WP City Council Praises Veteran Police Officer; Appoints New Charter Review Group

Effort to Dump City/DDA Liaison Put On Hold

~ Bob Volpe ~

The Woodland Park City Council meeting last week was capped by a diverse range of issues, running the gamut from an honorary ceremony for a veteran police officer and the selection of new members of a charter review committee, to a controversial state popular vote law and the axing of a DDA council liaison member.

The Aug. 15 meeting opened with a ceremony honoring Woodland Park Police Commander Jim Halloran. Halloran retired after 28 years of service to the police department. Woodland Park Police Chief Miles DeYoung spoke of the long list of achievements accrued by Halloran during his term.

Halloran had a variety of roles with the police department and even once did a ride-along with a member of TMJ News in pursuit of drunk and high speeding drivers.

Halloran was also presented with the mayor’s pin by Mayor Neil Levy.


Charter Review Appointments

Last week, the council also made an appointment to the city’s charter review committee, which will have the responsibility of reviewing the city’s mini-constitution, first adopted in the 1970s and then reviewed and updated several times.  The city received five applications for the committee and the council approved all five. The five citizen members of the committee are *Stephanie Alfieri, the Sr Relationship Banker at Vectra Bank Colorado in Woodland Park. *Kathryn Perry, the former CEO of Choices of Woodland Park and Cripple Creek, and the wife of Park State Bank & Trust President Tony Perry. *Darwin Naccarato, who is an affiliate faculty at Colorado Christian University and has been involved in Woodland Park activities for many years. *Bob Carlsen, the former Associate Director for Facilities Planning and Integration at Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and a former Woodland Park city council member. Carlsen also is very involved in community affairs in the city. *In addition, Sarah Horwood got the nod as a charter review committee member. Horwood is a relative newcomer to city affairs but stated she looks forward to becoming more involved in city matters.


Along with the five citizens on the committee, council members Carrol Harvey, Val Carr, and Hilary LaBarre will serve with the group. Harvey served with the committee during the most recent overhaul of the city charter.


More opposition mounting against Popular Vote Law

In another big state political issue, Councilman Noel Sawyer introduced resolution 846. This  city resolution opposes Colorado Senate Bill 42,


Bill 42 was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Bill 42 would set the stage to elect the president of the United States by national popular vote. Under this pact, the state’s electoral college votes would go towards the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes nationally.


This bill has stirred much opposition among Republican leaders, who dub this as the anti-Donald Trump law. Opponents of this have even started a petition drive to do away with this law by forcing a state vote.


Sawyer’s resolution is non-binding and is strictly a formality.


Two items were deleted from last week’s agenda. The adoption of the city’ strategic plan was postponed pending a special meeting on the matter scheduled for August 22, which will be held in council chambers starting at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited.


The second deleted item was discussion regarding the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) asking Councilperson Kellie Case to resign from her position as the city’s liaison to the DDA board of directors. Case was not in attendance at the council meeting and the council believed it unfair to discuss the matter without her present. Case served as liaison to the DDA, since she was elected to the council.


At a recent DDA meeting, the group agreed to dump Case and have Sawyer fill this role.  According to sources, the DDA’s complaints dealing with Case hinge around a proposed ordinance that DDA members contended would restrict their role in reviewing development plans. They believe Case was involved in the crafting of this plan, referred to by some as the “anti-DDA law.”


During the reports portion of the agenda, Councilperson Carrol Harvey informed council on the status of the deer control task force. She reported the task force will have its recommendations to the council on September 19.


Councilman Sawyer reported on the status of the parks and recreation committee. He said the committee will not meet again until January of 2020. The reason for the delay is the lack of members on the committee. He also called for citizens to apply for membership on that committee.

City Manager Darrin Tangeman reported that parks and recreation revenue is $20,000 ahead of last year’s revenue collection.


City Finance Director Emily Katsimpalis reported sales tax revenue is up 3 percent over last year but lodging tax revenue is down.


Katsimpalis reported on business registrations. She said there are 24 new or renewed businesses in town. She then discussed purchasing software to alert the city on lodging tax cheats who are not registered with the city. This is to crack down on Air B&B’s, bed and breakfast outfits.


Levy responded, saying,“We need to seriously look at lodging tax. It may be an anomaly last year, but behind 2017 and we all know why. It’s Air B&B’s and bed and breakfasts who aren’t paying taxes and we’re going to have to have a discussion on where we’re gonna go in this community in that regard.