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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Denise Montagu to Resign Seat on Board of Education

LovelandPolitics has been informed that Denise Montagu is moving to Boulder, Colorado due to a divorce thus vacating her seat on the Thompson Board of Education.   We have confirmed that her personal residence in Loveland where she is registered to vote is being offered for rent on Zillow.com.

Despite her obnoxious and disruptive behavior during her first term on the Thompson Board of Education, Montagu was re-elected in November of 2015 along with Pam Howard, Dave Levy and Jeff Swanty due to the local and state teacher unions pouring more than a quarter million dollars into the race.

Mantagu’s absence from the board will likely not change the direction of the board.  A graduate from CSU, Montagu’s work history was primarily doing marketing for Uptown Auto in Loveland owned by a family member and later a short stint working for a financial services firm.

Montagu is most well known for her public outbursts and interruptions of former Board of Education President Bob Kerrigan who decided not to seek re-election in 2015.  Montagu is reported to have said she was assigned the task of disrupting meetings and acting in an obnoxious manner to try and provoke Kerrigan to lose his temper and do something “regrettable.”  Montagu also once demanded an elderly man be forceably removed “immediately” from a Board of Education meeting after he spoke critically about her during his turn at public comments.

We hope she learns the value of civil discourse and treating all people with respect.  We also hope she has success with her new life in Boulder.

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Sovereigns of Centerra – Taxation Without Representation

You would be hard pressed to find any principle more fundamental to the founding of our country than the ideal that nobody should be taxed without representation.  Nevertheless, both Democrats and Republicans on Loveland’s 9 member City Council voted unanimously on April 4, to again deny the residents and property owners of Centerra this fundamental American right.

See our story 

Loveland’s City Council expanded McWhinney brothers Chad and Troy governmental authority to further indebt Centerra residents and businesses with compounding interest on “forever bonds” stretching all the way into 2050.   Adding insult to injury, McWhinney’s pledge of up to 72 mills of future property taxes to repay the revolving debt encumbers only those property owners in Centerra Metro Districts 2-5; the exact ones prohibited from voting for a member of Centerra’s governing board of directors.  So who can select the board?  Only property owners of tiny Centerra District 1 which is already owned exclusively by McWhinney.   Even worse, McWhinney’s District 1 property is exempt from the Centerra Mill Levy so the elite decision maker is free to determine everyone else’s tax without fear of paying it on their own qualifying property being held for the long term.

The IRS put it best with a 2014 ruling aimed at exactly this type of threat of private parties looting metro districts for their own gain while leaving behind an unwieldy debt load for others to repay. “Privatizing gains while socializing losses.”

“A governmental unit is inherently accountable, directly or indirectly, to a general electorate. In effect, § 103 relies, in large part, on the democratic process to ensure that subsidized bond financing is used for projects which the general electorate considers appropriate State or local government purposes.”

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Homeless In Loveland In For Big Surprise

LovelandPoltics has been informed that Brinkman President Jay Hardy has cooked-up an admirable scheme to prevent Loveland’s intractable homeless population from ruining his downtown Foundry Project.  Simply stated, they cannot use the “public” pedestrian areas inside the Foundry project as the city has deeded the land to Brinkman or vacated its existing Rights-of-Way (on 3rd Street i.e.) in favor of private control.

See our complete story

While the clever plan has promise it comes at a time when Loveland’s homeless population is growing due to the legalization of marijuana.  In the meantime, Respresentative Hugh McKean (previously a member of Loveland City Council) fights against the homeless legislation named, “Right to Rest” bill which essentially prevents any anti-loitering ordinances by cities over public space.

As if that isn’t enough, Larimer County Commissioners just voted to outlaw more than three gatherings on private property per year if more than 40 people participate.  

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Steve Olson Wins Council Seat – Ward III Special Election

Loveland’s City Clerk posted election results for the Ward III special election.  In November, Olson will need to stand for re-election to serve a four-year term on Loveland’s City Council.

Howard Dotson: 419

Steve Olson: 1296

John Ryan Keil: 265 

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Commentary By Larimer County Assessor on 2017 Reappraisals

Colorado property owners will be hit hard this year since it a “reappraisal” year and values have been growing rapidly.   Larimer County Assessor, Steve Miller, will update your property assessments to June 2016 values.  Read commentary and details from the Assessor himself.

It is expected that the residential assessment rate will be lowered for the first time in 14 years but that doesn’t mean your taxes will go down.  This is due to the Gallagher Amendment which forces a reduction in the percent of residential property assessment to commercial to preserve a prescribed balance between the two.  The result is the increase in residential property taxes will not be as severe as it would likely be absent the Gallagher Amendment.

 

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Council Candidate Spars With Councilman Krenning – lawsuit against House of Neighborly Services Threatened

Below are the emails on Loveland’s City Council account regarding the bizarre candidate for city council Howard Dotson and his correspondence with Councilman Krenning.  It is important to note who on Loveland’s City Council apparently supports Dotson; Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, Joan Shaffer, Rich Ball and Leah Johnson.  

From: Ward I – Troy Krenning <Troy.Krenning@cityofloveland.org<mailto:Troy.Krenning@cityofloveland.org>>Date: March 30, 2017 at 7:03:02 AM MDT

To: Howard Dotson <pastor1ston4th@gmail.com<mailto:pastor1ston4th@gmail.com>>Cc: City Council <CCouncil@cityofloveland.org<mailto:CCouncil@cityofloveland.org>>, Temp CCMAIL <TEMPCC@cityofloveland.org<mailto:TEMPCC@cityofloveland.org>>Subject: Re: HNS and City of Loveland

Mr. Dotson,

To be perfectly clear, I do not consider you a colleague.

In the future, please remove me from your bizarre, self promoting and nonsensical messages concerning HNS. I may volunteer to represent HNS in my capacity as an attorney in defending them against any of your frivolous claims.

My representation will be pro bono and thus it should not create a conflict for me in my role as a city councilor but I will let the City Attorney assist me in making that call if it comes to that. I’m sure you can understand this request in an effort to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

Aside from HNS, please remove me from any future emails concerning your so-called community good will messages. I have heard from several in the community that feel intimidated and harassed by you and your “ministry.”

I find it laughable that the guy flipping off the federal government and trying to create a safe space for illegal aliens, in violation of federal law, is the guy whining about HNS alleged failure to comply with federal law. Hypocrisy?

Thank you for your understanding.

Troy Krenning

Sent On Mar 30, 2017, at 5:49 AM, Howard Dotson <pastor1ston4th@gmail.com<mailto:pastor1ston4th@gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear Colleagues:
Slander/Defamation

Glorie Magrum has until Mon April 3rd 5 PM to write a retraction and apology for the slander she committed on Jan 4th in City Council email. If this does not happen, I will be taking legal action against her and HNS for slander and defamation.

I have tried to work with HNS and their board quitely but instead of being a good faith partners in conflict resolution, they tried to do an end run and meet with my church board without me present.

Revision of HNS Bylaws

I affirm Mayor Pro Tem Fogle’s recommendation.

There should be a stipulation for any additional funding from the City of Loveland to HNS. To be compliant with Federal guidelines for nonprofits receiving Federal funding, HNS needs to revise their bylaws so no more than two members of their board are affiliated with the same congregation.

HNS does not have adequate ecumenical representation on their board.

I shared this concern with them in Sep 2016. Rev. Joel Pancoast has applied to be on their board and an email appeared to be attempting theologically vet a pastor of a founding HNS church who has served in Loveland for 8 years.

Noncompliant with Federal ADA Laws

I shared my concerns with HNS leadership about their noncompliance with Federal ADA laws. They refused to meet with me.
I have referred these ADA concerns to CREE (Civil Rights Education Enforcement) in Denver. April 10 we should know the status of their investigation.

Last winter, I had to assist 3 female homeless residents getting to Mckee Medical Center during the cold snap in Dec. All three homeless females had been turned away from the cold weather shelter. I had 137 homeless clients calling and asking me to assist with two of the cases. To my knowledge, no referrals were made to Larimer County APS. I’ve asked APS to pull up their call log to verify this assessment.

This break down in protocol and compliance with ADA guidelines increases the risk that one of our homeless residents with disabilities could die from exposure.

As our elected officials, I wanted you to be aware of these concerns as you proceed in June with allocating Federal funding to HNS.

There needs to some reassurances that HNS will take some corrective actions to ensure compliance with Federal laws if they are to receive Federal funding.

Sincerely,

Howard Dotson

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McWhinney Seeks More Time And Looser Terms for Centerra Debt

According to Albert Einstein“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

Loveland’s City Council must be in the latter category and is thus dragging all Loveland taxpayers into an even riskier debt situation for the McWhinney controlled Centerra Metro Districts.  Tuesday night Loveland’s City Council is scheduled to vote on extending and raising Centerra’s debt to over 186,000,000 while extending the repayment date to 2050 and compounding future interest accrued by the growing Centerra debt.

Especially troubling is the deliberately false statement by the Resolution the Loveland City Council is going to vote on that states, 

That evidence was presented that was satisfactory to the City Council for finding that the extension of maturity of existing debt and the imposition of compound interest on nonpayment of interest on the 2017 Bonds will be in the best interest of the area served by the Districts.”  That evidence lies in the “Centerra board” making the request.

In truth, area taxpayers, Centerra property owners and Centerra business owners are being denied a voice in the process by McWhinney exclusively controlling the Centerra Metro Districts taking out the debt and spending the extra money raised.   This is accomplished by narrowly drawing the boundaries of Centerra District 1 (which controls all the other Centerra Districts) around property owned by McWhinney and only allowing McWhinney employees or close associates to serve on Centerra’s governing board.

Here is a link to a previous story about how this is being accomplished while staying one step ahead of the IRS which claims such schemes, by definition, mean the bonds are not for a “public” purpose thus ineligible for tax exempt status.

This is a textbook case of privatizing profit while socializing losses.  Centerra’s McWhinney controlled board will ignore the metro district taxpayers by pouring the funds raised from additional debt into infrastructure for the sole benefit of McWhinney owned land/projects like the “public” parking garage next to an all McWhinney owned shopping center.  Once developed, McWhinney sells the finished project (including city funded improvements) and pockets the difference in value between the undeveloped land and the finished development worth many millions more.  Than Centerra goes back to Loveland’s City Council asking to push its repayment of debt further into the future (spent improving the value of McWhinney’s former property) and now even compounding interest.  Simply explained, it is like turning your fixed home mortgage into a revolving credit account (like a credit card) so future payments are to pay only interest and interest on that interest while the principle grows instead of shrinks.  

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Ward III Voters Have 3 Candidates and Apparently 2 Choices

A month ago two of the candidates for Loveland’s Ward III race (to serve-out the remaining 6 months of McKean’s 4-year term) couldn’t have appeared more different.  Steve Olson, the Navy retiree and Chamber of Commerce booster contrasted with radical preacher and activist for the mentally ill and homeless Rev. Howard Dotson.  However, when you look past the labels and slogans, the two candidates are nearly identical in their positions on most recent council actions and major projects downtown.  SEE OUR STORY

Even more alarming is the regular use of old McWhinney talking points by Steve Olson making him sound more like a paid spokesman of the controversial developers instead of someone hoping to represent Ward III residents on Loveland’s City Council.  The tired old “grow or die” maxim combined with bragging about the Centerra signs along I-25 as evidence of how nice Loveland appears due to the McWhinneys.  (Apparently Olson didn’t get the memo that those signs were a ‘public improvement’ gifted to McWhinney’s failed Promenade Shops development by taxpayers, it was foreclosed, and not a gift by the developer to residents of Loveland).

The depressing reality is we have a government of the interested.  McWhinney like others with pecuniary interests in the process are involved behind the scenes while a great many residents simply vote based on partisan labels.  The McWhinney’s are clearly back into local politics for reasons that don’t involve free market competition.  Like Olson, candidate Howard Dotson also heaped praise on Loveland’s City Council during a recent candidate forum stating, “I agree with Steve” while carefully avoiding any talk that could challenge the status quo of Loveland’s City Council as they dutifully follow staff into a massive financial sink hole in the failed Foundry project for downtown.

The second choice in Ward III, John Keil, is not polishing any apples when he speaks plainly about the city’s failed subsidies and need to reform.  While we don’t agree with all his positions, at least he is looking to have a conversation and not simply march behind the current staff lead city council on every major issue.  He may be the only real CHOICE voters have in this special election for unique representation in Ward III on Loveland’s City Council.

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Departure of Governor’s Economic Lead Good for Go Noco

Developers across Northern Colorado are watching the Governor’s economic development office closely following the departure of Fiona Arnold who emphitacally supported and funded by millions of dollars economic projects just 4,000 feet from her own commercial real estate investment in Denver.  At the same time, Arnold strangled Go Noco’s own four projects for Northern Colorado with crippling “guard rails” that exceeded any conditions she placed on the project that would help her own real estate investment.

Sadly, investigative journalism is dead.  Area newspapers reported her inequitable treatment of projects in Northern Colorado (that wouldn’t make her rich) as just good governance while failing to report her own pecuniary interests in the Denver stock show project she championed.

See our story 

Not surprisingly, Arnold is now heading a Denver development company following her departure from the state office dishing out millions in development incentives.  

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