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DPS bliss at The Broadmoor

Ranger Rich



When a marriage counselor and the entire Denver Public Schools Board of Education are stuffed into a tiny meeting room at our village's own Broadmoor resort in an effort to curtail the board's quarreling and bickering, you're left with a few questions.

The first, of course, is: "The Broadmoor! Geez, aren't there any snooty, overpriced hotels up there in Denver?"

The second question anytime a marriage counselor meets with a school board: "If this therapy doesn't work, who gets the kids?"

So there they were late last week at The Broadmoor, that DPS school board packed into the very small Freymuth Room, which was, by way of historical footnote, named for G. Russell Freymuth, a terrific gentleman who worked at the hotel for 47 years and who, in his final years, apparently had one simple request: When I die, name a broom closet after me.

The session with the marriage counselor came in the wake of a brutal school board meeting in Denver that featured shouting, finger-pointing, tears, threats and lots of screaming and yelling about millions of dollars.

Then the board members drove their SUVs into fire hydrants and beat each other with golf clubs and lied to the police. Oh wait, that was the meeting that began in Tiger Woods' kitchen when his wife found out he was allegedly "Cheetah" Woods. (Q: Who will Tiger Woods hang around with on the three nights before Christmas? A: Ho-ho-ho.)


Anyway, the initial mess in Denver actually had tears and shouting because of newly elected member Andrea Merida, who used to be in the Army and, according to secret military documents, reportedly came close to nagging Osama bin Laden out of a cave.

Merida forced outgoing member Michelle Moss from her seat right before what would have been Moss' final meeting. Just hours earlier, Merida had orchestrated a sneaky and devious swearing-in ceremony, thus preventing Moss from voting on a reform issue along with two other outgoing board members.

(Merida was aided in her plot by Denver Judge Larry Naves, who read the motions and, after great deliberation, signed Merida's school board papers because he didn't want to spend the rest of the afternoon in a headlock.)

(By the way, Moss had campaigned for Merida and was now receiving the usual post-election politician thank-you: You wonder what the hell happened, cry a lot and walk around with your old friend's shoe lodged between your buttocks.)

Three days later — at a cost of $2,400 in taxpayer money that probably would just have been wasted on stupid things like books — enter the marriage counselor at The Broadmoor. Dr. Susan Heitler, in some type of trust/strategy session that no one understood, soon had the group — and I'm not kidding about this — playing the children's game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Without the scissors. So it was just Rock, Paper. (Frankly, I wouldn't have let this group play with scissors, either.) The school board spent 20 minutes tossing out either an open hand or a closed hand and then adding up some type of score and comparing their scores against others in the group while 60 miles away, somewhere in a Denver public school, a high school freshman was trying to spell the word c-a-t.

In the middle of it all was Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale and nearly at the top of his Stanford Law School class and was a major player in the drafting of Hong Kong's new constitution and bill of rights in 1997.

And I don't want to say Boasberg, the Thomas Jefferson of Hong Kong, was bored by Rock, Paper, Uh, No Scissors and other fascinating games, but for the first two hours of the session it looked like someone had Super-Glued his elbow to the table and then glued his chin into the palm of his hand.

Although to be fair, between 11:05 and 11:15 a.m. he removed his chin from his hand and placed both hands over his face. This indicated that he was either: A) deeply engrossed in thought about the sweeping changes needed in the public school system or B) trying to suffocate himself.

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