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Entry for August 25, 2007
Chad McWhinney's public relations blitzkrieg backfired and his taxpayer trolley idea is going up in flames as elections get closer and the public speaks out against more subsidy.  McWhinney asked the City of Loveland to amend their request to the council by excluding the trolley.

Don't miss the August 28, Council meeting since the subsidy for a private parking structure (called "public parking" in the Reporter-Herald) and other changes to the MFA (Master Financing Agreement) are being proposed.

Please post your comments about whether the new candidates support the trolley and McWhinneys chance of getting it passed after November's election in Loveland.

2007-08-25 13:49:15 GMT
Comments (22 total)
It will be back in November. It is a temporary ploy to get attention off the amendment.

It is good news however. I will ask every candidate i meet how they will vote on the trolley.
2007-08-25 20:43:07 GMT
In other words, they decided in private. Isn't there a law against that?
2007-08-25 21:57:26 GMT
I heard that Jan Brown will support the trolley if she is re-elected. They just don't want to vote before the election.
2007-08-25 21:58:42 GMT
They are still intending to amend the MFA to allow a single contractor for both "public" and "private" projects at the same time.

This will allow overcharging the "public" portion while not billing the private part and no one will be the wiser.

Don (CM) is bringing this back to Council because he knows they will vote yes.
2007-08-26 12:40:10 GMT
Agreed. I read with great interest and attention both the story here and in the Reporter-Herald.

While the PR spin that "more info. is needed" isn't repeated here (thank God)the truth from both is that the City Manager asked MchWhinneys to pull the request because Council didn't support it at this time.

When was that decision made? How can the Council vote and give direction without any public discussion or meeting?

Once again, few people will bother to attend Tuesday's meeting because its clear the City Council already agreed on how to proceed in private. They will all vote to support the MFA changes and that will be it. Why can't these people understand that its OK to disagree in public and make your decision through a public process?
--Carol W.
2007-08-26 20:57:40 GMT
Thanks again for publishing this. Why can't the local paper do such reporting?
The important issues that you raised remain:
1. Why does the City Manager continue to act as the McWhinneys' representative first?
2. a. A possibly illegal closed meeting was held. There was no interest expressed during public meetings for the City Manager to "negotiate" with the McWhinneys on their proposal, so a Sunshine Law exemption (to instruct a negotiator) was a flagrant violation.
b. This closed meeting apparently was used to reach a decision (i.e. opposition to the trolley)...also a violation and a clear indication that the meeting's described purpose didn't meet the allowed reasons for such a meeting.
3. a. The proposal still is not in Loveland's interest, as the proposed parking structure is NOT FOR PUBLIC PARKING, i.e. a City-owned structure, but a private parking garage strictly for the benefit of the private Centerra development.
b. Furthermore, the land and parking lot on which it would sit were ALREADY heavily subsidized with public taxes, via the $591 Million misnamed, "Urban Renewal".
c. Allowing a parking structure to be added to their list of "public improvements" on which they can spend these taxes means they can effectively substitute this private benefit for other, "public improvments", and if, for example, the costs of the I-35 Interchange improvements, which at present they are obligated for, can instead be passed on to local taxpayers, this will constitute "double dipping" from the taxpayers.

I hope citizens WILL show up to watch which Council members vote for this unfair tax-grab.

2007-08-27 18:32:21 GMT
Digger, you should hear the KFKA Radio (1310 on the AM dial)lead news story. They not only read this sight but put the pieces together.

They raise the issue that McWhinney may have also pulled the trolley since the RTA will not be paying for their promises. Yes, the Herald stands alone in mimicking the City Manager's sad and unfortunate lie that there are not "enough details" for the Council to consider the issue on Tuesday so nothing will be presented.

Give me a break - didn't anyone think this through? No wonder McWhinney's PR machine is so impident - we are not going to provide more information to the City Council on August 28 on the trolley because they lack the details to vote?

It reminds me of when my son came home late from school and used the excuse a monster chased him home.
--Gerry M.
2007-08-27 18:53:30 GMT
Why does the Reporter-Herald NOT report local news? Because it is NOT a legitimate newspaper. That's why, and under the leadership of Ken 'Stiny' Amundsen, it will be less so in the years to come.
2007-08-27 19:42:47 GMT
Gerry, you note that they might have pulled the trolley because the RTA's a no-go. Maybe you're right. But the "parking structure" would still allow them to substitute a purely private good (something needed only by their development)for what is at least arguably/nominally a "public" improvment, namely the I-25 interchange improvements they promised. Each new such addition to the list of "authorized projects" (such as was Centerra Parkway, previously approved) constitues a "bait and switch". In other words, the total amount of their obligations doesn't change, just what they can spend it on. So, the City Manager is there fighting for their intersts, to get the Council to approve substituting a private benefit for a previously stipulated public "good".
2007-08-27 20:17:23 GMT
Gerry, we also heard the KFKA news and were impressed with their coverage on the issue.
2007-08-27 20:59:44 GMT
Wrong...there is no "substituting a private benefit for a previously stipulated public good".

Any parking is to be public and will be stated in any agreement passed by council.

One 'public' space or thousands of 'public' spaces will not replace any public improvement already agreed to.

There is no "bait and switch". Nothing is switched. No prior approved project is eliminated or replaced with the "public" parking.

The parking will be not be any different than if the city were to add a parking lot/garage to the downtown area. Granted, business owners and their employees could use some of the spaces but so could the general public. That's why it's called "public parking". Would you have a problem with that situation?

It has always been my assumption that a city manager is supposed to talk to buiness (McWhinneys) when an amount for a project is missing or not decided upon...especially when a city council needs the exact amount before making any decisions. I believe this is what happened with the trolley.
2007-08-27 21:01:17 GMT
Ouch, quick question, I thought the Council already asked about the parking because certain residential units (850 I believe I read) will need dedicated parking. I thought the answer that night was yes, there will be Centerra created limits and restrictions on the parking to accomodate residents at night and shoppers in the day.

If it will be public, can I park in the garage and catch the Shamrock shuttle to the airport without fear of being towed?
2007-08-28 00:04:19 GMT
Walt: Some of the 850 homes will single family residential units with their own parking just like any other residential neighborhood. Some will be condos/townhouses over a business/retail who will be able to use the same parking as shoppers. It's shared parking.

Any dedicated parking for residents or business owners and hotel users will be so marked and not included in the public parking proposal.

It's my understanding that there will be no limit as to the length of time one may park in the public parking spaces...but not 100% sure. Without time limits, you should be able to park without fear of being towed.
2007-08-28 12:35:51 GMT
Ouch works for McWhinney. Why does this blog allow someone with a blatant personal self serving biased interest participate in a discussion of the serious issues hosted by this site for Loveland residents. There is a huge and unmistakable difference between providing parking in a 100% privately owned shopping center and downtown. The downtown is composed of multiple and diverse users, from small businesses to public and civic uses, hospitals, service agencies, civic groups and governmental agencies and residences. It is truly public in every sense of the word and a privately owned shopping center is just that, private. It serves only one owner and one private interest. To make that comparison is idiotic. Has anyone here parked in a parking lot at a shopping center and ever had the impression it was public? It will have private security, it will be privately controlled and used only at the permission of the private owner who will benefit solely from its existence. Ouch, do you and McWhinney think we are stupid? Lets start investing in the real downtown Loveland and start filling the vacant buildings in west loveland and stop sending public welfare to two little snot nosed kids from California that are soaking us and sucking the life out of the rest of the community.
--Ouch should reveal who he is
2007-08-29 05:31:06 GMT
Ouch either is intentionally disingenuous or naive. I suspect the former.
As one of tonight's citizen speakers at Council said, this would be a PRIVATELY-owned, PRIVATELY run parking structure in a PRIVATE development on PRIVATE PROPERTY; fees collected therein would be privately held. No honest person could call this a "public improvement". Yet Ouch spins this as if it were. He suggests that since members of the public could park there, it is therefore a public improvement. How dare you be so dishonest! What makes this any different from any other private property, such as a shop, where the public can enter and make purchases of goods or services?
Yes, it is also ENTIRELY different from a City-built/owned/operated downtown garage...which, by the way, would be a far better use of such public taxes! (ah but no, the same Council gave nearly a million bucks away for the promise of a garage and then let the developer off the hook for the garage but still gave them most of the $.
Ouch, you really ought to develop either your thinking ability or a bit of integrity, whichever is currently so lacking.
2007-08-29 06:07:48 GMT
A hospital downtown? Sorry, I've never noticed one.

This blog allows me to comment because we still live in America and I'm a resident of Loveland as required...and no, I have no interest or connection with the McWhinneys.

It's a shame that you have to read posted comments by someone who may have a different view than you but differences of opinion is what makes this country work so well.

2007-08-29 12:44:00 GMT
McKee Community Medical Center is located on Cleveland between 4th and 5th and owns several buildings including a clinic and offices. Learn about your town. You don't have a view, you have a bias, big difference.
--Are you Chad or Rocky?
2007-08-29 13:36:25 GMT
That's a COMMUNITY medical center. It serves the folks that you don't want jumping on your trolley and going out to Grand Station. Grand Station will never be a community its just a shopping center.
--Downtown COMMUNITY
2007-08-29 13:44:30 GMT
A clinic and offices do not make a "hospital". Perhaps you should have used a different word so we would know what you really were talking about.

Each of us has our own bias which in turn shapes our view on subjects...duh

2007-08-29 13:45:40 GMT
This state has an open meetings law that limits closed meetings to limited purposes. I think one is for "negotiations" but I don't know the details and I also don't know if they broke the law, but has anybody looked into whether their closed meetings are legal? Seems to me they shouldn't hide behind close doors to talk about this.
2007-08-29 21:56:38 GMT
If the Council truly is putting this off until after the election and then votes to fund these private improvements wiht public money, it's time for a RECALL election.
2007-09-05 03:35:14 GMT
Any resident not in a coma should realize by now that this city doesn't fund parking. It funds porking. This time, the porking facility is on McWhinney property. Imagine my surprise. One question: Which candidates are NOT part of the establishment? That's really anyone should really need to know.
--Billy Bob
2007-09-09 02:50:16 GMT
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