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LovelandPolitics
Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - October 22, 2012

Longtime Loveland attorney, Richard Ball, is a Loveland native whose father, Conrad Ball, was a well
respected Larimer County District Court judge for 20 years, for whom Conrad Ball Middle School in
Loveland is named.

Mayor Cecil Gutierrez and Councilwoman Joan Shaffer have long sought Ball's candidacy for city council to
fill the ranks of Democrats on Loveland's City Council.  However, on February 5, Ball publicly scolded
Loveland's City Council for approving a 3.5% pay increase for Loveland's Municipal Judge William Starks
(
see video highlights) which has created some division in local Democrat ranks.

Ball stated he didn't intend to speak on the matter while attending the February 5, 2013 Loveland City
Council meeting but spoke anyway following comments by another local attorney, Troy Krenning, who also
questioned Starks' pay increase and the need for a full-time municipal judge in Loveland.

Ball asked how much Judge Starks is currently paid but staff was unable to answer his question.  He
turned to the council as members shuffled through their papers trying to find the answer.  City staff said
they didn't know either but could get the information.  One councilor complained the council had spent
more time on evaluating Judge Starks than any other single issue in 2012.

That comment alluded to an independent evaluation the city ordered to investigate employee complaints
made to the city's Human Resources department by Starks' subordinate employees.   According to one
confidential source familiar with the inquiry, Judge Starks was accused of  authoritarian behavior by
demanding employees work long hours while only working part-time himself.

LovelandPolitics did speak with a member of the City Council who confirmed the council indeed spent
many hours on the topic and heard a full report into the independent inquiry.  At the end, the councilor
commented, "
there was nothing to the complaints in my mind."

Regardless, Gutierrez is a strong backer of Starks and has later questioned Ball's assertions the council
doesn't know what it is doing or in anyway rubber-stamped the pay increase for Starks.  In addition, one
local Democrat told LovelandPolitics that Gutierrez fears a Ball candidacy will be run on a promise to fire
the judge more than any other issue.  In the meantime, local Democrats have been encouraging a Ball
candidacy over Meg Corwin whose comments on a recent LovelandPolitics blog appeared juvenile.

Ball now serves on the city's Financial Advisory Committee.  This is a common place Gutierrez likes to
appoint potential candidates so they can become familiar with the city's finances before announcing their
candidacy.  In the meantime, Richard Ball has joined Councilwoman Joan Shaffer's estranged husband,
Mark Shaffer, in his law practice in downtown Loveland.

Please post any comments about this story on our blog.
Judging Judge Starks
Potential Ward 1 Candidate Jeopardizes Support of Friends on Council

2 Minute Video Clip of Rich Ball Confronting Council

Why The Ball Family Cannot Vote
Republican in Any Election


Judge Conrad Ball, Richard Ball's
father, was known for telling people his
family hasn't voted for a Republican
since President Lincoln freed his
grandmother's slaves in Kentucky -
the plantation being a source of the
family's wealth.

When LovelandPolitics reported this in
2010 while Richard Ball was a State
Senate candidate, the reference in the
online article we cited was later
changed to a more politically correct
comment even though Conrad Ball
had long passed away.

The
Colorado Bar Association article
by Richard Clark now states,

"His ancestors came from Virginia and
Kentucky. Conrad’s grandfather,
Alonza Ball, fought for the
Confederacy for four years. At the war’
s end, it took Alonza months to
hitchhike back to Gallatin. Conrad,
however, was a lifelong admirer of
Abraham Lincoln, even though, as he
sometimes joked, Lincoln had set his
grandmother’s slaves free."

At some point the Ball family moved
their plantation fortune to Missouri
where Conrad Ball was born in 1907.  
Richard Ball's grandfather was a part
owner of the Gallatin Democrat
newspaper in Gallatin, Missouri.  
Following a shooting (as described
below in the same Colorado Bar
Association article) the family moved
to Loveland, CO.

"
Conrad’s father, Robert Ball, was co-
owner of the Gallatin Democrat
newspaper. In 1919, a disgruntled
drunk, upset about an editorial Ball
had written, burst into the newspaper’s
office and killed the newspaper’s co-
owner, thinking he was Ball. Robert
was grazed in the shooting. Due to
guilt at having been the intended
target, Robert Ball soon found himself
unable to continue publishing the
Gallatin paper. In 1922, he purchased
the Loveland Reporter Herald
newspaper and moved his family to
Loveland, Colorado. Robert published
the Loveland newspaper, assisted at
times by other family members, until
his death in 1938.
"

No word on whether Richard Ball's
current positions on gun control trace
back to his own grandfather's near
miss with an enraged shooter.
Richard Ball
Loveland Attorney and likely
candidate for Council Ward 1, 2013