~ by Bob Volpe ~
In an unexpected move, Councilperson Carrol Harvey recently resigned from the city council, a development that still has generated a fair amount of shock within local political circles.
Harvey, a former mayor pro tem, played a leadership role on many committees.
She has served as a council member and mayor pro tem, and has been involved in city politics, events, and affairs, for many years. She served on past and present charter review committees, been the city’s liaison for the Colorado Municipal League, and was a member of the historical preservation committee. She was also nominated by Planning Director Sally Riley for the Teller County Cares Volunteer Service Award. This is one of the highest achievements for a local civic leader.
According to City Clerk Suzanne Leclercq Harvey did not give a reason for her decision. Leclercq said in an email to TMJ News, “She did not. Her letter just stated she was resigning effective immediately.”
Harvey was a staunch fiscal conservative during her tenure on council.
She was also no shrinking violet. In 2017 she and Councilperson Val Carr got into it over a committee that she, Councilperson John Schafer, and Carr formed. Harvey requested that the committee, launched to evaluate the use of city vehicles as part of a cost-saving measure, be dissolved immediately.
Harvey didn’t mince words in criticizing the actions of the committee. According to Harvey, the vehicle usage review committee is costing the city a huge amount of money and is imposing unfair obligations on key administrators and employees. Harvey, who originally voted in favor of forming the group, says she regrets her earlier decision and now wanted to ax the committee. “There is no end in sight,” said Harvey, who unveiled initial costs for city staff members at more than $1,000 a month in time allotted for the project. “That is an expense I am not willing to continue. I don’t think this (committee process) is going to provide a recommendation to the council.”
During the 2019 budget battle, Harvey stuck to her guns, insisting that the budget reserve be raised to at least 17 percent.
She was a strong supporter of the Woodland Park Police Department. During that epic 2019 budget fight there was much debate over salary raises for the police. Harvey said she would even relent on her insistence of a 17 percent budget reserve to make sure the police got their raise
She also played a lead role in an earlier detailed review of the city charter, dubbed as Woodland Park’s mini-constitution. Because of her earlier role, she was chosen to serve on the charter review committee again.
Harvey’s last public action was serving as moderator on the deer management task force. This contentious issue was apparently the last straw for her patience. The group was divided on how to deal with the deer issue and tempers flared during their workshops. One member of the non-lethal faction accused Harvey of calling that faction “domestic terrorists.”
This accusation prompted a response from Downtown Development Authority Treasurer Tanner Coy, who stated, “Carrol, I respect you and admire your strength, thoughtfulness and commitment to Woodland Park. I’m sorry for being an unnecessary thorn in your side at times, and thank you for tolerating my mistakes. Watching and listening to you carefully during your time on City Council has taught me a great deal about citizenship and leadership, and I should have told you that a long time ago.”
Harvey was also often critical of the Downtown Development Authority, spending by the visitor’s center, and the city footing the bill for a director of Main Street. At the same time, she was always respected by even those she criticized.
The council will now be responsible for appointing a successor to her seat.