Tries to stop media interviews
Lights turned out on interviews and public rushed from building
Brian Wint went to the Loveland Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on Monday, January 7 asking them to adopt "common sense" regulations to prevent a shooting range from opening near the Loveland Primary and Elementary schools on Loveland Maderia Road. He suggested they initiate action and suggested 1,000 yard buffer.
Later in the meeting, when City Council representative to the Commission, Angie Settell wanted fellow members to begin discussing Wint's suggestion of ways to protect students, Assistant City Manager and Development Director, Gary Vidmar, who is "staff" support for the Commission took control of the meeting from Chairman Peggy Goodwin and ruled that Settell's discussion violated procedural rules.
Settell wanted the Commission to vote to ask City Council to implement an immediate moratorium on the permitting of firing ranges to give the P&Z time to review the zoning code. Vidmar said they could not take the vote.
Settle brought up her talking points during the "New Business" portion of the meeting. She wanted the Commission to begin the process of recommending solutions immediately, or for the Commission to formally ask Council to implement a moratorium on permits for shooting ranges, which would give both governing bodies ample time to explore options.
After a brief discussion, Vidmar told Settle that she couldn't discuss the firing range further, because it was not on the meeting agenda. "We're even working beyond what we should be discussing. It shouldn't have even been discussed to this depth"
A City Ordinance requires all Commissions, Boards, City Council, and Committee operate under uniform rules and agenda, including a "New Business" agenda item where any member can raise new items of concern for the body to discuss. (Loveland Code: 139.01 Model Rules Ordinance 1992-1)
Settlell said that as a City Council member, they are always permitted to discuss any new subject under the "New Business" portion of the meeting, and that P&Z has always operated under the same rules. Vidmar insisted that since the firing range wasn't listed as an agenda item, something Goodwin would have had to do, and that Settell had to stop her discussion of a subject not on the agenda
Settlell insisted that she had made an attempt to officially place the shooting range on the agenda, but that her request received no response from Goodwin. She said she did however run into Goodwin two days before at a community event and that Goodwin assured her that she would be able to bring up the subject at the meeting. Chairwoman Goodwin sat silent as Vidmar made his ruling while interrupting Settell. The meeting quickly adjourned.
When the meeting was over, Loveland Magazine, video camera still rolling, approached Goodwin and asked why she sat silent as Vidmar, a staff member was allowed to dominate the discussion, shut down the debate, and present false information to Settell. That is when Vidmar tried to prevent an interview with Goodwin, saying, "You can't film." Vidmar asked that the camera be turned off.
The camera remained on, however, Goodwin declined comment.
Seconds later, when interviewing Settell, the lights in the room were turned off. Shortly later, Eva Parker, another staff member, the Building and Zoning Coordinator, asked the public and press to leave the building.
Before this meeting started, Vidmar was asked if he had any new information about the proposed firing range. He responded that Steven Ling, owner of Onling Guns was considering an alternate location in Loveland, however Vidmar said he would not disclose the location.
Numerous attempts to reach Ling by telephone over the last several weeks, including last Monday afternoon have been unsuccessful. He does not answer or return calls.