The CAG group used to be very vocal about their concerns. This is what I can recall members of the group addressing publicly.
1. Need for a different City Attorney
2. Hiring a new City Administrator
3. Hiring a new Finance Director
4. Getting a new auditing firm
5. Establishing an audit committee
6. Instituting additional “funds” in our accounting system
7. Suggesting that there is a violation of TABOR related to Vandaveer and the NRCDC
8. Stating opposition to increases, even inflationary increases, in city water and sewer rates
9. Promoting small government
So I have been looking back at what Council has accomplished since I took office last November. #1- 6 have been completed and we are now working on #7. Last night Mr. Kahn, the City Attorney, presented his opinion that the NRCDC is not compliant with TABOR for financing purposes. To be clear, the Vandaveer property is paid for, but is the security for a $4.4 M loan with High Country Bank on the building that is leased to the Forest Service. The bank’s attorney submitted a disagreeing opinion and the Council was not allowed to discuss the issue or vote on it, although I requested that those activities be part of the process. Tonight Council meets with the NRCDC to “sort through the multiple compliance options available and to decide together on the best option,” according to the Mountain Mail.
I was rather shocked that this was not headline news this morning. It is a very big deal. Having city-owned property is key to affordable housing projects, attracting institutions of higher education, having the possibility of a recreation center and adding parks to our community. Land is the most expensive aspect of new building and city property makes city amenities happen.
At this point I predict Vandaveer is gone. Part of me is saddened by the loss of potential amenities to the community, but part of me also recognizes that the majority of citizens elected this Council knowing what the goals and agenda were, and I respect that right to select elected officials. I mostly wanted you to know what is happening because a friend told me yesterday that people with whom she socializes still think the NRCDC is working on the citizen-developed master plan. So you are now updated. Have a good day!