county commissioner. Imagine, that awful editor by turns defending Stone and Menconi against opponents who slipped way past truth in their zeal.The recall organizers offend me, just as their Democratic counterparts did not so long ago in going too far to try to bring Stone down. It comes down not to intelligence again, but a sense of fair play. For too many people in politics, thats the greatest lacking of them all.Given all that, fretting over whether I think they are in fact stupid is pretty silly. But hey, its a free country. Have a hoot.Heres the message to the troops and the letter, which yes , of course well print:Dear Petitioners & Supporters of the Recall attempt of Arn Menconi,You will be saddened to learn that you are stupid, according to Don Rogers, Vail Daily editor, in a column printed in the July 23rd issue.Enclosed is our response to Mr. Rogers, submitted as a letter to the editor. We wonder if hell run it.You might have an opinion about what Mr. Rogers thinks about you. If so, please submit it to us first, if you dont mind. We would love to review it and possibly make a suggestion or two.Naturally, it would be your letter to Mr. Rogers and we believe you should have the final say as to what you send. We just want to make certain that there are no errors regarding the many reasons for recalling Mr. Menconi.I hope you enjoy my letter to Mr. Rogers.Truly yours,Mike Reid, ChairmanCommittee to Recall Arn MenconiResponding to the Dailys Save Menconi CommitteeDear Editor,The July 23rd commentary by Don Rogers, Vail Daily editor and honorary chairman of the Save Arn Menconi Committee, was enlightening to the Committee to Recall Arn Menconi and all of its petition carriers and supporters.We just didnt realize how stupid we are, until Mr. Rogers pointed it out to us, over and over and over again, in this, and a previous column. Ouch!Rogers admitted he sits in his window seat on the world. So, he probably doesnt get out much to talk and teach us regular stupid folks.In his column, Mr. Rogers wrote that weve stumbled badly, that we are so obviously clueless, that we have rank stupidity, that we are too dumb, that weve collected only $200, and that we are stupidly going about our task to recall Mr. Menconi.We sent Mr. Rogers information out to all of our ignorant petition carriers and supporters, so that they could be enlightened also, about how stupid Mr. Rogers says they are.Thank you, Mr. Rogers, for informing us about ourselves. Your comments give us pause to reflect about who we really are.If you could get additional enlightened people, similar to you, to teach us more about our ignorance, they can contact us at mikereid@usinter.net.Truly yours,Mike Reid, Chairman,The Stupid Committee to Recall Arn Menconi

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