I had planned to write a piece on how if one steps back and objectively analyzes the results, Osama bin Laden can claim a win 10 years after the fact. He gets a W. I mean he didn’t live to see the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 (and that’s a personal L for him) but he got a lot of what he set out to do. The country appears to be heading toward financial crisis, civil liberties have been comprised and it seems too many Americans live from a foundation of fear rather than optimism. And it seems obvious (then and now) that most of those things could have been avoided with better choices from our president and vice president at the time… George W. gets an L in my opinion.
But instead I will write about a good local political move. Longtime Crested Butte politician Jim Schmidt has graciously stepped aside to help usher in a new generation of leadership. Schmidt is on the Town Council and has been forever… or at least a lot of the last three decades. Town politics is what he does. He’s served four terms on the council and was elected mayor three times.
He had thrown his hat into the ring for mayor once again on the belief that no one else who carried similar views was going to do so. But Aaron Huckstep, a local attorney, CPA and one of the driving forces behind the recent bike races held in the valley this summer, jumped into the race.
So Schmidt took a step back to evaluate the situation. I have known Deli a long time and he is a close friend. I am sure he would have preferred Huck run for council instead of mayor. I would like to have seen that as well and I told Huck that. I am a believer in a person getting a little council seasoning to see how all the gears operate before taking the top political job.
But I have seen Huck work and he has seen enough of the internal workings of the council and the town, and I have no doubt he will confidently take the reins of mayor and do a great job in two months’ time.
Deli too sat down with Huck. They apparently discussed philosophies and goals and love for the community. And in the end, it appears that Deli realized he and Huck could do more together as a team rather than nitpicking various positions over local issues like fireworks or franchise agreements. Not that Huck shouldn’t have to answer a lot of questions about local issues. He will.
But Deli stepped up in a gracious way to open the door to a new, and shall we say, younger, voice. Huck says he’ll appreciate the history Deli brings to the table. It is sort of a transition as Deli takes the mantle of elder statesman and Huck represents a younger generation.
This has good potential for the council and the community. I must say, it is so much easier to deal with the intricacies of local politics rather than get upset with the national political crap from the Bush-Cheney era of a decade ago. Here, we can chalk up a W that benefits us all.