EXTRA! COUNCIL APPROVES TONED-DOWN DECORUM ORDINANCE
SPECIAL, JUST IN: The council, on a tight five-to-four vote, tonight (July 20) voted to approve a toned down version of the proposed “council decorum” ordinance, opting instead for a “Be Nice” campaign that will, if nothing else, perhaps turn the tide in council’s favor with regard to public approval ratings.
Under the new rules, signs will be posted at all council chamber entrances, as well as inside council chambers, with the standard “smiley face” emoticon and the words “BE NICE” underneath. Additionally, council voted to spend $100,000 on a Boulder-wide “JUST BE NICE” ad campaign, improving slightly on the simpler “BE NICE”, but still using the ubiquitous smiley face. George Karakehian received praise from other council members for his initiative in organizing the media campaign, which will feature a highly kinetic kickoff event– a big “JUST BE NICE” banner pulled by a woman skiing on Boulder reservoir (a woman Karakehian apparently knows personally.)
“BE NICE” flags will be flown outside of the municipal building; city employees will be required to wear “BE NICE” buttons, presumably to improve working relations with the many companies and business non-profits the city supports with its “economic vitality” program; which, incidentally, Ken Wilson volunteered to have renamed the “BE NICE VITALITY PROGRAM”. The council decided that change was a little too radical; as Susan Osborne put it, “I think it’s a little much for one evening, Ken.” (Whereupon council member Crystal Gray was heard to mutter, “yes, you mean he’s had a bit too much,” which drew a chuckle from the rest of council.)
The new rules give the mayor permission to defenestrate anyone council determines to have failed to “just be nice” after being given fair warning; warning that includes a blast in the face with a pocket air horn from the sargent-at-arms.
It should be noted that in separate news, local activist and occasional “trouble maker” at city hall, Seth Brigham, settled his legal complaint with the City. At a private meeting with the city attorney and council members he agreed to “Be Nice” unconditionally, provided Ken Wilson would admit, once and for all, that he did in fact appear at the 4/20 event in 2009…and since Ken was asleep in his chair at this meeting, drooling onto his tie-dye t-shirt and clutching a bong, Susan Osborne approved the deal.
Rob Smoke is a former Commissioner of Human Relations for the City of Boulder.