Category Archives: Archives

BOCC: Bills, Business and more… Cattleguard Talk and CSU Extension Office Q’s

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)
—March 31, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis
The meeting started with the pledge of allegiance and roll call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The Board approved minutes from March 21st.
Chairman Kattnig announced that the Extension Office item on the agenda was an update on the extension office, that two hours had already been given to public comment on the matter and that the Board needed to move on.
The Commissioner Items will be discussed at the continuation of this meeting tonight at 7 p.m.
Attorney Clint Smith said he would not be present at the evening meeting.
The Board reviewed and approved the vouchers.
Per the request of Treasurer Virginia Trujillo, on advice of the CPA, two small accounts that had not been used in recent years were deleted by transferring funds from each into the general fund.  On unanimous approval of the Board, the PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funds will go 100 percent  to the school.
Kathy Reis, from the town of Westcliffe, asked for landfill fees to be waived for the two towns only for the Westcliffe and Silver Cliff clean-up days, scheduled for June 3rd.  Board approved her request.
Doris Morgan, Interim President of Action 22 and Chairman of Action 22 Board Ivor Hill met with the Board to update them on Action 22 items.  There is a vacancy on the group representing Custer County.  The Board wanted to appoint one of the commissioners to fill that vacancy.  However, Action 22’s rules state that vacancies can only be filled via caucus.  At the urging of the Board, Ms. Morgan will check the rules to make sure.   She urged the Board to support HB 17-1242 regarding sales tax money coming into rural communities to fix roads.  There was a discussion on how gas tax money gets into the county and Kit Shy, who was in the audience filled the group in on procedures to get projects funded.
Sheriff Byerly met with the Board to get the fire ban lifted.  He also discussed amortization schedules for new vehicles.  The old radios he’d intended to put in the new vehicles were una-ble to be fixed so new radios needed to be purchased.
Jane McCarty met with the Board to discuss closing out her grandfather’s estate by donating some properties out in the Lake  DeWeese to the county.  Kit Shy spoke about the “elephant in the room” regarding the lots out in Lake DeWeese being too small for both well and septic and that it was only a matter of time until a centralized system would be necessary there.  Mr. Kattnig spoke of going to school with Ms. McCarty’s grandfather  and wondered if maybe one of the pieces that will still be in the family might be used for a “Bill McCarthy” park.  The roads that are being deeded to the county will not change status – if they are maintained now, they will continue to be – if they are not maintained now, nothing changes.   Mr. Smith will prepare the deeds for final discussion in next week’s meeting.
Gary Hyde, from Road and Bridge got approval to purchase a used water truck.  The funds are already in his budget.  He will bring the numbers for extended warranty to the Board for their approval next week.
Butch Gemin from the Early Childhood Council reported back to the Board that the school district will act as both the convening and fiscal entities for the Council.  All he needed from the Board was a signature indicating support of the project by the Board.  Their support was pending the paperwork being presented by Gemin.
The Board passed a resolution supporting Round Mountain’s buffer zone around the Gallery Well.
The Hermit Bridge grant resolution to move ahead with the project was approved.
Mrs. Hood gave an update for the Extension Office.  After meeting with several officials from CSU, she reported that CSU will handle the initial search for Robin Young’s replacement.  There are currently nine searches ongoing and we are eighth in line.  She expected the process to start in July or August and not be completed until at least November or December.  The 4-H Foundation locally is reorganizing and will have a new constitution and bylaws.  They will have their own tax exempt status.  Carlin Cardenas will be the interim 4-H coordinator until there is a new Extension agent.  Mrs.  Hood commented that CSU was giving Miss Cardenas duties and responsibilities that the Board didn’t know anything about.  As a county employee, there needs to be a job description for that position.
Mr. Kattnig suggested the possibility of putting in place a county agent that would be employed by the county rather than CSU.  He stated that other counties have done this.  There was also some suggestion that Extension agents from the surrounding counties could assist us if need be.  A citizen asked about the status of the county garden and the potato project.  Mr. Kattnig assured her that “we will give you the support you need.”  Mrs. Hood referred her to Cardenas.  The Board approved additional hours for help in the 4-H office.
Next on the agenda was a discussion of cattle guards requested by Robert Hamilton.  Mr. Hamilton has agreed to pay to put in two cattle guards on County Road 390.  Mr. Printz wants to talk to Mr. Halpin about the cattle guards so as not to show accommodation to one party and not the other in the long-standing feud between the two.  Mr. Kattnig was vehement that the county has the right to put in cattle guards and said Mr. Printz’s point was not valid.  He stated that these cattle guards would be in the best interest of the public.  A heated discussion ensued.  When asked what the difference in maintenance costs were for a road with cattle guards vs one without cattle guards, Kattnig replied that the cost difference was minimal.  When a citizen suggested that the public perception would be that the Board was helping the rich guy who had been nothing but trouble for twenty years, Mr. Kattnig stated that the Board would “do what it wanted to” in the matter.
Mr. Printz held his ground and the Board finally conceded that he could talk to Mr. Halpin.  The matter was tabled until the meeting on the 4th of April.
Larry Haynes position as Assistant Road Boss for Wetmore was formalized.
Mike Carter – Building and Zoning official for the Town of Westcliffe – was appointed to the Affordable Housing Committee.
The meeting was recessed at 12:05.
The weather turned ugly and there was talk on Facebook of the meeting being canceled.  At the evening portion of the meeting which began at 7 p.m., each commissioner updated the audience on their committees and what they have been doing since January.  There was little new information for readers of the Sentinel or for those who have diligently listened to the recordings.
One point made by Mr. Printz was that  the  majority of  people in the Wetmore area don’t have flood insurance.  He stated that this is because Custer County doesn’t have a building code and indicated this is the reason FEMA won’t underwrite flood insurance in the county.
After over an hour of updates, the Commissioners opened the floor for discussion.
Prominent local democrat Brent Bruser broadly praised the Commissioners for their leadership and involvement, even outside of their scope of authority.
During the discussion of priorities, the commissioners all stated that they were playing catch up.  Mr. Printz said that there has been egregious neglect in our infrastructure.  The challenges will be finding the funding to do all that needs to be done.
Another citizen asked if there was any follow up information on the possibility of a new building on saddle club property.  Mrs. Hood said she was still waiting for the building assessment done by the CSU students.
Andrew Zeller, First Precinct leader for the GOP, queried the commissioners on behalf of the many in his precinct, regarding the dismissal of Robin Young.  He stated that Robin is a good neighbor, has an honorable reputation, had  no negative letters in her file, and  her senior leaders at CSU believe she’s an excellent agent.  He asked why she wasn’t counseled about ways to improve prior to being dismissed.
Mrs. Hood stated that there were issues having nothing to do with the $4K check – issues that had arisen prior to that.  She stated that “Tony Franks recognized that it was an unhealthy partnership.”  Mr. Kattnig stated that, “Five years ago we were having problems and I went to Bill Noble.  Two years ago we were having problems and I went to Bill Noble.”  Bill Nobles was unreachable for verification.
Mr. Zeller remarked that there was no record of Ms. Young being counseled and that, even now, she doesn’t know why she was removed.  He then asked pointedly, “Why was she removed?”
Mr. Kattnig gave the common answer that personnel issues cannot be discussed.  He went on to say that parents had complained about programs and discrimination.  “We went to the district director and nothing happened.  We had the information.”  He went on to list problems that had arisen at the fair the past few years and indicated that Ms. Young wanted to handle things internally and not involve law enforcement.  “This was not a witch hunt.”
Mr. Printz spoke up saying that the discussion had moved beyond the scope of what should be discussed publicly – from a legal standpoint.  He went on to say that the Board did not have to justify their actions.  “That’s not how this works.  You put us in a position of authority to make these decisions.”
Mr. Kattnig again stated that “Robin was not our employee.”
Mr. Zeller responded with one more question.   He stated that after the meeting with the CSU president and immediately following the workshop on Feb 16th, Mr. Kattnig spoke with Ms. Young and told her not to worry, that they’d work everything out.  After he left, Mr. Printz spoke with her and stated that he was not part of this “witch hunt.”  Then, five days later, the commissioners signed a letter demanding Ms. Young’s removal.
Mr. Printz adamantly denied saying that and stated that he resented it.  Mr. Kattnig followed suit and questioned Mr. Zeller as to whether he, personally, heard these
remarks.
Mr. Zeller said he had not and stated that he would have to take the commissioners word that they did not have those conversations with Ms. Young.
Mr. Printz replied, “I want to make sure that goes in whatever a paper you’re writing this to.”
Mr. Zeller responded that he had not written to the paper before this and wasn’t planning on doing so.
Mr. Printz asked why Ms. Young wasn’t the one asking the questions.
Mr. Zeller responded that she couldn’t come in here and that he was representing the citizens of Precinct 1.
Mrs. Hood reiterated that, on the day she took office, she told Ms. Young that she would be arranging a meeting with her supervisors.    She also stated that CSU didn’t call the commissioners to let them know that they had spoken with Ms. Young.  “One minute she was here and she was gone the next.  They did not communicate with us.”
Mr. Kattnig ended the discussion by suggesting that Mr. Zeller speak with CSU.  “Maybe they will allow you more access.”  (Audio

March 31 2017 BOCC Zeller Questions regarding Robin Young


The meeting ended without being adjourned.
(Reporter: As our readers will recall, the commissioners have consistently referenced ongoing emails and letters of complaint against Robin Young.  On behalf of the Sentinel, I did an open records request for those emails.  What I received was a group of emails between the members of the 4-H Foundation.  These are available on the Sentinel website in Archives for your perusal.  Since I did not see specific complaints within these emails, I again did an open records request for any complaints (email or hard copy) against Ms. Young for the last two years.  After querying former commissioners Attebery and Shy, and the three current commissioners, no further emails or letters were forthcoming. Here are the emails obtained through CORA:  Document 1 Documents 2 Documents 3 Documents 4 Documents 5 Documents 6 )

LTE: Socialized Broadband: A Lot of Dollars, Little Results

03-31-2017

This informed letter is referring to the study on Broadband solicited by the Custer County Economic Development Corp (CCEDC).  They have linked the report and the you can see the report at the link below;

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0gfi4i0rpngjfq8/Final%20Report_CC%20Broadband%20Infrastructure%20Expansion%20Design%20Study_2017%2003%2024.pdf?dl=0

The letter;

Letter to Editor;
I have repeatedly tried to write an analysis of the Custer County Economic Development Corporation’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 documents that were recently released. The documents were prepared by CenterLine Solutions for the CCEDC. All of this is paid for by you, the taxpayer. And because of that, I feel like you should know how your money is being spent and because I know a little about the subject, I feel like you shouldn’t be led down the primrose path.
For the last couple years, the Custer County Economic Development Corporation has been talking about increasing the broadband availability in the county.  Their Phase 2 and Phase 3 documents were recently released.  And since the CCEDC’s plans for broadband will be partially paid for by the taxpayers of Custer County, I feel that it’s important to understand what they’re up to.
First of all, we need to understand that the CCEDC and their friends on the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) want to create a public utility (think phone company or electric company – one that has a monopoly and can charge whatever they want.)  It will probably be run by the CCEDC which could make a lot of money on the deal, whose principals stand to make lots of money on the deal.
The CCEDC spent $34K on these reports and is flashing them all over the county.  The documents are available online and you should check them and not just take my word for it.  Fair warning – their math is so unreliable it makes evaluating these documents nearly impossible.
Let’s start with the Phase 2 document.  Table 2 says that there are currently 9,328 addresses served by broadband but it also says that there are only 6,553 addresses in the county.  According to the Assessor’s Office, though, there are 9,122 parcels county-wide.  Head-scratching. . .  (The number 9,328 is calculated by adding the column in Table 2.)
If you add the column that lists the percentage served by each existing tower, you come up with 142.35%. You would think that these numbers by themselves would have been enough to put an end to the boondoggle being pitched by the CCEDC.   But, no, they either also can’t do such complex math as addition or they don’t care, they just want more money and power.
Municipal broadband is a colossal failure across the nation and just this simple math problem shows you why. If you look at the tables on pages 6, 7 and 8 of the Phase 2 document, you see this scenario played out in every table. And the bottom line of all of this is that if millions of tax dollars are spent on building sixmore towers, 870 more addresses will have access to broadband.   Access – Not Service.  Those 870 more addresses will have to pay for service – just like we all do and those services will be subsidized by additional tax money. Then many more millions of tax dollars can be pocketed by those running the utility.
And who are those people who will profit? It’s probably wrong to paint every supporter with this brush but the CCEDC members that I know about are Charles Bogle, Dale Mullen and Wilson Jarvis and they have already approached the towns and the county trying to get tax dollars to fund this fraud. And why is Commissioner Kattnig such a big supporter? And why does he get so mad when I refer to this as socialized broadband? I wouldn’t expect someone who has fed at the public trough almost his whole life to understand, but the legitimate role of government is not competing with private enterprise and using tax dollars to have an unfair advantage.
We currently have two wireless providers as well as a hard line provider (let’s ignore existing satellite). Much of the county has access to broadband with today’s technology. And that all improves dramatically in the near future.  What is on the horizon that will make anything the CCEDC can scheme completely
obsolete?
Before looking into the immediate future it is important to remember that both existing providers will add towers and improve the technology as the fiscal incentive merits. Before 2020, less than three years, 5G will deliver gigabit Internet everywhere and really, the theoretical speed could be 10 gigabits per second compared to 4G which is about 100 Megabits per second.  Much, much faster. Then there’s the satellite race. Big names like Boeing, Elon Musk, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX among others are launching satellites that will provide Terabit Internet. And this access will be every place on the planet that can see a piece of sky. Even the most remote places on earth will have this access. Google and Facebook have their own proposed solutions which involve covering the whole planet as well. As we have repeatedly seen, the competition will expand the quality and services while driving down prices. Without wasting tax dollars.
Why? Because the Free Market always, always does better than central government control. As technology improves, more and more people depend on that technology. That’s right Kommisar Kattnig, the unleashed productivity of the market does much better than command and control bureaucrats will ever do.
First, I’m astounded that the CCEDC spent $34,694 taxpayer dollars (grants don’t come from nowhere folks) with a firm that can’t get the math correct. Apparently, Centerline Solutions can’t even get the name of the company who hired them correct. Their study documents all refer to the Custer County Economic Development Board instead of corporation. Maybe the contractor thinks they’re working for a government agency instead of a private business.
Second, I’m flabbergasted that the CCEDC thinks the voters of Custer County are stupid enough to pay millions in new taxes so that a few more people will have access to Internet. Internet is a product, not a right. But, maybe, just maybe, the CCEDC has worked it all out with the sitting Commissioners and there won’t be a need for a silly vote.
Lastly, I’m dumbfounded that, in this day and age when the evidence of colossal failures of municipal Internet ventures is so readily available, any sane person would propose creating another municipal Internet venture.
Unless there’s big money for someone. And as always, follow the money. Who will benefit?

Dan Bubis
Rural Custer County

March 7 BOCC Meeting

Dark Skies for All the Valley?

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC) Meeting
March 7, 2017
—Westcliffe, CO
by Jackie Bubis
The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The room overflowed with members of the public wishing to make their views known.
The first man to speak stated he was bringing to the Board some of the perceptions “out there” in the public, particularly against Commissioner Kattnig.  His main concern was for Roger Squire not even getting an interview for the road boss position.  Mr. Kattnig stated that everyone has complained about the roads and the Board needed to go in a new direction – one based on business principles. Mr. Kattnig also explained that the Board used a Colorado State entity, Workforce, to help review and rank the job applications for Road and Bridge supervisor position and that Mr. Squire’s application was considered, However, they only interviewed the top three applicants. Commissioner Printz stated that, had it been up to him, he’d have fired Mr. Squire for egregious violations but that Mr. Kattnig talked him out of it.
There was a brief discussion of when and how the commissioners could be together.  When asked if the commissioners did, in fact, drive to Denver together to meet with the CSU Chancellor, they admitted doing so, saying that Attorney Smith advised them it was okay.  Smith responded that he had advised them to not discuss business with each other or with a member of the public when together.
The ensuing discussion with regards to the termination of Robin Young was reported on last week’s front page story.
The meeting progressed according to the agenda once the public comments were complete.
Commissioner Items:
Commissioner Hood reported on the Wetmore building meeting.
Mr. Kattnig reported on the March third presentation by the Custer County Economic Development Corporation with regards to six potential sites for broadband towers.  He then made a comment to an unspecified person who has referred to this project as “socialism broadband” and that maybe we have “socialism road and bridge.”
He also reported that the Wetmore building is $50K over budget at this point.
Mr. Printz reported a meeting with the Early Childhood group, Recycling and the Water Commission.
Attorney Items:
Mr. Smith brought to the Board the talking points the Board requested on a Dark Skies ordinance that would affect from the top of the Sangres to the top of the Wet Mountains.  Enforcement of such an ordinance would be through the Planning and Zoning Office.
Charles Bogle, from the Custer County Economic Development Corporation approached the Board requesting their support in an upcoming grant for strategic planning.  There was no county money requested at this time and no action taken.
Proposals for the next phase of the Underfunded Courthouse project were received from Anderson Hallas, Ben White of Crested Butte and Steve Weidner of Pueblo.  Mrs. Hood was unable to reach Wells Squire regarding the expectations of the county surveyor.  Mr. Smith informed her that some of the work she had ordered to be done by County Surveyor Shy were outside the parameters of his job without compensation.  Mr. Weidner was present and the Board allowed him time to speak about the project.
Mike O’Rourke, Chief Probation Officer, addressed the Board regarding Gateway to Success using the annex building for DUI classes.  He spoke favorably of the proposal.  The Board passed a motion to allow the use of the annex building for these classes on Fridays. When the topic arose that Gateway to Success is a for-profit organization asking for rent-free use of a county facility, Mr. Kattnig said he felt it was appropriate to work with the courts to meet the obligation to provide treatment.
Staff Reports:
Beth Green from Public Health gave the monthly report.  The Board has extended the deadline for applications for the Public Health Nurse position due to poor response.  Mr. Printz expressed concern that the county isn’t offering enough money for the position.  Ms. Green responded that certainly they could make more elsewhere.
The Road and Bridge report, given by new Road Boss Gary Hyde, included a plan to raise wages across the board in his department.  The Board requested a fuller set of figures which would reflect benefits and workman’s compensation before they could make any decisions.  The raise would not exceed the R&B budget.  Also, Mr. Hyde requested permission to purchase a tilt-bed trailer for taking patching material where it’s needed.  He will get two more bids before a decision can be made.
Tim Swartz gave the Veteran’s Services report.  He had 67 visits in February and now has 341 veterans in his database.  The Board approved a proclamation be written for Anna Orgeron for all her work for vets in the area.  Anna will be moving back east later this Spring.  Swartz will work with some of his veterans to spruce up the landscaping around the VSO and put in a garden.
Laura Lockhart from Human Services brought her report to the Board.  She also requested that when work is done on the court house, her office could use a bit more room.  She had some suggestions for how that could be accomplished and the Board took her comments under advisement.
Office of Emergency Management Cindy Howard gave her monthly report.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:37 p.m.

March 8 BOCC: BOCC: More 4-H Drama, Airport Moving Runway?

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC) Meeting
March 8, 2017
—WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis

The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The room again overflowed with members of the public wishing to make their views known.  Whereas on Tuesday, the public comments were unanimous in disapproval for the actions of the Board regarding Robin Young’s termination, today, they were nearly unanimous in favor.  A number of former members of the 4-H Foundation, along with Fair Board members read letters containing a wide variety of complaints against Robin Young. Continue reading March 8 BOCC: BOCC: More 4-H Drama, Airport Moving Runway?

BOCC February 21, 2017

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

—February 21, 2017

WETMORE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis

The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The Board approved the minutes of the February 7th and 8th meetings. Mrs. Hood requested that her answer to John Johnston’s question that day be reflected in the minutes for the 31st so they will be approved at a later date.
Public Comment
A Wetmore resident expressed her disappointment in the entire board from the meeting on Friday, 2/17. She said that when they ran for office, they expressed that the Wetmore Community Center was a priority for them. She stated that, in the Friday meeting, the three commissioners didn’t know anything and hadn’t done their homework. She was dismayed that the commissioners derided both the architect Tom Duke and former-commissioner Attebery. “Commissioner Attebery allowed us to dream,” she said. She stated that she felt it was easier to blame someone else than for them to own up to not doing their homework.

Kattnig began his defense by saying that at the last meeting that Attebery attended, Kattnig requested an update and Attebery didn’t give him one. He stated that none of the issues that “these two” brought up (meaning the other Commissioners, I suppose) were brought up at that time.
Printz answered her concerns by saying that he did as much homework as he was allowed to do before he was sworn in. “As a private citizen I wasn’t privy to the contracts or any discussions. I wasn’t allowed to go to any of the meetings. I specifically asked to come to the planning meetings,” he said. He commended Attebery. Then went on to say that many of these things just came up. He stated that the contractor came to them and said that if they wanted all the things in the change order, they’d be $100K over budget. They also did not know about the $300/day charge for every day past the deadline. He stated that when he asked Mr. Attebery for information, he didn’t get a lot. He hinted that maybe it was political because Mrs. Attebery ran against him for the commissioner seat.
(Note: the contract was filed with the County Clerk and has been available since it was signed. It did cost $9.25.)

Mrs. Hood responded that, from the very beginning in January, they have been meeting with the contractors. “You need to understand,” she said, “that it was not an easy transition. We didn’t have a transition with Lynn or with Kit. So we were kept in the dark.” She then referenced her papers and itemized some of the delays. “So, yes, we were in shock when we met for the first time.” She stated that she asked what the delays were costing the county and did not get an answer. She insisted that they had been doing their due diligence for Wetmore and stated again that it wasn’t an easy transition for them. “Had we sat down with Lynn and Kit at the same time and gone over the drawings, we’d be in a different spot.”

Kattnig stressed that he didn’t see this as anybody’s fault. Another citizen objected to that statement saying, that there definitely was fault. Kattnig said that once the building was finished, there may be some recompense.
For clarification, I asked if the by-weekly meetings with the builder that have happened since the building was started were open to the public. They answered that the meetings were open to the public. “So anyone who was going to be coming into office in January could have been going to these meetings to get up to speed. Is that correct?
Printz answered that this was not correct. He stated that he was at those meetings but that he was not privy to the contract or the behind-the-scene negotiations. (I am unclear what he meant by behind the scene negotiations – would that not be a violation of sunshine laws?)
Commissioner Items
Mrs. Hood listed a number of meetings that she had attended including workshops with the IT director, a workshop on a possible marijuana REGULATION, tourism board, a trip to Denver with the other commissioners to speak with the CSU president, and a workshop about the CSU Extension office.
Mr. Kattnig also had attended some of those meetings and workshops and also met with the Cuerno Verde Homeowners Association on Saturday.
Attorney Items
Mr. Smith reported that he is still waiting on the ruling to dismiss the county from the Hamilton lawsuit. He expects a ruling within the next few weeks.
When Larry Haines, from Road and Bridge, asked if they should now be working on that road, Mr. Smith reiterated that it was now a county road. Mr. Kattnig told him to hold off until after they heard back from the judge.

The Board recognized the Custer County Corps of Chaplains, approved the Annual Fire Operating Plan, and accepted the School Emergency Facility Use Agreement.
Mrs. Hood requested that she be made the contact point for the County Building Assessment done by CU students last summer. The report from the students has never been produced and will meet with DOLA to move forward on this assessment. Mr. Printz had no objection to her taking the lead but wants to be involved as well.

The meeting moved on to the Wetmore Community Center. Mrs. Hood went into the financials on the building, stating that the “$100,000 over budget” from last Friday’s meeting was, in reality more like $82,000. These were change orders requested by the county. Of that $80K+, they managed on Friday to whittle it down to $58,631.31. They did that by taking off some of the changes altogether and negotiating the rest. This figure contains the $300 per day charge for the project being delayed. The total budget for the project in August was $823,325. It now stands at approximately $880,000. There is no word yet on two grants that are still awaiting approval.
The contract for the building is on file at the Clerk’s office and, contrary to Mr. Printz’s excuse that he couldn’t see it because he was just a citizen, it can be purchased for $9.25. Contract for Wetmore Community Center

Mrs. Hood brought up an email from Jim Bradburn requesting a public hearing on the Dark Skies push to have the valley floor, and possibly the entire county, try for the designation as a Dark Skies Reserve. Both Mr. Printz and Mr. Kattnig expressed that, even if the designation is attained, there will not be a compliance requirement. “It won’t be something people will have to do,” Kattnig stated.
Mrs. Hood also mentioned an email from Charles Bogle of the Custer County Economic Development Corporation regarding the 2017 Community Assessment. The CCEDC will have a public meeting on March 3rd at 1 p.m. at the library to update the community on the broad band project.
Mrs. Hood requested that one board member be selected to respond to the newspapers and volunteered to take on that responsibility. Mr. Printz would like to see anything she sends to the paper when she is speaking for all the Commissioners. Mr. Kattnig reminded the room that personnel matters are confidential.

A Wetmore citizen requested an update on possible flooding in Wetmore due to the Junkins fire. Mr. Kattnig gave a brief update, stressing a neighbor helping neighbor plan in case of emergency and the trash along and in the creek (branches, etc) would need to be cleaned up.
The meeting was recessed until 1 p.m. when it was reconvened and the Board went into executive session for personnel issues. Terre Davis, school board chairman, reminded the commissioners that they were required to say publically who was staying in the room for the executive session. Those were: Terre Davis, Gary Hyde, the Board, the attorney, the Board’s assistant and the Clerk.
When they reconvened, they directed Mr. Smith to write the letter (confidential personnel matter) to the unspecified individual and they announced the date for the Commissioners to interview the three applicants for the assistant supervisor position at Road and Bridge would be on the 28th at 2 p.m. in executive session.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

BOCC Meeting January 31

BOCC Meeting January 31st
Board and Committee Appointments, Hamilton Ad Nauseam
and Two Executive Sessions

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)
—January 31, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Commissioners approved the minutes of the January 20th meeting.
A citizen requested that the audio recordings of the BOCC meetings be put on the county webpage so that people don’t have to go into the Clerk’s office and purchase the audio.  The Board seemed favorable to the idea and it will be placed on a future agenda.
Another citizen commended Mrs. Hood on her giving her salary back to the county.  He also suggested that there should maybe be a policy on Board approval for her spending this money on various projects.  (Note:  at a previous meeting Mrs. Hood said she was purchasing laptops for the members of the BOCC.)   She replied, “It’s really my money, coming out of my paycheck.  So there’s no approval needed.”  Mr. Kattnig also stated that, since it’s not county money, per se, there is no requirement to ask for bids for the projects that Hood wants to fund.
Mr. Printz reported being real busy.  He has met with the Upper Arkansas Workforce Commission in Cañon City and has sent the resumes and letters of intent for the road boss job to the Workforce people for their input.
Mrs. Hood is reviewing the Strategic Plan and also met with the fair board.
Mr. Kattnig reported on the ongoing construction of the Wetmore Community Center, the meeting with the Division of Fire Prevention and Control, the CART meeting, the Middle Arkansas Wildfire Prevention Partnership, and the Fire Recovery meeting in Wetmore.
Attorney Smith requested a workshop be set for going over the prospective marijuana ordinance.  [That workshop will be open to the public  February 13th at 1:30 PM. Meeting Location: County Courthouse /Commissioners Room. ]

He read a note from Jordan Hedburg regarding the response to Mr. Hedburg’s email.  The note stated that Hedburg was satisfied with the response and would be taking no action at this time.  A copy of Hedburg’s email to the BOCC commissioners can be read here: (http://sangredecristosentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/email-from-Trib01252017-C.pdf) and the attorney’s response can be seen here. (http://sangredecristosentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/letter-to-WMT-from-CC-Lawyer.pdf)

Smith also reported that the motion to dismiss the county from the Hamilton lawsuit was in process.  Hamilton’s attorney had not responded to the county’s request so Smith had prepared a reply that he will file “this afternoon”.    He also seemed to be surprised that an executive session was on the agenda with the Hamiltons (who were present in the audience).  He stated that he could not attend that executive session with the county not having been officially dismissed from the lawsuit.  The Board agreed to meet with Smith prior to meeting with Hamilton in executive session.
The Board approved vouchers to be paid and funds to be transferred to pay the bills for January.
Ashley Gillum was approved to be the 4-H representative on the extension advisory board and Debra Fisher on the fair board.
The Board then addressed the appointments to the Board of Zoning Adjustment and Planning Commission.  There were many questions from Mr. Kattnig on how things were done on these boards and which members were absent from meetings.  The questioning went on for quite some time.  When Mr. Printz tried to get clarification, Mr. Kattnig told him to “speed it up.”  Mr. Printz responded “No, I’m going to take my time,” that this was important business.  There was much talk about the value of experience on the boards vs. having “new blood” on these boards.  Jackie Hobby and Vic Barnes (Chairman of the Planning Commission) both adamantly defended the written policy that new members come onto these boards as non-voting alternates before being moved to voting positions.  In the end, the new members were only added as alternates and Keith Hood, who has been on the Planning Commission for 20 years, was returned to the board.
Planning Commission
Dale Mullen
Pat Bailey
Vic Barnes
Bill Donley
Patrick Lynch
Keith Hood
Chris Nordyke
Board of Zoning
Adjustment
Ken Patterson Sr.
Jean Canterbury
Brad Hartbauer
Lockett Pitman
Rob McIlwraith
Alternates to the Planning Commission & Board of Zoning Adjustment
Skip Norcross
Lance Ingram
Mike Shields
Steve Henning
Mike Carter
The lease agreement with the radio station was approved.
The Early Childhood Council MOU was tabled until the Board could get the actual document.
There was a discussion about the county’s response to non-county roads for emergency snow removed and for getting people out from their homes for medical care.  The Board and the Sheriff agreed that there was a necessity in some of these developments for road signs.  No decisions were made on this issue.
The Board went into executive session for “advice from counsel.”
When they returned, they informed Mr. Hamilton that, on advice from Mr. Smith, their meeting with Mr. Hamilton would have to be held in open meeting.  Mr. Hamilton agreed.  Attorney Smith excused himself from the room.  Without his attorney present, Hamilton brought a 5-page document that he hoped the Board would approve and sign.  It is unclear if that would have happened had the Board met with him in executive session.  At any rate, the Board informed Mr. Hamilton that they could not take action on his request without their attorney’s input.  A copy of that 5-page request can be seen here. http://sangredecristosentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Hamilton-Letter.pdf
The Board then went into executive session for “personnel issues.” Present for that session was HR Department head Donna Hobby and Sheriff Byerly.
When the Board returned to open meeting, Mr. Printz made a motion that they approve the purchase of a truck.  No further details were forthcoming on which department this vehicle is for.
The meeting adjourned at 1:50 p.m.
NOTE:  Questions:  should Mr. Kattnig and Mr. Prince have recused themselves from hearing Mr. Hamilton’s requests since both accompanied Mr. Hamilton to the court hearing in Denver?   Regarding the second executive session about “personnel issues” – where, after they returned to open meeting, the board approved the purchase of a truck – how is this truck purchase, obviously discussed during that executive session, a personnel issue?
The recording of the meeting can be heard here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV2-x-qBRcw&feature=youtu.be