NEWS BLOG
LovelandPolitics
Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - October 30, 2012 (11:00 PM)

Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill has directed all city staff to refrain from attending post-council
meeting socials with members of Loveland's City Council.  Councilman Hugh McKean, the
informal organizer of the events usually held at Loveland's
Sports Station American Grill (old
train depot in downtown), shot back a response email stating, "
There is nothing improper in the
least of our getting together and discussing the events of the nights meeting, whether it be in a
bar or at the Presbyterian Church."

Loveland's Sports Station advertises as "family dining and sports bar."  While there is a bar in the
back of the restaurant, it is not known to be a seedy or questionable type of business according to
regular diners.

McKean started the informal gatherings earlier this year for what he describes as a "
Post-morten
of sorts
" with colleague John Fogle to discuss the council meetings immediately following.   
Eventually Councilman Daryle Klassen also began joining them along with occasional staff visits
and members of the public.  McKean requested the city clerk advertise the meetings once Klassen
(a third councilor) began to attend to ensure the group is in compliance with Colorado's open
meetings laws.  While city business is discussed, no formal decisions are made nor official actions
taken by those attending.

Several LovelandPolitics staff audited one such post-council meeting gatheirng last August (okay,
yes we did have a couple beers).  While the attendance was small, the meeting did not take place
at the bar counter but instead in a seating area of the restraint where regular patrons also order
lunches and dinners .  While several of those in attendance did drink beer not everyone attending
drank alcohol nor did anyone appear to have consumed too much alcohol.  Attendees pay for their
own drinks so no city money is being used.

Cahill's communication appears in sharp contrast to city sponsored gatherings where beer was
served and in fact patrons were encouraged to consume alcohol.  During an event hosted by the
city at the former Agilent campus on south Taft. Ave. in Loveland, Mayor Cecil Gutierrez raised a
glass of Loveland's Grimm Brother's Brewhouse beer for a toast.  On another occasion,  
Councilwoman Joan Shaffer used a city credit card to purchase alcoholic drinks when attending a
League of Cities conference in Breckenridge but later reimbursed the city with a personal check
after LovelandPolitics requested copies of her travel reimbursement receipts from that trip.

According to sources in city hall, Cahill has been unhappy with some on council following his
annual review where doubts were raised about Cahill's leadership skills.  McKean also appeared
to imply that leadership skills was at issue when stating in his response sent October 30, ".
.as
typical Cahill fashion you make your displeasure clear to your staff , not directly to us."
and
also by stating
, "I would suggest that this is not the act of a Manager who has a healthy
relationship with his Council, nor his staff."  

Below is the text from Cahill's communication to city staff along with Councilman Hugh McKean's
response.

City Manager Direction To Staff

From: Bill Cahill
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 10:04 PM
To: City Council
Subject: Post-Council Gatherings


As you all know, for the last couple of months, there have occasionally been post-Council meeting
gatherings at the Sports Station.  These are frequent enough that the City Clerk's Office has
posted them as public meetings at which three or more Councilors may be present.

The posting of these gatherings has preserved the public's right to know of Council meetings, and
protected the Councilors from charges of "secret" meetings.  These gatherings are therefore
within the law, and are at the Councilors' discretion.  I respect the Councilors' right to have these
gatherings, and Councilors' participation is completely up to you.

However, as City Manager I have reservations about staff attendance at the post-Council meeting
gatherings.  So I want to let you know that at today's management team lunch I discussed this
with the managers, and have directed them to refrain from going, and to inform their staff to do
likewise.

I asked the management team to consider whether these posted meetings promote the positive
image of the City that we want to convey.  The concern: it is very easy to see how these gatherings
could be distorted as a city council holding meetings in a bar, which would not be viewed very
positively by the public.  This is not the intent of the gatherings, but when they are complete with
formal public posting and the attendance of staff it could be the way that they are seen.

I do not want to inhibit Council-staff communication, and this is not a prohibition of social
gatherings.  We have many other opportunities to communicate, and there will naturally be
many places and times for socializing.  These should all continue; we just do not want to create a
wrong impression of our Council proceedings.

Thakyou for your service and dedication, and for your understanding on this issue.  Please let me
know of any concerns or questions you might have.

Bill Cahill

City Manager



Response by Councilman Hugh McKean

From: Ward III - Hugh McKean
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:22 PM
To: Bill Cahill; City Council
Cc: Management Team; thacker@reporter-herald.com; info@lovelandpolitics;
Temp CCMAIL
Subject: RE: Post-Council Gatherings


Bill,

I should begin with a clarification before I discuss the propriety of your
commentary on our "after Council meetings".

In the first place John Fogle and I began to have a drink after Council meetings as a way to
discuss, as a post-mortem of sorts, the meetings just previous.  As you can imagine, the process of
becoming a Councilor is far different from the work that we do once elected and this was a good
opportunity to discuss the way in which decisions were made and points that may or may not
have held sway in the discussion.  We invited Daryle on occasion and it was then that we
discussed and decided to make sure that this was not perceived as a meeting held "in a bar" but
rather a posted, therefore public, occasion when Councilors would be present.  We made the
request to have it posted, several times in fact, in order to dispose of any appearance of
impropriety.

There is nothing improper in the least of our getting together and discussing the events of the
nights meeting, whether it be in a bar or at the Presbyterian Church.  Had this been a concern, if
you had an honest and open relationship with your Council that you describe at times, you would
have been able to voice your worries at any of our many one-on-one meetings and so you could
have ascertained the level of concern you might have wished to communicate to your staff.  You
did not do so and now, in a way that I have come to perceive as typical Cahill fashion, you make
your displeasure clear to your staff, not directly to us.  I would suggest that this is not
the act of a Manager who has a healthy relationship with his Council, nor his staff.

What I would tell you is that our meetings, in my opinion, have been remarkably good for the
perception of Council as a part of everyday life in Loveland.  I do not often frequent bars, and I am
almost certain that you never do, but the discussions we have had with the patrons at the Sports
Station, with staff members and citizens, for whom the podium at Council is too intimidating,
have been universally well received.  There are far too few opportunities to sit and talk about our
kids and our families and the everyday kinds of worries and concerns that people will share over
a cold beer or a diet Coke.  We try, with Ward meetings and the Mayor's short-lived Chamber
gatherings, to bolster the sense of community connection and the cooperative relationships that
defuse problems but we often fail.  People don't always come to our Ward meetings and often
those are not well publicized or at convenient times.  To have an occasion that is informal and
comfortable where anyone, be they citizens employed elsewhere or citizens employed by the City
of Loveland, can talk to their local government representatives is important and deserves some
degree of thought about how we could do this more rather than less.

Come one, come all.  The diet Coke is on me.

Hugh McKean
Loveland City Council
Ward III
970-581-3754
Shouting in Executive Session

During a recent City Council Executive
Session (closed to the public), one
councilor is reported by his
colleagues to have lost his temper.

While discussing the council's review
of City Manager Bill Cahill, Councilman
Ralph Trenary is reported to have lost
his composure and began shouting at
his colleague Councilman Daryle
Klassen.

According to one account, Klassen
was going over the city's history of city
managers and the tenure of each
when he was interrupted by an angry
Trenary.

According to one eye witness, "Ralph
went all postal on us by raising his
voice in a threatening way to Daryle
shouting."

Apparently, Trenary was upset over his
senior colleagues familiarity with the
city's previous managers and
protested saying, "your facts are not
correct and you don't know what you
are talking about."

Trenary than complained his wife's
family has a longer history in the
community than Klassen therefore he
is more an expert than Klassen on the
city's history of city managers.
City Manager Prohibits Staff
From Meeting Councilors At
Loveland Sports Station "Bar"
Bill Cahill
Loveland City Manager