NEWS BLOG
LovelandPolitics
Loveland's Independent News Source
February 8, 2013

I have read your accusations regarding my ward residency and
you are incorrect in your assumptions. I, respectfully, request a
retraction. I have lived in my ward without interruption
throughout my tenure representing the citizens of Ward II.
While I consider my personal life private and of no concern with
regard to my service, you apparently need more information.

After seven years of residing in the same location, I temporarily
moved into an apartment within the Mariana Butte subdivision
under a three month lease. I subsequently secured an
apartment in Downtown, my preferred location as an advocate
for revitalization, and moved in a few weeks ago, paying my
overlapping lease obligation in full. I have not couch-surfed as
you have incorrectly accused.

I have a month-to-month market-rate lease with Barry Floyd for
my current residence. I also have a short-term, again
market-rate office lease in a building owned jointly by Mr. Floyd
and two of his  business partners. The combined business
arrangements create no financial obligation that is in violation of
the City Charter.

As to my support of Artspace this past Tuesday, my voting
record is clear and consistent. I have supported the project since
inception and will continue to do so until that organization
should somehow prove unworthy of such support. This past
Tuesday, our council chamber was nearly overflowing with
community supporters for the project, a majority of whom are
residents of Ward II. I have no interest, and certainly no
financial interest, in the project with regard to Mr. Floyd or
anyone else associated with it. My interest is purely in my role as
an elected representative of the Ward in which the project site is
located. Your characterization of anything else is false,
uninformed, and misleading.

With regard to my dropping by the Sports Station, I did, in fact,
stop by to share my congratulations with those who had worked
so hard to reach Tuesday's milestone. My conversation was
limited to Artspace representatives and our community's
supporters. I did not engage staff and left when the other
councilors arrived. I do not participate in meetings with
multiple councilors that I have not personally noticed my
planned attendance.

While you we're present at the Sports Station, likely awaiting
the arrival of the other councilors and taking photos for use in
your blog, you chose not to identify yourself to the Artspace
representatives or the many supporters who were present. Why
you chose not to engage with me, nor take the opportunity to ask
me directly to address the rumors about me that you were
apparently on the precipice of reporting was remarkable, and in
my view, not only disrespectful of our acquaintance, but of real
disservice to your readers.

As far as my personal life is concerned, reporting on the status of
my marriage is completely uncalled for (and again, factually
incorrect) unless, of course, your interest is to try to besmirch
my reputation for your own, or your Party's dubious gain. In
either case, you seem to want to prove that LovelandPolitics.com
is in no way independent. Again, I must, respectfully, request
that you refrain from reporting on my personal life. As a
dedicated and highly engaged representative my record should
provide you with plenty of opportunities to report on the issues
of real import to the community.

I have chosen to write you from my city email to make the facts
clear for public record. I ask you to please post my response to
your blog in its entirety.

Sincerely,
Joan Shaffer
Loveland City Councilor, Ward II
Loveland Councilwoman
Joan Shaffer responds to
LovelandPolitics' sidebar story
on her vote for ArtSpace
LovelandPolitics Response
February 7, 2013

I recuse myself on all Housing Authority issues that involve
decisions involving Mirasol because of the potential conflict (as
the record will show).  I wanted to chime in on the Art Space
because I thought it worthwhile to note the 5mil plus cash
infusion this project could potentially bring to the community
and didn't think anyone else would approach it that way.

After getting elected -- conversations with City Attorney Duvall
directed that I should recuse on all issues involving Mirasol
and stay for the rest.

I also recuse on issues involving Bill Bierwaltes since he is a
neighbor and friend.  Other than that -- I haven't run into any
others yet. :)

I also sit on the Affordable Housing Board as staff liason -- so
my presence at these meetings makes good sense.  At the
time of selection for this board we also discussed the potential
conflict and Duvall instructed that I sit out for all Mirasol
issues.  This is a non-voting appointment and involves
reporting the boards activities back to council.

Thanks
John Fogle
Northern Consulting LLC
2473 Frances Dr
Loveland, CO  80537
970-679-7649
February 9, 2013

Councilwoman Shaffer, you are a bright person who appears to
understand the importance of avoiding even the appearance of a
conflict of interest - at least when it comes to criticizing your political
adversaries over the 402 and other past controversies when you
were seeking public office.

The first step in dealing with a conflict of interest issue under the
City of Loveland charter is to disclose the potential conflict to your
colleagues.  

There has been considerable intrigue in city hall now for quite some
time regarding your true residence.  We were told, but did not verify,
that you began giving only a work address to city staff  to avoid
disclosing your personal address for correspondence.   This created
speculation you no longer resided in Ward II by your colleagues and
city staff - that is what we reported but did not assume or report you
moved out of the Ward.  

Because residency within Ward II is a qualification for the office you
hold it is more than only a personal matter.  Now it appears your
discretion over your changing living arrangements was instead
related to a potential conflict of interest issue.

You say voting to give nearly $1 million in city subsidies for your
friend, commercial landlord and now the same person who recently
approved your application to reside in one of his apartments
downtown is not a conflict of interest.

We refer you to a
Grand Jury in the City of Patterson, where citizens
were asked to determine whether a member of a city council had
such a conflict.  While the law may be different since it isn't Colorado,
we believe the conclusions could be similar here if all the facts were
known,

Council member A neglected to recuse his/her vote due to a
fiduciary conflict of interest with the landlord/developer.

The Grand Jury determined,

Documented oral and written statements indicate that Council
member A was intermittently late in rental payments. In some
cases, rent was either not paid, late or “written off.”

You appear to be arguing the fiduciary relationship you have with
Barry Floyd is a personal matter while also claiming there is no
conflict of interest.  

Choose one or the other.  Disclose fully to your colleagues and the
public your fiduciary relationships (including rental agreement
details, the subletting of the commercial building  etc.) with Barry
Floyd  or simply recuse yourself from the voting on subsidies by the
city for his projects.   

Seperation/Divorce
We have shown enormous restraint by refusing to report any of the
scandalous accusations emanating from your divorce proceedings
people have sent us (also deleting any posts about it on our blog).  
We did mentioned the fact of your separation and subsequent
divorce proceedings (which are public record) as the presumed
reason for your move.  You don't say why that is inaccurate.

Sports Station
The City Clerk posted a notice on the bulletin board in city hall that
"three or more" members of Loveland's City Council would be
meeting at Sports Station following the regular council meeting.  You
arrived first and three more later while you were still present.

As a duly posted public meeting, the public is allowed to attend
without any obligation to seek permission from the participants.

Your description of just "
dropping by" is certainly misleading.  You
apparently had time to consume enough alcohol (while sitting
directly across from city staff) to later make the wise choice to walk
home to your new downtown apartment instead of driving.  

In fact, we believe, it was Barry Floyd who made the suggestion.

Loveland Councilman
John Fogle responds to
LovelandPolitics' sidebar story
on his vote for ArtSpace
LovelandPolitics Response
February 9, 2013

C
ouncilman Fogle, we appreciate your transparency regarding
this issue and willingness to make public any potential conflict of
interest.  However, we believe the advice you were provided is
wrong.

Your wife works for the Housing Authority of Loveland (HACOL).  
If her boss, Sam Betters, is appearing before Loveland's City
Council requesting a subsidy for ArtSpace in which HACOL is both
a contractor and investor, we believe it appropriate you recuse
yourself from the vote.

This is due to the fact the success or failure of HACOL as an
independent entity can have a direct impact on your family's
household income.  For this reason alone, we don't believe you can
be completely objective or independent in the matter.

In addition, your ability to take an adversarial position against
HACOL on any city matter could result in retaliatory actions by
your wife's employer.  

In the matters of Mirasol and vNet, we commend you for doing the
right thing.