Fissinger lied about Benker’s anti-LifeBridge involvement

No one likes a liar.  I know, we almost expect it from politicians, but still.
Back on June 25, 2009 in a Times-Call op-ed, City Council at-large candidate Kaye Fissinger said this: No council member organized, directed or actively participated in this effort.” The effort she speaks of is the petition drive in 2007 to overturn the annexation of the LifeBridge/Union property east of Longmont.  The same one we’re mired in an endless amount of losing litigation over.  One of Longmont Advocate’s contributors, Nicolle Pratt, wrote an excellent piece about this worth reading to refresh your memory.
A photograph of Ms. Benker in What’s In It For Longmont‘s HQ was part of Ms. Pratt’s story, but was forcefully yanked down after one of her supporters demanded it be removed.  Well, the following email is proof enough of Ms. Benker’s more than idle involvement in that sordid affair that almost tore this community in half.  I wonder if this email was sent to the city’s server as mandated by state Open Records law.
To: prospectcommunity@yahoogroups.com
From: lassiegirl@netscape.com
Subject: Fwd: [prospectcommunity] Sign petition?
(UPDATE) Date: Tue Sept 11 2007 3:33 pm  (How nice, let’s all spend 9/11 trying to kick a church out of town)
Hi all,
If anyone is interested in signing the citizen petition to put the Union annexation to a vote of Longmont residents, I will be on my porch this Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with a petition.
Karen Benker
303/774-7745
————————–
(UPDATE) Date: Wed Sept 12, 2007 9:31 pm

I forgot to include my address when I sent out the first email. Sorry about that.
This Saturday morning from 9:00 am to 10:00 at 1919 Andrew Alden Street you can sign the annexation petition to put the issue to a vote.
I have two lions (that look like collies) on my front porch.
Karen
———————————————
So, here we have a sitting councilmember, Karen Benker, who lost this annexation vote 1-6, actively participating in this petition drive to undo the vote of a super-majority on council.  I’m not sure if there was any lawbreaking involved there, but it sure seems pretty unethical, and one heck of a conflict of interest.

And we also have a council candidate, Kaye Fissinger, who’s a regular agitator at the podium during council meetings, telling an outright lie in an op-ed in the Times-Call.  Ms. Fissinger was one of the main ringleaders of this anti-LifeBridge, anti-church, pro-hate operation and recent uncovered emails between these two people (along with that banned photograph) show they are partners in crime, so to speak.


It’s hysterical looking back at the comments by these two over the last couple of years about LIFT, and that people may be doing shady things behind the scenes to corrupt local politics and win elections.   

THEY SHOULD KNOW!

Lady’s and gentlemen – I bring you truly what is “Wrong with Longmont” (hence the site name).  They are the corruptocrats, they are the secret handshake committee out to get their political enemies, they skirt our laws and ethical standards.  They are everything they seek to rid the city of.  Come Election Day, get rid of them.

So now the LifeBridge boogeyman is a drainage culvert?

Of all the disingenuous arguments we’ve heard against the Union project from the anti-LifeBridge hatemonger crowd, the latest ruckus over the Spring Gulch #2 drainage improvements truly takes the cake.

Despite character assassinations and charges of corruption from the likes of Jeff Thompson, Longmont City Manager Gordon Pedrow made the project justification perfectly clear a month ago at city council chambers, as seen in this YouTube video…

Pedrow underscored the facts that 1) the Spring Gulch drainage project conveys water from the northeast portion of the city of Longmont; 2) it protects Hwy 119 from potential 50-100yr flood damage; 3) it serves Longmont’s Sandstone Ranch and the St. Vrain Greenway extension, including the Hwy 119 box culvert to be used by pedestrians and bicyclists; and 4) it was approved by voters in 2007 with bonds already sold.

Anti-Union activists bring up the wayward strawman that the Spring Gulch #2 bonds when fully retired will cost every Longmont resident about $115 in taxpayer dollars, all to benefit LifeBridge and Firestone. If they want to play that game, how about the bloated $66.6 million that Boulder County will be spending on frivolous open space in 2009? That equates to over $225 for every one of Boulder County’s 294,000 residents, just for one year.

An unknown Times-Call online commenter put it succinctly last year when addressing the anti-LifeBridge faction in Longmont: “You just don’t want the Church or it’s message to grow. I have heard you all speak. I have heard those words before. The scary part is what I see in your eyes. You and your friends remind me of the hatred I saw 40 years ago. Give it a rest, the folks at LBCC are good people.”

City Council Cheap Shots

At the May 27, 2008 Longmont City Council Meeting, Councilmember Sean McCoy took a couple of swipes at Lifebridge Christian Church (without saying their name). Here is the YouTube video, which can also be found at the Longmont Advocate YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffiExb7rzYk

He mentions a ” 40 year vesting“. The previous City Council approved 3/5/15 year vesting for residential, commercial, and civic/religious respectively. Or are new councilmembers not only throwing away past decisions, but ignorant of them as well?

He mentioned ” height restrictions” requests from a different church requesting to be annexed into Longmont. Lifebridge didn’t ask for height restrictions, but height exemptions, slight difference. And guess what they just got from Firestone? An exemption higher than what Longmont had approved during those negotiations. This is but the first example of what many of us were warning would happen if Longmont didn’t move forward with the annexation – looser standards, and of course less permit fee’s, and property and sales taxes.

The issue of height restrictions was something the anti-annexers were saying, but Mr. McCoy reminded us this current council had nothing to do with Lifebridge pulling out, yet he’s echoing these people, and of course his pre-election unfavorable comments about this annexation.

He mentioned ” low income housing exemptions” and ” million dollar homes“. The master plan calls for three housing districts; one primarily for seniors consisting of detached and attached homes, plus duplexes and triplexes; another area of general single-family residential homes, and a third district (on the north side of site) of custom homes. It is conceivable some of the custom homes could cost $1 million or more, but this is a very small percentage of available housing planned for Union. By contrast, Lifebridge will fully comply with the city standard of 10% low income affordable housing with no special exemption. So his “million dollar homes” is an obvious intentional exaggeration to anyone who looks at the actual plan.

He mentioned ” huge retail complex“,another gross exaggeration. He makes it sound as if it’ll be Harvest Junction East when there’s clearly no room for such an endeavor. Of course there will be some shops, but not this big-box haven he makes it out to be.

He wanted to make sure ” we were all onboard“, well, yeah, some people are, on a ship of fools.

Inappropriate Conduct

At the May 13, 2008 Longmont City Council Meeting, there was a snafu during the Public Invited To Be Heard portion. For some reason, one of the speakers who signed up to speak, Richard Yale, was not called up at the appropriate time. To his credit, Mayor Lange, once made aware of this mistake, stopped the council meeting and re-opened Public Invited to correct this, and Mr. Yale had his turn to speak.

During Public Invited, people can speak to just about anything they wish, including green cheese on the moon if they like. Recent council meetings have been long, and often entire agenda items are postponed. While it is best to speak to a public hearing item during that hearing, given the recent nature of meetings, and the possibility people have lives and can’t stick around all night, there is nothing stopping someone from speaking on an upcoming public hearing item during Public Invited.

In this situation though, one mistake was already made in regards to Mr. Yale’s ability to address City Council. But when he did speak he clearly stated he was in favor of the public hearing items they were to discuss later, and wanted to address a different issue. The parcel of land he spoke to was not the same as the land that was part of the public hearing to be held later. He made it fairly clear he was talking about the land near Weld County Roads 5 and 26, which he read into the record the Weld County Commissioners letter talking specifically about this land and this annexation. There is a point to this, read on.

How often after Public Invited do you hear a councilmember reference the speaker? Not very often. It’s rarer still to hear City Attorney Clay Douglas do it. But immediately after Mr. Yale spoke, Mr. Douglas laughed a little and said: ” Your rules and procedures say that you talk at public invited to be heard on any item that’s not scheduled for a public hearing. And the last speaker basically just talked about something scheduled for a public hearing. A better time to do that would be when the public hearing begins.” Mayor Lange responded with “you’re right” or “you’re correct”. Well, no, he isn’t.

If Mr. Douglas can’t tell the difference between the land that was part of the public hearing (that’s south of Hwy 119), and the land Mr. Yale spoke of and the Weld County Commissioners wrote the city about (that’s north of Hwy 119), well, that would explain the needless stalemate the city is in with Firestone, Lifebridge, and Weld County. And like I said, Mr. Yale made the effort to say he was in support of the vote they were about to take, and took. I didn’t hear Mr. Douglas complain about 5 speeches in one night about prairie dogs (by the same person), why would this be any different? Well, there is a reason.

Mr. Yale was one of the ones who pointed out Mr. Douglas’s inappropriate behavior with the anti-Lifebridge annexation folks at a recent Firestone Board of Trustee‘s meeting, and I’m pretty sure Mr. Douglas is aware of this. But he picked the wrong time and the wrong issue to get some payback. How often do you see someone from City Council or Staff publicly try to humiliate a citizen during a televised council meeting? Don’t just take my word for it, it’s on their website if you want to witness it for yourself at http://209.128.123.166/PPPortal/agenda/webcast.aspx .

I wrote the City Clerk about this and asked that it be forwarded on to Mr. Douglas for a public apology to Mr. Yale. I wasn’t asked to do this; it’s just the right thing to do. And it’s a subtle reminder of who he works for, which isn’t some fringe activist group (who don’t all live in Longmont). He serves at the pleasure of the City Council that Longmont citizens like Mr. Yale elect in or out of office.

LA006: The bands we play, Twin Peaks Mall, Firestone, and anti-LifeBridge

LA-w-ChrisMay 18, 2008 Show

1st segment
Fuzz by Lords of Fuzz

Recap of first 5 Podcast Shows
Discussed all bands/artists played Continue reading