More Bulls Bullying, Landfill Made More $’s,
Public Health/Clinic Relationship Ended?
Board of County
-July 5, 2017
by Jackie Bubis,
The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The public comment time was extensive with citizens living in the vicinity of CR 390 and 391 coming to discuss their feelings about the cattle guards requested by Dr. Hamilton on CR 390. The discussion was passionate, especially with Dr. Hamilton being unresponsive to calls that two of his mean bulls are running the neighborhood. Apparently even before the BOCC meeting in Wetmore was finished, fences were being taken down on Hamilton’s property. Calls to the Sheriff, to Chairman Kattnig and to the brand inspector only resulted in frustration as these bulls ran amok.
There were neighbors of Hamilton’s that stressed repeatedly that Hamilton is not a good neighbor, does not properly keep up his fences and has bought up properties when owners became exasperated with his bullying behavior.
Wetmore:”Running of the Bulls”,
Shipping Container Complaint
Board of County
-July 6, 2017
by Jackie Bubis,
The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
During public comments, one citizen asked about the statutes cited by the recall committee. Attorney Smith stated that he was attorney for the Board and would not answer the question. He also asked if the Board would consider putting the county in the air ambulance program formerly Eagle Med (Now React.) The Board said they will consider it as a public item.
Commissioner Hood reported that Jeffrey Wood and the architecture students would be there later in the afternoon to finish their courthouse assessment. She also requested that the Board have another evening meeting. The meeting was set for Tuesday, July 25th at 7 p.m. in the Courtroom. [Now canceled]
Commissioner Kattnig reported a conversation with the brand inspector regarding Mr. Hamilton’s bulls (see article for July 5th meeting). The inspector said that his office will only check a brand if the stray is corralled and if the owner is unknown.
“If There’s a Compelling Reason…You Can
Restrict or Take Away Someone’s Personal Rights”
Board of County
-May 17, 2017
by Jackie Bubis
The meeting was held in the Wetmore Community Center despite the ongoing work. The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Public comments: One citizen brought a report to the Commissioners of the perceptions out in the public. While he personally had nothing against them, he did say that the community was in turmoil about the Board insisting that CSU fire Robin Young. He also stated that there was a firestorm in the blue collar and construction arena about the decision to require insurance for the perc-test techs and suggested that the Board, especially Commissioner Kattnig, would suffer the repercussions at the ballot box. Commissioner Printz told him that the insurance requirement would be addressed later in the meeting. All three Commissioners continued their “we didn’t fire her” story and again stated that they didn’t insist on her removal. Mr. Kattnig also, again stated that they had already talked to Young’s supervisors (a “fact” still in question) before driving to Ft. Collins.
The meeting started at 6 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call.Commissioner Jay Printz began the meeting by stating that, unequivocally, Dark Skies ordinances have been beneficial to both towns. The BOCC sees this as economic development without impact. The Board provided a draft resolution amending the County Zoning Resolution of 2016, written by County Attorney Clint Smith who is also vice-president of Dark Skies.
The meeting was opened to comments from the forty or so people in the audience.Jim Bradburn, president of Dark Skies, resident of Cotopaxi, Fremont County, spoke first as a “citizen of this valley” that the night-scape is our second greatest asset (after the mountain views) and suggested that the dark skies will only stay that way if we take action to put hoods on our lights. He stated that Dark Skies (would pay for anyone who wants to change out their light fixtures.)
Several other Cotopaxi citizens spoke on behalf of our night skies. One Cotopaxi resident said that most people will hood their lights voluntarily.Other citizens of the two towns and a few residents of the county also spoke in favor of the beauty of the night skies.
-June 21, 2017
WETMORE, Colorado by Jackie Bubis, Reporter
The meeting started at 9:00 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The Commissioners thanked Alden Grey and Nan and Courtney Davenport for all their hard work on the Wetmore Community Center. Commissioner Items:
Commissioner Hood reported that the tourism board has selected a vendor to remodel their website. She met with Jeffery Wood and three CSU architect students with regards to the DOLA grant. She took part in the Public Health Department’s mock outbreak exercise. She has appointed a communication committee made up of Cindy Howard, Shannon Byerly, Dawna Hobby, herself, and Chuck Ippolito. They will be looking at the county phone system which she calls a “dinosaur”, will be getting rid of some phone lines and, in the end, hopefully saving some money. She also attended a tourism board/economic development/Dark Skies meeting and learned of various grants available for agri-tourism.
Here’s the original document we acquired through CORA. (Editor/GG: According to the Central Committee, as of 05/31/17, the BOCC has not responded to this letter.) Republican Central Committee Letters(1)
The meeting started at 1 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
Commissioner Printz had four items he wanted to cover. The first was an update on the Wetmore Community Center (WCC). There was a mistake with a stainless-steel table that is the wrong size and Mr. Printz was adamant that contractor Whitlock fix the error.
He then announced that he had told Brenda Gaide to go ahead and post the meeting for Wednesday, May 17th as being held at the new WCC since the plumbing issues were taken care of. Commissioner Kattnig took exception with Commissioner Printz not consulting the board before making the change in venue. An argument ensued between Mr. Kattnig and Mr. Printz leaving the audience wide-eyed. Continue reading BOCC: A Summer of Discontent Is Coming→
by Jackie Bubis
On May 2nd, the Board of County Commissioners held a workshop to discuss the repercussions of Carlan Cardenas leaving the position of 4-H Coordinator. This was in response to a letter received by the Board from Bill Nobles, Regional Director of CSU Extension. Another letter was sent to 4-H leaders and families from Jean Glowacki, Director, 4-H Youth Development. Both were letters saying that the 4-H program in Custer County is suspended for the moment. The letters went on to identify steps that must be taken in order for 4-H to be reinstated in the county.
Commissioner Hood read Ms. Glowacki’s letter, stating that it was “very inconsiderate of Ms. Glowaki to not have a conversation with the BOCC before sending out this email to 4-H families. Actually I think her actions were preposterous.”
Chairman Kattnig again stated that he has had numerous meetings with Mr. Nobles asking for help to “fix things” with no help coming from CSU. He went on to say, “What they’ve done is kicked our youth in the mouth, and I’ll be da**ed if I’ll stand for it.” “I’m not going to stand by and let CSU arbitrarily say, well, we’re not going to do this and you’re suspended and if we hire somebody, we gotta do this. For this to come out and us not be part of it is not acceptable. We will be in touch with Dr. Frank. If we can’t get resolution, we will be going up the line. If it comes down to seeking legal action, I’m going to support that too. This is a disservice to the professionalism of the leaders, the work of the youth and to the county officials.”
The Board told the crowd gathered that they had reached out to Beverly Goertz, who formerly assisted Robin Young with the 4-H program and to Sara Shields, local rancher and 4-H leader. They assured the crowd that these two people would “help us get back to where we need to be.”
Kattnig also stated, “I’ll be da**ed if our kids will be discriminated against at state fair.” [recording]
When local Don Camper expressed his disappointment at Robin Young’s being fired because the Board didn’t see eye-to-eye with her, Commissioner Hood again claimed that “we didn’t fire her.” (Editor/GG: Note that in a letter to the CSU President prior to Young being canned, ALL THREE Commissioners insisted that Young be removed from her job. The BOCC DID ask her boss to remove her. It is disingenuous, at best, for the Commissioners to say they “didn’t fire her”. How about a little honesty here, folks.) Camper went on to say that he was sorry that Cardenas wasn’t present to give her side of the story. Hood vehemently denied Camper’s claim that the Board was blaming Cardenas in the matter.
The rest of the meeting was spent discussing job descriptions for Ms. Shields and Ms. Goertz , as independent contractors. Shields position would likely be titled County Agent and Goertz would be the Office Manager. Attorney Smith suggested that they take out language such as “extension” and use “extension-like” in its place, stating, “We’re doing these as independent contractor positions so we don’t have to advertise.”
Mr. Kattnig stated that the Board would be creating temporary positions that would keep the 4-H program going until CSU fills the Extension Agent position.
CSU would have to approve Ms. Goertz to continue the 4-H program. “They don’t have a d**n thing to say about Sara [Shields],” Mr. Kattnig said. When asked what their plan is if CSU doesn’t approve Beverly Goertz to fill this 4-H position, Mr. Kattnig said he would get hold of every politician he knows and call in every newspaper and TV station he can find. “I probably have more experience than most of the county agents in the state. I probably have more experience than the district director has. I know what can be done. I know what needs to be done. And if it isn’t done at the state level, we’ll go to the federal level.” [recording]
A follow-up meeting of the BOCC was held on May 4th.
It began with Commissioner Hood stating that a recording had been made of the Tuesday workshop by John Johnston and having it out there [the recording]on social media made it look like it was a recorded BOCC meeting. “I would like our minutes to show that that was incorrect and that there are falsehoods out there, with accusations being made, so I just want that on the record.” The workshop was not recorded [officially] and she was upset that it was apparently being portrayed to the public that [the recording] was [officially] recorded.
Mr. Kattnig’s opening statement: “I liken social media to the old party line, used to be if the phone rang,
everybody would go grab it so they could hear what everybody else was doing.” He cautioned that “just because it’s on media doesn’t mean it’s true.”
Attorney Clint Smith reported that he stopped in to see Bill Nobles and had a pleasant conversation. When he filled in Nobles on the plans with Goertz and Shields, Nobles was happy to hear it. The decision on whether Goertz would have to take further training at CSU was not up to Nobles, but up to Glowacki. Nobles did assure Smith that the kids here could participate in the weigh-in in either Pueblo or Fremont counties.
Mrs. Hood said that there was a lot of confusion and that what was talked about in the workshop was just a plan. She also wants to meet with Attorney Smith to work out the contracts for both of them.
The board was very excited and gave the impression that the 4-H issue has now been fixed.
When a 4-H leader asked if 4-H meetings could go on, the consensus was that, for insurance purposes, they could meet in the courthouse building. But there needed to be clarification from Director Glowacki that these meetings could go on.
Board of County Commissioners (BOCC)
—March 31, 2017
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
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 formercommissioners Attebery and Shy, and the three current commissioners, no further emails or letters were forthcoming. Here are the emails obtained through CORA: Document 1Documents 2Documents 3Documents 4Documents 5Documents 6 )