|Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - November 6, 2012
Clark celebrated his victory at the La Quinta Inn in Loveland while his opponent (Paul Mueller who was
reported to have received 48.29% of the vote by 10:00 PM) gathered with supporters in the private home
of a friend. Mueller was reported to have told the gathering which included Loveland Mayor Cecil
Gutierrez, "Looks like we came up a little short but it wasn't for lack of effort."
Clark's return to council can spell trouble for Loveland's Mayor Cecil Gutierrez who backed Mueller but
also Loveland's City Manager whose recent directive to employees not to meet certain councilors outside
work when they are in a bar. Loveland's Council has been unable to elect a Mayor Pro Tem from within its
ranks since the previous Mayor Pro Tem, Cat McEwen, resigned her seat earlier this year.
Important upcoming votes like a proposal to spend $15 million to expand Loveland's Museum and who
will serve as the city's Mayor Pro Tem were deadlocked in a tie vote between the eight councilors of four to
four. Clark's return to the council will now add an ninth vote on these decisions thus breaking the tie and
possibly refocusing the city's general fund towards the struggling emergency services like Loveland's Fire
Mayor Gutierrez's planned mechanism for financing the water improvement through increasing water
rates by 20% later this year is also in jeopardy. Cahill met one on one with various councilors to lobby
against a proposal by the more conservative counselors to use general fund monies to fund the needed
infrastructure improvements. Cahill, like Gutierrez, is looking to Loveland residents to pay directly by
increasing their water rates to cover infrastructure improvement costs.
Another area of contention will be the city's developer fees also called CEFs (Capital Expansion Fees). The
City Manager supports an effort to decrease CEF's for certain commercial buildings like apartments while
increasing the CEF's for single family homes and other commercial projects. Mayor Gutierrez has argued
the fees need to be increased while some on council question the need for the fees as the city's growth rate
has slowed over the past five years.
Palace Intrigue - Municipal Elections Next Year
Cahill has taken a more active role in the council's internal politics following a poor review by some on
council who were critical of his job performance. Nonetheless, the Loveland City Council did approve on
its consent agenda Tuesday night over 3% increase in pay for Bill Cahill.
While Cahill is likely to retain his job following the shift of power on council, he is nonetheless aware he
has alienated the council's new majority by attempting to limit the contact employees have with certain
members by hitching his wagon to one partisan faction no longer in the majority. Another foolish misstep
by Cahill could put his job in jeopardy (removing the City Manager requires 6 votes) but for the meantime
the new majority will need an extra vote before making any personnel changes in senior city staff positions.
Privately, Councilwoman Joan Shaffer was reported by city staff to be describing Cahill as a "weak" city
manager unable to properly prepare both himself and council for upcoming agenda items. While his
defenders are not enthusiastic about Cahill's leadership they do argue another change in city managers
this close to an important municipal election would stir unnecessary controversy.
Mayor Gutierrez along with councilors Daryle Klassen, Joan Shaffer, Dave Clark and High McKean are up for
re-election next year in November 2013. Klassen has stated he does not intend to seek another term
representing Ward I on Loveland's council while Joan Shaffer has also been indicating she may not seek a
second term. Both Dave Clark and Hugh McKean are expected to seek another term in office next year.
|Clark Wins Council Race
Creating a new majority already at odds with
City Manager Bill Cahill
|Loveland's winners circle; Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly
(with daughter), Councilman elect Dave Clark and State House
Representative Brian DelGrosso celebrate at La Quinta Inn in Loveland
Tuesday night after winning bids to represent Loveland on the County Board
of Commissioners, City Council and State Legislature respectively.