LovelandPolitics.com
Councilwoman Lashes Out Against  
City Volunteers
Commission Chairman works for unity among commission
members in wake of Johnson's letter
Loveland - September 17, 2009

Loveland City Councilwoman Carol Johnson lashed out against volunteer members of Loveland's
Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) in a letter she emailed to all the committee members last
Tuesday.  Johnson serves as the council liaison to the commission.  

In the letter, Johnson accused the volunteer committee members of  
“sitting on your butts” with
regard to the Milner-Schwartz house the committee is working to preserve.  The letter carries a
condescending tone throughout and finishes by threatening the commissioners Johnson not
supporting their efforts.

In the second to last paragraph Councilwoman Carol Johnson warns,

“I am not sure I will stay with HPC unless there are some indication of leadership among
you to actually advocate for what you want instead of whining..”
 (Note: Grammatical error
was in the original email).

LovelandPolitics was informed that at least two commission members informed city staff of their
intention to resign from the commission as a result of receiving the angry and insulting letter.  
LovelandPolitics made an inquiry to all the commissioners and received the following response from
Chairman, Gerald Portugal, who emailed the same to the members of the commission,

“I am the Chairman of the Loveland Historic Preservation Commission and I plan to stay
on the Commission.  I also hope to have the letter discussed at our next meeting on
September 21, 2009.    I would hate to see this thing blown way out of proportion before
our next meeting.  I know there are many views of this letter and they should be discussed
by the Commission before drawing any conclusions on the matter.  So, at this point I
would ask everyone to be patient. "

                                                                 Gerald Portugal, Chairman of the Loveland
Preservation Commission

Johnson is both political Allie and campaign volunteer for Mayor Pro Tem David Clark.  Her older
colleagues have expressed off-the-record their concern that Johnson has been telling constituents
there are too many “old men” on the council in an apparent swipe at her colleagues' advanced
ages.  In addition, David Clark has also been reported to be making a similar appeal to age
discrimination in an attempt to gain an advantage over his challengers for the Mayor’s race who are
senior to him in age.

Carol Johnson came to the City of Loveland after a humiliating defeat on her re-election bid to the
City of Golden City Council.  Johnson ran two years ago as a new resident of the city unopposed
for the seat.  Johnson’s condescending tone and difficulty with constituents earned her the nickname
among some Loveland city staff members of the “Queen of Mean.”

Johnson's seat is not up for election this cycle but will be in November of 2011.
BLOG - Post your comments here

----- Original Message -----
From: Carol Johnson
To: Marc Cittone ; 'Jim Cox' ; Tangier Barnes
- lrpintern ; Don Cook ; George Hill ; Gerald
Portugal ; Gregg Ault ; Paula Sutton ; Robin
Ericson ; Trudi Manuel
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:51 AM

Subject: Re: Historic Preservation Commission
Sept 21 Meeting

Marc, Tangier, and Commissioners:

I was not able to make the Saturday Boards
and Commissions dinner as I was in Boulder in
a 4 day seminar.  Also I will not be able to
attend the Monday, Sept 21 meeting as I will
be attending the mayoral debate.  Since I
will not be attending, I wanted to express to
all of you what I have shared with some of
you individually while it is fresh in my mind.

As your liaison for almost two years and
someone who has attended many commission
meetings in two cities, I can tell you that
there seems to be some confusion in your
minds as to the role of the HPC.  This is
your citizen advisory commitee:  The Boards
and Commissions Handbook describes you as an
advisory body to the City Council and
specifically (6) develop and assist in public
education programs... including walking
tours, etc. and (8) actively pursue financial
assistance for preservation-related programs,
to name two.

These are your opportunities to make a
difference in the city, not city staff's or
mine, as council liaison.  Since I came on
board I have heard a lot of griping and
moaning about how the city does not give
historic preservation money or how the
Commission does not have a mechanism to fix
raising money.  Instead of advocating or
making change when you have the opportunity,
you are not.  Some specific examples:  you
have agendas and work plans, but from the
chaos at meetings, I do not see good
communication of expectations and roles with
staff.  HPC is in charge of HPC meeting
agendas and workplans, not staff, so sit down
with staff in your leadership role after
reaching consensus among you and get that
done.  In your meetings, you re-hash the same
misunderstandings pointing blame instead of
fixing the problems.

Fix the fundraising problem.  Get in writing
what you can and cannot do, and find a
solution if you really want to fundraise.

Third example:  knowing it is your job to
advocate for funding for Milner-Schwartz
house, and sitting on your butts!  Do you
have any idea what a big deal it was that HPC
is receiving money for this?  Believe me it
is, and you lost a lot of credibility with me
and with council as a whole expecting that I
as a council member would correct the errors
Marc made in his presentation on insurance
and historic markers.  And were you expecting
that I ask for the money?  Think again.  As
your liaison be thrilled that I got it on the
agenda for you on my own initiative.  HPC is
the advisory board, the citizen advocates, so
where were all of you?  

After the November elections, council
liaisons will be re-assigned.  I am not sure
I will stay with HPC unless there are some
indication of leadership among you to
actually advocate for what you want instead
of whining and some leadership in getting
straight who is in charge of the meetings and
your goals and agendas.

I am sorry if this sounds harsh, I am happy
to discuss it at the October meeting.  But
all you need to hear why I am considering
leaving this commision as liaison.  It is
obvious you are all passionate about historic
preservation, but leaving the heavy lifting
to staff or myself is just not
appropriate.
      


Carol Johnson
Loveland Councilwoman Carol Johnson
Below is a copy of the email
Johnson sent the commission