Council Member Jim Benson Removed From Appointed Positions

Commerce City Council voted 7 to 2 to remove Council Member Jim Benson from appointed positions effective immediately.

What do you think?

48 comments:

Repost from General Issues said...

REPOST:
I was not at council nor did I hear it streamed live, due to the fact that I was busy with my family. After what was said I wish I was there.

I saw the video of the outrageous action by this council!

I demand that you re-instate Jim Benson to all appointed boards and commissions. Your actions are appalling and completely unfair!

Jim Benson did nothing wrong to warrant such a punishment.

A Very Concerned Citizen and yes I did sign the recall of Mayor Paul Natale.

Repost from General Issues said...

REPOST:
Whatever Jim had this coming for a long time.

Red Barn Rebel

NOT SURPRISED said...

It was a combination of events, 27J, 2A, E470. Basically Jim being Jim.

Not Surprised

Anonymous said...

UNREAL, I wonder how many of the “new” supporters of Jim Benson are the same citizens that wanted to pack him up and move him out of town during the name change era!

Flip Flop Flip Flop

Core Comments said...

I hope this has nothing to do with Benson and 2A!

If it does, then Tracey should be kicked off too!

Core Comments

Core Comments said...

I am still upset over this, I am going to add to my previous comments.

I hope that this action towards council member Jim Benson was not a personal matter.

I really thought this council was above that, I guess I might be wrong.

Red Barn Rebel said...

I do not think it was a personally motivated. I think the council more then likely explored all avenues.

I am sure we will hear more from Council member Benson.

Anonymous said...

Funny how some run to Benson's defense. How many of these people "outrageous action of the council" were furious when he wanted to change the name of the city.
Mr Benson is a loose cannon, that doesn't respect anyone.
I have heard him say "I am very smart and will prove it to you!" and also heard him say in a council meeting "it's not my problem if those people (the citizen's) can't understand what I am saying". Which sounds like HE is calling the citizen's fifth graders.
He is an arrogant person, who most likely pushed the limit with council.

Anonymous said...

How was Jim Benson able to vote on his own "getting kicked off"

Just a question.

Jim Benson said...

COUNCILMAN BENSON’S RESPONSE

This is my response to the action of the City Council Monday night January 26 in removing me from all boards and commissions to which the council had previously appointed me. The vote was 7-2 in favor of the resolution, with myself and Councilman Orval Lewis voting no. I had no idea the issue of my removal was going to come before the council until about 3:00 PM Monday afternoon and I had to work until 5:00 PM so I had very little opportunity to prepare for what was about to happen.

I should point out that this closed session meeting was illegal pursuant to various sections of the Colorado Sunshine Law, as was a previous ill-fated closed session, called for the same purpose on January 12, which I walked out on. Most of this council does not understand the Sunshine Law and even if they did, some would choose to violate it, which they did in this case.

The triggering issue arose over my actually having an independent thought or idea about how the city should proceed in certain negotiations. These negotiations concerned an entity on which I sat as an alternate board member. I called the mayor in early January to relate my idea and he agreed that I should pursue it by setting an executive session with our council and shortly thereafter another executive session for the other entity. He also suggested that I contact a major landowner in Ward II who might be affected, and I did. The mayor will deny this, but I checked it all out with him before I went ahead to propose my idea to either the city or the other entity. This is the way things are done.

To give you some idea about the mentality of who I am dealing with, the mayor on January 12 advised me that dealing with the citizens of our community was like dealing with persons at the 5th grade level. I expressed surprise at this since in my opinion, based on past and recent events, the 5th grade analogy applies to most of our city council members and not our citizens.

Members of the council became upset with the fact that I had not mentioned this idea to them beforehand, which, of course, would have been illegal pursuant to the Colorado Sunshine Law. I pursued this matter in all respects in accordance with the law and ethical standards, yet the council was upset.

There were no allegations that I had broken any law or committed any ethical violation. In fact, everyone there who knew said I had done a good job on the boards on which I sat. In fact I have attended almost all meetings of those boards since I was elected in April 2007 along with their various workshops, in order to learn and become a better representative of our city.


During this almost two hour executive session members of the council even dragged up the issues of the 2007 name change initiative and the 2008 seat tax/boys and girls club initiative, of which I was a major proponent, and both of which failed at the ballot box. They did not like the fact that I had pursued these initiatives over the vote of the council by joining with like minded citizens to get the issues on the ballot. I do not apologize to anyone for either of these initiatives, but both are dead issues at this time.

One councilman even criticized me for speaking with the city attorney on numerous occasions to seek advice on certain issues to gage the city’s position on those issues before voting on them in the context of a board of directors meeting for one of the entities that I served as an alternate board member. It is entirely proper for me to speak with our city attorney on such issues and I do not apologize for this since when I seek such advice I am becoming more informed on the issues facing our city.

The real issue here, the factor that triggered this unfortunate and ill-founded action, is that most members of the council do not like my creativity, initiative, aggressiveness and independent thought, and by removing me from the boards and commissions on which I serve they felt they could “punish” me and force me to stop being creative, pro-active and aggressive in my desire to further the goals of our city. These members have invented certain rules or guidelines, going far beyond what our city charter, state statutes and constitution say, all of which rules are unwritten and exist only in the alleged minds of those complaining members, to be changed at any time as they see fit, without notice.

I will not be bound by any such imaginary rules or guidelines. I have been asking my fellow councilmembers for almost two years to put such guidelines in writing but that has not yet happened.

You will remember that my campaign signs said “OUTSPOKEN ADVOCACY” and this, my fellow constituents and citizens, is what you have received.

Just thought you would want to have my side of the story. Anyone who wishes to discuss this is welcome to call me at 303-288-7011.

Thanks

Jim Benson
Commerce City
City Council Ward II

Kathy McIntyre said...

This last Monday evening, with a vote of 7 to 2, the Commerce City Council voted to remove Ward 2 Councilmember Jim Benson from all boards and commissions to which he had previously been appointed. There is a video of this meeting at our website, www.gatewaynews.org, for you to view to see the vote. As a point of clarification, Councilmember Jim Benson is still an elected official and is still the councilmember who represents Ward 2 in the northern range of Commerce City. As the editor of the Gateway News and as a resident and voter in Councilmember Jim Benson’s ward, I wanted to know myself and I felt it very important for our readers to know Councilmember Benson’s side of this issue. I personally feel that this could have the unintended effect for the voters and residents of Ward 2 not being fairly represented at not only the city level, but at the county and state level as well. Please let us hear from you regarding this issue on the community blog at www.gatewaynews.org.

Kathy McIntyre, Gateway News

Anonymous said...

Funny how some run to Benson's defense. How many of these people "outrageous action of the council" were furious when he wanted to change the name of the city.

Mr Benson is a loose cannon, that doesn't respect anyone.

I have heard him say "I am very smart and will prove it to you!" and also heard him say in a council meeting "it's not my problem if those people (the citizen's) can't understand what I am saying". Which sounds like HE is calling the citizen's fifth graders.

He is an arrogant person, who most likely pushed the limit with council.

Tim Dalton said...

You can all be "outrageous" as you want. The fact is, all of the appointed positions of Commerce City sit on these boards and commissions by the pleasure of the City Council as a whole.

Lets all remember it was a 7 to 2 vote.

This was a long time coming.

T. Dalton, Commerce City (actually me, not my daughter)

Core Comments said...

Looks like Natale is getting worried because Jim Benson is acting more like a mayor then he ever has!

Core Comments

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know any specifics? I voted for Jim Benson and have over time become unhappy with some but not all of his views. It appears to me that he wants to manage the entire city more than ward 2. I am NOT ready to ask him to resign his position. I remain confident that he’s capable of doing good things beneficial for our ward. I didn’t support the name change because if/when a post office is located within ward 2 the zip code would change. With a new zip code come new ratings for things like crime statistics, housing values, levels of education and many more that will theoretically increase interest in the area improving home sales/values. Jim if you read this: Please arrange a meeting at either the Reunion Rec or over in Second Creek to let us know what the heck’s going on.

5th grader…

Anonymous said...

If a the mayor is strong, then you say he is pushy.
If he isn't strong then you say he isn't a leader.
You are hypocrites.
From my take on the event of removal of Mr. Benson, the council was pretty much together on this.
Maybe they know things we don't!

Anonymous said...

Ms McIntyre,
Maybe the fact that Mr. Benson appears to so often go off in his own direction, rather than representing his ward is a bigger issue.

Paul Natale said...

I usually do not respond to any of the blogs, though I have read most of them. I try not to get involved in the "he said/she said" episodes, but in this case I must answer the lies from the article in this one.
first
*Regarding the closed session. We were advised by our city attorney that this was a legal closed session. This is just one more example of Mr. Benson feeling that he is "smarter" then anyone including our city attorney.
Mr. Benson did know exactly why the meeting was called even though he walked out of the one we held one week earlier. Proof that he knew, was that he had pages of notes and requested to speak first at the closed session Monday night.
Second
*Reference his statement about talking to him in January. He did approach me with his idea and I advised him that he needed to bring it to council first to determine the position of the council. I would not have him set up a closed session with another enity, when there was no direction from council. This is another example of Mr.Benson jumping to conclusions and going off on his own.
*Regarding having an independant thought when serving on a board. None of the councilmembers are to be reflecting "personal" opinions, while sitting on boards & commisions. We are suppose to be representing the city and the council positions. At no time should any of us represent what we feel is the best solution without relating it to the council first.
Third.
*I have no idea where this
5th grade statement came from. There has never been anyone on council except Mr.Benson who has ever talked about how smart they are and how stupid others are if they do not understand him.
Fourth
* Mr.Benson states that people have been saying he has done a good job on the boards he served on. Speaking only for myself, I have never heard that Mr.Benson has been appreciated on any board that he served on, though I have received numerous complaints of his actions.
Finally
*As a council, we are governed by many rules. We are suppose to be representatives of the city and not be renegades making "deals" and agreements for either the city or the council without the approval of the council.

Ryland, Reunion said...

I live in the recently punished Ward 2. I have grave concerns about the actions of the council as a whole.

I need to know why the council thought that this action matched the deeds by my council member Jim Benson. A 7 to 2 vote make me think that this is something really to be concerned about.

Is it?

Ryland and Family, Reunion

Curious in Reunion said...

Why was this matter handled in closed session?

Curious in Reunion

DeeDee said...

All elected officials have to pick their own battles and issues that they want to take on and fight for.

Jim has obviously decided to take on the mayor and council at this point. The things he wrote about are things that he can not take back.

If we learned anything from this, it is clear that the Commerce City Council member are only humans and really do have emotions. All in all a good thing.

DeeDee, 80022

Gina C. said...

Mayor and Council need to have a cocktail party like Obama had.

Group Hug.

G.C., Commerce City

Bernard said...

Did Council Member Jim Benson, acting what the mayor says as a "renegade" cause any damage to the city in Ward 2 or as the city as a whole?

Or did he set us back?

Does this have anything to do with getting a grocery store on 104th?

Bernard, resident of the Northern Range, Commerce City

M. Dolcye said...

I think this has been asked before, but I will ask again,

Did Mr. Benson's actions acting on his owns cause any damage or set us back in anyway?

Does this have anything to do with getting a grocery store on 104th?

M. Dolcye, Commerce City

Anonymous said...

I am not 100% sure, but I am almost positive that this has nothing to do with a Grocery Store on 104th.

ccSpeaks said...

Current member Jim Benson sounds a lot like past city member Rene Bullock. Reading the accusations of mayor calling the citizens 5th graders sounds just like what Rene was talking about during the recall effort of the mayor.

Just a curious observation

ccSpeaks

Anonymous said...

Neither Jim nor I did anything wrong or improper but the fix was in!

R. Blagojevich

Anonymous said...

If you've ever been lied about, you know that people can say whatever they want to & there are some that will believe it regardless.
I have heard Mr. Benson talk at a council meeting about the citizens not understanding him. He said something like: it is not my fault if people are too stupid to understand what I have said.
I have heard him talk down to the citizens. I find it more likely to be a statement he would make.

Anonymous said...

I see no similarities between Rene and Jim, except trying to cover their mistakes by making accusations.
I do remember Rene saying that changing the city's name was like putting a pretty dress on an ugly girl, she was still ugly.
When people try to distract your distrust of them, with accusations .....they just are selling snake oil!

Anonymous said...

you can never get the lawyer part out of jim, he will always think he is right no matter.

I seriously do not think that the City Council broke any sunshine laws.

Just my thoughts

real core comments said...

What makes everyone think just because our "can do no wrong" mayor says nothing illegal happen, we just believe him.

I am sick and tired of him being a bully and not moving this city forward. Something he should be focusing on instead of making Jim Benson into a witch.

I hope you all see the videos of the brighton state of the city and realize just how far behind we really are.

The real Core Comments

Anonymous said...

The reasons our city is behind others:
Lack of education and mismanagement by the previous administration.
The good ole boys and their back door deals benefiting only them, close friends and relatives. They did nothing to improve the core city causing extremely low property values and no interest of developers despite its proximity to Denver's infrastructure.
The mayor and new council members have pumped new life into the city. You should really open your eyes instead of being consumed in jealousy. We are no longer just stinky town or just a safe haven for illegal aliens controlled by a few.

Anonymous said...

We have a city attorney that I believe knows what he is doing.
He advises the council.
The council with a majority voted to "quiet" Benson, which makes me believe Benson was not acting in the best interest of the city.
Obviously you have a dislike for our mayor.
I see the city moving forward in a clean manner. I suspect the rest of the council as well as the mayor wants to keep it that way.
Brighton mayor has things to be proud of....so do we,
The way I see it we've had less than 2 years of forward thinking, honest leadership. with many more great things to come!

Dalton said...

Actually, the city attorney is the one who said nothing illegal happened, you obviously did not really read anything on here.

And why are you the “real” core comments?

Tim Dalton

Red Barn Rebel said...

To the REAL one,

You are precisely why this city will not move forward. You speak of all the problems the city has. Just complain and complain, never offer any solutions.

Then again, maybe that is the way you want it.

Red Barn Rebel

via email Loni said...

I am like the mayor, I read these comments, but I do not really like to comment. This issue has lead me to change my mind. I live in ward 2, which used to be Ward 4. I have dealt with Mr. Benson personally on 2 separate occasions, one was on the name change and the other was on a boys and girls club on 96th.

I can easily see how Mr. Benson got himself into this position. That is all I am going to say. I wish the council good luck in dealing with Mr. Benson, which I am sure will continue to be an issue for years to come.

Loni I., Commerce City

Anonymous said...

This is nothing more then a political witch hunt, Jim Benson did nothing wrong and does need to be put back on the boards he was kicked off of and the whole council, including the mayor need to apologize to him in public.

Supporter of Jim Benson

Voter in Ward II

Lighter Side said...

Whoa, I have a great idea,

Today, if the Arizona Cardinals win then all of the council members have to wear something red on Monday.

If the Steelers win, council has to re-appoint Benson back onto his boards and committees.

Anonymous said...

Since the Mayor was kind enough to respond on this blog to Councilmen Jim Benson's response, would it be possible for the Mayor to explain to the people in our ward two what happened so we could all understand why we won't be represented in the various groups.What happened that was so very bad? If we don't know, we really can't understand. Concerned Resident of Fronterra Vilage

Core Comments said...

I dont think Jim Benson would think that you are funny!

Core Comments

Anonymous said...

I've been told that Jim Benson was only an alternate on these boards and was there as a city representative rather than a ward representative.
He will still have his vote as a ward representative at the council meetings.
I guess ward II will be representated as well as they ever have:)

Anonymous said...

Council Members when deciding matters concerning the city, are representing thier Ward or the whole City respectfully. When they are involved in a noncity group or function, they represent the City and/or City Council, (ONE VOICE) not themselves or thier Wards individually.

As for Council makeup, the present system works best. Each ward has thier champion, the city as a whole has 5 champions. As the Northern Range builds out and the population numbers shift, we will possibly have 3 wards in the Northern range and only 1 in the South. Theoretically then each ward will have 6 champions. Of course that all depends who we vote in. I hope we're smart enough to convince good people to run for the offices.

Core Comments said...

Breaking Executive session!

You have got to be kidding! Like I stated before this is nothing more then a Jim Benson Witch Hunt!

Core Comments

Anonymous said...

Funny core comments....I bet you were one of those who were starting a "witch hunt" against Mr Benson, when he was trying to change the name.
You just love to complain and flip and flop as long as you can complain!

Real Core Comments said...

What was the exact so called “breach”? I re-read the Benson response and I see no “breach”. Benson is an elected official and there is no reason to have his actions discussed in a closed session, he isn’t city personnel.

Can you or anyone explain to us, and can you use 5th grade language so we citizens can all understand.

The real core comments

Anonymous said...

What exactly was the breach?

Anyone?


ps - if no one knows what the breach is, is there still a breach?

Dustin McIntyre, Gateway News said...

The direction was for the city attorney and staff to look into it.

I am sure they will come back with a report for all the citizens, until then we are just going to have to wait.

Anonymous said...

Personally I believe our city attorney knew what was allowed for a closed session, and knows what is considered a breach of it.
Guess we will have to wait and see.
If you want someone to talk down to you, go to Mr. Benson, he is the one who comments that people aren't smart enough to understand him.