HOFFMAN: Brainard says ‘guilty’ but not ‘sorry’ | PostIndependent.com

HOFFMAN: Brainard says ‘guilty’ but not ‘sorry’

Jim Hoffman
Free Press Weekly Opinion Columnist

Our esteemed city councilor Rick Brainard apparently could easily pronounce “nolo contendere” but had a harder time with “guilty.”

Seems the Judge felt pleading guilty had greater weight than copping a plea with a no contest expression. After pleading guilty in his domestic violence case on May 17, Brainard received an 18-month deferred sentence which can be wiped from his record if he is a good boy, completes some community service, and fulfills counseling requirements.

His continued service on city council remains a question. While it appears he has little support remaining, the hard and fast truth is he is unemployed. West Star Aviation reduced their PR damages by further association with him and said “hasta la vista.” Ironic that people in support of him after his arrest pointed to his influential role in business via his position at West Star, a position that no longer exists. Anyway, to get back on track, he is unemployed and as somewhat of a local pariah he may be less than attractive as an employee. This would create a need to leave town to find gainful employment and resignation from the council.

While he has pleaded guilty to the charges resulting from his domestic abuse incident, he has failed to apologize. His victim has indicated she would like an apology. The citizens of Grand Junction deserve an apology. Brainard’s attorney has indicated an apology is in order “at some point.” Apparently, Brainard shall reserve an apology until that point in time he feels it may best serve him, which is not a deviation from his self-centered behavior to date.

Again, it is hoped, that should he resign or be forced from office, we voters are given an opportunity to express ourselves at the voting booth even if there is a cost associated with that opportunity. Our newly constituted City Council should not have the opportunity to force feed us a hand-picked successor to this hand-picked failure.


County commissioners Pugliese, Justman and Acquafresca were unanimous in deciding to include sales tax revenues in future TABOR calculations, just as previous commissioners were unanimous in deciding not to (at least according to some recollections).

Acquafresca in comments seemed to infer that, on the previous commission, he alone had honesty and integrity in recalling the meeting(s) in which the sales tax exclusion was discussed and approved. It seems Janet Rowland and Craig Meis continue to suffer from some form of selective memory loss in this case.

While Mesa County was the only county within the state to exclude sales tax revenue from TABOR limitations, they now claim that we taxpayers were not entitled to any refunds anyway. Well, at least not due any refunds during the statute of limitations. So, if sometime between 2007 and now we should have received a refund, the county is not legally required to give it to us.

Our current commissioners seem to have adopted a “you didn’t catch us in time” attitude. It appears as though their stance may open the county to legal action to recoup monies we taxpayers may have been due. That means we will spend money defending our current and past commissioners in an attempt to just get them to do the right thing.

It should be pointed out at this time it is not certain that refunds would have been due or the amount of such refunds had they been mandated. Should there be refunds that would have been due, we will spend twice to collect them. One, there will be the legal cost of bringing action against the county, and then, in the ultimate irony, the county will use our money to defend itself against our suit.

While this episode creates some consternation locally, political response is at best condescending. Legalities, it seems, certainly trump morality, integrity and principle.

Jim Hoffman is a local Realtor and investor who, when not working, loves skiing, camping and fishing (in season). He may be reached at freepressjim@gmail.com.

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