Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, January 22, 2015

In the stormiest meeting of a decade, Loveland's City Council denied a protest by Loveland
resident Brian Wood to follow the process prescribed by the city's charter to make a legal
appropriation when deciding to give the developer of a Sprouts supermarket $2.2 million dollars.

On January 6, Mayor Cecil Gutierrez prevented the public from speaking before a 6-3 vote to
approve the subsidy despite the requirement in Loveland's City Charter cited by Wood that
states, "
Prior to taking final action on the ordinance, the Council shall permit public
comments on the ordinance, then shall vote."

Ironically, in an attempt to reconsider the decision and possibly take the vote again to remedy
their error, Mayor Gutierrez instead insisted on changing the city's process to avoid asking the
council majority that passed the subsidy, Councilors Shaffer, Trenary, Fogle, Farley and Taylor
to vote as prescribed in the city's charter; following public input.

Pretending he was acting with unanimous consent, Gutierrez began a reconsideration of the
subsidy Tuesday night by announcing yet another change to their normal process which
the first verbal sparing of the evening when Councilman Troy Krenning objected by calling for a
point of order under Robert's Rules of Order.

Gutierrez than called on Councilwoman Joan Shaffer, now in her second four-year term on
council, who seemed to believe the Mayor could be stopped only when a majority of councilors
objected to his acting with unanimous consent.  Finally the city council took a formal vote
following a motion being made to change the city's regular process as recommended by Tami
Yellico, Loveland's new city attorney.

Public Comments

Loveland resident Brian Wood was interrupted by Mayor Gutierrez reminding him he would be
given only three minutes at the beginning of his comments but was not stopped once he
exceeded that time.

He began with a quote regarding the wheels of progress and said he tries to avoid conflict but in
this case it was necessary to be heard.

Wood testified he and his neighbors on N. Jefferson Ave. tried to reach out to the city early on
when they learned of the proposal but have been kept out of the loop.   He and his neighbors
asked that the nearly 30,000 square foot Sprouts Supermarket proposed for the northeast
corner of Highways 287 and 34 have direct access to those streets it faces instead of through his
small residential neighborhood established nearly 60 years ago.

According to Wood, city staff told he and the other residents assembled at two different public
meetings that CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) would not allow the development
to access Highways 287 or 34 directly.   Wood explained he contacted CDOT (Colorado
Department of Transportation) with the same question but received a different answer.  Wood
held-up a letter he received from CDOT confirming they will indeed allow access to Highway 287
which can relieve some of the proposed traffic through his neighborhood.  Wood explained he
sent the letter to Mayor Gutierrez as well.

Wood addressed his protest letter stating,

"The protest letter seems to be my only option to express my concern. The public should
know the cost of this store at this location is very, very high"

Councilman Fogle interrupted Wood to inquire whether he was in attendance at the alleged
second reading of the ordinance appropriating the funds when the public was denied an
opportunity to speak.  Wood confirmed he was not at the January 6, meeting.  Wood responded,
"This letter, if you are wondering where it came from, that's not really the issue, I signed it
and agree with everything it says.  I agree."
 Fogle repeatedly argued throughout the night
that Wood's absence from the January 6, meeting apparently absolves the council from their
violation of the city's charter by prohibiting public comment.

Wood was followed by another dozen speakers mostly opposed to the Sprouts subsidy including
one high school student who lives in the vicinity and is worried about traffic safety.  Another
resident, Gary Miller, commented he lives off South Boise near an area the city promised 13 year
ago would be extended to an off-ramp but is still dirt.  He asked the council how they can take
reserves collected for the limited purpose of street improvements to fund Sprouts' development
while he and his neighbors have been looking at dirt for 13 years.

Jeremy Jersvig, a sitting member of Loveland's Planning Commission, told the council he wasn't
at the meeting to either support or oppose the Sprouts' deal but instead bring relevant new
information to the discussion.  Jersvig informed the council about a credible effort being
organized in Loveland to repeal the very grocery sales tax this subsidy relies on to "repay" the
borrowed money from restricted reserves.  (see public comment video links column upper right)

Council Majority Refuses To Reconsider Item

By turning the process of making a motion and second before calling for public comment
reversed, Mayor Gutierrez left the public to comment on something they didn't know would even
be considered that evening.  The Mayor even indicated several times he was likely to support
opening the Sprouts decision up later for reconsideration.  That left many to plead with the
council for a "reconsideration" of the item without the benefit of speaking for or against any
specific motion or proposal.

Following the public comment Mayor Cecil Gutierrez nervously read from a script that only those
who voted in-favor of the Sprouts subsidy at their last regular meeting could ask for
reconsideration of the second reading from January 6, 2015.  A frustrated Councilman Hugh
McKean challenged Mayor Gutierrez after no one responded and the Mayor stated,
"that's it" to
follow-through on his earlier comment that he may move to reconsider the Sprouts subsidy.

Councilman Troy Krenning then questioned the Mayor,

"Was it planned that we would open it up for a public meeting and allow all these good
people to come and talk knowing damn good and well there would not be an opening for
reconsideration and that is why we decided to alter our processes and procedures, was
that discussed? seems there are lots of behind the scenes mysteries going on with
this deal...."

Councilman McKean accused Gutierrez of "Bastardizing" the process followed by the Mayor
responding that five others could have made the motion to reconsider than,
"If I heard any new
information tonight I would have made that motion."  
McKean stormed out shortly after telling
the Mayor
"shame on you."  see video clip

Councilwoman Joan Shaffer than denounced both Councilmen McKean and Krenning which was
followed by Councilman Krenning questioning Shaffer about where she gets her information.  
Shaffer said she was reacting to what she read in the article published in the Loveland
Reporter-Herald on Sunday.  Shaffer alluded to "
undue influence" by outsiders and called for
the censure of her colleagues.  Krenning interrupted Shaffer stating,

"Before you disparage me you better make sure you have facts that come from some
source better than the newspaper."   
 (see video clip of the heated exchange)

Councilman Trenary attempted to interrupt Krenning by shouting "stop interrupting" a number
of times.  Councilman Chauncey Taylor than reached over and begin caressing Trenary's arm to
reassure him. Trenary appeared to be shaking and turning red in the face.

Each time Krenning responded Mayor Gutierrez would interrupt saying he would put an end to
the exchange.  Shaffer would than request more time and begin speaking again.

Nobody on Loveland City Council or staff addressed the concerns raised by the speakers during
public comment regarding the availability of funds should the sales tax be repealed by voters in
November nor explain to Gary Miller why the city has yet to build an access onto Boise Ave. for
his subdivision more than thirteen years after it was built.  $500 of the $2.2 million subsidy is
being withdrawn from the city's legally restricted reserve for street improvements.
Public Comments
Mayor Gutierrez claimed he heard nothing
new during the public comments January
20, 2015 when he refused to allow a
discussion or vote on the subsidy.

A number of residents spoke regarding an
grocery tax repeal by voters
planned for November's ballot. A new
topic not previously discussed or reported
here or in the Reporter-Herald.

Click on the links below to see video clips
of the public comments on Sprouts during
the January 20, 2015 council meeting

Brian Wood
Neighboring property owner of
proposed development

Jeremy Jersvig
Loveland Planning Commissioner

Gary Miller
Loveland resident who pleads with
council not to take money from road
improvements for Sprouts'

Ed Klen
Loveland Developer

Buddy Meyers
Chairman, Loveland Planning

Various Other Public Comments
Council Meeting Erupts As Mayor Again
Manipulates City Process For Sprouts'
A shaking and red faced Councilman Trenary is comforted by Councilman Talyor who
caressed his arm and shoulder for several minutes as Trenary appeared humiliated after he
was unable to shout-down Councilman Troy Krenning
Second from bottom left, Brian Wood motions to Mayor Gutierrez after being attacked by
Councilwoman Shaffer.  Mayor Gutierrez explained to Wood he cannot comment in response
as whatever he has to say would be "immaterial."

The bearded man in the rear center is Counclwoman Joan Shaffer's landlord and downtown
property owner whose projects she regularly advocates for subsidies on Loveland's City
Council.  She is also rumored to be dependent on him financially for loans since she has been
unable to find regular employment.

City Hall's
"King Mike" who orchastrated the slow-reveal of the Sprouts' deal to council is seen
bottom far right with his hand near his face.
Loveland's new City Attorney, Tami
Yellico, attempted to stop Planning
Commissioners against testifying
against the Sprouts subsidy to avoid
a future conflict of interest.  You can
see City Manager Bill Cahill whisper
in her ear shortly before making the
announcement in the Buddy Meyer
comments video link above.
Councilman Ralph Trenary attempts to
stop Councilman Krenning from
interrupting colleague Joan Shaffer's
attack on Krenning by shouting "stop
Councilman Chauncey Taylor sat quietly
throughout the meeting.  Along with the
others who voted on January 6, to give
Sprouts' developer $2.2 million he said
nothing and appeared to be checking
email while the public was speaking