CQS supporter tries to get city to delete the Longmont Airport FB “fan” page

(The following email exchange was obtained from an open records request with the City of Longmont)

From: Kelly Mahoney

Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 2:20 PM

To: Dennis Coombs; Brian Bagley; Bonnie Finley; Gabe Santos; Harold Dominguez; Jeff Moore; Polly Christensen; Sarah Levison; Shawn Lewis

Subject: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Hi Mayor, Council, and Temporary Airport Manager Lewis,

I would like to petition you to delete the Longmont Airport Facebook page –https://www.facebook.com/LongmontAirport

If this page belongs to the City of Longmont and reflects what the city believes, I am appalled. The most current post on this facebook page has a very negative reflection regarding the Times-Call article ‘Airport complaint log discussion dominates Longmont council meeting’.  When ‘they’, whoever ‘they’ is and I hope its not City of Longmont,’ say ‘The never ending saga of CFQS’ and goes on to agree that the airport and the AAB doesn’t have the public interest at hand, it makes me cringe to think that my tax dollars are going to support this public airport.

I sincerely hope that this page gets deleted if staff members are maintaining this site.

Thank you,

Kelly Mahoney

 

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On Feb 11, 2015, at 2:33 PM, Harold Dominguez wrote city staff:

Can you all get facts and answer.

Thanks

HD City Manager

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On Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 12:03 PM, Sandi Seader wrote:

Hello Ms. Mahoney,

Thank you for your e-mail.  We have a process for creating City owned facebook sites and training on how to manage the sites.  We never had an official government FB page for the airport or approved a page through our processes.

This page (https://www.facebook.com/LongmontAirport ) was considered a “Local business or place” page would be my guess, and if we had created it, we would classify it as a ‘Company’ page.

In order to delete it now, the original page owner would be the person that would need to delete it. We have no access to it.  A few months ago, I believe the Public Information Officer was asked if he would take over the page, but we politely declined.

Please let me know if you have any other questions,

–Sandi

Sandra Seader

Assistant City Manager

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(Then, Kelly Mahoney comes back and emails them again in May)

From: Kelly Mahoney

Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2015 10:22 AM

To: Sandi Seader

Cc: Shawn Lewis; Rigo Leal; City Council & Mayor; Susan Wolak; Harold Dominguez; David Slayter

Subject: Re: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Good Morning,

With all due respect, this Longmont Airport Facebook page reflects everyone and every business associated with our City.  This includes our Mayor, City Council Members, City Manager, and even the airport manager, Mr. David Slayter. The posts on here have gotten out of control regarding our dear airport, the same airport that is ‘such an economic driver for our community.’  I use quotes here not for sarcasm, far from it.  I utilize quotes because this is what I’ve heard many times at city council meetings.  If you want to advertise our Longmont Airport as an economic driver, good press should be front and center and readily available to the public and prospective new businesses. If a new business were to fly into the airport, and ‘check in’ to the airport, they would go to the Facebook page called ‘Longmont Airport’.  And on this page, front and center, is nothing but bad press, filthy words, and hatred. If you believe our airport is pulling businesses here and is being used as an economic driver for our community, then 1). something needs to be done to close down the ‘Longmont Airport’ Facebook that is currently representing you and us as a community and 2). a new webpage needs to be built highlighting our city’s first-class economic asset.

Thank you,

Kelly Mahoney

 

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On May 7, 2015, at 11:03 AM, Susan Wolak wrote city staff:

Hi,

I don’t know if we have any valid claim on this. My concern is that on this ‘page info’ the person running it states it is the unofficial page for the Airport, however it links to our website for visitors to get more information about the airport…

I would have to see if we could even try to report this page under some category of “image privacy rights’ or some other violoation with Facebook directly.

Facebook only allows you to claim pages or ask FB to take them down in certain situations.

https://www.facebook.com/help/reportlinks

Please advise if you’d like me to investigate this further.

Thanks so much

Susan

Susan Wolak

Web Administrator

Enterprise Technology Services

City of Longmont, CO

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From: Sandi Seader

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 12:12 AM

To: Susan Wolak

Cc: Sandi Seader; Shawn Lewis; Rigo Leal; City Council & Mayor; Harold Dominguez; David Slayter; Edward Yosses

Subject: Re: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Thank you, Susan – let’s chat with Shawn and David about their desires.

City Council members – we will let you know what the resolution is.

–Sandi

 

__________________________

Sandra Seader

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

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From: Shawn Lewis
Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:15 PM
To: Sandi Seader; David Slayter
Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

 

Sandi/David, here is the message I will send to Council before I leave today. Please review and comment:

 

Councilmembers, regarding the e-mail you received from Kelly Mahoney regarding the Longmont Airport Facebook page, I wanted to let you know that Airport Manager David Slayter reached out to one of the administrators of the Longmont Airport Facebook page yesterday and had a good conversation. They discussed the history of the page and the administrator’s policies regarding posts on the page. As you know, the Longmont Airport Facebook page is not associated in any way with the City of Longmont. Because of first amendment rights, we want to be cautious about the appearance of pressuring private citizens into modifying a privately-maintained social media outlet. That said, in his conversation with the administrator, David did suggest that the name of the page be changed to “Friends of Longmont Airport” instead of just “Longmont Airport.” Also, following their conversation, the administrator of the Facebook page voluntarily posted a message reiterating that the Longmont Airport Facebook page was not an official page of Vance Brand Airport (that point is also made in the first sentence describing the page under the “About” tab).

 

Lastly, we also reached out to Kelly Mahoney and discussed the history of the page, noting that the City is not associated with the page. I conveyed that we had suggested a name change for the page to the administrator of the page, but reiterated we had no way of requiring such a change. We also discussed what items she considers inappropriate on the page as most of the posts are general in nature except for links to articles about the CFQS lawsuit. Her biggest concern was that people’s home addresses had been posted in the comments of some posts including her own address. She was concerned about retaliation, but noted comments with addresses and inappropriate content were generally removed quickly by the administrators of the page. If home addresses are posted again, she will report that to Facebook as a violation of the company’s rules.

Shawn Lewis

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

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From: David Slayter

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:22 PM

To: Shawn Lewis; Sandi Seader

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

I think this email is great. If I were to suggest a comment, it may be that in reviewing the page, it was for the most part all positive posts regarding the airport. However, I also understand not wanting to overstate what you have already covered, so I am good with it either way.

Thanks,

David Slayter, C.M.

Airport Manager

Vance Brand Municipal Airport

 

——————————————

From: Shawn Lewis

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:32 PM

To: David Slayter; Sandi Seader

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Funny you say that! I had “mostly positive or general in nature…”, but decided some Council would think I was appearing to take sides/show partiality! Good suggestion (because I think it’s true), but I think I’ll keep it at “general in nature.” Thanks

Shawn Lewis

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

—————————————

From: Sandi Seader

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:40 PM

To: Shawn Lewis; David Slayter

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

I think it does sound great the way it is. Very inclusive, very thoughtful and clear.

Sandra Seader

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

—————————————-

From: Shawn Lewis

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 4:48 PM

To: City Council & Mayor

Cc: Rigo Leal; City Council & Mayor; Harold Dominguez; David Slayter; Edward Yosses; Sandi Seader; Susan Wolak

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Mayor and Council, regarding the e-mail you received from Kelly Mahoney regarding the Longmont Airport Facebook page, I wanted to let you know that Airport Manager David Slayter reached out to one of the administrators of the Longmont Airport Facebook page yesterday and had a good conversation. They discussed the history of the page and the administrator’s policies regarding posts on the page. As you know, the Longmont Airport Facebook page is not associated in any way with the City of Longmont. Because of first amendment rights, we want to be cautious about the appearance of pressuring private citizens into modifying a privately-maintained social media outlet. That said, in his conversation with the administrator, David did suggest that the name of the page be changed to “Friends of Longmont Airport” instead of just “Longmont Airport.” Also, following their conversation, the administrator of the Facebook page voluntarily posted a message reiterating that the Longmont Airport Facebook page was not an official page of Vance Brand Airport (that point is also made in the first sentence describing the page under the “About” tab).

Lastly, we also reached out to Kelly Mahoney and discussed the history of the page, noting that the City is not associated with the page. I conveyed that we had suggested a name change for the page to the administrator of the page, but reiterated we have no way of requiring such a change. We also discussed what items she considers inappropriate on the page, as most of the posts are general in nature except for links to articles about the CFQS lawsuit. Her biggest concern was that people’s home addresses had been posted in the comments of some posts including her own address. She was concerned about retaliation, but noted comments with addresses and inappropriate content were generally removed quickly by the administrators of the page. If home addresses are posted again, she will report that to Facebook as a violation of the company’s rules.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

Shawn Lewis

Assistant City Manager

City of Longmont

—————————————

From: Susan Wolak

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2015 6:15 PM

To: Shawn Lewis; David Slayter

Cc: Sandi Seader; Rigo Leal; Edward Yosses; Harold Dominguez

Subject: RE: Longmont Airport Facebook Page

Thank you!

Susan

_____________________________________________

Susan Wolak

Web Administrator

Enterprise Technology Services

Closing Arguments: Citizens for Quiet Skies vs Mile-Hi Skydiving

(The below are my handwritten notes while observing closing arguments in the Citizens for Quiet Skies vs Mile-Hi Skydiving “noise” case on May 6th, 2015. I am not a court-reporter and I may have missed some things said. I also have a strong opinion about the case, which is why this was posted not to my Longmont Examiner media column as I did with another article (link), but here where I could also add a bit of my own opinion about what was said, especially after having observed all of the courtroom testimony.)

*An added note, I wasn’t the only courtroom observer there for the entire case. Read the post from another courtroom observer Guest contributor Robert Yoder: Courtroom Notes – CQS vs MHS

5/18 Update: Once the judge’s ruling is issued, according to her court assistant, it will be posted online at this link: “Cases of Interest

____________________________

The courtroom is overflowing for the closing arguments in the case of Citizens for Quiet Skies vs. Mile-Hi Skydiving and Judge Judith LaBuda tells courtroom observers that they can go sit in the jury box, which is not being used for this case. A majority of those who file into it are supporters of Mile-Hi Skydiving.

Continue reading

Longmont Airport Examiner: Quiet Skies group takes Longmont airport skydive company to court, seeks closure

MHS Purple Otter ribbon

Mile-Hi Skydiving Purple Otter Ribbons

(Cross-posted from Examiner.com)

In October of 2013, Gunbarrel, Colorado resident Kimberly Gibbs, who after claiming for several years that Longmont airport and city officials were doing nothing about noise from the airport, filed suit in Boulder County District Court against Mile-Hi Skydiving, which is based at Vance Brand Airport in Longmont. At the time of the court filing, Ms. Gibbs was the only named plaintiff in addition to that of an LLC filing she set up in the name of Citizens for Quiet Skies, of which she was also the registered agent. She later would add those living at four other Boulder County addresses to her own name on the list of seven total (five individuals and two married couples) as named plaintiffs (Gibbs/Timothy Lim, Robert Yates, Suzanne Webel, John Behrens/Carla Behrens, and Richard Dauer), in addition to an unknown number of people she named publicly only as “Citizens For Quiet Skies, LLC.”

On January 20, 2015, Ms. Gibbs appeared before Longmont City Council on behalf of Citizens for Quiet Skies, stating that the city needed to either adopt a comprehensive noise abatement plan that includes mandatory limits on skydiving operations and addresses other local concerns, like (airplane) touch-and-go’s, and helicopters. It was at this meeting (video of which can be found at THIS link) that she presented her other choice:

“Close the airport.” According to Ms. Gibbs, “It is an option.”

Continue reading

3/25/12 Times Call Opinion: “Approve Longmont Airport Master Plan”

(As printed in the March 25, 2012 Times Call Opinion page)

In the March 13 Times-Call, it was reported “Airport officials have said a longer runway would let Vance Brand serve more of its aircraft more of the time. At Longmont’s elevation, a hot summer day can make it difficult for some planes to take off when fully loaded.”

I’d like to add, despite what I hear repeatedly from NIMBYs, the runway extension isn’t just for billionaire jets. Continue reading

Councilmember Hansen lies about how he chooses board appointments

At a candidate forum organized by the St. Vrain Valley Latino Coalition on October 20th, the topic of board appointments came up. In a Times Call article, Scott Rochat wrote that “according to the 2010 census, about 25 percent of Longmont’s population is Hispanic. But few of those Hispanics serve on the city’s boards and committees.” 

Ward 1 Councilman Brian Hansen replied to that issue and said that whenever other qualifications were equal, he always voted for a minority appointment.”

That is not true Councilmember Hansen. Continue reading

Trio of Longmont councilmembers don’t deserve re-election

(An edited version of the below was printed in the Times Call “Voices of St. Vrain” Opinion section on 10/7/11)

Our election is less than a month away and there are three council members up for re-election who no longer deserve to represent us because they have made their personal and partisan politics too much of how they govern Longmont. Continue reading

(Video) Longmont shares Air Force General Shelton’s concerns regarding Light Squared


It was revealed this week that Air Force General William Shelton was pressured by the White House to alter his testimony regarding Light Squared, a Virginia based broadband satellite company (and Obama campaign donor) that has plans to build tens of thousands of ground stations for a wireless network. The general had concerns that the proposed wireless service could interfere with the military’s GPS capabilities.

Continue reading on Examiner.com

Obama’s defenders sidestep issue

(As published in the Times Call Opinion section 8/30/11)

It’s wearying to see the letters jumping to the defense of the current president using the argument that previous presidents did the same and future presidents probably will too. But they sidestep the issue that our current president promised to be different and to be the change we can believe in. Continue reading

Left wing attack site compares council candidate statement to shooting range

Longmont funeral home director, business owner and registered Democrat Heath Carroll declared his candidacy for city council this week.

This reaction on Twitter from @freerangelongmt caught my eye:
“Oh yes, we need a Chuck E Cheese in Longmont: tinyurl.com/CheesyBangers – then we’d have two shooting ranges.” Continue reading