Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, December 6, 2015

Loveland's City Council will meet in secret executive session this Tuesday to review City Manager
Bill Cahill's job performance.  One councilman who has been critical of the city manager asked
Cahill, in advance of the meeting, to provide 5
"concrete examples" this year of economic
development achievements but reports he hasn't yet received a response.

Cahill, a former economic development director
was hired by the City of Loveland in 2010 from the
City of Merced, California primarily for his experience managing redevelopment programs.  
However, Cahill has recently been struggling with the failing "
South Catalyst Project," the
downtown development association ballot failure, and the ongoing general fund hemorrhaging to
failing projects like the Rialto Bridge which he promises each year to make profitable but continue
losing money.

The agenda item for Cahill's annual review legally noticed to the public states,
"This is an
administrative action to conduct an executive session on December 8, 2015, for the review of
performance and goals for the City Manager."

Despite the innocuous agenda description, the closed door meeting promises to be a stormy one as
area developers have been blaming Cahill's management on what they describe as the city's
"intrasigent bueracracy" earning it a reputation for being one of the most difficult place to build
new construction in Colorado's Front Range.

Loveland's current City Council is near evenly split between Cahill supporters and detractors.  
Behind the scenes, those looking to terminate Cahill have been gathering steam and some unlikely
allies.  Cahill's  annual review comes on the heels of what city staff members refer to as an "
bitch session
" organized by the city's construction advisory board advisors attended by five
members of Loveland's City Council.

According to sources close to Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, he was furious that Loveland staff members
were not allowed to attend the November 18, meeting with developers where five members of
Loveland's City Council were told the city manager is their problem.  A reporter for the Loveland
Reporter-Herald attended the meeting and
published an article the following day quoting two
local developers; Scott Bray and John Giuliano.

Loveland staff point to the fact the meeting was supposed to be public thus allowing any member
of the public to attend.  By prohibiting anyone employed by the city from attending they are
violating Colorado's open meeting laws, staff argued on Cahill's behalf.  Ironically,
Cahill himself
prohibited staff from attending after council meetings by a group of councilors in 2012 and was
also challenged for similar reasons.

City Charter Requires a 2/3 Majority

Following last November's election the partisan fault line between council members appears to
have remained largely static which is generally where they also side regarding Cahill's job
performance.  According to Loveland's City Charter, the City Manager is appointed only by a 2/3
majority (6 of 9 Council members which includes the Mayor) to appoint or remove (see column
right for Section 8 of Loveland's City Charter).

Prior to last November's election, Mayor Gutierrez and his three Democratic colleagues (Phil
Farley, Joan Shaffer and Ralph Trenary) refused to entertain motions to remove Cahill thus
preventing the majority of 5 Republicans from removing him from his position; though no official
vote was ever taken in public.  

Two of the minority of 4 Cahill backers, Ralph Trenary and Phil Farley, are no longer on the City
Council but the election of Democrats Richard Ball and Leah Johnson means theoretically Mayor
Gutierrez retains 4 votes necessary to prevent the majority of 5 Republicans from achieving the
2/3 majority (6 votes) necessary to remove Cahill.

However, Johnson attended the "bitch session" but left early while Richard Ball stayed for the
duration even taking some conversations off-line while promising to look into the developer
complaints.  This is significant as Scott Bray is not only a longtime family friend of Councilman Ball
but also
was an employer of his ex-wife.

One organizer of the Construction Advisory Board non-staff meeting, Mayor Pro Tem John Fogle,
said it had nothing to do with whether the city will retain Cahill but instead getting feedback from
the development community on how the city can improve its services.  The group recorded their
conclusions and recommendations on easel boards provided in the pictures below.  While the
pictures below (click to enlarge) demonstrate that was the focus of the session, they also contain
comments like "
bad direction given to city building department" which point a finger directly at
the city manager.
Builders Target City Manager
Before Annual Review
Loveland City Manager
Bill Cahill
(a) The City Council, by the affirmative
vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire
Council, shall appoint a City Manager
to serve at the pleasure of the Council.

(b) The Council shall establish the City
Manager's compensation.

(c) The City Manager shall become a
resident of the City or the Community
Influence Area as defined in the
Comprehensive Plan adopted by the
City Council on May 2, 2000, as
amended from time to time, within six
((6) months of appointment, and shall
remain a resident of such area
throughout the Manager' appointment
. (Amended at the election held
November 7, 2000.   

(d) The City Council shall evaluate the
City Manager's performance at least

(e) The removal of the City Manager
shall require the affirmative vote of
two-thirds (2/3) of the entire Council.

The City Council shall designate a
qualified City employee to serve as
Acting City Manager during the
Manager's absence or disability, or
during times when the position is

During the period of the appointment,
the City Manager shall not be an
employee of, or perform any services
for compensation from, any person or
entity other than the City, unless the
Manager has first obtained the
approval of the City Council.

The City Manager shall be the chief
administrative officer of the City. The
City Manager shall have the following
powers and duties:

(a) Be responsible for the enforcement
of the ordinances, resolutions,
franchises, contracts, and other
enactments of the City.

(b) Establish and implement personnel
rules and regulations for City
employees. Such rules and regulations
shall provide for the selection,
promotion, and retention of City
employees on the basis of ability,
training, experience, and performance.
In addition, such rules and regulations
shall provide that no City employee
shall be discharged, except for cause,
from a position of employment which
the employee has held for six (6)
months or longer, unless the City
employee is a police officer, in which
case this timer period shall be one (1
year) year or longer. . Nothing in this
subsection shall preclude the
establishment or application of rules
and regulations for a layoff, a
reduction in force, or an administrative
reorganization, or the establishment of
temporary or seasonal positions of
employment. (Amended at the election
held November 6, 2001)

(c) Cause a proposed budget to be
prepared and submitted to the Council
annually, and be responsible for the
administration of the adopted budget.

(d) Cause to be prepared and
submitted to the City Council, as of the
end of the fiscal year, a complete
report on finances and administrative
activities of the City for that year, and
make other reports as requested by
the Council concerning the matters of
the City in the Manager's charge.

(e) Keep the City Council advised of
the financial condition and future
needs of the City.

(f) Except as to the Municipal Court
and the office of the City Attorney,
exercise supervision and control over
all City departments, and make
recommendations to the City Council
concerning the establishment,
consolidation or abolition of such

(g) Attend City Council meetings and
participate in discussions with the
Council in an advisory capacity.

(h) Be responsible for informing the
public on City functions and activities.

(i) Perform such other duties as
prescribed by this Charter, or as
required by the Council and not
inconsistent with this Charter.

(a) Neither the Council, the Mayor, nor
any Council member, shall dictate or
interfere with the appointment of, or
the duties of, any City employee
subordinate to the City Manager or to
the City Attorney, or prevent or
interfere with the exercise of judgment
in the performance of the employee's
City responsibilities. The Council, the
Mayor, and each Council member,
shall deal with such employees solely
through the Manager or the City
Attorney, as applicable, and shall not
give orders or reprimands to any such

(b) The City Manager alone shall be
responsible to the City Council for the
proper administration of all matters
placed in the Manager's charge by or
pursuant to this Charter.