How to kill a good idea
The reign of Minturn Mayor Earl Bidez and prospects for a KOA-style RV park died of hubris Tuesday.
The mayor and other ousted Town Board members managed to take a pretty good idea and ruin its chances of success through too much secrecy and, frankly, too much arrogance toward the constituents who all but threw them out of office.
Former Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty, who lost the mayor’s election in 2002 by just one vote, crushed Bidez and other pro-park incumbents in a race widely seen as a referendum on the RV park.
Too bad. The RV park was a pretty solid idea as a revenue generator for a struggling town. Flaherty is flat wrong about the town not needing something to boost its flagging financial picture. Be careful about what you ask or run for.
He and his new council majority have inherited a budding mess, and no doubt will make it worse by killing the RV park concept, which they will learn soon enough.
Still, as tight to the vest as the former regime held the RV park plans, it’s no surprise that Minturn voters overwhelmingly said in effect, “No thanks.”
The developer’s identity is a secret. The week before the election they revealed that the plan had metastized to nearly double the size of the project up to that time. The council and mayor also thumbed their noses at a townwide vote on the concept, saying their charter only mandated a vote if town land were sold, and aha, they were only leasing out the land. A little more respect for the voters and an honest effort by the public servants to sell the idea openly, and the result Tuesday might well have been completely different. There’s a lesson here.