Loveland's Independent News Source
Story Behind Hale's Departure
From City Hall
Loveland - September 29, 2015
Updated to correct minor factual errors on Oct. 2, 2015

Betsey Hale, Loveland's Director of Economic Development, is leaving Loveland for a job in New York per an
announcement by Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill (see email right column).  A regular challenger to Cahill's
management style of the city, Hale's departure will help Cahill consolidate his management position with more loyal
senior staff members.

Hale follows a prestigious group of six City of Loveland senior employees who recently departed the city all with a
history of conflict with current city manager Bill Cahill.  This is unusual as the City of Loveland used to be considered a
desirable career destination for senior city administrators who would remain in their positions indefinitely.  
LovelandPolitics has been informed three more department heads in the city are actively seeking employment outside
the city as well.


Betsey Hale was elected a County Commissioner in Montrose County on the Western slope of Colorado in 2000.  Prior to
being elected, she worked for the National Association of Counties and Region 10 League for Economic Assistance
(MEDC).  A New York native and graduate of Cornell University, Hales' then husband Steve owned a ranch on the
western slope where they raised their children.  Hales' maiden name is Donnelly and her family is from upstate New

It was at a conference for local officials in Colorado while living on the western slope that Hale first met former
Loveland City Manager Don Williams.  Both Republicans with a penchant for government subsidized economic
development, they hit it off and quickly became friends.  Williams rewarded their encounter with an invitation to come
and work for the City of Loveland and help grow a professional office of economic development within city hall in 2006.

Hale came to Loveland about a year before the disastrous V-Net subsidy in early 2008 and is careful to distance herself
from that ordeal.  In-fact,
she helped to broker the deal and was among its defenders despite later distancing herself
from it after the company failed to meet its obligations.   Ironically, as then Councilman Cecil Gutierrez, an early critic of
business subsidies,  ascended so did Hale as she took on bigger roles in trying to recruit aerospace jobs into the city
with the misguided and ultimately unsuccessful
CAMT partnership.

Hale's New Boss in 2010

Following Williams' retirement in 2010 the City Council (voting illegally in closed session) selected Bill Cahill to
become the new city manager.  From the beginning Hale and Cahill were not in sync.  Hale's more open and affable
personality is the opposite of the stoic Cahill who prefers subordinates remain largely quiet during staff meetings
unless he calls on them to comment.

Each week, Cahill gathers the city's department heads and senior managers together for a taxpayer sponsored lunch to
discuss city business and prepare for potential issues if a council meeting is to follow that evening.  The name of the
meeting is the "Mteam" meeting which is short for the weekly management team meeting.

It was during these weekly encounters that senior city officials report witnessing the rub between Hale and Cahill.  
Following her promotion to the Director of Economic Development in 2011, Hale was required to attend the MTeam
meetings and was seen as
promoting her own job performance to council but also offering opinions outside her
assigned areas of responsibility.  According to Hale defenders, she was not allowed to set-up meetings with businesses
without first going through both Cahill and Gutierrez; a significant and new restrain from previous practices.

Seen by Cahill as a perpetual self-promoter, according to one source who is close to Cahill, Hale met councilors as a
means to go around the city manager to council and the community - while adding insult to injury Hale would vocalize
councilor reactions to upcoming projects during Mteam meetings.  As Cahill stumbled in his own job performance and
had a falling-out with various councilmen he began seeing Hale as a threat and slowly tried to marginalize her from
senior meetings especially with the mayor.  Hale was rumored to be a likely choice of the rebel  councilors unhappy
with Cahill to manage the city should they succeed in removing him.

Cahill would provide generally positive annual reviews for Betsey Hale, according to co-workers,  while at the same
time lecturing her about the importance of what he liked to call "loyalty" issues.  Hale would later complain to
co-workers that Cahill was careful not to record his "loyalty issues" complaint with Hale in her personnel file despite
providing her terse verbal warnings.

Hale is not alone in her conflicts with the city manager.  Dave Klockman, Devon Davis, John Hartman, Rene Wheeler and
even Gary Havener all reportedly left their senior positions within city hall due to Cahill.   Two for new jobs (Dave
Klockman and Devon Davis), one retirement (Gary Havener) and even a self-imposed demotion (Rene Wheeler) as a
result of their inability to deal successfully with Cahill; especially his style of running meetings.

According to our sources, a common complaint was the resulting
"interminable" mandatory lunch and follow-up
meetings Cahill would subject a subordinate to following any contrary views being voiced openly at the Mteam or other
internal city staff meetings.  Two senior employees reportedly who were apparently victims of the
lunches and follow-up meetings were Keith Reester, Director of Public Works, and Gary Havener, Director of Parks and
 Reester was later terminated for alleged misconduct while Havener retired last year.

Hale's conflict with Cahill peaked when Republican councilmen would gather at the Sports Station in downtown
Loveland while inviting the public or staff to join them following council meetings.  Cahill announced during an Mteam
meeting that he didn't want to see any staff attending these after-hours council gatherings to which Hale lodged the
complaint she can meet with her elected representatives, not as a staff member, anytime she chose.  In reaction, an
angry Cahill released an internal memo (
reported by LovelandPolitics) in October 2013 prohibiting staff from
attending since they were meeting in what he called a "bar."

As the partisan divide on Loveland's City Council has widened, Bill Cahill has thrown in with the most partisan of the
Democrats (Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, Ralph Trenary and Joan Shaffer) to the detriment of the others.  While unable to
remove a city manager with less than a 2/3 majority vote, the other councilors continued communicating with Hale
which Cahill is reported to have suspected resulted in her divulging internal planning between Mayor Gutierrez and
Cahill on various topics coming before council.

Job Performance

Hale's approach to economic development can best be described as common for a person with little experience in the
private sector but instead a long history of governmental and non-profit employment.  During the
CAMT partnership
on the HP campus Hale was aggressive in seeking media attention towards a campaign she helped to organize sending
CAMT officials hearts to persuade them to pick Loveland for their ACE (Aerospace & Clean Energy) project to set-up a
technology center in coordination with NASA.  While Loveland was chosen, the pick was unfortunate as CAMT had no
money to offer but instead persuaded the city to buy the property and later tried to shake-down potential owners or
tenants to help fund CAMT's board salaries.   In the end, a private investor bought the campus and thousands of
promised aerospace jobs are perpetually 6 months away ever since with the City of Loveland continuing to fund special
consultants and recruiters to promote what is now called the
Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology.

Staff Nemeses

Detroit diaspora Mike Scholl has had more success, according to Cahill,  seeing projects to fruition in downtown
Loveland and is reported to often complain about Hale's more senior title and salary despite having little to no success
during her tenure attracting jobs to the city.  Hale is quick to point to the consolidation of Agrium (formerly 7 miles
down the road in Greeley) as a success but given the short distance of their move and position in Loveland's heavily
subsidized Centerra the benefits to the city are debatable.  However, critics of Scholl's "successes" will point to the fact
the Rialto Bridge not only failed to make its revenue projections but now requires a ballooning general fund subsidy
each year which has gone from $250,000 to $750,000.

Other Scholl projects include Gallery Flats, using questionable TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for a quarter city block
and the South Catalyst Project.  Scholl's stewardship of the South Catalyst Project provided him an opportunity to
report around Hale to the city manager and mayor even failing to invite her to key meetings on the project despite Hale
being the department director and his direct boss.  Ultimately, Hale's persistent complaints were heard and she was
not only invited to the meetings but put in-charge of the entire South Catalyst Project.  By that time, however, South
Catalyst became more of an anvil than a life preserver to her sinking career with the city.

Scholl was quick to blame the failing South Catalyst Project for downtown on Hale which he initiated (developer pulled
out and only sure tenant, Larimer County, did as well).  However, Hale may have a good retort in pointing to the fact
Michael's (the developer) withdrew during Scholl's stewardship and most of the $6 million so far squandered for the
project was spent during Scholl's stewardship of the sinking project.  Scholl's one claim to fame, the
Sprout's $2.2
million subsidy, may be favorable in the eyes of Cahill but across Loveland it is not a popular subsidy given the cost of
attracting a few near-minimum wage jobs for a very high cost while also forcing a privately funded natural grocer to
cancel plans to locate in Loveland.

Hale's Last Straw

Our sources believe the combination of Hale's slow isolation in senior staff due to Cahill's marginalization of her
influence combined with poor job performance made her departure from the city inevitable.  Another debacle from
two years ago,
the creative commission crash, was placed at Hale's doorstep as head of economic development but she
points at Democrat community activist Paul Mueller along with Councilwoman Joan Shaffer for working around her by
going straight to Cahill for authority to proceed with the commission.  Mueller's
Sidam Touch has also apparently
tanked the
NCEDC (Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp.) which the board is looking to sell its meager
assets following his taking over the board.

Whether Scholl is promoted to Director of Economic Development remains to be seen.  According to our sources, Scholl
religiously reports contacts with councilors to Cahill and doesn't suffer the same "loyalty issues" that Hale did making
him a likely candidate for her replacement.  Scholl's political background as a congressional staffer for a congressman
from Detroit and far-left political leanings will also help with both Cahill and Mayor Gutierrez as their partisan politics
closely align.
Betsey Hale
Director of Economic
City of Loveland
From: Bill Cahill
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015
11:23 AM
To: City Council
Cc: Management Team
Subject: Betsey Hale Leaving Us for
New York

A few minutes ago, Betsey Hale,
Economic Development Director, gave
me a letter of resignation from the City
of Loveland effective October 16.

Betsey has accepted a new position as
President of the Three Rivers
Development Corporation located in
Corning, New York. She will begin work
there in early November. This is a
great opportunity for her to return to
New York and be close to her parents,
who will greatly benefit from Betsey
being closer to them. She will be able
to spend much more time with her folks
in this stage of their lives.

Their gain is our loss. Betsey has
served Loveland since 2006 and has
brought exciting new economic
opportunities to Loveland. She has
made a difference in our community
and will be greatly missed. Betsey
became our first Economic
Development Director in 2011 and has
created a team in that Department,
and led them to significant
achievements. She leaves behind an
accomplished body of work, and has
always done that with boundless
enthusiasm and love for her work and
community. She has always made the
Energizer Bunny look sluggish.
We will miss Betsey but please join me
in wishing her well on this next step in
her life journey!

Thank you.


William D. Cahill
City Manager
City of Loveland
500 East Third Street
Loveland, CO 80537
v 970.962.2306
f 970.962.2900