QUID HAS HEARD that it’s not about the money nor the glory for those who rise above the fray to serve the public as an elected official. Seems that at a recent confab of nabobs at city hall, the Honorable Councilman Charlie Richardson shared with his fellow honorables what his legacy shall be. On his gravestone, Richardson quipped, will be etched these most important truths: Charlie never owned a boat and he never voted for a contract with so many unfilled blanks. Of course Richardson was pithily pointing out how unready the ready contract was for a controversial city-center for, mostly, illegal immigrant day laborers. Boat-bashing aside, your faithful hack thinks there’s great value in ordering pre-engraved headstones for those in government. And there’s no need for the honorable many to worry themselves about what moniker the world will see in granite — your’s truly has that ready.
For Hizzoner Mayor Steve Hogan, one verse stands out: “Aurora is not a suburb.” If there’s room left on his stone, which really should explain that the man held elected office from around the same time the granite was formed, Quid knows Hogan would want the world to know, “There are rules, and rules should be followed or — or nothing. Follow the damn rules.”
For the Honorable Barb Cleland, who has also sat on the Aurora City Council through more decades than the city has three-story walk-ups, her granite marker will bear what she is best known for remarking as a legislator: “Seriously?” Which is frequently followed by the mutter of “Murmur, murmur, murmur, dumbest thing murmur, murmur.”
For the honorable former Mayor Paul Tauer, who reigned over city council for eons, his thunderous public-school math-teacher tenor will forever be remembered barking, “No. None of the that. Don’t do that,” Tauer frequently scolded council watchers for publicly hemming, hawing, clapping and eye-rolling.
For the Honorable Congressman Mike Coffman, the legacy is obvious: “I’m clearly the most moderate staunch conservative never to publicly pick a side on every issue.” While Aurora’s senior legislator has long revealed his bravery during Middle East conflicts, all that pales from the chutzpah it took to debate former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in Spanish on live Spanish-network TV about three years ago. When the good congressman goes to that fabulous campaign victory party in the sky, his icon will read what we know he and the world were thinking at the same time, “Gracias a Dios las minorías de Aurora no hablan francés.” Say it slowly with a Colorado drawl and a paper towel in your mouth.
AND THAT’S ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS