EDITOR’S NOTE: Matt Snider was a Democratic Candidate for House District 56 in 2016.
EDITOR: In regards to former Councilwoman Nicole Johnston’s July 30 guest column regarding the city council’s inability to fill her council vacancy, and all that’s led up to that. let me add to the discussion.
Before I get into the substance of my reply, let me go on the record stating that despite our disagreement in this matter, Johnston and I are both on the blue team, which is why it pains me to publicly reply in this manner.
Politics at every level is in a terrible mess at this time. The jockeying for position and influence is no longer for the benefit of the whole but in the service of raw power, self-interest and oneupsmanship. I’m afraid that my colleague does not get to plead innocence and then blame the “red team” for the impasse in appointing her replacement.
With respect to Sentinel Editor Dave Perry’s suggestion in his column on July 29, 2021 — that the City Council should pick someone from the left to replace someone from the left — I disagree. I do, however, agree that there is a shocking lack of honor in our city’s politics. Statesmanship, unfortunately, if not dead, is momentarily comatose and on life-support.
In my opinion, the timing of Johnston’s resignation was part of a coordinated, planned and well-executed strategy to ensure a left-leaning majority on the City Council with whom I have my own complaints on other issues. It was thought that her early resignation would result in the easy appointment of Ryan Ross, which would then be a springboard for capturing the two at large council seats from his endorsement of Adam Fung and John Ronquillo and to ensure the re-election of Crystal Murillo and the election of Idris Keith and Martha Lugo.
Now, I’m all for coordination on our respective teams. That’s how elections are won. But blaming the other side after your carefully planned takeover strategy falls apart is childish. What did Johnston expect? Did she honestly think Mayor Mike Coffman would have supported her hand-picked temporary successor? Don’t whine about the obvious, Johnston.
City politics is supposed to be non-partisan but we know that’s impossible. Yet what is possible is not being done by either side: compromise. Each side needed to be placed in time-out long enough to find a different candidate who is clearly independent of Team Coffman or Team Johnston for the duration of Nicole’s term.
Compromise is how politics is supposed to work. It has been said that political compromise is the art of the possible. I am a utilitarian pragmatist. I believe in doing the greatest good for the greatest number that is actually possible to accomplish. That’s how our late, beloved mayor Steve Hogan governed. He was devoted to accomplishing anything that would benefit the City of Aurora and its citizens whether the idea originated from the left or the right. He would gently persuade each side to put the city’s best interests ahead of partisan intransigence and let Aurora benefit from that good-natured arm-twisting. Let that be the lesson that inspires breaking this deadlock for the benefit of Aurora.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – President John Kennedy.
— Matt Snyder, Aurora, via [email protected]