Wake-Up Call: Batting clean-up before the legislative session

Now that Michael Bennet has been named to take over for Ken Salazar in the U.S. Senate (no cowboy hat required), Colorado pols can get back to the business of running the state (at least until it's time to start running for whatever seat may be in play in 2010).

Today, the Denver Board of Education will start looking for a new superintendent to replace Bennet. Hey, Andrew Romanoff is still looking for a job -- if he hasn't already been tapped to become the next coach of the Broncos. And on Wednesday, the Colorado General Assembly will start its new session -- with Terrance Carroll, rather than Romanoff (term-limited out) or Bernie Buescher (ousted by voters in November, but given the consolation prize of the Colorado Secretary of State slot) as Speaker of the House. Governor Bill Ritter will deliver his State of the State speech to lawmakers on Thursday morning. And it could be the state of despair given current budget projections.

But before the legislature starts crunching numbers, a few city and state commissions will bat cleanup. Ritter's election reform commission has a meeting slated for today in Pueblo to tie up some of the loose ends left by former Secretary of State Mike Coffman, whose last day was December 31. (He's off to D.C. and Tom Tancredo's former congressional seat.)

On Tuesday, Denver's Landmark Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing to consider the adoption of guidelines for Civic Center that came out of a November 18 hearing.

At tonight's Denver City Council meeting, representatives were supposed to discuss the landmark commission's recommendation that two Hornbein and White buildings at the old University of Colorado Health Sciences campus be designated landmarks -- but last week, word trickled out that the discussion of this issue has been proposed. Instead, councilmembers will be able to debate the city's strong-arm tactics used against a vendor who dared to sell T-shirts with the term "Rocktober" back in October 2007 -- which she'd trademarked before the Rockies tried to.

Play bawl. -- Patricia Calhoun

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