The July 1 appointments of Woodland Park City Council to the Board of Directors of the Downtown Development Authority will bring major changes.
Three board seats are expiring and the three members – Tanner Coy, Al Born and Nick Pinell – have requested a reappointment for a four-year term. Ellen Carrick resigns from the board with three years remaining in her term.
Three other people applied: Jon Gemelke, Tony Perry and Arden Weatherford.
City Councilor Stephanie Alfieri withdrew from the discussion due to a personal relationship with Coy. She said she wanted to avoid “unworthy conversations”.
Before making the nominations, the council voted 3-1 to seek confidential legal advice in an executive session on possible conflicts of interest from city attorney Nina Williams. Councilor Kellie Case expressed no.
After returning to regular session, the council re-elected Born and appointed Perry and Weatherford to replace Coy and Pinell. Gemelke will complete Carrick’s term.
A few years ago, Weatherford was a plaintiff in a breach of contract lawsuit against the authority. The case was settled in 2018 and the authority paid Weatherford $ 130,000.
Board member Jerry Good attempted to talk about what he called “huge conflicts of interest” but his comments were ruled out of order.
In other matters, the board has appointed Jeanette Horwood to the Keep Woodland Park Beautiful committee.
Prior to the meeting, attorney Williams delivered a tutorial on what “quasi-judicial” means and explained how board, board and commission members should handle such cases. She said these cases, which typically involve land use, require interested parties to hear all evidence at the same time and from the same sources so that policymakers can make impartial decisions.
She said there are three reasons a decision maker might have to recuse themselves:
• Ex parte communications, which are communications about the case outside of the public hearing. This problem can be solved by disclosure and ensuring that the board member remains impartial.
• Bias or bias, in which a decision maker says or writes something against a case before it is heard. Williams gave the example of a council candidate saying he will never vote to endorse affordable housing.
• Conflict of interest, in which the board member or a member of his or her family has a pecuniary interest in a matter. A perceived conflict could also lead to a challenge.
“Go with the process,” Williams said. “Base your decisions on facts, law, evidence and testimony. Tell us what evidence you heard that made you decide how you did it and write it down. “
In addition, council approved a $ 35,100 contract with Meyers Land Surveying to conduct a geophysical survey at Woodland Park Cemetery using ground penetrating radar and to create an interactive map of the cemetery.
During the public comments, Max Levy, son of the late Mayor of Woodland Park, Neil Levy, said the current council is not equipped to plan for the future of Woodland Park.
“Look at the council events of the past months – can we count on this council to lead our city to greatness? ” He asked.
Later in the meeting, council approved the dedication of a plaque to the former mayor of Panther Field at the Meadow Wood Sports Complex.
Former Woodland Park City Manager David Buttery has called on council to save the one cent street sales tax, also known as the 410 fund, which was passed in 1984 and used to pave streets in the city from 1994. Many of those streets have fallen into disrepair, mainly due to understaffing, he said, adding that the tax also pays unfunded federal warrants and provides matching funds for US 24 and Colo improvements. 67 and safe roads to school projects.
“Some people want to shrink or dump the fund, but you need it to take over the city’s biggest investment,” Buttery said.
In addition, Council gave final approval to Order 1399, removing “school-related distance restrictions applicable to licensed premises located in the Gold Hill Square South Mall”.
Merit Academy Charter School is considering leasing the former space from Woodland Hardware and planning director Sally Riley said the ordinance would protect current and future liquor service businesses in the mall.
State law requires 500 feet between schools and businesses selling alcohol, but, as Home Rule City, Woodland Park is allowed to change or even remove these distance restrictions.
City Councilor Robert Zuluaga said the real issue is not to protect these businesses. “We should ask ourselves what kind of education our children are receiving,” he said.
Zuluaga said he would like the board to hear regular reports from Woodland Park School District RE-2, although those reports would not cover Merit Academy. The academy is a contracted school for the Education reEnvisioned Board of Cooperative Education Services and is not connected to RE-2.
“The only question is whether to allow the liquor stores and restaurants and the new owners to continue operating as long as the school is there?” said Acting Mayor Hilary LaBarre. “It is not appropriate to ask for anything else.
Zuluaga voted against the ordinance.
The Board also approved:
• An ordinance on the initial posting to accept a share of water at the Twin Lakes reservoir as real property and to schedule the public hearing for July 15th. It also approved a resolution to purchase the share for $ 43,500.
• Initial Signage Ordinance 1397, repealing the 180-day occupancy limit for RVs and trailers at local campgrounds. The public hearing is set for August 5.
• A public court order fixing the closure of parks from sunset to sunrise for neighborhood parks and from 10 pm to sunrise for large community parks.
Riley announced that the Planning Commission will begin working sessions on the draft global Envision 2030 plan at its July 22 meeting. There will be three more sessions two weeks apart. This is a change from the original shorter schedule.