Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, March 25, 2015

Loveland food shoppers can no longer expect to see a 1% drop in their food bill beginning
in November along with another 1% the following year and finally a 3% total drop by 2017
as we reported previously.   Loveland's controversial 3% sales tax on food items will
remain intact for the foreseeable future.

The Loveland City Council reversed its vote last month to repeal Loveland's 3% food sales
tax only two weeks after pledging it would do no such thing.  Five members of Loveland's
City Council voted against final passage of the measure they proudly endorsed two weeks
earlier.  Councilman Ralph Trenary lectured his colleagues that the reduction was
irresponsible despite arguing for it (and even taking a pledge not to later reverse his
decision) only two weeks prior.
 (see the video clip of Trenary's March 24, pledge and later
betrayal of that same pledge last Tuesday)

During the March 24, meeting where the unanimous vote to repeal the grocery sales tax
was recorded, Councilman Chauncey Taylor complained to his colleagues that he preferred
to see the question put before voters in the municipal election to be held this November.  
His suggestion was echoed on April 7, by Mayor Gutierrez along with Joan Shaffer and
Ralph Trenary who used the ballot idea as their excuse for abandoning their prior support
to phase out the tax.

This time their support for the repeal only as a ballot measure was even shorter lived than
two weeks.  When Councilman Hugh McKean made a motion seconded by Councilman John
Fogle to refer the repeal to November's ballot, the five who changed their vote on the
repeal also changed their tune on a ballot question saying they would need to hear more
public input before making any final decision.

Councilman Lectures Colleagues

The normally reserve and polite Councilman Dave Clark broke out into a long and
sometimes angry lecture to his colleagues about the partisan divide on council and his
apparent disgust at what he described as
"a lot of crap."

"I have never been more disappointed in this council than I am tonight.  I don't care
about losing the dam vote."  
Clark went on to explain that in previous meetings when the
public's input was sought the council and staff ignored them and did what they wanted to
do anyway.  He continued,
"I think we had a valid solution up here that we hashed-out
abnosium two weeks ago and we just threw it out."  
see video of Clark's comments

Councilman Ralph Trenary responded, "Councilor Clark I know you had to make that
"  to which Clark quiped, "Make your statement and leave me out of it."
Shortly after Trenary lost his temper and began shouting across the chamber.  see video of
Trenary losing his temper

Clark and Trenary were not the only two council members to trade barbs last Tuesday.  
Following comments by Councilman Hugh McKean which included a
"shame on all of you,"
Councilwman Joan Shaffer replied,
"Shame on you Hugh because it is your
see video of the exchange

After the vote to consider a ballot measure failed, Mayor Gutierrez, who apparently
believed it had passed, began telling colleagues he was going to ask that the effective date
of their decision be postponed.   When told the vote had failed he broke a large smile than
asked that the staff bring the matter back in the future but only with a direct linkage to cuts
in various critical services for the city.   In asking for a vote to bring back the matter the
council voted 7-2 (Krenning and McKean opposed).
Loveland's Council Flip-Flops On
Repeal of Grocery Sales Tax
How they voted
April 7, 2015

Motion by Joan Shaffer to approve on second reading the
March 24, 2015 unanimously approved ordinance to repeal
grocery tax over three years by 1% reduction each year

YES (4)
Troy Krenning
David Clark
John Fogle
Hugh McKean

NO (5)
Cecil Gutierrez
Joan Shaffer
Ralph Trenary
Chauncey Taylor
Phil Farley

Motion by Hugh McKean to refer the repeal of the grocery
tax beginning January 1, 2016 than over three years by 1%
reduction each year

YES (4)
Troy Krenning
David Clark
John Fogle
Hugh McKean

Cecil Gutierrez
Joan Shaffer
Ralph Trenary
Chauncey Taylor
Phil Farley
Loveland Councilman Hugh McKean (far right) speaks
as Counclmen Ralph Trenary (second from rght)
and John Fogle listen.
Mayor Cecil Gutierrez smiles at his colleagues
upon learning the vote to refer the grocery
sales tax to voters for a decision had failed.
Councilman Dave Clark