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LTE-Why the Recall?

by Pete LoPresti

THE RECALL IS CLEARLY ABOUT COMMISSIONERS WHO SEEK TO IMPOSE CHANGES IN CUSTER COUNTY REGARDLESS OF STRONG OPPOSITION BECAUSE THEY THINK “THEY KNOW BEST!”
But do they know best? NO, they don’t!
There is yet to be a commissioner’s proposal that county residents can rally around with enthusiasm and [in] majority support. Quite the opposite is happening. The commissioners are obviously aiming to install more government control because “THEY KNOW BEST!” It is a Progressive stance fostered by an elitist group with an ATTITUDE…and the Custer County Citizenry smells a movement it largely rejects. These three commissioners were elected under the Republican Party Banner. Yet, they espouse essentially Progressive principles and ideas. Clearly this constitutes a bait and switch. Thus the RECALL.
There are arguably good ideas like Dark Skies [that] the commissioners and some citizens may support; but, the idea is presented in an arrogant and negative manner that would impose more government intrusion, stringent regulations and penalties for noncompliance. It’s the elitist ATTITUDE that THEY KNOW BEST; and, if you do not agree with them you don’t count, and you’d better watch out. Continue reading LTE-Why the Recall?

BOCC Oct 4th

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

–October 4, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Commissioner Items:
Commissioner Hood reported that the training will take place on October 16th for streaming the meetings of the BOCC and the first live streaming will be the October 31st meeting.
Commissioner Printz talked with Jackie Hobby regarding the Kohl request from yesterday’s meeting. Mr. Kattnig again stressed that giving this piece to private owners would set precedent that he was not comfortable with. Again, the county has only owned this small parcel for a few months after it was deeded to them by Jane McCarty.
Commissioner Kattnig will be attending the Action 22 meeting on Friday as will Mrs. Hood. Mr. Printz will attend what he can after a funeral. Mr. Kattnig spent some time with Road and Bridge going over some roads last evening.

Continue reading BOCC Oct 4th

BOCC October 3rd

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

–October 3, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Minutes were approved from September 19th and 20th.
Commissioner Items:
Commissioner Hood did a verbal “happy dance” when she announced that a new grounds and maintenance person has been hired. He will start next week and work up to 15 hours a week. She’s glad there will be someone to shovel the snow. Mrs. Hood also reported that Chuck Ippolito and Cindy Howard are working on updating the E-911 system to include a citizen in Wetmore that was not receiving call-outs.
Commissioner Printz had no items to add.
Commissioner Kattnig had a briefing with Cindy Howard from OEM. She’s been part of a 20-man team sent down to Florida to help with hurricane relief. She evaluated county buildings in addition to other jobs. He said it was a great learning experience. Also, through Cindy’s efforts we received a $350K grant for cleanup from 2012 fire.

Continue reading BOCC October 3rd

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

September 29, 2017
–Westcliffe, CO

by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

Just prior to the meeting, Clerk Kelley Camper, instructed Mrs. Hood and her husband to remove their “No Recall” pins. [Editor/GG: Did they violate Colorado Revised Statutes 1-13-714 which prohibits campaigning/electioneering in and within 100 feet of any building where polling is taking place (e.g., the courthouse). The out-of-country ballots had been mailed which starts the statute effective period. There were signs posted all over the courthouse stating that no campaigning/electioneering could take place. The Colorado Secretary of State has stated that campaign pins are electioneering.]
The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Public comments
Tim Stodola began by telling the Board members that he supports them. He went on to say that he had received an unsigned letter in the mail with no return address. He stated that it was “indicative of the backhanded tactics of some of these recall proponents.” He explained a bit about what was in the letter. Then Commissioner Hood asked him to read the letter in its entirety. This entire “public comment” took well over the maximum five minutes that Commissioner Kattnig allows. In truth the letter was odious and ridiculous. During the reading of this letter, Mrs. Hood appeared very pleased. (Editor/GG: Mr. Stodola, and the entire BOCC, seems to be ethically challenged here. A moral and ethical person does NOT read an anonymous political hit piece letter in a public forum. This could have come from anywhere and it had no corroboration. And Mrs. Hood asking him to read the whole unsubstantiated letter into the record is the height of political and ethical impropriety. Kattnig and Printz are equally to blame for allowing it even to be discussed. This is another violation of C.R.S. 1-13-714. Amateur hour, folks.)
When Mr. Stodola was finished, this reporter asked if the Board would allow all letters regarding the recall to be read during the public comments time. Mrs. Hood asked Kelley Camper, who said that from this point on – until the election, this sort of political speech was electioneering and would not be allowed.

Continue reading

September 2017 BOCC Meeting

Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)

September 20, 2017

Wetmore, CO

The meeting started at 9:00 with the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call.  Introductions of the public in attendance followed.

Public comments:

A citizen asked about when the Reverse 911 will be fixed.  She thinks it is a mapping problem. She stated that Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEM) Cindy Howard had told her for the last six months that she’d made sure it was fixed and it still isn’t fixed.  Commissioner Hood assured her that she would make sure the mapping issue was fixed as soon as Chuck Ippolito (IT) was back from vacation.

A citizen reported that there are still issues outstanding on the Wetmore Community Center.  Commissioner. Printz made notes.

A citizen read a prepared statement to the Board, noting ongoing vitriol and racism on Mr. Printz’s Facebook page in light of the Recall.

Commissioner Reports:

Mrs. Hood has completed all the employee reviews she had to do.  She reported on the day the BOCC spent with the Forest Service touring various parts of the county.  She also reported on the presentation of the report from the UC Denver architect students on three of the buildings in the county.

Mr. Printz had nothing further than what Mrs. Hood had stated.

Commissioner Kattnig was at these same meetings as well.  He also met with UACOG on recycling and landfills.

Attorney Items:

Attorney Smith requested again that action be taken to pick up the files from John Naylor’s office.  Mr. Kattnig said he’d have some of the Road and Bridge employees take his trailer down and get them.  There was no further decision on where they’d put them once they did so.

Mr. Smith reported that after a conversation with Kelley Camper and the Secretary of State, the Board had two options regarding the ballot issue for the November ballot and one would require a slight revision to the proposed language.  The Board could allow the residents of Silver Cliff and Westcliffe to vote on the issue, in which case the current language would be sufficient.  Or, the Board could limit the voters on the issues to be limited to only people living in the unincorporated county.  After discussion, a vote was taken.  Mr. Kattnig and Mr. Printz voted to limit the electors to those living in the unincorporated county with Mrs. Hood voting to allow the towns to take part.  The measure passed 2-1.  The revised language for the ballot can be read here: Revised Building Codes Ballot Language.

New/Old Business

Three RETAC grants were brought before the Board by EMS manager Beth Archuleta.  Only one of the three was present in written form – the other two not having made it in the email.  The board approved the one that was before them and conditionally approved the other two when the paperwork was transmitted.  These are no-match grants.   Also, there was a discussion on filling seats on the RETAC board.   Ms. Archuleta suggested putting two more people from the ambulance corps that live in Pueblo on, as she does for ease of attending meetings.  County Health Nurse Elisa Magnuson would like to be on that board, citing her living and working in Custer County.   The Board requested this issue be put on a future agenda.

Elisa Magnuson requested that grant money from the Child Fatality Fund that has not been used for the last three years and is sitting in the General fund be reallocated.  She proposed that $3,400 of the $5,571 go to the Sources of Strength program at the school and the rest be used  for the teen driving programs from the sheriff and for car seats.  The board approved her request.

The SECOM contract for broadband for the courthouse was approved.

The letter of support for the marketing matching grant for the Tourism board was approved.

The IGA for participation in the Central Front Range Transportation Planning Region Regional Planning Commission was approved.

The Board read a letter from Jan Emory requesting they waive the 3X penalty assessed to her for a “temporary” horse shed on her property for which she did not pull a building permit.  She contested that she needed a permit for the shed.  The Board consented and waived the penalty, but kept in place her need for the permit.

Deputy Mike Halpin brought a proposal to the Board regarding vehicles in the sheriff’s fleet that need repair.  He proposed trading an older non-working vehicle to Aztec Transmission in exchange for approximately $1,000 in work on two other transmissions.  The Board approved.

A citizen brought up an ongoing issue on CR129 where some pipe was put in a trench across the road and the trench has never been properly filled in.  Mr. Printz attempted to answer her, but was reminded by Mr. Kattnig that he was in charge of Road and Bridge and that the road would be fixed as soon as the department got more asphalt in.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:35a.m.

September 5th BOCC: BOCC: Printz: “Vague” Building Codes Ballot Wording “In Our Best Interests”

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

—September 5, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter
The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed. The crowd overflowed into the hallway.
There were no public comments.
Commissioner Items:
Mrs. Hood has spoken with Jeff Wood the DU instructor that brought students to Custer County to do the building assessment. There will be a BOCC meeting on September 19th at 5:30 pm (THIS DATE CHANGED IN THE NEXT MEETING – see next article) for this building assessment presentation to be made to the public.
Attorney Items:
Mr. Smith presented Resolution 17-16 appointing Dawna Hobby as the Finance Officer when John Piquette leaves in mid-November. (Note: John Piquette’s salary was just under $10K per year. The BOCC will address salaries in the October budget meetings.) This resolution passed unanimously. Continue reading September 5th BOCC: BOCC: Printz: “Vague” Building Codes Ballot Wording “In Our Best Interests”

August 16th BOCC: Grants, Building Codes and Much More

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

—August 16, 2017
SAN ISABEL, Colorado
by Jackie Bubis
The meeting started at noon with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Minutes from July 31, August 1, and August 2 were approved.
Public Comment
Becky VanWinkle from Wetmore requested support in her battle to get Centurylink to provide better landline service in her area. She recently was interviewed by KOAA television regarding Wetmore residents not having landlines that are reliable in bad weather – causing emergency notifications to go unheard. After discussion, the commissioners agreed to put a petition on the county website for people to sign.

Continue reading August 16th BOCC: Grants, Building Codes and Much More

August 10th BOCC: OVERWHELMING Rejection of Codes

BOCC Refuses to Accept
The Consensus of the People

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-August 10, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 7 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll call. The room was packed to overflowing so, in lieu of taking time for introductions of the public, a sign-up sheet was passed around.
This meeting was called solely for more input again from the public on the issue of building codes. There was a similar meeting in June before the Planning Commission. In early July, the Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend that the BOCC NOT proceed with a building code. The commissioners stated that they were not content with that decision and put this meeting on the books.
First to speak was Cindy Howard, head of the Custer County Office of Emergency Management. She confirmed that the previous statements (on numerous occasions) from Commissioner Jay Printz – that a building code was necessary in order to get flood insurance – were false. Continue reading August 10th BOCC: OVERWHELMING Rejection of Codes

August 2nd BOCC: August 2nd BOCC: Smith Denies Illegal Executive Sessions, Hood Defensive on Painted View Light Bomb

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-August 2, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, CO
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Yvette Big Eagle Stanley complained about the condition of county roads 271, 264 and 265. She also has issues with the naming of her road. JD Henrich gave her some options to take back to her neighbors. Commissioner Kattnig assured her that he would pass her complaints on to Road and Bridge but stated that the county does not have enough people or equipment to keep up with all the roads.
Mr. Louis “Perry Mason” Devanney again brought questions for the Board, in this case, particularly Attorney Smith. He asked if there was current legal action by the Colorado Secretary of State against the commissioners regarding executive sessions. The Board and Mr. Smith assured him that there was nothing at this time. He again asked if the executive sessions regarding the Hamilton cattle guards were illegal. Mr. Smith answered no. The Board thanked him for coming and told him he didn’t need to worry about the time he was taking, that he should “do what you need to do.” (Note: the Board regularly limits time of public comments. Apparently Mr. Devanney has special dispensation. )
Elizabeth Harman, holding up the 2006 IBC book, asked if the Board had read it and how extensive their knowledge of it was. Mr. Kattnig told her to come to the meeting on August 10th. When pressed by Ms. Harman, as to whether “this” was the code they were proposing for the unincorporated county, the commissioners weaved and dodged. At last Mr. Printz admitted that it was – along with the 2006 National Fire Code.
Mr. Devanney interjected that a handful of people should not be making this decision and that building codes should go to the vote of the people. When reminded by the Clerk that only voters who live in the unincorporated county – and not people in the towns – would be allowed to vote on the issue, Mr. Devanney seemed quite distressed.
Moving on, Ms. Harman then asked Mrs. Hood if she had an event on Friday night, July 21st. She then referred to the photo on the front page of the Sentinel. Mrs. Hood immediately jumped to the defensive, saying that she couldn’t say if that was a picture of her ranch, that pictures can be altered, and that the light on her barn was hooded. When Ms. Harman stated that, if there was an event, it was perfectly acceptable to have those lights, Mrs. Hood continued to be defensive and told Ms. Harman that she should come out to the ranch to see Mrs. Hood’s lights. Continue reading August 2nd BOCC: August 2nd BOCC: Smith Denies Illegal Executive Sessions, Hood Defensive on Painted View Light Bomb

August 1st BOCC Meeting: Board Attorney Admits Violations of Executive Session Laws

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-August 1, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, CO
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
For the second day in a row, the meeting began with Louis “Perry Mason” Devanney asking pointed questions of the Board, this time of Attorney Smith. His questions revolved around the statutory reasons for Executive Sessions. Smith answered that there were statutory reasons. Those reasons included legal advice, personnel issues, etc. Smith stated that “personnel issues should be discussed in executive session unless the person being discussed has made a specific request to have an open meeting.” Mr. Devanney belabored the point with Mr. Smith that all the executive sessions that this Board has had since January (Note: their estimate was 10 of them – by my count there were 17) were proper and necessary. The Sentinel reporter asked a follow up question of Mr. Smith. “On each of the executive sessions regarding personnel since the new Board was seated (there have been nine) was the person being discussed notified beforehand so he could choose an open meeting?” Mr. Smith replied that the person had been there in one case but was not invited the other eight times. (Editor/GG: Not notifying the subject of a “personnel” based Executive Session 24 hours in advance so the person can exercise their statutory rights on whether they want to attend, not attend, or make the session public is a DIRECT VIOLATION of the Open Meetings Law. These are serious violations of the employees’ rights under Colorado law that do not seem to bother Attorney Smith or the BOCC. This is just another example of the lack of character and honesty of the BOCC. This problem must be rectified.)

Continue reading August 1st BOCC Meeting: Board Attorney Admits Violations of Executive Session Laws