Firestone’s noose tightening around Longmont

Firestone finds way to Union
Mayor says move could void litigation
Times-Call October 23, 2009
Firestone moves closer to developing Union parcel in Longmont
Denver Post October 26, 2009

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People can’t say they weren’t warned about this.  The Benker Bloc and their allies running for Council (Fissinger and Van Dusen) and to some extent Mayor Lange, need to have a “come to Jesus” moment on this one.  I warned back in May 2008 that Longmont’s strategizing was awful and it was just about checkmate. Continue reading

Large majority against Firestone litigation

The Longmont Times-Call recently did a poll with the question “Should the city continue its lawsuits against Firestone regarding annexations?” The results are in, and it’s pretty lopsided:

With 537 total votes
Yes 134 (24.95%)
No 403 (75.05%)

In addition there’s an online petition for Longmont to drop the lawsuits and appeals against the Town of Firestone. It shot up to over 120 names and email addresses fairly quickly before the Times-Call pulled its link down from the comment section of the above poll. For reference, the idiotic backyard chicken online petition still hasn’t gotten half this number, and look at all the time council spent on that.

The comments in the TC poll and every story on this subject show a strong dissatisfaction of how council is handling this situation, and the Executive Sessions involved, including a lawsuit from the Times-Call itself.

Quiet through most of this is the group of people (“What’s In It For Longmont?“) that did their best to get rid of LifeBridge and their attempts to build outside of Longmont. That might be because one of them is running for City Council (Kaye Fissinger), another one got trounced in the last election (Richard Juday) partially based on his involvement with this anti-LifeBridge drive, and the others who make occasional embarrassing appearances before city council.

This same group went out and got over 6,000 signatures to overturn the Union Annexation, which probably wasn’t easy and is admirable on that basis – about the only thing about this group that is admirable unfortunately. As time has gone on, more people tell me they were misled when told what the petition was about. None of them probably knew of the hidden cameras (under tables, below skirt level) and the flow charts this group followed targeting rank-and-file church members. Around the same time LifeBridge’s sign was repeatedly vandalized. But I’m sure that’s all a coincidence.

Also MIA are their cohorts in Firestone, aka InformFirestone, who claimed to be a watchdog for various issues, not just the Union Annexation. Turns out, like plenty of people figured, they were just a one trick pony and their website doesn’t exist anymore. I wonder what happened to that fictional attorney they used for their (and WIIFL‘s) unethical letter they sent out to Firestone residents. I hear alot of complaining about a mailer that went out in Longmont about Richard Juday, but what about this letter? It looks awfully fishy. Could make for a good campaign question for Kaye Fissinger. And who paid for that mailer (that had WIFFL’s name on it)? I only mention it as these are the same people who pushed for Longmont’s campaign law to be changed, guilty feelings probably, as they knew what people were capable of.

So in summary:

  • They have divided the community along religious lines.
  • Their petition didn’t make it to the voters of Longmont.
  • Their candidate was destroyed in the Special Election.
  • Firestone voters saw through them and defeated them at the ballot box. Although democracy means nothing to these types of people if they don’t get their way, so the courts are their fallback plan, and that’s where we are today.
  • The courts have sided in a lopsided manner against Longmont.
  • Their elected councilmembers have had to resort to a ridiculous amount of secret meetings to carry out their campaign against Firestone and LifeBridge.

This group and their movement have brought nothing but shame to Longmont, and they’ve really accomplished nothing but increased hate and discontent. The candidates and current councilmembers they back have proven with their records in the last 2 years that they have no place in this city’s government.

This is a relevant campaign issue, ask each council candidate where they stand on it. No fence riding allowed.
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It’s ironic that this issue came up in the comments section of a recent Times-Call article, I wrote the above before that and almost a week ago.  Someone in the TC comments sure sounds like a member of WIIFL, a council candidate, or a current councilmember.  This is gonna get good, real good.

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.

Longmont running out of moves

Back in May 2008, I wrote a piece called “Longmont, Take The Deal” where I said it was just about checkmate on this idiotic crusade against Firestone and Weld County over the Union annexation. It came as no shock or surprise to hear the news that Longmont got its rear end handed to them from the courts over this. (Times-Call “City’s annexations ‘null and void’ Judge: Longmont ‘abused its discretion’”)

Much of that Times-Call article sounds familiar – as it was exactly what I warned about over a year ago. Let’s go back, shall we? Continue reading

GUEST EDITORIALS

Let it go, Longmont

The people of Firestone have spoken in favor of annexing the Union site. Why continue to fight, Longmont ? Time to let it go.
Longmont’s Mayor Roger Lange stubbornly insists that the city must protect its eastern buffer. It’s an argument that makes no sense in view of the current lay of the land around the Union property.

The image/graphic shown below is from LifeBridge & 4C–produced more than five years ago, but remains illustrative today. (click to enlarge)

LifeBridge/Union is already surrounded by development on three sides…the large Meadow Vale housing development to the east…the Vista Commercial Center to the south…and the LongView community to the west. To the north, there is plenty of city-owned land for Union Res. and surroundings, enough for expanding the reservoir if needed.

Building Union doesn’t change any of these entities, nor does it disrupt Longmont ‘s eastern boundary. If Union has Meadow Vale on the east side, LongView on the west side (both in unincorporated Weld Co.), plus increasing development on the south side of Hwy 119–how in the world is the Union plot compromising Longmont’s eastern buffer? Clearly, this bogus argument shows partisan politics at its worst from our city leaders.

Further pursuance of this matter amounts to pure spite by the Longmont City Council, and a disgraceful waste of city time and resources.
Dave Larison
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Dear Mr. Mayor,

The comments in DTC this a.m. over Longmont ’s official attitude about the Firestone Election define to me just how far the City of Longmont has fallen in esteem with the general public in less than ten short months. I have not seen the Administration make a full disclosure to the People of Longmont what the costs of these lawsuits against Firestone will be. And a professional presentation defining, not white washing, the systemic risk is to the city’s financial system the new Council’s blunder has presented the public from the hostile business atmosphere policy that drove LifeBridge out of the City’s jurisdiction after Council approved the project to the people of Longmont .

Right now Council’s policy is popular with a handful of people constituting an oligarchy in a City of almost 100,000 people which (these people) do not represent nor have anything in common with except breathing the same air. There is more to the responsibilities of being on this City Council than just representing introverts posing as social progressives to the exclusion of any other interest or purpose in life. Many people have seen government destroy their 401ks and retirement programs; blame for drop in property values starts at home, the mortgage crisis situation and repossessions right now has stabilized and there are less resale homes on the market now than this time last year. So what’s holding back recover is primarily City policy and that will come out in public as time and events move on beyond the election.

Even though it is not required by law, wouldn’t it be prudent and politic to make a full disclosure to the public before an uncontrolled witch hunt starts of its own initiative?

Richard Yale

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.

Disrespect From The Podium

At the July 29th Longmont City Council meeting, the issue of putting Police and Firefighter unionization on the ballot was the hot issue. There’s lots to talk about (and lots of audio to pull from this meeting for my next podcast), but I’ll just hit a couple initially.

I watched the entire thing, there were lots of speakers, from both sides. Before I go much further, I’ll remind people I was one of the PD/FD’s biggest supporters for their 2004 drive. My old Wrongmont link is still on their website to this day. I’ve been a union member in open and closed shops for over 27 years, so save the history lesson and emotional speeches. Now, as they say, with all that being said…

I thought each side made very good points, some spoke better than others. I could almost say I feel strongly both ways on this issue, not something I normally say, and probably won’t advocate either way. Make up your own minds.

But I will say the most compelling and convincing presentation was by Police Chief Mike Butler. It was mostly for nothing as it appeared those that voted in favor of the union had made up their minds long before he made his statements. But there was one speaker for the union side who got my attention the most, FOP President Stephen Shulz. He spoke fairly eloquently and had a good command of his organizations positions. But he blew it at one point, to me anyway, with his obvious lack of respect for an elected official, Councilmember Gabe Santos.

The question was asked why now, why again, after the union vote defeat in 2004. Mr. Shulz brought up Mr. Santos’ defeat in the November election, why did/should he run again? There are so many differences in these two scenarios, not to mention the total unprofessional behavior of a city employee towards a city policy maker. First off, Mr. Santos lost by a 46% to 41% margin, not a majority win by Sarah Levison. The unionization vote of 2004 lost by a 55% to 44% margin, much to my chagrin. Not a landslide, but a fairly clear majority.

Secondly, what did Mr. Santos’ two campaigns cost the city? Candidates self fund their campaigns, either from their own accounts or from contributors. In both elections, the city had to fill vacant positions, it wasn’t optional. In the union’s case, they will be the only Longmont related issue on the ballot (said at the City Council meeting), it is optional, and will cost the city about $75,000. I don’t recall Mr. Santos’, or any candidate, demanding not only to be put on the ballot, but also have the city pick up the tab. But that’s what the FOP is asking for. I probably wouldn’t have brought that up, except for this unnecessary cheap shot during the council meeting.

It showed an arrogance, and an impression that the needed four votes were in the bag. Along those same lines, some councilmembers felt outraged that the opinion was floated that they were “bought off” for this vote, but I’ll save that for another time.

For now, someone needs to explain that if the FOP is willing to show that kind of attitude BEFORE there even is a bargaining contract, BEFORE the voters even have a say, why would any reasonable person believe that they won’t be even worse in negotiations IF/WHEN they achieve collective bargaining? I don’t like painting the FOP with this broad brush, and think they have some valid points, but Mr. Shulz repeatedly said he spoke for the FOP. Regardless if they won tonight, this behavior won’t score well with the voters.

Let Confusion Reign

There was a proposed agreement to simplify the Hwy 119 corridor with adequate access points and signal spacing. It had nothing to do with urban sprawl, or as Longmont City Councilman Sean McCoy calls it “green field sprawl”. Watch the video below and see how it’s twisted and convoluted, if you can follow.

If you can make it through the stammering, you’re probably asking how does signal spacing and access points encourage “green field sprawl” exactly? And the Weld County Commissioners are in the business of growing a city (Longmont) beyond what Mr. McCoy believes it can handle? He threw out the “exceptional benefit” a couple of times, taking lessons from Ms. Levison? Again though, this isn’t a land grab, so what’s the point with this term? Then he brings up the never incorporated town of Freedom “in some peoples understanding” as he put it, what some people, like two?
And mentioning Freedom, an idea hatched to put the brakes on the Union Lifebridge development, he gives yet another indirect backhand to this church and its members.

Then he said we need to spend more time on urban renewal. What’s the largest urban renewal project that’s been in the news for the last few months? Twin Peaks Mall, a project he has continually voted against. So there’s some talking out of both sides of the mouth there.

But he’s not alone on this city council when it comes to applying a double standard when it comes to Lifebridge and the Mall.
…to be continued.

You’re Building What Where?

There was a front page article in the Daily Times-Call on Sunday June 29, 2008 entitled ” Landowners in Limbo” which tells the story about land and business owners around the area where the FasTracks station is supposed to be built.

I watched with interest the June 3, 2008 Longmont City Council when they talked about this subject. When I saw the map on the screen, it sure looked like the station’s parking lot was located where Budget Home Center currently sits. If you were like me, as you watched this, you probably assumed that some deal had already been discussed and that the land owners were aware of this plan.

Apparently, according to this article, they weren’t.

At about the 55 minute mark of the June 3rd meeting video, you can see the concepts for this area. This information was in a council packet at the time of this meeting, but is no longer part of the PDF on the city’s site. The agenda itself can be found at http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/city_council/agendas/2008/060308.htm

Councilman Brian Hansen did ask about the smaller property owners, to which the answer was that they could pool together and be part of the larger development, but ” they haven’t explored in any detail” this idea – and it sounds like they may not have shared this idea with the land owners either.

I’ve frequented Budget Home Center quite a bit over the years, and figured that the competition from Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware was just too much for them, and they might fade away for the purposes of this light rail station. According to Budget’s owner Butch Vernon, that is not the case. Besides not hearing anything from RTD, he’s hoping they will relocate his business or compensate him so he can relocate it himself.

Unfortunately, a spokesperson for RTD said they do use eminent domain and will resort to condemnation if no agreement can be made with the land owner. In other words, they’ll just take it if they want it.

Is that what the voters in Longmont really voted for? Light rail at any cost, regardless of the human and business debris it leaves behind? All you anti-big box store (like Home Depot) types who defend smaller local businesses (like Budget Home Center), where are you on this one? (I hear crickets, and hypocrites)

What is with this trend of trampling all over property owners rights in Longmont? Some examples: the attempt to take Emery Street to the detriment of surrounding property owners. The fiasco with Lifebridge and other property owners near Union Reservoir, stalling into oblivion plans to work their own property. George Marxmiller and the city’s virtual taking of some of his property and denial of release of his liability, making him risk everything. The property owners of the Twin Peaks Mall area, and the hoops they’re being required to jump through. And now this.

And who’s making all this noise and doing all this meddling? Little tyrants running around with probably little to not much property of their own, since they probably can’t afford to live in their own little nirvana to the southwest? So if they’re going to be miserable settling for Longmont, the rest of us have to share in their misery? The same types who want to mold Longmont into something other than what it is, and not something better. Some were even elected!

This is what you get when you just let bureaucrats, and their fawning citizen apologists, run roughshod unchecked and not held accountable. Not to worry, what are the odds of this happening to, or affecting, you? Probably higher than you think.