Sign the petition to end the Firestone lawsuits and appeals

I had a feeling sooner or later something like this would come about: a petition for Longmont to drop the lawsuits and appeals against the Town of Firestone. Here’s how it reads:
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We, the taxpayers of Longmont , demand transparency from our City Council. We demand fiscal responsibility in this time of budgetary shortfall. We demand our hard earned tax dollars be spent in the best interest of our community. We demand our council represent the electorate, not a special interest agenda.

Because of this, we feel it is time to drop all lawsuits and appeals with the City of Firestone. We feel our tax money is better spent keeping our city workers on the job than throwing money down the drain. We feel we deserve to know exactly which members of our council continue to fight for appeals when we have had judgments against us telling us we have no case. We feel that while we can’t take back the hundreds of thousands of dollars we’ve already spent, that this needs to end now before we spend another cent.

We’re asking you, our Longmont City Council Members, to end this fight. You promised us more open government, yet have held a record breaking number of secret meetings; we request you release the tapes to those meetings to hold true to your promise.
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Go sign the petition at this link: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/not_another_cent/

Sometimes you need to put yourself on record, have your voice heard. If at all possible, you should sign this petition with your name, not anonymously. But I, probably more than most, would understand why you would be hesitant to use your real name. We have goons and thugs in this city who do all they can to keep people who would normally jump into this fight silent.

You’ve seen them, you’ve heard them. To make their point they go after anyone and everyone even slightly related to this subject – whether they are leaders of LifeBridge, realtors, developers, right down to your everyday church goer. They have elected and appointed officials who carry forth their agenda, if you read this site at all you know who they are.

They use tactics to silence YOU, and I suspect they will attempt to take any and all names of people who sign this petition and do something nefarious with the information. That’s how they operate, basically the worst of Longmont and society in general. Real scum of the Earth types.

They haven’t succeeded in silencing me and others who speak out on this, are you going to let them silence you?

Citizens speak out over Firestone legal actions

At the August 4, 2009 Longmont City Council meeting, several speakers came to the podium during Public Invited To Be Heard to voice their opinion about the ongoing legal battle with the Town of Firestone. It was something to behold, and most of these people should be proud of themselves. A couple of others should hang their head in shame, along with some councilmembers.

What was impressive was the diverse group of speakers and how they put across their feelings on the subject. I didn’t know or have ever seen a good lot of them, which made it even better. I heard in the lobby that it was about 10-3 against the lawsuits/appeals and secret meetings this council has been holding. The couple who actually spoke in favor of throwing more of our tax money down the rat hole and to hell with relations with our neighboring city were no big surprise, but were vastly outnumbered and outmatched by some of the other speakers.

My wife and I spoke, but there were 3 others in particular who really dealt the best blows, and totally caught me by surprise. One didn’t hold back, stating odds of Longmont actually winning an appeal (not good), and actually uttering “bloc of 4” and then directed his ire towards Sean McCoy when he started grinning and rocking back and forth in his chair, obviously ticked off. One was a realtor who said “really it’s a bloc of 5” and let them have it. And one was a young guy who chastised councilmembers for their lack of order, specifically (but not by name) Sarah Levison for speaking over Gabe Santos. Tough acts to follow.

The overwhelming message being sent was support for Gabe Santos’ motion to end the lawsuit and appeals against Firestone, and to end all the secret Executive Sessions and release the tapes of those meetings. They were reminded of their campaign promise of open, transparent government, to which I added “but like other politicians from the top down, that promise apparently had an expiration date.”

What will council do with this? I’d guess nothing, completely ignore it, it doesn’t fit the agenda of a majority on council, so it will go nowhere. Sorry speakers, better luck next time.

I reminded council this will be a campaign issue this year and in 2 years when Levison, McCoy, and Hansen are up for re-election. We already know how one candidate feels about this as At-Large candidate Kaye Fissinger is ecstatic that the lawsuits will continue. How about you other candidates, including Karen Benker? We obviously know how Gabe Santos feels, as well as Mary Blue (she seconded the motion, but is not running for re-election), and Mayor Lange (he killed the motion).

I have a challenge for every council candidate: you submit to me in the comments section where you stand on this issue (and stay on topic, don’t ramble or make a speech) and I’ll publish it. If not here, make your voice heard on this somewhere, don’t even try to duck this important issue. I’ll make sure to point it out if you do.

A progressive assault on Longmont-area churches

News is out that the city of Longmont has spent $68,073 in legal fees to thwart the Firestone annexations that would facilitate the LifeBridge Union development. This spiteful expense of taxpayer dollars–pushed by left-wing Progressives Sean McCoy and Karen Benker on city council–is even more outrageous considering the current skintight city budget situation.

The Boulder County commissioners have been just as vengeful in their notorious dealings with Rocky Mountain Christian Church. Recently it was revealed that Boulder County has spent a staggering $1.1 million in legal efforts to prevent RMCC from expanding its church facilities on its own property in Niwot.

What’s going on here is clearly a violation of religious freedom as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. One could argue that our local churches worship the Creator as defended by our nation’s founders, while the new wave of Progressives in Longmont and Boulder County worship the environment (i.e., the Holy Grail of Open Space).

Regarding the Union project in relation to Longmont and Firestone, we repeatedly hear from the green-extreme crowd, “We need to protect Longmont’s eastern borders!” Take a look at the images shown below…

2002

Source: Project LifeBridge Master Plan

2007

Photo: Jill P. Mott Longmont Times-Call

As I have pointed out many times, large housing developments already exist to the immediate east and west of the LifeBridge/Union site; commercial development stands to the south, and there is plenty of city-owned open space to the north in the reservoir surroundings. How in the world would a build-out of the Union plot break up Longmont’s eastern borders?

The only possible point of contention would be the Fairlight (FairView) property areas that are truly on Longmont’s eastern border, but this too was addressed in a spirit of compromise by Firestone and the 4C Corporation. It was described by Firestone Mayor Chad Auer in a Times-Call commentary last December…

“When I took office, I promptly appeared face-to-face with Longmont’s City Council and told your leaders that I was committed to investigating common ground on this regrettably decisive issue (Union). Because open space and a community buffer were central desires of Longmont, I presented a written proposal in which the Fairlight property (hundreds of acres between Union and Longmont) would be available to Longmont for use as both an open space corridor in the flood plain of Union Reservoir and a common sense community buffer. Unfortunately, the offer was soundly rejected by Longmont officials.”

So Longmont had its chance. If it couldn’t afford to buy the immediate eastern border properties as open space, tough luck. Let us hope that the foundations of free enterprise and religious freedom will not be lost if we are truly to progress in the 21st century.

Testing Your Meddle

Knowing that the Longmont YourHub is shared by the Tri-Towns area, and Firestone in particular, I thought I’d share a message to our neighbors to the east.


I’m sure many of you are sick of outside influences, like Longmont, meddling in your business. The obvious business I’m talking about here is Lifebridge/4C and the Union annexation you are about to vote on. You’re right; you should be able, as a stand alone community, to decide your own destiny.



But you should also learn from others mistakes. Like Longmont, Firestone has a group of outside influences trying to disrupt and interfere in city business. In Longmont’s case, we had a group which included non-Longmont residents, and funding from unknown sources. Members of that group are now included in the anti-annexation Firestone group, and have sent out emails and letters to Firestone residents clearly identifying themselves as part of the Longmont group and other politically motivated groups.


They successfully drove a wedge between Lifebridge Church and city government, and between citizens. From reading comments over at TriTown Online, it appears they’ve done the same to your community.


They spoke at Longmont City Council meetings asking voters of Firestone to vote for the current Firestone board, and spoke glowingly of your new mayor after ripping your old one – yes that’s right, I’m talking about Longmont council meetings. But when the board you elected came to the same conclusion as the board they replaced, that love affair was over. They just couldn’t get over the fact that the old board they loathed, and the one they thought would set the world straight were in agreement on this annexation, meaning both were in disagreement with them! How dare they, the outrage! People thinking independently! I can almost hear them now “but you OWE us!”


Their ploy worked in Longmont. They got an anti-annexation majority (or as former Firestone Mayor Mike Simone put it “anti-religious”, you decide for yourself) on council here. They thought they got it there, too. This is the kind of meddling you should be bothered by and turn away. I’m betting that’s difficult as they put themselves into your business at every turn. Go to a Town Board meeting, you’re bound to see them.


You should also question the ones with the endless questions. Asking questions in and of itself is fine, but if you really pay attention, there are no suitable answers to these types of people. They don’t really want to know, read carefully and you’ll find there’s absolutely nothing that can be said to alter their agenda, the questioning is a game.


We in Longmont can’t vote on this, which is a shame, many of us live closer to this proposed development than most in Firestone. We in Longmont also may suffer financially as this development grows and siphons off tax revenue and building permit fees that should’ve been ours. We in Longmont suffer due to an inept majority on our own city council and the long term damage they and their willing followers have done to this city.


Learn from our mistakes and let our loss be your gain.

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.

Longmont: Take The Deal

OPEN LETTER TO MAYOR LANGE AND LONGMONT CITY COUNCIL

For the record, I have no stake whatsoever in the following. I am not a landowner near this property, I am not a member of Lifebridge, nor do I speak for them or have ever been asked to. The proposal by Firestone’s Mayor Chad Auer in reference to Lifebridge Christian Church’s properties should be seriously considered and accepted without delay.

We’ve all been entertained by the antics for the last few months by some of your ” surrogate agitators and aggressors“, but the time for stalling and playing games is over. You have a decision to make and you can’t procrastinate any longer. This is what you were elected to do; take input and make policy. This deal is probably the absolute best you’re going to get; to pass on it would be foolish.

Six of the current seven councilmembers were involved in the recent elections of November and January. When you consider what “majority” you think you’re representing, keep in mind only three of you actually won with a majority ( Lange, McCoy, and Santos), one of you lost by a majority ( Benker in the mayors race) and the other two got in with less than a majority ( Hansen and Levison). Your decision, one way or the other, will bring out some citizens with pitchforks, figuratively, and you need to figure out which ones you’re willing to anger. Whatever political future you think you might have hangs in the balance, because this decision will affect Longmont for decades.

Personally, I think the landowners are giving away too much in this deal. They’ve been the target of slanderous and libelous attacks by some mouthpieces of certain councilmembers. These councilmembers and their attack dogs should be nervous about the recent Open Records request. There are limits to freedom of speech, and I’m willing to bet there are some shady backroom conversations certain people and councilmembers would rather keep out of the public eye. It’s probably too late for that, and I believe that if Longmont doesn’t take this deal, this so-called ” massive” open records request will be followed by a ” massive” lawsuit that Longmont can not afford, and will ultimately lose. In that scenario, all of us taxpayers are the losers.

The anti-annexation crowd didn’t want Lifebridge annexed into Longmont, this offer addresses that, and this group gets their wish. Longmont officials wanted a buffer; this offer addresses that as well. The only hitch is that Longmont has to come up with the money to buy this land as open space. None of you thought this would come for free, did you? This is prime real estate on Hwy 119, another reason I believe the landowners are giving away too much in this deal.

Longmont isn’t and hasn’t been dealing from a position of strength. It really doesn’t hold any cards and stand to lose much. The cute game of de-annexing and re-annexing, including certain roads with the goal of cutting off access to the landowners’ property, was a dirty trick and will cost the city at the county, state, and court levels if you allow this charade to continue. As strategies go, that was a bad move, and now it’s just about checkmate.

We all know some of you ran on, and had the backing of the anti-annexation movement. It’s become clearly evident that they were never just “anti-annexation” or looking out for what was “in it” for Longmont. They’ve followed and harassed the landowners from one city to another, then on to the county level, and have included in their attacks members of a church that has been part of this community for a century. This group has made it clear this church is no longer welcomed here, and the silence by some on council on this attack is tantamount to approval of this despicable behavior. Behavior, that by and large is by only a handful of people, and a small minority who signed the petition (which less than half voted for the anti-annexation candidate in January), yet council gives them the illusion that they are an actual majority of Longmont citizens, which they don’t come close to actually being.

My guess is that your attorneys and staff will suggest you accept this offer, regardless if you can afford the land in question or not. The impending lawsuit could be much more expensive in the long run, with no open space to show for it in the end, unlike with this offer. Some of you need to publicly divorce and disassociate yourselves with the vocal minority who has brought Longmont to this sad and unfortunate position. And do it quickly, you’ve stalled enough.

Cordially,
Chris Rodriguez

More Half Truths and Untruths

I guess the anti-Lifebridge annexation crowd is of the belief if you lie enough, often enough, that the spun twisted perception will become everyone else’s reality.

The latest example is a letter that ran in the Times-Call. In it the writer made it sound as if because of the former Firestone officials move to annex Lifebridge and Fairview land they were “voted out of office.” Ever heard of term limits? They couldn’t have lost because they couldn’t have run for re-election. And the other board member retired and moved out of state. This is surely to be twisted into that she was shamed out of office and had to run for the hills.

This letter brought up the robo-calls made to some Longmont residents, but failed to mention the mass mailer done with the name of the main anti-Lifebridge group on it that was much more negative and the mass email that went out from more or less the same people. All those people who spoke at City Council who were “incited” seemed to all come from the anti-Lifebridge side. So who incited anger?

The editorial from Weld County officials was also mentioned in this letter, saying they ” pointedly urged Longmont to reconsider” the Union annexation. Let me quote the FIRST sentence of that editorial: ” It matters to Weld County not one nickel whether the Lifebridge Christian Church’s future campus on Colo. Highway 119 is sited in unincorporated Weld County or within Longmont‘s city limits.” And just to further drive the point home, the LAST sentence was: ” Again, it matters not a nickel to Weld County but appears to be a lost opportunity for Longmont.” Yes, I could see how those two quotes could be misconstrued as them urging Longmont to annex, if I were a heavy drinker or drug user.

The last great and continuing lie is the financial aspect they keep regurgitating, this unsubstantiated claim that 80-90% of the land to be annexed would be tax exempt. This one has been repeated so often I’m fairly confident they are starting to truly believe it. Problem is, by their own admission and chagrin, they were unhappy that Lifebridge wasn’t more forthcoming in these actual numbers. So what to do? Make some up! There’s no proof of this inflated tax-exempt claim of theirs.

This all leads to the obvious question: How many of these half truths or outright lies were told to get their petition signed by about 6,000 people? I heard that one of their lines was ” We just want people to have the chance to be able to vote whether or not to annex this land, we aren’t against the church“. If that was so, which of course it’s not, why are they going to great pains, including this mass-mailer to Firestone residents, to continue to block not only the Lifebridge annexation into another city, but also 4C’s other property at Fairview?

I’ve stopped counting how many stories I’ve heard first and second hand about people feeling deceived into signing that petition. To that all I can say is pay a little more attention next time and do your homework. Yeah, I know, you’d rather just be able to trust people that appear to be concerned citizens without an agenda. I know some of you, and more every day, are realizing that just wasn’t the case here.

Longmont/Firestone Dustup Pt.3

VIEWER WARNING: This piece is bound to really irritate some people. I’m well aware of the anger this will illicit, and your expected complaints have been considered. I try to be constructive when I criticize, but sometimes it’s nearly impossible. This is such a case. In the interest of completeness, and sharing this continuing story, I submit the following:

So far, I’ve reported on Firestone’s Trustee Board meeting, now it’s Longmont‘s turn. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot said about Firestone’s comments, but I suspect there will be as Firestone just approved the Firelight Park annexation.

But there was this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZnG9kXAsnk

In it, Longmont City Councilmember Sean McCoy rips into Firestone’s Mayor Mike Simone over his comment ” LifeBridge was forced to “walk away” by the election of an anti-religious faction to the LongmontCity Council“. He also took offense to the ” immoral” description of Longmont made by Trustee Steve Curtis. He said he found it ” very unethical on this individuals part“, meaning Mayor Simone. He basically threatened a lawsuit for slander.

Where to begin.

I’ve been to ONE Firestone board meeting, and I’m not an elected official or anything, but even I know that they are a Board of Trustee’s, NOT a City Council. Members are called Trustee’s, NOT Councilmembers. I’m starting to agree with several people who have mentioned to me this constant habit of getting peoples names wrong (and I guess titles now) and how it shows a total lack of respect. In this case, it’s Firestone’s leaders. In other cases, well, you listen for it yourself.

Next, Mr. McCoy’s complaining of ” inflammatory” comments. Some of us about fell out of our chairs on this one. This is the same guy who called people he disagreed with (we’re talking citizens here, not elected officials) ” the lunatic fringe“. He also said in the same breath how Longmont shouldn’t talk ” smack” about Boulder, yet it’s alright for Longmont to do that to Firestone? Watch the 1/29/08 video again ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEo7ZF3eKYU ) and replace Boulder with Longmont, and Longmont with Firestone in the appropriate places and context. I know some of you hate it when I point out total hypocrisy like this, but it speaks for itself here.

Then this outrage over the ” anti-religious” comment. Here’s the problem: On 1/8/08( http://denver.yourhub.com/Longmont/Blogs/News-Politics/Commentary/Blog~412831.aspx), Mr. McCoy made the point of his detachment from the Lifebridge issue as he said he and the other new members of council didn’t vote on Lifebridge. So in essence, he’s saying the new council had nothing to do with what happened to Lifebridge. If that’s the case, then why would he take offense to Mayor Simone’s inference that an anti-religious faction was to blame when THEY HADN’T EVEN BEEN ELECTED YET AND OBVIOUSLY COULDN’T VOTE ON IT, as Mr. McCoy himself made clear as his closing point on 1/8/08?

Mr. McCoy tried to make the case that other factors caused Lifebridge to pull out (remember the ” 600% of Longmont residents” nonsense?). He must not have believed that nonsense himself, most people I know didn’t buy it, and obviously the Firestone Board of Trustee’s didn’t swallow that line either. His anger over this comment revealed that his 1/8/08 comments were a whitewash, otherwise why would this sting so much?

To be fair, is it possible Mr. McCoy was truly outraged over being called ” anti-religious? Absolutely. I assume most public officials are concerned with the image they put out. They wouldn’t want to be publicly called ” anti-religious“, true or not, for fear of alienating over half of their constituents. Then again, insulting constituents is getting to be a regular occurrence for Mr. McCoy. Let’s now add leaders from other cities and the press to the list, the same press ( Times-Call) he bought ad space from during his campaign. Very consistent and principled, not.

What’s the point of all this? I know I won’t be popular holding these officials accountable in this fashion when it needs to be done, and I find no joy in doing it. But these are our elected representatives. They should avoid embarrassing themselves, and the rest of us, and I’m hoping they might look at and listen to themselves, and learn from it in the future. And you wonder why so many people (not just in Longmont) are apathetic to the issues and these officials? I’m trying to get more people involved, this doesn’t help.

Longmont/Firestone Dustup Pt.2

In the previous story, I ran Firestone’s Mayor Simone’s comments he made in the 3/17/08 Firestone Trustee Board meeting. There were more comments by other trustee’s as well. You might recall that this meeting was rescheduled from the previous Thursday as not enough board members showed up. There was some speculation this occurred because there was disagreement amongst board members, some might be purposely boycotting the meeting, or maybe some cold feet. Based on the comments I heard at the meeting, that speculation was false.

Until I get an actual tape or transcript of the meeting, here were some notes I jotted down from comments by some of the trustees: Butch Walb talked about the Longmont hoped-for buffer, that Longmont was basically saying “we don’t build, neither should you”. Sharon Falcone talked about enclaves and that buffers aren’t always good, using the example of some of Weld County‘s Mixed Used Development (MUD) areas that are not very attractive and were poorly planned, and have and could in the future be in areas cities might like to serve as buffers.

Charlie Thomas was for the extension of the Master Planning Area to the west, and that Longmont should’ve done more up to this point if they were interested in this area. Dennis Berton was also in favor of the Master Plan and didn’t want any more ” checkerboarding” of cities and enclaves. Steve Curtis was against Longmont’s buffer concept, and called it ” obscene” and ” immoral“. He was also in favor of the updated Master Plan. Julie Crowder was not present.

Mayor Simone was last to speak with the previously posted comments. Although he stuck pretty closely to those comments, he delivered it with the anger and outrage fitting the words. The comment ” LifeBridge was forced to “walk away” by the election of an anti-religious faction to the Longmont City Council” had the most visible impact as a couple of people stormed out of the meeting immediately after hearing it. While those people milled around in the lobby for the remainder of the entire meeting, and some of them after the meeting was over, they never returned to the meeting itself.

Something I didn’t expect was the ” swearing in” of citizens who spoke at this meeting. They had to answer “I do” or something similar to the question by the Mayor ” do you swear to tell the truth, so help you God?” or something like that. I’d just never seen that before. The other thing I noticed, which I thought was great, was the public reading into the record of emails and letters sent to the city about the item on the agenda. Granted, a city the size of Longmont may not have the time to do such a thing at their council meetings, but it was refreshing nonetheless.

I link to Tri-Town Online on my website, but rarely comment there, and it seems most of those people have a great deal of dislike for Mayor Simone and this Board of Trustees. I had forgotten that the print edition of YourHub for Longmont also goes to residents of Firestone (which surprisingly it and the other Tri-Town cities don’t have their own Hub), and I’d just recently written a story (” Hesitate To Emulatehttp://denver.yourhub.com/Longmont/Blogs/News-Politics/Commentary/Blog~438770.aspx ) that apparently got the attention of some of the members of the Trustee Board. While I didn’t get up to the podium at this event, and kept a low profile in the very back of the room, turns out I had some readers (and fans) in the crowd and on the board. That was different.

Up next, one Longmont city councilmembers angry response to this Firestone meeting.

Longmont/Firestone Dustup Pt.1

I was fortunate to have been one of only a couple people who attended both the 3/17/08 Firestone Trustee Board meeting and the 3/18/08 Longmont City Council meeting. Both were very interesting and will take a few parts to cover it all.

First up, the Firestone meeting. Mayor Mike Simone gave quite a speech, eliciting applause from most, but also outrage by others. I met Mayor Simone and told him Longmont residents should have a chance to hear his thoughts. Suspecting the Times-Call would probably not print what you are about to read, I offered to publish it, to which he happily agreed and sent me the following. This is a response to a 3/11/08 Times-Call Editorial entitled ” On leadership and land grabs“. The bold print is Mayor Simone’s responses. The underlined words were emphasized by Mayor Simone as well.
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Firestone’s move to snag 74 acres on Longmont’s eastern border is a shock. It’s not a surprise. (No, it’s not a surprise–our board has been consistent in calling for towns and cities in this area to expand their master plans so they have adjacent borders, effectively leaving urban development to the municipalities and not Weld County. It was Longmont who decided not to participate in the Weld County Partnership group–a group dedicated to dealing with the problem of uncontrolled urban development by Weld County)

After all, Firestone’s the town whose leaders held school district money for ransom last year (the money was not the school district’s but was unethically extorted from new homeowners by bullying municipalities into serving as their middle men). The town caved and coughed up $186,000 in development fees (no, unethical impact fees) to the St. Vrain Valley School District after the district threatened to sue. Then town leaders threw a tantrum and decided to no longer collect $645 per house from developers (let’s be correct-homeowners) whose homes help overfill the schools. (again, unethical and possibly illegal extortion of money from new homeowners by trying to work around the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision that school districts cannot mandate impact fees).

Now Firestone’s up to new tricks. They’re working to crash Longmont’s eastern gates, even after Longmont and Boulder County spent millions preserving land east of Longmont. (Longmont and Boulder County has and has had the ability to buy whatever land it wants for a buffer. Firestone has never annexed any property whose property owners didn’t ask to be annexed. Testimony in front of Firestone’s Planning Commission and e-mails I’ve received from current property owners appear to make a case that Longmont has held its neighboring property owners hostage by not giving them a hearing–essentially “taking” their property to maintain a “free” buffer.)

Firestone made a plan to reach down Colo. Highway 119, almost to the Boulder County line, and annex the 74-acre Fairview Estates property. (Firestone began reevaluating its current master plan well before Firestone was aware of Fairview or LifeBridge Christian Church. Our reevaluation began when Weld County approved almost 4000 homes on our northern border. Firestone never “made a plan” to annex Fairview Estates-that comment is just a bold faced lie– They came to us and asked us to annex them-I’m not aware of anyone on this board who contacted anyone from Fairview Estates). Coincidentally, the Fairview property would make a terrific stepping stone if Firestone wanted to grab (Firestone has never “grabbed” anything whose owners didn’t ask to be “grabbed”) LifeBridge Christian Church’s Union development next door. LifeBridge, you’ll recall, walked away from Longmont after the Union annexation was set to go before voters. (LifeBridge was forced to “walk away” by the election of an anti-religious faction to the Longmont City Council.)

Establishing clear boundaries around municipalities is a useful practice. It helps give each an identity and preserves land on the periphery. (The only way you can ethically “preserve land” on your periphery is to buy it) Longmont attempted to create a buffer to the east. Firestone decided it didn’t care. (Firestone also thought there was a buffer around its town but Weld County‘s current policy eliminated that possibility. Firestone understands to create a buffer it will have to buy property or property rights. Longmont is naive if it thinks it can create “free” buffers in Weld County.)

That’s typical of the Firestone leaders’ Wild West approach to intergovernmental relations. (This is an interesting comment. It seems to echo Mr. Auer and his “Longmont First” slate of candidate’s ill informed and incorrect comments about intergovernmental relations. I guess this is a continuation of the T-C’s biennial attempt to influence Firestone’s elections by now trying to prop up and give legitimacy to Mr. Auer and his “Longmont First” slate of candidates.)

Does Firestone want a reputation for being a rogue town that bends over backwards to snatch land from its neighbors? (Very misleading T-C. Nobody is “snatching” anything. Frederick and Longmont have changed their master plans and annexed property outside their growth boundaries. Firestone is considering doing the same. You can’t “snatch” property that you don’t own. Longmont may think they “own” property outside their borders but I suspect the affected property owners think differently)

That uses development fees as a bargaining chip instead of using them to improve the schools that serve its children? (the school board is a governmental agency with the power to tax its residents. Instead of trying to work around your voters by trying to impose unethical impact fees, ask your voters for a tax increase. If you can’t justify it to the voters, you don’t deserve it.)

We hope Firestone residents will consider that question when they consider who should fill four open seats on the board on April 1. (The T-C’s attempt to affect Firestone’s election continues again this year–but of course they will try to make you believe they are an “unbiased” journalistic entity. A man, who I have never met, walked into my office this morning and was concerned about the T-C’s obvious bias in favor of Mr. Auer. I explained to him they are a private company and can do what they want. I also related how the Times-Call has decided they don’t want to print any editorials “they believe” are “personal” concerning a candidate-this only applies to the “Longmont First” candidates it appears.

Well, where have they been for the past 6 years? The only editorials I can remember the T-C printing concerning me and our town board are nothing but personal attacks-including the one I just read. Let’s review their words about this town board from the editorial I just read-snag, ransom, caved and coughed up, tantrum, tricks, crash, grab, Firestone decided it didn’t care, Wild West approach, rogue town, and snatch. )

So there you have it in one editorial. A Boulder County media outlet doing what they can to convince the voters in Firestone to allow a Boulder County school board along with the newly elected Longmont City Council, to run our town.
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Up next, further comments on the above statement, more reporting on this meeting, and Longmont City Council’s reaction.