Park advocates question “extremism” label
In an e-mail message, Denver City Council President Chris Nevitt
describes the opposition to commercial park events as “hysteria,
extremism, and narrow-minded parochial interests”.
Nevitt, who represents District 7 in southwest Denver, sent the e-mail
in response to Chantal Unfug, Senior Advisor, Denver Parks and
Recreation. In her message, Unfug informed the Council that Parks
Manager Kevin Patterson is preparing to implement the policy on
admissions based events, with some limitations on specific parks and
the number and duration of events.
Two opponents of the controversial admissions based events policy take
exception to Nevitt’s derogatory comments:
Dear Council President Nevitt,
“…hysteria, extremism, and narrow-minded parochial interests…”
These are your words Mr. Council President. Your words to describe
the public opposition to the Parks Department Admission Based Events
Policy and I am simply disappointed in your choice of them. Such a
description of genuine concern of the public, can only be regarded in
the same manner toward you.
Mr. Nevitt, we have only met once before in May of 2008. I approached
you at the Democratic Congressional Assembly at South High School. As
we were in the hallway walking toward the auditorium, I registered by
disappointment with your vote on a Down Zoning measure in NW Denver.
I also did the same with your colleagues at that event, CM’s Linkhart,
Montero and Lopez who too voted in favor of the bill. When I spoke to
them, they asked why I was disappointed with their vote, they wanted
to know. They engaged me, they discussed it with me.
But you stood out sir, in fact you distinguished yourself from them
entirely. Instead of asking me why, you simply dismissed me and
replied “Well that’s too bad. That’s the way the law is!” You didn’t
care why I was disappointed. You didn’t ask why it was important to
me. It didn’t matter that I was not your constituent. Your response
was extremely narrow minded and parochial. Your colleagues (save Mr.
Linkhart), were neither my Council Representatives either. But they
cared more than you.
In fact, over the past two years I have come to respect those Council
Members more and more, because although we can disagree on some
things, we are not disagreeable. I have also praised them on their
votes on what we do agree on.
How dare you assume that public comment and concern be viewed in such
terms. Should the public simply role over and be silent? Is that how
you see the honest difference of opinion? Is that how you view DPRAB
members who voted against the ABE policy? Is that what you think of
my neighbors in Sloan’s Lake, who testified at the August 12th
meeting? Is that what you think of Mrs. Blau, who was verbally, and
terribly upset that the overwhelming majority of public opposition was
being ignored? You should know that many of my Jewish neighbors who
spoke in opposition are Holocaust Survivors, who know bitterly, the
hubris of political arrogance in far worse ways than your shameful
At least DPRAB Chairman Darrell Watson had the courage and courtesy to
comfort Mrs. Blau after that meeting with his sympathies.
If this is what we can expect of your governance as Council President,
you are starting your term on the wrong foot.
I think you know what you must do.
Sloan’s Lake Neighborhood
(To the Editor of Washington Park Profile newspaper)
Do not dare to disagree with the City Gov as one will be labeled an
extremist, hysterical, narrow minded and parochial. This is from our
City Council President. Where is the democratic process to disagree
and take a lead in the disagreement respected and encouraged?
A very unfortunate and demeaning email from Chris Nevitt to many
community and advisory board members. I am pleased you were at the
PRAB meeting and heard the hysterical and extremists voice displeasure
to Admission Based Special Events Policy.
Will the council and city government be reinforced to ignore those who
disagree with proposed policies and decisions? Should we close our
mouths and be quiet? The president of city council wields great power
in chambers and with the city. What is he saying about community
input? How does he define broad public interest?
I have grave concerns,
Washington Park Neighborhood
This entire message is a public document, subject to all provisions of
Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) (C.R.S. 24-72-201 to 24-72-309).
This document must be recorded, retained, and disclosed in accordance
with CORA requirements.