Loveland's Independent News Source

Loveland - January 13, 2014

Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez failed in his attempt to slide an administrative re-
appointment of Democratic political boss Robert Massaro to Loveland's Planning
Commission under the council's nose as a "consent" agenda item during a January 7, 2014
City Council meeting.

Former Loveland Planning Commissioner and newly elected City Councilman Troy Krenning
pulled the controversial re-appointment from the consent agenda during the meeting.  
Krenning pointed to the city's own policy that prevents the same individual from serving on
multiple boards and commissions.  Massaro was already serving on the city's transportation
committee when he was appointed to fill the remaining term of a departing Planning
Commissioner in February 2013.  His appointment was recommended by a sub-committee
vote of Mayor Cecil Gutierrez and Councilman Ralph Trenary; two councilors whose
campaigns for office were coordinated by Massaro.

Mayor Gutierrez defended the administrative re-appointment by arguing the council
appointed Massaro last February after he was interviewed and recommended for the

According to one councilor speaking off-record, "
he was Cecil’s campaign manager and
Ralph’s.  The interview committee was never discussed with the rest of Council.  Cecil
invited Ralph to conduct those interviews and also appointed Ralph to the Title 18
Committee without polling Council.  That gave them a majority vote to appoint Bob
last year

On January 3, of this year Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill sent an email to the city council
(see column right) following a request by Mayor Gutierrez to place the re-appointment on
the consent agenda while exempting Massaro from the interview process required for
candidates for three other seats requiring re-appointment.
(Note: A consent agenda is
supposed to consolidate the
routine, procedural, informational and self explanatory non-
controversial items

An angry Councilwoman Joan Shaffer commented, "not everyone on that commission
needs to come out of the development and real estate business
" while claiming
Massaro's conduct and qualifications for the committee have not been an issue.  Even
Councilman Fogle later joined-in saying Massaro's service on the city's transportation
committee has been "exemplary."

In fact, the contrary is true.  During a November 25, 2013 meeting of Loveland's Planning
Commission Massaro's political activities were indeed questioned by one colleague who
wondered allowed whether his remaining on the Planning Commission could damage the  
otherwise non-partisan reputation of the body charged with making quasi-judicial decisions.

see video of Planning Commissioner questioning Massaro's political activities

According to one councilor who supported Krenning's effort stated, "we were trying to be
gentle during the council meeting by using the excuse of city rules instead of airing
all the public and staff complaints we have been receiving."

Mayor Gutierrez argued that Massaro had already been promised the re-appointment so
any subsequent change would be interpreted as a punitive action.  The council delicately
avoided the raw political issues clearly behind one faction's objections along with the other's
implicit support.

Councilman Ralph Trenary complained that the city's rules and procedures mandated
Massaro be re-appointed regardless of council's will while Councilman Dave Clark argued
the contrary.  
see video of the exchange when Trenary raises his voice as he begins to lose
his temper.

Massaro's Actions On Planning Commission Questioned

One Planning Commissioner who asked to remain anonymous in fear of retribution by
members of council stated Massaro failed to engage his colleagues on the commission in
any deliberative process.  An informal poll taken of the members of Loveland's Planning
Commission reveals only one commissioner other than Massaro supports his re-

A common complaint was Massaro's "bomb dropping" of controversial comments and also
his failure to disclose his wife's involvement in the Protect Our Loveland organization she is
listed as a founder.  Protect Our Loveland is litigating against the City of Loveland and a
number of both staff and planning commissioners felt his failure to disclose was
inappropriate.   The group is opposed to any oil or gas exploration within the city limits of

On two occasions Massaro engaged in controversial debates but left the meeting early in
order to avoid being recorded in the official vote.  One involved the heavily subsidized Art
Space Project Massaro advocated for and the other involved the oil and gas exploration
issue.  As one commissioner stated,
"I have never seen someone get up and walk out in
the middle of a discussion on variances.  None of us enjoy the tedious nature of the
work or long hours we have to be sitting but I believe Bob felt he was immune given
his influence over the mayor and three councilors to have to be patient during our

Councilmen John Fogle, Troy Krenning, Hugh McKean, Dave Clark and Chauncey Taylor
voted in the majority to reject the administrative appointment.  The 5-4 vote blocked Mayor
Gutierrez's attempt to re-appoint Massaro without even an interview.  Now Massaro will need
to compete against other qualified applicants if he hopes to be re-appointed as did other

Reporter-Herald Article Pretends Massaro Is A Victim (see story)

The Loveland Reporter-Herald newspaper appears to have missed entirely the controversy
surrounding Massaro instead taking aim at Councilman Krenning for having pulled the item.  
One candidate interviewed and recommended for Planning Commissioner recently but not
appointed is Jeremy Jersvig.

A Navy veteran who now works for Larimer County Assessor Steve Miller, Jersvig was
reported by the Loveland Reporter-Herald as being a political operative of Councilman Troy
Krenning.  According to Krenning, Jeremy did support his election but was not involved in
running or managing his campaign for office.  Krenning said
“It is a gross overstatement
that he was active in my campaign.”  

Krenning said he isn't aware of any political activities by Jersvig whose insight into the
impact on surrounding property values a project may have would be a welcome addition and
new expertise to Loveland's Planning Commission.

Massaro is refusing to step-down from his current post on the Loveland Planning
Commission until he is re-appointed or another candidate is announced.  While the council
was unable to agree on who would be filling the seat currently held by Massaro for the next
four years, council did agree to advertise the volunteer position and vote on the
replacement after the committee in-charge of interviewing the candidates makes a

At this time, that committee is comprised of Loveland Planning Commission Chairman Buddy
Meyers, Councilman Troy Krenning and one city staff member who reports indirectly to City
Manager Bill Cahill.  It is expected the committee will not recommend Massaro for re-
appointment but instead likely Jersvig if he applies again.  Once the recommendation is
made the full council will need to vote to confirm or deny the recommendation.  

Planning Commissioners Mike Ray and Rich Middleton were re-appointed while new
applicant Michelle Forrest will take Councilman Troy Krenning's seat on the commission.
Controversial Planning
Commissioner Losing Seat
From: Bill Cahill
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 3:39 PM
To: City Council
Cc: Robert Paulsen; Greg George
Subject: Planning Commission Appointments
on January 7

I want to provide some information to the
Council in advance of the January 7 meeting
concerning Planning Commission
appointments because I have received some
comments and questions about it.  Four
persons are recommended for appointment
to the Commission:  Rich Middleton, Mike
Ray, Michelle Forrest, and Bob Massaro.   In
addition, Jeremy Jersvig is recommended as
an alternate.

Each of the candidates was interviewed by a
committee (Buddy Myers, Troy Krenning,
and Bob Paulsen, with Judy Schmidt of the
City Attorney’s Office also present) except
for Bob Massaro.  The remaining candidates
are all recommended by the interview

Bob Massaro is recommended for
reappointment under the provisions of the
Boards and Commissions Handbook,
adopted by City Council resolution on March
5, 2013.  The relevant part of the Handbook

“Any person who has served less than fifty
percent of a full term will be eligible for
consecutive reappointment for a full term,
pursuant to the following process:

1.       Ninety calendar days prior to the
partial term expiration, a letter will be sent by
the City Manager’s Office to the member
advising the member that he or she must
notify the City Manager’s Office in writing
within fifteen calendar days of the date of
the letter if the member desires to be
reappointed to the board or commission.  If
the member provides such notification and if
the member remains otherwise eligible to
serve on the board or commission, the
member shall be recommended to the City
Council for reappointment without the need
for solicitation of applicants and interviews . .
. “  (emphasis added)

This provision is not new.  It also appears
identically in the Handbook adopted by the
Council on June 3, 2008.  The only
difference is that the word “calendar” was
added in 2013 to the count of days for
notices.  Although I was not here in 2008
when this policy was adopted, I believe it
was to avoid the need to re-interview an
applicant who had only recently been
interviewed when originally placed on a

The provision applies to Mr. Massaro:  he
has served less than fifty percent of a full
term.  Notice was given to him and he
responded timely one day later to affirm
desire for reappointment.  His attendance
record has been reviewed and found in
compliance with the attendance policy.  
Under the Council-adopted policy, therefore,
his appointment “shall” be recommended.

The adopted policy also makes clear that
the Council retains discretion over
appointments and does not have to accept
the recommendation for any person
recommended to the Council:

“6. The recommendation of the interview
committee and the appointment by the City
Council shall be based upon qualification,
experience, knowledge, interest, willingness
to serve, ward residency, the need for a
diverse cross-section of the community, past
and current service on other city boards and
commissions, and other factors deemed
relevant by the City Council.  The
recommendation of the interview committee
shall be considered but shall not be binding
upon the City Council”.  (emphasis added)

Appointments are discretionary on the part
of the Council.  Please let me know if there
is any other information that may be helpful
to the Council.  

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
Planning Commissioner Bob Massaro