Category Archives: Archives

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 6, 2017 BOCC: Building Code Ballot Wording Presented

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

—September 6, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado
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 crowd overflowed into the hallway.
There were no public comments.
There were no commissioner items.
Attorney Items:
Attorney Clint Smith brought Resolution 18-18 (to put the building codes question on the ballot) to the Board for final approval.
The wording for the ballot is as follows:

Continue reading September 6, 2017 BOCC: Building Code Ballot Wording Presented

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

Citizens: We Have Liftoff!

County Clerk Certifies Recall Petitions
1st Time in Colorado History
All County Commissioners on Recall Ballot?


KOAA 5 interviews Ann Barthrop and Ann Willson of the
Custer County Recall Committee  Photo by G. Gramlich
by George Gramlich

In a possible historic first for Colorado, on August 24th, 2017, Custer County Clerk sent a letter to the Custer County Recall Committee stating that sufficient recall signatures have been certified thereby placing the entire Custer County Board of County Commissioners up for recall in the upcoming November 7th general election. (See page 23 for the letter.)
Research by Sentinel staff indicates that this is apparently a first for Colorado in that an entire county commissioner board has been successfully been placed on a ballot for recall.
County Clerk Kelley Camper also provided the recall petition statistics in her letter. Considering there are only about 3,700 registered voters in Custer County, the number of signatures gathered in just four weeks is impressive.
For Commissioner Bob Kattnig, there were 79 petitions turned in with a total of 833 signatures. 470 were required to put Kattnig up for recall. Out of the 833 signatures submitted, only 70 were disqualified leaving an impressive 763 valid ones.
A similar story for Commissioner Jay Printz with 814 signatures submitted on 78 petitions. 582 signatures were required to place Printz on the ballot for recall. Out of that, only 69 signatures were rejected leaving an emphatic 745 accepted.
A somewhat different story occurred in Commissioner Donna Hood’s recall effort. Due to the voting history in her district, a high number of signatures were required to recall her. That number was 735. The Recall Committee submitted 79 petitions for Hood with a total of 849 signatures. 71 of those submitted signatures were rejected leaving 778 valid ones, ensuring that Hood would be up for recall albeit with a tighter margin than Printz or Kattnig.
So, what’s next? After the recall was certified (August 24th), there is a 15-day dispute period where petitions can be challenged. After that, Colorado law has a five-day “Resignation Period”, where if one or more of the three Republican Commissioners resign, the Custer County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) gets to appoint a successor(s) to fill out the entire term of the resigned Commissioners. The CCRCC has ten days to fill any vacancies.
On the November 7th General Election Ballot, there will be a recall question for each commissioner. There will also be a recal petition statement and a commissioner statement from each commissioner The question will look something like, “Shall John Smith be recalled from the office of Custer County Commissioner?” There will be a “Yes” box or a “No” box to check. If there are more “Yes’s” than “No’s”, that commissioner is recalled. If there are more “No’s” then the commissioner will finish out his or her term.
Underneath the recall question will be list of one or more potential successor candidates that have successfully petitioned to be placed on the ballot for that district. Whether you vote “Yes” or “No”, you can vote for a successor candidate. The successor candidate with the most votes for that district will be the new Commissioner for that district.
Note that there will be a recall “Yes” or “No” for each commissioner and a separate list of successor candidates for each commissioner.
As we go to press, we know of seven citizens seeking to be placed on the ballot. Three of them, Bill Canda (District 1 against Commissioner Kattnig, Sandra Attebery (District 2 against Commissioner Printz) , and Kit Shy (District 3 against Commissioner Hood) are running as a “Slate” or team. Also announcing they will run are Dan Fischer (District 1), Richard Posadas (District 2) , Tom Flowers (District 3) and John Johnston (District 3). All Republicans need 300-plus valid petition signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Rockin’ the RECALL!

‘We The People’ Have Spoken
Huge Signature Counts to Recall
All Three Commissioners

by George Gramlich

Monday, August 14, 2017, marked a milestone in Custer County politics as the Take Back Custer County Recall Committee delivered 236 notarized recall petitions with enough signatures to have a recall election for each of the three Custer County Commissioners, Bob Kattnig, Jay Printz and Donna Hood. The recall election would be placed on the regular November 2017 election ballot at no extra cost to the county.
The Recall Committee was formed as a grass-roots, non-party affiliated, effort to replace the current Custer County Commissioners due to the Commissioners activities since Commissioners Printz and Hood were sworn in January 2017. Commissioner Kattnig took office two years ago. Some of the items that motivated the Recall Committee to form included the incredible mismanagement and lies surrounding the Colorado Extension Agent Robin Young affair; the seemingly endless drive to impose a building codes ordinance on Custer County despite the obvious vast majority opposition to it; the attempt to impose a ‘dark skies’ outdoor lighting amendment to the zoning ordinance that has criminal and financial penalties if you use the wrong outdoor light bulb or fixture; the continued public false statements by Printz concerning whether he is indeed returning the 30% salary increase to the county and not taking the county health benefits; more false statements by Printz concerning his repeated assertions that a building codes ordinance was required to get federal flood insurance; the failure of the BOCC to listen to the people in the public meetings on Young, building codes and dark skies; the obvious arrogant attitude by the BOCC towards the citizens of the county, both in public meetings and on the street; the disrespect shown to the Custer County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) by all three Commissioners when after they were elected in (Kattnig in 2015 and Hood and Printz in November 2016) and using the CCRCC to get elected, then failed to come to any of the regular monthly meetings. In addition, they incredibly refused to attend the most important CCRCC event of the year, the Lincoln Day Dinner (with Kattnig attending the Democrat dinner instead!); and the lies of omission during the campaign last year by Printz and Hood in failing to mention that their intention their top priorities after getting elected were building codes and dark skies.
The trio leading the recall effort and the signees on the applications for the recall were Custer County citizens Ann Barthrop, Ann Willson and Mike Haga. They in turn recruited a non-partisan Recall Committee team consisting of 61 Custer County residents who turned in a astounding 79 petitions handed in for Kattnig, 79 for Hood and 78 for Printz.
The Recall Committee needed the following number of signatures to place each Commissioner on recall in the November 2017 election: Hood – 735; Printz – 582; and Kattnig – 470. The Committee easily beat each number with citizens delivering an amazing 839 recall signatures for Hood, 780 for Printz and 780 for Kattnig. All in just four weeks!
The petitions were delivered to Custer County Clerk Kelly Camper last Monday who will review and certify each signature. If enough signatures are certified for each Commissioner, their name will be placed on the November ballot for recall. The ballot will ask if one wants to recall the specific Commissioner, yes or no, and will also allow one to vote for any candidate who successfully petitioned to get on the ballot.
Ann, Ann and Mike stated that they were honored to have a committee that worked countless hours and gave of their time to represent the voice of the Custer County citizens. The citizens have shown Courage, Bravery and Strength to have their voices heard in this recall effort and need to continue this effort and VOTE on November 7, 2017.
This is possibly the first time in the history of the State of Colorado that all of a county’s commissioners have been placed on the ballot for recall. This is huge, folks.

 

No Printz, Once Again, The Sentinel DID NOT LIE

The TRUTH About Commissioner Printz’s Salary “Give Back”
Let’s Set the Record Straight

by George Gramlich
In a Letter to the Editor in the July 20, 2017 edition of the Tribune (which was not sent to the Sentinel), one Louis Devanney of Westcliffe states that The Sentinel recently “lied” about the fact that Printz is NOT giving back the 30 percent salary increase that he said he would once he took office. Mr. Devanney alleges that since Printz is not taking his county health benefits (around $15,000) that this counts as not taking the salary increase. This false narrative has been repeated often lately by the Printz camp as the recall campaign proceeds.
The problem is that this is a lie of omission. Last year Printz repeatedly stated that he would NOT TAKE THE SALARY INCREASE AND ALSO NOT TAKE BENEFITS PACKAGE.  Note, Mr. Devanney, that Printz said he would not take BOTH.
Can’t seem to recall that Mr. Devanney? Want some written proof, sir? In the January 22, 2016 edition of The Sentinel, (link will take you to original pages) in an interview conducted by this reporter and Fred Hernandez, Printz unequivocally, in person to both of us, stated that he would NOT TAKE BOTH. This article draft was sent to then candidate Printz before printing and he approved it. There was also no notice afterwards from Printz of anything wrong in the article. In fact, Printz had stated that position multiple times in public before that.
Here’s the quotes from the article, Mr. Devanney, of what Printz told The Sentinel: “Mr. Printz said he is legally bound to take the salary but will refund to the county the new 30% raise.” And, “As for the health benefits he would not accept that either which would be additional savings for the county.”
As you stated in your letter to The Trib, “So much for the Sentinel’s credibility…” I posture, Sir, that it was well known last year that Printz stated that he would not take both. Lies of omission and rewriting history seems to be a stable of the liberal political mindset. So much for credibility…
We prefer the truth here at The Sentinel. As do most Americans.