Acting on the advice of City Attorney Chris Melcher, Mayor Steve Bach will assume control of all units of the Colorado National Guard on Sunday, April 1.
This extraordinary step is perfectly legal, according to an opinion by Melcher that will be formally released to the press later Sunday.
“Ample precedent exists for the Mayor’s action,” said Melcher in a lengthy e-mail to senior staff (who will henceforth be called ‘The Mayor’s General Staff’). “During 1894, city and county officials raised an army of 1,200 men to put down a strike by miners in Cripple Creek. Governor Davis Waite, whom history remembers as a weak-kneed, bible-spouting socialist, refused to activate the National Guard. The task of defending the city fell to Mayor W.M. Strickler, whose authority to do so was unchallenged. Like Mayor Bach, Strickler was a ‘strong mayor’ who was unconstrained by pesky city managers or recalcitrant Colorado governors. That authority now rests with Mayor Bach, who can exercise it as he chooses.”
Bach could not be reached for comment, but a highly placed individual on the General Staff characterized the Mayor as “delighted” by the opportunity to move Colorado Springs forward.
“This is a highly competitive world,” he said. “We’re in a municipal death match, fighting for jobs, for investment, for young professionals, for new companies. We needed to control our own destiny. You naive lefties probably think that we don’t need a modern army. But where would we be if Denver, or Aurora, or Pueblo had made the first move? We’ve got the law on our side, and now we have the firepower.”
The Mayor’s office confirmed that units of the renamed Colorado Springs National Guard would begin moving south in multiple convoys down Interstate 25 sometime Sunday morning.
“We’ve notified Fort Carson and other federal military installations in and around the city that they, too, will be under the Mayor’s command,” said public communications chief Cindy Aubrey, who also noted that all city employees will become members of the Guard, with ranks commensurate with their responsibilities.
“I expect that you’ll be calling me Lt. Col. Aubrey,” she said. “Steve Cox will be a Brigadier, as will (Chief of Staff) Laura Neumann."
And what about Mayor Bach?
“He’ll remain the Mayor — but he will be Commander in Chief as well.”
She also denied that the mayor would use force against his political foes.
“Absolutely not,” she said. “The Guard is an economic development tool, nothing more. And besides, he won’t have any more foes. Thanks to Schriever and NORAD, we control our own airspace, and we do have the nuclear option if the Mayor so chooses.”
No present member of Council could be reached for comment. Former Mayor Lionel Rivera believes that they’re in protective custody.
“There are at least a dozen cells in the sub-basement of City Hall,” he said gravely. “I’m sure that Bach has just locked ‘em all up. Good riddance! If I’d had that kind of power, I wouldn’t have put up with that crew for a day.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was clearly nonplussed.
“That may not have been the action that I would have taken,” he said, “but I’m not familiar with the situation in that city. It may just be an example of outraged citizens taking action to defend themselves against Obamacare and the job-killing Democrat policies of the present administration.”
As the news spread Sunday morning, a group of self-proclaimed “outraged citizens” gathered in Acacia Park.
“This is just unbelievable,” said one, who asked not to be identified. “First he won’t fund tennis courts, then he puts up surveillance cameras, and now he’s taken over the military? What is he, Generalissimo Bach? What is this, a totalitarian city?”
But strollers along Tejon Street seemed unconcerned.
“If it’s good for the economy, then I’m all for it,” said local resident Dudley Steinberg.
Especially when it happens on April Fools' Day.