PACE

The Silencing of Loveland

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The Loveland City Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday October 17th, 2018. The agenda for the special meeting consists of a second reading for three ordinances related to a private development project in the downtown area. The three ordinances are labeled as being an emergency, meaning they need six council votes, and the legislation will go into effect immediately. There is no public forum, or public hearing, scheduled for this emergency meeting. The only people who can comment on the pros and cons of these emergency ordinances are the seven members of council. No one else in Loveland will be permitted to have a voice.

The three emergency ordinances looking for passage in this emergency meeting are not new to the council agenda. They first appeared at the September 11th meeting. They were also tagged as emergencies then. I spoke in the public forum on the complexities of the legislation and the potential downside to bringing a new, untested, program into the city. The council tabled the ordinances and promised to bring them up at the next meeting.

The ordinances were once again labeled as an emergency in the September 26th meeting, but they were pulled from the agenda. There was no further discussion on the potential impact the new program would have on the entire city.

At the October 9th council meeting the ordinances were once again on the agenda, and they were once again labeled as an emergency. Councilman Tim Butler was absent from the meeting, so all six present members of the Loveland City Council had to vote yes for the ordinances to pass. Councilwoman Angie Settell voiced support for the individual project, but felt like the city was introducing an unknown new program into the city without understanding all the pros and cons. She voted no. The emergency legislation failed.

Just over one week later, Mayor Kathy Bailey, and her majority consisting of the five men on Loveland City Council, will take up these three pieces of emergency legislation at a non regularly scheduled meeting. Only the city council will have a say on creating this new program. No public input will be sought.

I fully expect the Mayor Bailey majority will pass these three emergency ordinances. Vice Mayor Rob Weisgerber, who says he does not like emergency ordinances, may say something, but I expect him to vote yes. I shared some of my concerns about the potential consequences of the new program with Councilman Butler. He may address those concerns, he may not, but I full expect him to vote yes. I sent an email to the council, per Councilman Butler’s request, asking a few basic questions. No one in the majority has seen fit to respond. Even Councilwoman Settell, who can speak tonight, has had her concerns brushed off by eye rolls and indifference from Mayor Bailey. The council majority does not care about opposing views. They have the votes tonight, and they will use any non-transparent means to get their way.

Why silence the city to push this legislation? Is it out of spite for people like me and Councilwoman Settell? I do not think so. My thought is that the council majority is using non-transparency because they want to hide from the city that the passage of these three pieces of legislation is for one project and one very small group of people.

Cronyism is the reason for the emergency meeting.

In less than one year, Mayor Bailey and her loyal majority have used every non-transparent administrative tool in the book to serve their cronies. Why should this be any different? The City of Loveland will have a new complex financing program brought into the community because of cronyism. The public shall have no voice when a crony needs a favor. That is how the council majority governs. The majority of the city will be silenced for the benefit of a few., the future be damned. Tonight’s meeting is just another reminder of the council majority’s indifference to the greater good of all.

I will be at the emergency meeting, and I will update to any shocking changes that may occur. I expect a quick meeting with three 6-1 votes. I expect no discussion. The majority wants to keep this hidden and quiet.

The council majority may have taken our voices away, but they did not take our vision. The record of non-transparency and cronyism by Mayor Bailey and her majority has been in full view all year long. I wonder how it will look next year for the city council elections? That is where the City of Loveland will no longer be silenced.

RD

RD Kulik  is a resident of the City of Loveland and the editor at The Loveland Tattler. Do not be silenced. Let us know what you think.

Hit RD up on twitter @TattlerLoveland or email him lovelandtattler@gmail.com.