Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - March 11, 2014

Anyone who has watched a Thompson Board of Education (BOE) meeting since last
November's election has likely tired of hearing the presiding officer's gavel.  A common
complaint by those opposed to the new Republican majority is the constant gavel striking
by Board President Bob Kerrigan who went from being a lone vote of one to the leader of
the board's new majority last November.

Curiously, his detractors are drawn to the gavelling like ducks chasing bread and appear
excited at every opportunity to force him to use his gavel.   This is because they are setting
in motion a recall of Kerrigan and hope to create a scene of near pandemonium at every
meeting while video taping his every move in response; especially the gavelling.

All the disruptions came to a fever pitch on March 5, when rogue BOE member Denise
Montagu, after being asked to submit her comments on a draft public speaking policy,
refused to cede the floor to Kerrigan and literally hijacked a public meeting.  Attempting to
regain order, Kerrigan first attempted to adjourn but when that failed he called a 10
minute recess.  Montagu continued speaking and later invited teacher union activists to the
microphone hijacking the public meeting even further from the other elected officials who
pleaded with her to stop. (
see 7 minute video clip of the meeting).  

Montagu told her colleagues over and over again,
"Oh I'm not stoppin...I can have 30
minutes at any meeting to discuss  whatever I want"
despite being corrected by attorney
Brad Miller that Roberts Rules of Order give her no such privilege to take-over a public
meeting from the duly elected Chairman who was elected by the board.

While the Loveland Reporter-Herald has dutifully reported the chaos and audience
outbursts as some kind of discontented public reaction to the new board's policies, in fact,
the hecklers' actions are hardly random or spontaneous.  The hecklers are mostly school
district employees or former board members and all are local Democrat activists  who
worked together on the Obama 2012 campaign (see list of heckler lower right column on
this page).

NCEDC Chairman Planning Recall

Failed Loveland city council candidate and local partisan Paul Mueller is the accountant
preparing the numbers for the recall (see column this page - upper right).  Recently elected
the Chairman of the Northern Colorado Economic Development Council (NCEDC) volunteer
board of directors,  Mueller's hyper-partisan activities has placed that previously
non-partisan organization's funding in doubt.

Concerns have been raised whether Mueller is using his new position at NCEDC and its
resources to organize the recall of Thompson School Board President Bob Kerrigan.  Since it
is a qualified non-profit 501(c)3 and receives public monies from Larimer County and
various municipalities, any political use of those resources would be a violation of law.

The Larimer County Board of Commissioners is concerned enough to be reconsidering the
county's financial support for the formerly non-partisan NCEDC.   

Mueller is behind the Facebook page
"Thompson School District Reform" which regularly
attacks Kerrigan while seeking support for the recall campaign.  In a recent posting on his
Facebook page, Mueller estimated they will need 5,111 signatures to recall Kerrigan.  The
number of signatures needed is 25% of the total cast in the last school board election,
which was 30,254.  That means Mueller's calculation is in error and some 7,564 qualified
signatures are required and since many people don't know whether they are qualified to
sign a petition, signature gatherers would need perhaps 10,000 signatures to ensure the
final count (once those not qualified are removed) is at least the minimum of 7,56

Gathering 10,000 signatures within 60 days, as required, is difficult unless there is general
public outrage over the actions of the official in question.  Thus the video taping of Kerrigan
during the orchestrated meeting outbursts and disruptions by the Obama 2012 volunteers
in an attempt to make it appear he cannot control his own temper.  Taken out of context, a
video clip of his reaction over a period of months consolidated into a 30 second political
advertisement can be persuasive.

It isn't clear, however, what if any benefit the teacher's union (TEA) hopes to gain long term
by the carefully laid plans for a recall of BOE President Bob Kerrigan.   If successful, state
law would allow the remaining 6 members of the BOE to vote on his replacement while
BOE Vice-President and Kerrigan ally Bryce Carlson would assume the position of

Currently, the BOE is split along partisan lines 4-3 and would likely be tied 3-3 on who
would replace Kerrigan to represent Kerrigan's District, which includes Berthoud, on the
BOE.   In the event of a tie, the President, thus Bryce Carlson, is allowed to choose the
replacement which would almost certainly result in the same 4-3 voting advantage the
Republicans enjoy on the board today.

Are Their Tactics Legal?

Comments on the Loveland Reporter-Herald website and in City Hall are debating whether
the Loveland Police Department should use force in stopping Montagu from sabotaging
school board meetings when she disagrees with the majority's actions.  

During the March 5, 2014 BOE meeting a Loveland police officer waived his hands at
Montagu to stop talking while he tried to address one of her supporters who repeatedly
shoved a demeaning cartoon of the Republican board members in Kerrigan's face.  
Attacked from two sides, Kerrigan requested the heckler be removed but the Loveland
police officer instead appears to have suggested the break.

As to whether it is legal to disrupt a public meeting of elected officials, Colorado law does
provide for prosecution of the disruption of a lawful meeting,

18-9-108. Disrupting lawful assembly

(1) A person commits disrupting lawful assembly if, intending to prevent or disrupt any
lawful meeting, procession, or gathering, he significantly obstructs or interferes with the
meeting, procession, or gathering by physical action, verbal utterance, or any other means.

(2) Disrupting lawful assembly is a class 3 misdemeanor; except that, if the actor knows the
meeting, procession, or gathering is a funeral, it is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Simply because Montagu is a member of the body conducting the meeting does not give her
license to disrupt it.  In many legislative bodies there is a sergeant at arms whose job it is to
enforce the order of the meeting on behalf of the presiding officer (in this case Kerrigan).

However, Loveland Police have so far declined to enforce Kerrigan's requests by simply
talking to the hecklers while not removing them altogether.  This has created an untenable
situation for Kerrigan in recent meetings as the loudest voice in the room, Montagu and her
supporters, literally take over the forum and prevent elected officials from conducting the
public's business.   For a list and brief background on those interrupting the BOE meetings
see column on the right side of this story.
Rogue R2-J Board of Education
Member Hijacks Public Meeting
While her supporter/hecklers work to recall Board President
Thompson Board of
Education President
Bob Kerrigan
Who Are the Hecklers?

The BOE hecklers share common interests and
political affiliations.  They are mostly school district
employees (or spouses of employees) and worked
together in the 'Obama 2012 campaign.

List of known hecklers who have interrupted
Thompson Board of Education meetings

Bill McCreary
Former BOE President, activist Democrat and
husband of a career teacher at Thompson School
District.  In January McCreary scolded the newly
elected board for seeking ways to increase student
test scores and
refused to limit his comments to the
time alloted for each member of the public to speak.

McCreary disrupted the School Board meeting on
February 5, 2014 attempting to prevent duly
elected public officials from voting.   
see video

David Hallet
Unsuccessful candidate for city council, Hallet is a
career janitor for the Thompson School District who
later became a school bus driver.  Hallet frequently
sits in the front row of the audience.  Hallet hosted
phone banks for the Obama 2012 campaign in
coordination with Maia Mattise.  Hallet sits in the
front row at School Board meetings in a grey hoody
folding his arms over his head while making childish
faces at Kerrigan throughout the meeting.
video clip of Hallet from behind

Maia Mattise-Lorenzen
In January Mattise interrupted a school board
meeting in an attempt to embarrass Kerrigan.  Later
she claimed she was frustrated about not being
allowed to address the board (she did address the
board at their December 18 meeting). Mattise
worked with Hallet on Obama 2012 campaign and
hosted events in her Berthoud home for the
campaign.  She is a regular at BOE meetings since
a Republican majority was elected and can be seen
applauding, shouting and booing board members.

Becky Jay
Becky Jay is a former School Board President and
longtime Democrat activist who perpetually ran for
office or worked on the campaigns of her boss,
Stan Matsunaka, during his campaigns for
Congress and Colorado Governor.  

In addition to applauding and hooting, Jay makes
deep bellowing sounds during the meetings she
has attended.  Newly elected school board
members have been interrupted by her loud talking
in the audience while they are trying to speak.

Last January Jay took the microphone during public
refusing to stop at the time allowed for
public comments forcing board President Bob
Kerrigan to strike the gavel multiple times before
she finally stopped.