Loveland Mayor Caught: “Obstructing Justice”

Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez acknowledged during the May 16, 2017 council meeting that he tried to contact Loveland Municipal Judge Joneson regarding a matter between the City of Loveland and Loveland resident Larry Sarner the night before she was going to make a decision about hearing the case.

Loveland’s city attorney successfully prevented Sarner from filing his case in municipal court by having the court clerk refuse his paperwork, when he appealed directly to the judge, who was apparently unaware of the matter, she agreed to provide him a hearing the next day.

Mayor Cecil Gutierrez and Mayor Pro Tem John Fogle then scrambled to warn their colleagues about the judge’s decision and the pending hearing.  Gutierrez also left a message on the judge’s answering machine that is being preserved for a potential investigation by the Larimer County District Attorney.

See meeting video of an exchange between Gutierrez and Councilman Troy Krenning

Read our complete story about the city’s efforts to keep measure off the ballot

 

 

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67 Responses to Loveland Mayor Caught: “Obstructing Justice”

  1. Gary says:

    can you please provide a link to the petition they are trying to suppress?

  2. Silas Marner says:

    How corrupt does our mayor and his henchmen need to be in order to be asked to resign?

    • Admin says:

      We waited to post our story until the city released the meeting video. They sat on it for over 5 days before releasing it.

  3. Greg Snyder says:

    Nothing like open government. And they wonder why people like Donald Trump gets such support from those of us in the land of “rank and file.” If Cecil had any decency in his soul he would resign, as well as the Mayor Pro Tem, who has unveiled his true colors. I, as well as many others, saw through him many years ago but he still continues on as if he is helping the ordinary citizen as well as being a person of honor. There is a special place in the afterlife for people of this ilk. Perhaps both of them could be in need of an ice maker after they pass through this period of life. Too bad for them….

  4. LindaRosa says:

    When Sarner appeared in Loveland municipal court on May 17th, Greeley’s Judge Nieto refused to allow Sarner to file a case in municipal court, but then proceeded as if Sarner had filed his case, issuing a ruling on jurisdiction. There is a procedure for such things, and filing a case comes before ruling on its merits.

  5. Jacki Marsh says:

    I would add to this discussion a recent theme by one City Council member which feels like a “threat”; which is to track how much it costs the City to defend actions taken by Mr. Sarner. My understanding is that Mr. Sarner is questioning the legitimacy of government promising future tax revenues to developers without voter approval. Given the $186,000,000 debt of the Centerra Metro Districts, is it not wise for citizens to “question” what their government is doing with their taxes? We need transparency from government and more public involvement. I hope that our City Council appreciates public input and public involvement as well as it enjoys our tax dollars. One can agree or not agree with Mr. Sarner’s views on various topics but we should all be wary of a government who seeks to silence his voice.

    • John Fogle says:

      Jacki,
      Thanks for being nice and not using my name, but I make no bones about being the councilman that has asked the City Attorney’s office for full disclosure on the cost of defense for Mr. Sarner’s various cases. My only regret is that records do not exist to fully report to the public the cost of the various cases Mr. Sarner has filed over what I understand is now a 20+ year period.
      Mr. Sarner has every right to sue the city — likewise the City should have every right to collect their legal fees when he is found to be wrong.
      To date (as far as I have been able to determine) – Mr. Sarner has never prevailed in a suit filed against the city, and it is a long list.
      In the recent law suits and filings — the City Attorney told the council and the public that appx $63,000 in hard costs have been spent on defense and costs. Of worthy note is the fact that this number does not include hourly staff costs — which were not being tracked. I understand that has now been changed and future numbers will include costs for staff time and the associated costs.

      Loveland is being used as a ‘test bed’ for those that would change the taxation laws of the State. The proposed changes could effect Cities and Counties state wide — and I might even agree with some of these changes — if they were made at the State level.
      I do not agree with Loveland and it’s citizens be dragged into court every time the anti-tax brigade thinks up something new.
      Changing these laws on only a local level would put Loveland at a serious economic disadvantage in Northern Colorado — where the competition for businesses is at an all time high.
      Changing these laws on only a local level would drag Loveland into endless legal battles — court cases and more, with questionable outcomes at best.
      The only thing that I believe is sure — is that the lawyers would ultimately win — and the costs to Loveland would be enormous.

      • Jacki Marsh says:

        John Fogle – as you are aware, I attend virtually every City Council meeting. I have therefore been present when Mr. Sarner addresses City Council and pleads his case; which he does prior to filing any legal action. Mr. Sarner appears to be a well informed citizen who disagrees with how public tax dollars are being spent by City Council. I believe citizens questioning their government, and in particular, citizens questioning taxation is a pillar of our democracy.
        One concern that I have is that your public comments / threats to Mr. Sarner may intimidate and therefore prevent other citizens from speaking up.
        In regards to the $63,000; while it is a significant amount of money, it is also a small amount of money when compared to the $186,000,000.00 owed by the Centerra Metro Districts, which appears to be of little concern to you.
        In my opinion, $186,000,000.00 happens when government hands over it’s authority to a Metro District and then fails to provide proper oversight of that Metro District.
        Perhaps Mr. Sarner is not so crazy when he questions government? Whether you agree with him or not, he is exercising his right and perhaps even what he sees as his duty, as an informed citizen, to provide oversight.
        $63,000 vs $186,000,000.00 – please John – focus; rather than spend public resources tracking the cost of Mr. Sarner’s actions, please audit the Centerra Metric Districts and find out where and how those $186,000,000.00 tax dollars were spent. Taking that action might provide a better return on your investment.

        • John Fogle says:

          Jacki —
          Let’s talk about a scenario regarding the debt that the URA’s/Metro Districts in Loveland have. This debt is being repaid by Tax incremental funding approved by the City Council in past years. (Both property and Sales tax TIF))
          If Mr. Sarners tax proposal were to pass — the funding for these loans would be effectively cut off. This would cause a breach in the contracts between the Metro Districts and the City.
          Do you suppose the bonding companies holding this debt will just go quietly into the night, or might they look to recover these amounts from the defaulting party – which would be the City of Loveland?
          I doubt this would be covered by the cities insurance policies — so costs would come directly from the general fund.
          I suspect they would come with a fleet of lawyers that would ultimately cost the City a ton in legal fees — regardless of the eventual outcome.
          This could drag out in court for years — costing the City a fortune and effectively shutting down the cities ability to do bonding or fund it’s other projects until the cases were decided.
          And as always — the lawyers would be the only sure winners.
          As for the Centerra District — I understand it is audited regularly — by an outside accounting firm, with those results being provided to and reviewed by the cities accounting departments, yearly.
          I believe this data and more is available to you through the city clerks office or our other departments.
          Have you asked for it?

          • Shannon Vonalias says:

            I guess the city council shouldn’t have built a house of cards.

          • Jacki Marsh says:

            John – thank you for acknowledging that the City would be the defaulting party and that the City would be liable to repay the debt, should the bonds not be repaid. In your scenario, the Centerra bond failure would be due to Mr. Sarner’s ballot initiative. I assume that any changes resulting from Mr Sarner’s ballot initiative would not effect past agreements, such as the Centerra Metro Districts.
            The real world scenario, the one that we know awaits us, is that in 2029 all the TIF funds that you speak of to repay the debt, all of those funds, cease and will not be available to repay the debt. We are now half-way through the 25 year LURA / Centerra Metro District agreement / repayment period and the debt of the Centerra Metro Districts is currently at $186,000,000.00.
            My understanding is that any remaining debt, post 2029, will fall first to the unwitting property owners in Centerra. If those property owners fail to make a single payment, the loan will start to accrue compounded interest, like a credit card. In the likely event that the property owners default on bonds, then it will be as you say, the City and the people of Loveland, who will be liable to repay the debt. And yes, we will suffer the consequences you speak of.
            Regarding the audits provided by Pinnacle Consulting group for the Centerra Metro Districts – let me provide you some quotes from past Pinnacle reports: “I have not audited or reviewed the accompanying financial statements and, accordingly, do not express an opinion or provide any assurances about whether the financial statements are in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America” and “Management has elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. If the omitted disclosure were included in the financial statements, they might influence the user’s conclusions about the company’s financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.”
            It is my understanding that City staff reviews the documents provided by Centerra & Pinnacle but that the City does NOT perform an independent audit.
            At this point we need an independent audit to be performed by a qualified accounting firm, outside the control of the management of the Centerra Metro Districts.
            Why on earth are we trusting the future financial well being of our City with the people who got us in this mess, without a thorough, independent audit? Without a genuine discussion about the current Centerra management team’s ability to manage the finances of the Metro Districts? Without input from the property owners who have no say in incurring, refinancing and repaying the debt?
            On April 4th of this year, Centerra, with the approval of our City Council, increased the debt by $36,000,000. And the people ultimately responsible for that debt, did not get a single vote.
            Regarding obtaining documents; I have met with Alan who is waiting for Centerra to provide the documents I have requested. It’s been more than a month, I am still waiting.

      • Silas Marner says:

        It’s the cost of doing business. How much have you cost the taxpayers to occupy your seat on the city council?

  6. Troy Krenning says:

    Cecil Guiterrez is a bad liar. He says he wanted to understand the “process.” What is there to understand? Count the number of times he says “quite frankly.” Strong indication of deception. Gutierrez has mastered the “leave no foot prints” by doing everything by phone instead of email. There is no REASONABLE explanation for the prince to pick up the telephone and call the judge, none! He was calling to do what he does best and that is to interfere with City business. This guy thinks he is a strong Mayor, with some kind of authority. If he wants to understand “process” he should read the City Charter sometime. There is a section of the Charter that is specific to the authority of the Mayor, and running around acting like a rain maker does not happen to be one of them. For over three years I have watched this guy carry on and pretend he is a big deal. And now we have a Mayor Pro Tem that thinks he too has some kind of authority! What a charade. And no one wants to tell these two emperors that their new clothes aren’t that impressive. City staff caters to these two as if they are some kind of royalty. And Rich Ball thinks that me bringing to the attention of the public that the Mayor very well may have committed a crime, is a witch hunt.

    Did anyone observe the Mayor’s not so subtle attempt to bring the fracking issue back to life? And the loyal lemmings, Johnson, Schaffer and Ball were all over it.

    The community should be very alarmed by the DDA effort, the money being dumped into downtown and the latest $110 MILLION folly of trying to get into the fiber optic internet service provider business.

    Talk about the twilight zone!

    Scotty, beam me up!!!!

    Troy Krenning

  7. Howard Dotson says:

    It is a disservice to hijack our public comment section of the City Council meeting with more gotcha politics. Overcash did it on April 4th and Krenning did it at this meeting.
    As elected officials your job is to listen to the electorate. That is what Public comment is meant for!
    If Krenning was so concerned about this he should have brought this up as new business and sought the 4 votes of fellow councilmembers.
    Maybe the City of Loveland should appoint a parliamentarian to help them run the City Council meetings?

    • C. B. says:

      The city of Loveland needs a new mayor. The Mayor’s henchmen need to go too. The corruption in our city government has to stop.

      • Admin says:

        Cecil Gutierrez is likely not seeking reelection this November. Mayor Pro Tem Fogle is being groomed for the position.

    • Greg Snyder says:

      Howard: Why do you not turn your wrath towards the Mayor, who has a track record of not only ignoring what the public wants, but of trying to belittle them when they confront his illegal and unethical behavior. He tried to intimidate me when I addressed the council during the Sprouts give away fiasco, but since I am not a respecter of “persons” it did not work.

  8. East Side Guy says:

    Howard, I thought you were off to the Middle East for your brand of ministry work? No?

    Off topic, but….. if you really want to talk about city council not listening to its citizens, let’s talk about Councilman Ball. Rich Ball for some reason after 100’s of calls to the water department could not detect a foul smell or taste issue with Loveland’s water. Huh?

    In fact, the water was so bad, the Colorado Department of Heath intervined to essentially, assume control of the water treatment plant and issue directives as to correct procedures for water treatment. Moreover, the director of the treatment plant was terminated in response to the inability to meet state standards for water quality.

    Rich Ball once again has stuck his foot in his mouth.

    • Admin says:

      We agree that Rich Ball epitomizes everything that is wrong with lazy “public servants” who are completely scripted by staff.

      On the water issue, we have information from an impeccable source that the new water treatment facility failed to include the appropriate equipment for mitigating the algae problem even though it was an already known problem for the area where the new storage facilities were built.

      Incredibly, someone from the water department even posted a link to their official (and frankly dishonest) video claiming “everything” had been done and their new facility is “state of the art” in response to a post about the problem.

      The head of the water department during that flawed procurement was rewarded with the city manager’s post where he can even bury the truth deeper from public view.

    • Dave Kavanagh says:

      East Side Guy – Just wondering where your source of information came from regarding the entirety of your 3rd paragraph.

      • East Side Guy says:

        Dave, thanks for the question, I will be unable to grant your request. If I divulged, bad things would happen to protect the city leadership.

        However, As a matter of public record, it is no secret that the lead at the water plant was terminated for the algae bloom issue at Green Ridge Glade Reservoir. Also, it is a matter of public record that the Colorado Department of Health and Environment was all over Chasteen’s Grove last summer with more than standard frequent onsite inspections and increased reporting standards for the plant due to complaints received in Denver by Loveland residents. If the water quality was not a concern, CDHE, would not have been here to rectify the situation.

        Also, when I called the city to inquire and register my concerns, their weak response was ” circumstances beyond our control, Big T River can’t be used because of construction, go buy a filter and deal with it…” Uacceptable solution to a serious problem. BTW, The city just spent $28m on water plant improvements, and the result was last year’s water…. yuk!

        We can give convoluted multi million $ incentives to well healed developers in the nation’s hottest market, but the city can not determine how to even provide clean drinkable water flowing form the Colorado Mountains. Go Figure.

  9. Dave Kavanagh says:

    East Side Guy. Not using a real name to post combined with an unnamed sources equals zero credibility. Lots of fake news these days.

    • East Side Guy says:

      Dave. I just stated facts that are public record. No need to provide sources. You are just throwing darts at the messenger. You sir are fake news.

  10. Dave Kavanagh says:

    Provide the links to the public records. It’s impossible to believe you without proof considering you’re hiding your name. You threw out big accusations, simply back them up. Should be easy IF you viewed them somewhere in public records.

  11. East Side Guy says:

    Dave. Let’s get real. There are no internet links to personnel flies for city employees. Also, after searching the CDHE website, I was not able to locate links or online databases that notes increased inspections for water quality at individual water treatment plants. I’m sure I could go to Denver and pull the files, but I’ll let you do that.

    Once again, Dave. Are you disputing the termination or the incompetence of leadership for treatment plant design or the horrid water quality issues last summer?

    I’m sorry I rained on your ” the City can do no wrong parade.” I have no dog in this fight other than being a resident, tax payer and forced utility customer. I’m just happy that I was able to obtain information that the city is trying to mask out of public view. What is your dog in the fight?

  12. Dave Kavanagh says:

    If you had verifiable information “East Side Guy” that was credible I would press the issue with the city myself. So your assumption about my being a blind follower of this city’s, or any government entity’s activities is 100% incorrect. Looks like this is your M.O. the more you respond. It’s now obvious you’re spreading something you heard vs. having factual information you are able to back up. If you want to make a difference you can put your information in full public view at a city council meeting plus the public is welcome as well at the Loveland Utility Commission meetings however you would have to use your real name. Keep up the good fight but make sure you’re not shooting blanks.

    • John Fogle says:

      Dave —
      I refuse to respond to posts from aliases, so I will respond to you.

      It might be worth noting for this conversation that you a long-term, respected member of the Loveland Utilities Commission.

      I will toot your horn for you!

      • C. B. says:

        Be assured that there are more aliases in the public who would gladly vote you off the city council and/or accept your resignation. Take that as a we don’t care if you respond or not. We will not accept your poor judgement.

  13. Shannon Vonalias says:

    Mr Fogle, Am I understanding this situation correctly? If Sarner was allowed to put the issue on the ballot, and the public (remember us? the people you work for?) were allowed to vote on it, what would that have cost? Surely not $63,000. It sounds like Gutierrez and your (Fogles) manipulations and EGOS were the cause of the extra expense.

    • John Fogle says:

      Shannon —
      Actually, I believe once the citizens are informed of the loss of services that would result in this sort of irresponsible action, they wouldn’t support it at all.
      The $63,000 is the result of Mr. Sarners fight against the DDA and other taxation issues in the past couple of years – not this current issue.
      Of note is the fact that part of Mr. Sarners issue — the removal of sales tax on food, was 50% short of receiving the required signatures two years ago when it was backed by Tom Buchanan – who was a respected Veteran and a credible supporter of the issue, may he rest in peace.
      If bringing the true costs of Mr. Sarners action out in the open is a manipulation – I disagree. I do believe the public has the right to know what this defense is costing them – so they can make an informed decision about the credibility of both the sponsor and the issues.
      As I have previously stated — I supported the Food Sales Tax removal previously. I changed my mind based on the lack of public support for the ballot issue and the ‘Loss of Services’ that would have resulted.
      So Shannon, I did listen to the public — they said NO.
      The public has over-ridden TABOR in Loveland — and I don’t support local efforts to take an end run around putting an even more destructive law in place.
      TABOR has brought us one of the most underfunded education systems is the country – why in the world would we want to take another step down this path?

      • Shannon Vonalias says:

        So I do understand the situation correctly. You don’t trust the public to sign or not sign Mr Sarners petition, you don’t trust the public to vote “correctly” on the issue if it reaches the ballot. And your ego led you to believe you have the right to thwart the standard legal petition process. What about transparency in government?

        • C. B. says:

          Fogle is showing bias and disrespect to Sarner. He would show respect and credibility to Tom Buchanan but not to Sarner. His manipulative reply is proof that he is unfit to hold public office.

        • John Fogle says:

          Shannon —
          I DO support the legal process. Mr. Sarners petition is in the middle of that process right now — and will prevail or fail based on the merits.
          What I DO NOT support is filing a string of law suits against the City with no consequence for doing so.
          I do strongly believe that this issue should be taken up at the State level — not in Loveland.
          I would support and initiative to control corporate incentives in Colorado – but not in Loveland alone. This is a State issue — and any local jurisdiction that passes such an issue alone — will be a big loser in the marketplace.

      • C. B. says:

        Loss of services? What gall! What about the hand-holding you and your cronies have done with the McWhinney brothers and the other unscrupulous “deals” with new businesses? Over $2 million in one case alone. When you are off the city council there will be “no loss.”

      • C. B. says:

        “TABOR has brought us one of the most underfunded education systems is the country – why in the world would we want to take another step down this path?”
        John, you are a complete idiot if you think you can defeat TABOR which was voted in BY the taxpayers to keep unscrupulous politicians like you from indiscriminately passing legislation to increase taxes. Shame on you for your ignorance.

  14. Tony Benjamin says:

    This conversation has gone down all sorts of different paths. The metro district issue has the most far-reaching impact. I think. And one City Council ought to address before creating even one more. Developers are now using metro districts to impose another layer of taxation — without our elected representatives being openly responsible for higher (sometimes almost double) taxation to pay off the bonds. But, of course, they are. With every vote to create a metro district. In my view, it’s an artful dodge. This is especially the case when it comes to large-scale residential developments such as the recently approved Lee Farm project. And others. Will there be HOA fees on top of the higher tax rate? Don’t know. At least with HOA fees, there’s a chance for local (very local) control — the homeowners’ board. A metro district board is a different kettle of fish. And the smell isn’t improving. As the saying goes (keeping the angling line alive), it’s time for the council to either fish or cut bait (and switch) on metro districts in general. tb

    • John Fogle says:

      Jacki —
      I am not suggesting that the City has any liability on the Centerra Bond debt — it doesn’t.
      Mr. Sarners ballot issue asks for changes to be retroactive – which might affect all previous Metro districts and URA’s.
      IF this foolishness were to pass — the payment stream that the City promises could be disrupted — and while the City would prevail in court — it would cost a ton of legal fees to the citizens to protect the city.

      • Jacki Marsh says:

        John – you described quite clearly what happens if the bonds are not repaid. We know that the TIF revenues expire in 2029. Who pays the debt after 2029? What happens if it doesn’t get repaid?

        • John Fogle says:

          Your reading more into my statement than was meant. The City has what I believe is a contract to pay the taxes to the Metro Districts. The City has NO obligation to pay the debt — only forward the taxes till the end of the agreement.
          At the end of the agreement — the rest of the debt has to be paid by the Metro District — from it’s own funds.

          • Jacki Marsh says:

            John – My understanding is that the Centerra Metro District is a sub-government of the City of Loveland. And that Centerra is also the beneficiary of public tax dollars through LURA (Loveland Urban Renewal Authority). The Centerra Metro District is a government entity under the control of our City Council and under the control of the LURA Board – which is again, our City Council.
            The situation that you described, TIF monies being cut-off, will happen to Centerra in 2029. The people owning properties in Centerra are likely to incur impossible Mill Levy increases as the Metro District attempts to repay the debt. Businesses leasing commercial properties will likely look to move out of Centerra, as making a profit in Centerra will get tougher. Home owners may well be taxed right out of their homes and may find their homes difficult to sell.
            What am I missing John? That this entire mess started with the questionable designation that the former farmland, what is now Centerra, was “blighted”? “Blighted” land of which a fraction, some eighty-five acres, were deemed by the property owners to be worth just over $16,000,000.00 when they entered into a partnership agreement to build the shopping center in Centerra.
            Oversight is needed John. An audit is needed. And likely an entire new Board is needed. A Board with a mission to repay as much of the debt as possible by 2029.
            John – who pays the debt if the Metro District can’t?

    • John Fogle says:

      Tony

      Good call. Council will be having a study session on Metro Districts in the next 60 days for this exact purpose.
      Our recent actions have been on old (dormant) Metro Districts that are now coming back to life.
      Personally, I too believe that residential Metro Districts are a problem. In the recent R2J bond issue — the district faired poorly in areas with Metro Districts probably because of the higher taxes.
      In late 2015 — Council instituted a set of disclosures that have to be signed by all people purchasing or shopping for properties within Metro Districts — it includes real world examples of the $ cost difference between properties in and out of a Metro District.
      This disclosure has been made part of all Metro Districts that have come in for amendments.
      I didn’t get exactly what I proposed when first bringing this up, but the disclosures are a good start and fairly comprehensive.

      • Tony Benjamin says:

        Thanks for the response, John.
        I don’t recall that a Metro District was in the works for the original Lee Farm project, or Hunters Run West for that matter. Seems it would have caught my attention — even a decade ago. Disclosure is a fine thing, but folks buying homes don’t always look at the details until the tax bill arrives. (in my experience, they don’t really look at HOA rules and regs, either). The underlying policy that the council ought to consider is that Metro Districts (blessed by council approval) impose taxation without normal representation. If you want to allow higher taxes, make sure those picking up the freight have a way to influence policy. What Metro Districts do is create pockets of high taxes with long-term pay-out implications. The notion that developers couldn’t develop without them is so much horse-hockey. In my view. cheers, Tony B.

    • Admin says:

      Tony,

      We agree metro districts need to be addressed.

      As alluded to by his recent comment, Mayor Pro Tem Fogle was successful in getting consensus to require the California developer you mentioned to include in their advertising the cost of property taxes for both lots and finally houses (by the individual developers). The direction to staff by the council during the public meeting was clear.

      Fogle’s recent post here is the first we have heard that was derailed (likely by staff) at some subsequent meeting?

      Disclosure at time of closing is worthless and already a requirement in both state and federal law. Home shoppers need to know when comparing prices (while looking at homes) if the “cheaper” new property has double the property tax obligation than the apparent more expensive older home. Developers are using metro districts as a competitive advantage to hide the total cost of acquiring the property by future higher taxes not disclosed until closing.

      Especially hurt are the smaller local developers who cannot afford the attorneys and council lobbyists required to establish a metro district favorable to the developer. That means the cost of the streets, sewers and other infrastructure the city requires they build are reflected in the higher price in the properties instead of being hidden in the future property taxes.

      • Tony Benjamin says:

        Yep.

        • John Fogle says:

          I believe we have in place the disclosure that has to be part of the developers advertising of the lots/homes, with a form that has to be included with offers ect.
          I will check and get back with you on the details — though I believe the disclosures were part of the recent Metro District revamp that was just done.

        • John Fogle says:

          I think what really got my attention about Metro districts was a conversation about R2J. Their data after the last election loss showed they got hammered in the Metro Districts.

          • Admin says:

            That is an interesting observation. The available “overhead” for property taxes doesn’t go far beyond 1% for residential before the homeowner becomes an ant-tax activist.

          • Tony Benjamin says:

            Well, yeah, John. Consider that if you’re already paying higher taxes (the usual/conventional + metro district) would any reasonable person want to add to the overall tax load? Since they pay, in many cases, nearly twice the property tax rate, courtesy of the metro district they “enjoy.”
            This appears to be another consequence of metro districts, especially those created for large-scale residential development. Net result: any school district bonding/taxation proposal — no matter how worthy — is doomed out of the starting gate. And that’s only one metro district negative. But now the door is open for more of ’em. Sure wish the council had plumbed the metro district issue before giving approval to new ones. Looking forward to council’s discussion — and hopefully better policy — soon.
            tb

          • Jacki Marsh says:

            It is not enough to simply tell people who are purchasing properties or considering purchasing or leasing properties that the location under consideration is in a Metro District. People need to be given the most recent financial statements, disclosures, current debt, current revenue and any anticipated changes in these areas. They also need to know that Mill Levy rates are subject to change.

          • Admin says:

            Jackie, that is a great point.

            Developers, while they own the property, conduct a one party TABOR election to raise the mill levy to maybe 72 mills but only impose a smaller amount like 5-10% when selling the property.

            An unsuspecting buyer believes that is their maximum mill levy liability due to disclosure. As in Centerra, the developer (having already foreclosed on the largest shopping center) continues borrowing money irresponsibly but with the public being liable for the repayment.

            The Centerra property owners are not protected by TABOR since they bought property already authorized for much higher property tax rates. It seems the TOTAL mill levy should not only be in the disclosure but also advertising for the sale of property.

  15. Howard Dotson says:

    Eastside Guy: If you watch Charlie Wilson’s War you will understand my work in Lebanon. Congressman Wilson could get 1 Billion for Stinger missles but not 1 Million for education in Afghanistan. In 14 years this vacuum became the Taliban that harbored Al Qaeda. I lost brothers in the Pentagon on 911.
    “My ministry” in Lebanon is working to prevent another Taliban chapter with the Syrian refugees. If we don’t take care of these kids, 10-14 years from now we could see another Charlie Wilson chapter. These kids are innocent. If we help support them in the recovery, we can work toward history repeating itself.

    • C. B. says:

      Your ministry in Lebanon is not powerful enough to prevent another Taliban chapter period. This is your lesson in futility to learn and I hope it doesn’t cause more collateral damage. You will be held responsible.

  16. Simply, Sincerely, Just Plain Joe says:

    Now that “Mr.” Dotson has left Loveland, should he have a say in matters herein?

  17. Greg Snyder says:

    John: Perhaps you should have some concern for commercial property owners who get hammered by the Gallagher Amendment as well as the business personal property tax. Tax increases to support failed bureaucracies and pet projects of “visioned” politicians should be defeated. Until the teachers union and those of your ilk provide some proof of the value of your guidance (like improved test scores, successful graduates, and a real improved business climate that has no need for incentives) you should accept the wisdom of those who actually work for their daily bread and wish for an actual return on their “investment.” By the way, I find hollow your praise of my friend Tom Buchanon. I don’t recall you ever standing by his side with a sign while he was warming up his megaphone….

  18. C. B. says:

    For the bottom line on this thread, is the mayor going to receive disciplinary action for his mistakes? When do we see retribution? Is this another Loveland city council cover up?

    • Admin says:

      C.B. Probably not. The DA would need to investigate and bring charges. Since Sarner’s objection was not heard by the court it would be difficult to argue that the mayor’s phone call altered history in any way.

      While we truly appreciate your participation in this discussion, can you tone down the name calling and insults? It only brings sympathy to those you are angry with and doesn’t advance the discussion in any way.

      We want this to be an open forum where nobody is editing the comments (like the Reporter-Herald does) but also want to maintain a certain decorum. Sometimes people cross the line and we are forced to delete their comments. Please try and keep the discussion civil by sticking to the merit of your argument instead of just using this blog to insult people you don’t like.

      Thanks

      • C. B. says:

        Elected officials are those who are supposed to represent the public interest. They are subject to the scrutiny of the public and when these representatives are in violation of the public trust, they need to be dealt with and not be given a hall pass.

      • C. B. says:

        Remember also that the actions of the city council are insulting to the voters and taxpayers and we have the right to call them on the carpet for their indiscretions. If that is not civil enough, then I can’t be obligated. Don’t bother to insult my intelligence.

  19. C. B. says:

    “Since Sarner’s objection was not heard by the court it would be difficult to argue that the mayor’s phone call altered history in any way.”
    To Admin: Whether or not the case was heard in court, the mayor publicly admitted to calling the judge in what is still considered obstruction of justice. It would have the same effect regardless. It was the act itself which has the mayor in hot water again. Don’t let him off the hook.

  20. C. B. says:

    Old saying that you can’t shame a politician into doing the right thing.

  21. Daryle Klassen says:

    Wanted to make comment under the “homeless” issue, but could not. So, speaking to the recent Vagrancy headline in the R.-H., here’s a warm fuzzy thought to chew on.
    If you think there is a vagrancy downtown headache now, just wait until Cecil Gutierrez and John Fogle finish building their 460 space 16 million dollar parking deck.
    When completed, the vagrants will now have a place to sleep, beg, deficate, and mug ladies in the dark. Build it and they will come. Wait a minute ! They are already here with more to come.
    Daryle Klassen

    • C. B. says:

      Are these to be metered spaces? I didn’t see anywhere or either I missed it. If so, are the homeless going to pay to occupy the parking spaces? Reminds me of one TV program that showed a town/city not wanting to deal with continuing a daily roundup of homeless to drive them to night shelters so they were buying or paying for apartments for the homeless to live. Cost versus cost? As a society, what have we come to? We should all become homeless and somebody will give us clothes and food and a place to live with no strings attached. Wow!

  22. C. B. says:

    Is there going to be resolution of the obstruction of justice issue that the mayor is still involved in? What goes on?

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