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October 18, 2011 11:46 PM UTC

It's Good To Be Mayor of Longmont

  • by: Colorado Pols

A fascinating story relayed to us from the Free Range Longmont blog–we last checked in with Longmont Mayor Bryan Baum a couple of years ago, when he tried unsuccessfully to limit the time allowed for public comment in city council meetings. Baum complained that citizens were taking too long, saying “I just think it’s ridiculous to be there an hour and a half and listen to the same thing over and over again.” Safe to say, this wasn’t a particularly good moment in the history of government relations.

Apparently, though, being mayor of Longmont comes with some…advantages:

On July 4, 2010 as my wife Michiko was walking our dog, 2 dogs broke through their owner’s fence and attacked our dog, a medium Dachshund. The larger dog had him down when my wife grabbed our dog and ran for home, getting several bites to her hand, and our dog also had several bites.

The 2 dogs chased my wife to our home, about ½ block, and when she came in I was able to get both dogs into our home and lock them in our pantry area. I called 911 to report the dog attack…

I watched the paper since they normally report on 911 calls.  But nothing appeared, although almost 2 months later a police report included a 911 call for a boy being bitten by a dog. [Pols emphasis]

The next day, while the Animal Control Officer was at the house, a car pulled up and a man whom I didn’t recognize came up to me and introduced himself as Bryan Baum (Mayor of Longmont). He apologized for their dogs getting out and biting my wife and dog…

The case went to trial on May 5th, 2011 at 2:00PM, case number 2011 S 000054. The case was found in our favor and Ms Stephanie Baum was ordered to pay the sum $566.62…when I went up front in the court room to pick up some papers, my wife left the court room and was spoken to in a loud voice by Mr. Bryan Baum.  He said both of us were trying to ruin his political career, and he would sue if we didn’t stop. [Pols emphasis]  A friend of ours was there and heard this.  When I came out of the courtroom Mr. Baum started in on me, and a Police Office of the courts told him to calm down and leave the court house…

The story looks legit based on the court record posted to the blog, as well as an audio clip of the judge’s ruling. Obviously, we can’t vouch for the conversation described above, but it is pretty interesting that a 911 call of the mayor of Longmont’s dogs attacking a citizen did not rate a mention in the Longmont Times-Call. The Times-Call does have a police blotter section like most papers, you can read about dog bites in their “Police Notes” section all the time. We can’t possibly imagine that something like this wouldn’t qualify.

Which makes you think that even if it didn’t help in county court, it’s still good to be mayor.


18 thoughts on “It’s Good To Be Mayor of Longmont

  1. and it’s not a “dog bites man” story, and from what I’ve seen of Longmont “dog bites woman” probably ranks somewhat below the others anyway.  

  2. 1. There is no confirmation for any of this report other than a blog post somewhere. It looks like there was a small claims case that was decided. Where is the proof of any of these discussions? Aren’t your standards higher than this?

    2. You’re asking the T-C to prove a negative, that they have never ever missed a report of a dog bite in their police blotter. I seriously doubt every dog bite in Longmont’s history has made the paper.

    In short, a typical Pols drive-by. Who put you up to this one?

        1. This is not really unclear, is it? Sometimes information moves faster than MSM bridge trolls can print it. I then turn to this thing called “the internets,” where (unlike you and Conservpedia) I apply critical judgment to what I read and decide for myself what I think. Sorry if that’s inconvenient for Mayor Baum!

    1. Is that Mayor Baum has two dogs that have attacked a dog and a woman. And the victim had to go to court to get compensated for the attack (which makes him, at minimum, a jerk).

      Also, in most cities a dog owner is required by law to report any cases of their dog attacking a person or other animal? Does Longmont have this law and if so did Baum report it?

      There – all issues that are clear facts from the court case. Have excuses for those items?

  3. It’s now being reported that Stephanie Baum has paid a visit to Hedensten’s house and has posted a note on his door. Given Stephanie’s demonstrated bitterness and penchant for attacking Longmont citizens via Twitter, Facebook and blogs, one can only imagine the threats contained within the “note”. These people will stop at nothing to get their way.

    1. It was a copy of the diagnosis from last Thursday that Maisy, the dog who bit their dog was diagnosed with terminal cancer and we’ll have to put her down before the election so they don’t need to be afraid of her anymore.  There was no threat, just an update about our dog.  Feel free to ask them for a copy to post on here.

      Love how FRL only lists part of the facts – didn’t list the harrassment by the Hedenstens, didn’t list that they sent the Sheriff to the Civic Center to serve me (I neither live nor work at the civic center so not sure why they sent the sheriff there – I live all of 200 feet from their house).  It didn’t show that the municiple court only awarded damages for the dog’s bites because when 2 dogs are fighting, either dog could have bit Michiko, and it was her own risk to stick her hand in.  It doesn’t say that the County judge ignored the police bite report saying that Michiko’s bite was provoked, and state statue doesn’t allow for damages for a provoked bite – the judge decided the state statue didn’t apply (HUH??).  This whole thing was political, and if it wasn’t then it would have been reported A YEAR AND A HALF AGO when it happened, not 2 weeks before the election.

      As for it not being in the police notes in the paper – they list 3-6 lines from the police blotter everyday.  Dogs bites only appear on “slow news” days – people don’t care about them unless a child was bit or one dog died.  People want to read about the interesting stuff, like yesterday’s when someone reported their 4ft pot plant was stolen and police responded and found 2lbs of pot on the caller.  THAT’S an interesting police note.  This happened on JULY FOURTH – a day that usually has LOTS of police stories – people lighting fireworks and burning down their house…blowing their pinkie off…getting drunk and shooting pop-bottle rockets at each other.  This dog bite was a non-issue.

      And oh by the way, did you see the headline today?  That Bryan helped secure the deal to sell Longmont’s Mall? – the top 2 concerns of voters in Longmont are 1) Jobs and 2) The mall and this positively addresses both issues.  The progressives are going to have to concoct some new scheme to try and unseat him.

        1. Do I really need to spell it out?  What’s political is an incident happening a year and a half ago being reported to the newspaper by a failed former Progressive candidate trying to make it a story 2 weeks before the election.  Guess what?  It’s not relevant to the race, but what is relevant is the left attacking my family when we’re about to put our 9 year old dog down.  That’s real civil, which is ironic since the guy who went to the paper tried to launch a civility commission that failed miserably.

  4. The day after being given the information about the Baums having to be taken to court before paying for injuries to Michiko and her dog, I went to the Times-Call with that information. I reported to them only what I believe to be factual and verifiable.  Certainly politics is part of my motivation; I think that Bryan Baum is not the best candidate for Mayor, and the behavior seen here points that up and deserves wide circulation.  The Times-Call has put its reporter, PJ Shields, onto the story and we shall see what slant results.  She has been reviewing court records and talking with the principals.  I think the T-C might be in somewhat of a bind, having endorsed Baum for Mayor before this rose to their active awareness.  Differently, perhaps, from some, I perceive a basic fairness in the T-C’s reporting, though there is a slant in favor of the moneyed conservatives in town.  

    So what information did I give the T-C?  First is the attack itself, as described in Nick Hedensten’s letter published in FreeRangeLongmont.  Next we see Bryan visiting the Hedenstens, taking accountability for expenses for the dog attack.  Hedensten has said to me that had the Baums stepped up and paid, this would have ended then and there with no further ado.  But then we find the Baums shirking that responsibility, with Bryan also claiming that what a reasonable person might take to be family pets are in fact the possession of only Stephanie; could happen, I suppose, for example if she had brought them into the marriage.  But in his initial conversation with Hedensten, Bryan made no such allusion.  It required two trips to court before — first — the claim for the Hedenstens’ dog’s expenses was awarded with the court stating Michiko’s claim for her injuries would have to be the subject of another trial.  And second, that subsequent trial, in which the court again held for plaintiff.  It was these hard and verifiable facts that I took to the Times-Call. Politically motivated on my part? Of course, but politics is a rough and tumble sport in Longmont, as is well known to the Baums.

    I will add that if a dog of mine escaped my control and bit another dog and its owner, I would take care of the matter without having to be brought to court. It would be the fundamentally right thing to do, and actually I have homeowner’s insurance to help me out should the event arise.  I don’t know the Baums’ financial situation nor how it might have influenced the flow of this instance, but as a money manager/advisor, let alone as a public figure with an image to maintain, Bryan should have known better how to handle this.

  5. There were two court cases becasue the dog bite was a municiple violation (a misdemenor).  Once the police were called, by law we could no longer deal directly with the Hedenstens.  My dog bit their’s, yes, and I accepted the punishment (fine, community service, year probation, restitution).  All funds had to be paid THROUGH the probation department – the Hedenstens continued to send us bills and the probation department had to remind them that we were not to deal directly with them.  The municiple judge found that only Sherman’s (the dog’s) injuries were our responsibility – when you reach your hand in to a dog fight, without a bite analysis and DNA evidence, it is impossible to determine which dog bit the human (Sherman was prone and in fact more able to bite Michiko because of that).  Additionally, the bite report clearly states that Michiko’s bite was provoked – when you reach in to a dog fight, that is provokation (a dog in an “aroused” state will snap at anything coming at it – this is how owners are often bit by their own dog when they are barking at someone passing their property and the owner reaches in to quiet their dog).  When a bite happens as a result of reaching in to a dog fight, the municiple courts never award those damages.  Michiko took her own risk when reaching in.  The correct action is of course (as any dog owner class will tell you) is to pull the dogs apart by grabbing the back legs and walking them in a circle, never putting your hands in the vacinity of the dogs’ heads.  As soon as the municiple case was settled, the Hedenstens tried to subpoena me – at the Civic Center.  I don’t live there, I don’t work there.  This was clearly an attempt to embarrass and harrass.  

    As to Mr. Juday’s comment that he would take care of the matter without having to go to court?  That my friend would be against the law because any dog bite in Colorado must be reported to the police and a ticket will be issued.  When it is, you must go to court and deal with them.  You don’t get that choice.  And what may I ask are you implying by saying our “financial situation” has anything to do with the “flow of this instance?”

    And I find it extremley ironic that you now claim that it’s OK that this is politically motivated because, “politics is a rough and tumble sport in Longmont” becasue YOU Sir created the “Longmont Civil Campaign Commission” in 2009 and claimed, “We are united in the purpose that this campaign shall work to present Longmont as the friendly city that we know it to be.”

    I guess when your candidates are all losing in the polls and you feel desperate, civility gets thrown out the window, eh?


    1. 1) Learn to control your psychotic dogs.

      2) Learn to write English intelligently.

      For the second, you could probably just use a spell-checker. The first is more difficult. Maybe instead you could send out a pamphlet to all the homes in Longmont advising them of the special methods they should use when being attacked by the mayor’s psychotic dogs.

      “And remember, when the Mayor’s dog bites you, it’s your own fault! Vote Republican!”

  6. Just more Republicans who crow about personal responsibility UNTIL it’s expected of them.  And now, a year or so later?, the wife is trying to play the sympathy card because her dog has cancer.  I feel sorry for any animal/pet who is suffering.  I’ve experienced it up close and personal. But that has nothing to do with the Baums’ disconnect with the real world.

    Longmont, get rid of that guy as mayor and give the city a fighting chance to repair its reputation.

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