I heard a quote last week that I thought characterized what is happening both nationally and locally: “The world is separated into those who think they are right.” That seems to be at the core of all that is transpiring now and is a far cry from the compromise that many of us find to be of value. I want to maintain hope that reason and prudent action will help shape our future.
One step locally in that direction is slowing down the movement on the compliance plan. I believe it is imperative that the Council listen to ideas that the public has. as these ideas may help us through this difficult pathway. Many attended the recent NRCDC meeting where public input was requested and others attended the last city council meeting and made pertinent comments during the public input section. These have been helpful to me in my personal thoughts on how Council should proceed.
I want you to know the current schedule regarding the compliance plan.
On Monday, November 14, the Council will hold a joint work session with the NRCDC Board to discuss the plan. I am glad to see this exchange happen and would also like to see Council discussions with the bank. This date is also set as a deadline for each Council member to submit any potential revisions in the plan. A resolution will then be drafted on the basis of the submitted revisions and work session discussion. This will be voted on at a special meeting on November 29.
I am in the minority of Council members who believe that since the High Country Bank contract is with the NRCDC, that the City does not have the authority to direct the NRCDC Board in how to move forward with plans regarding Vandaveer. I am urging a position of fiscal responsibility to the citizens of Salida by following one of the DOLA suggestions focusing on identifying the specifics of noncompliance and then making necessary revisions in the structure and operations of the NRDCD to bring it into compliance with TABOR. I believe this approach allows compliance, since the Council has voted that there is not current compliance with TABOR, while still protecting City assets.
If Council persists in focusing on a path of property sales, I believe that Council is only able to make suggestions to the NRCDC. My suggestions are that time limits will interfere with property sales and should not be included in a plan. I also would suggest that any type of auction should be abandoned, since any interested party is likely to wait for the auction to gain possession of the property at minimal value. I also suggest that conditions be placed that property sales that are consistent with the master plan developed with citizen input. Since the NRCDC Board has discovered that the larger parcel is actually separated into separate lots, it may be possible to sell specific lots to cover the loan and still retain about 100 acres to be used for future amenities for the community.
Thanks for your continued interest in this important issue.