First, In his argument that certain sitting City Council members are “anti-business,” Kulik stated, “Legally required public hearings were voted down by this Council to stop positive business growth.” It appears that Mr. Kulik has over simplified the matter, as Council has stopped a public hearing from proceeding only in one case this year, that of the city hall project. The city never moved to a public hearing because residents expressed outrage at multiple City Council meetings in May and June of this year over the planned demolition of Loveland City Hall. In fact, On May 9th, City Council deadlocked on the nature of public engagement. After Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) President Jay Stewart recommended involving residents and holding a work session with Ken Geis, Vice Mayor Angie Settell immediately motioned for a public hearing (1). Such a move would have then fulfilled the legal requirement for a single hearing prior to transferring the city hall property to the autonomous CIC, ensuring demolition of our city hall building in July, as planned.
Mayor Mark Fitzgerald, Vice Mayor Angie Settell, and Pam Gross voted no on these public engagement forums.
Residents had expressed great concern about the city hall project moving too quickly, which may be seen in both April and May City Council meeting minutes. Rob Weisgerber, Kathy Bailey, and Ted Phelps responded to residents by opposing the vote to immediately move to fulfill the single public hearing requirement. Then, Council Member Rob Weisgerber motioned for no less than three resident engagement sessions, which would have brought residents into the planning process on either a 2-story, 2.5 story, or 4-story building. Mayor Mark Fitzgerald, Vice Mayor Angie Settell, and Pam Gross voted no on these public engagement forums, while Council Members Rob Weisgerber, Kathy Bailey, and Ted Phelps voted yes. The deadlocked votes reflect a difference in how much emphasis was placed on resident engagement.
Not a single resident has come to address Council to demand that the city hall demolition move forward, so who does Mr. Kulik represent?
Mr. Kulik spoke of the public hearing requirement completely out of context of the planned demolition of City Hall, and in such a way that suggested a law was somehow broken in slowing down the city hall project for residents to give necessary sanction. Indeed, if the public hearing had occurred as pushed by Mark Fitzgerald, Angie Settell, and Pam Gross, the transfer of our city hall to the CIC would have been final. Once in possession of the CIC, residents would have had no further input. This process would have prevented residents from thoroughly engaging in the planning for our new, city hall building in Old Loveland. Instead of anti-business, as Mr. Kulik suggests, Rob Weisgerber, Ted Phelps, and Kathy Bailey’s vote for multiple hearings reflect their duty as public servants to residents of Loveland. Residents have been relieved that the planned demolition and any repurposing of city hall will wait until after elections when residents will have their say with their votes. Not a single resident has come to address Council to demand that the city hall demolition move forward, so who does Mr. Kulik represent?
Next, Mr. Ryan Kulik went on to claim that City Council acted wrongly by cancelling Mr. Stansel’s contract. Kulik said, “What is it Mr. Stansel did wrong? I can see where council should have had the discussion on his services, but we never had that discussion. Rob Stansel was hired by the City Manager, not council. Stop lying. This is what the city manager does. The council should have had a chance to vote on his contract when the spending limit was exceeded. We never had this discussion.”
Yet again, Mr. Kulik is mistaken.
Yet again, Mr. Kulik is mistaken. City Council did have a discussion about cancelling Rob Stansel’s contract just prior to their vote that terminated it on May 9th. Mr. Kulik asks, “What was illegal about the contract? Was it because the spending limit was exceeded? Okay, I understand that.” If Mr. Kulik understands that City Council voted after a discussion to cancel the contract because it violated the City Manager’s spending authority, then what’s his agenda? Why would he want Council to violate our city charter?
Then, Mr. Kulik goes on to say, “[Stansel] secured over $600,000 for, I believe, the Chestnut property.” Not exactly. The “letter of intent” brought by Mr. Stansel to the city died upon expiration on May 5th, 2017, four days prior to City Council voting to terminate Stansel’s contract on May 9th (2,3). Perhaps Mr. Kulik should speak with City Manager Dave Kennedy about why the offer wasn’t pursued. Because at this point, it appears that Mr. Kulik is speaking beyond his knowledge and expertise.
it appears that Mr. Kulik is speaking beyond his knowledge and expertise.
Last, Kulik goes on to say, “[Rob Stansel] was working on the Christman property that we’ve heard a lot about.” Yet, again, Mr. Kulik references a development project that brought Loveland residents out in droves against it. Residents from the Brandywine and Butterworth Glen neighborhoods overflowed Loveland City Hall at the public hearing on June 13th when City Council was expected to vote on an ordinance to transfer city land to the Community Improvement Corporation that would have then been sold to Drees Co. and ultimately culminated in a Drees Homes development of 10 acres nearby. Apparently, the residents of those neighborhoods believed the city years ago when it claimed to have bought the Christman property to be a park, and they weren’t too excited about the pending development deal. That’s why the city did not transfer the land to the Community Improvement Corporation, and the private deal between the developer and the commercial real estate firm dissolved.
Upon scrutiny, Ryan Kulik’s arguments fail due to his oversimplification and outright error. In any regard, I appreciate him bringing up three very important topics to Loveland residents, and hope everyone registers to vote by October 10th and comes out to vote this November 7th.
Halie Rebeccaschild is the Secretary of the Loveland Community Heartbeat PAC.