The increasing impact of a partial government shutdown

Cross Currents: A column by Bill Christopher
Posted 1/16/19

Who is being hurt the most by President Trump’s demands for $5.7 billion for his “Wall” which in turn has caused a partial federal government shutdown? Would you say it is the Central American …

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The increasing impact of a partial government shutdown


Who is being hurt the most by President Trump’s demands for $5.7 billion for his “Wall” which in turn has caused a partial federal government shutdown?

Would you say it is the Central American immigrants who are attempting to come into the United States?

Is it the federal government employees who are forced to work without pay or those who have been furloughed without pay and are having trouble paying their regular bills?

Is it the American public who are feeling the “pinch” more as each day goes by with less or no services? Is it the American businesses and farmers who are faced with reduced business and revenues?

How about the Republican Party and their support for Mr. Trump as it relates to political fallout? Or, would it be the Democratic Party for not rolling over and approving the funds and the political fallout that might cause?

Finally, would you say that Mr. Trump himself would be hurt the most in this ridiculous demand?

Oh, by the way, don’t forget that the total cost for Mr. Trump’s “Wall” is not $5.7 billion. It is approximately $20 billion. Neither amount is funded and would cause the federal government to go further in debt, something we do not need nor do our children or grandchildren.

Government failing to do its job

Regardless of your answer, I would submit that all of the answers have validity.

Government job at all levels is to provide needed services, protect the citizenry, provide for the health of the citizenry in need as well as the welfare for all. Plus, government is to be dependable in carrying out their services.

Our federal government is in violation of these fundamental principles and many people have become victims.

Mr. Trump is proud of shutting down the government. He boasts of keeping it shut down for months or even years. Is this in keeping with the oath of office he took upon assuming the duties of President? Does he think this unrealistic demand is “good negotiating tactics” with the Democrats?

I personally believe our country has hit an all-time LOW with the President’s bully mentality. November 2020 cannot come soon enough - if you know what I mean.

Council dedicated to the process they chose

Turning to another political issue, the Westminster City Council labors on in their determined approach to hand-pick two more city councilors to fill out the seven-member city council. While I very much disagree with the approach the council has taken (versus the electorate selecting candidates for the original three vacancies), I do want to acknowledge their dedication in the process they have chosen. They have already conducted approximately 45 interviews with more coming after the January 10 deadline for any additional candidates.

In attending the January 7 city council study session, I witnessed first-hand their quest to have all the information possible about each candidate. It was good to see that the current five council members were willing to devote whatever amount of time was needed to learn about each candidate.

They did agree to cull the field of candidates at their post-council meeting on January 14th after they have the benefit of additional information from those candidates still interested in being considered.

It sounded like they might end up with about 25 candidates to further pursue.

Councilor Demott pushed for special election

I want to acknowledge City Councilor David DeMott’s efforts in representing the voters in trying to get the City Council to call a special election to select two candidates to fill the current vacancies.

On this issue, I agree with Mr. DeMott. Unfortunately, none of the other four on city council would support his suggestion. Furthermore, DeMott suggested a City Charter amendment to better clarify how vacant city council positions should be filled in the future. I totally agree with his idea. Let’s let the taxpayers of our fair city decide who their city council representatives are and not be compromised by political interests of seated council members.

Updating 1958 city charter is a good business practice

Councilor DeMott’s City Charter suggestion reminded me of a practice the city council utilized when I was city manager which I would suggest has renewed value today. Every two years as part of the city council election, staff, consultants and city council would develop potential city charter amendments to keep the 1958 City Charter up-to-date and “in tune with the times.”

From the list, city council would usually include up to four amendments on the ballot for voters to consider. I should point out that the only way the City Charter can be changed is by amendment approved by the Westminster voters. The practice of regular updates and clarifications going to the public was dropped for some reason unknown to me while Brent McFall was City Manager and Mayor Nancy McNally led the council.

It is time to bring back this practice and DeMott’s idea to change the approach of filling city council vacancies should be at the top of the ballot in November, 2019.

Do I hear an “Amen”?

Community service awards wanted

Don’t forget to think about and send in your nominations for recognition of Westminster citizens, business people, community groups and others. The Westminster Legacy Foundation is accepting nominations through January 31st. There are 9 categories for you to ponder. Please refer to the foundation’s web site at to get more details. There are plenty of deserving folks to be considered with the winners to be honored at the April 25 Community Awards Breakfast at the Westminster Westin Hotel and Conference Center.

Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.


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