The Home Front: A city council meeting in Colorado ‘devolved into a shouting match’ over immigration

“A Greeley City Council work session on Tuesday devolved into a shouting match after a council member suggested a resolution related to immigration,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Reading from a prepared statement, Rochelle Galindo stressed the need for a resolution she said would put resident immigrants and others at ease, citing mistrust of the city and federal government among her constituents. When it came time to discuss the matter, Greeley Mayor Tom Norton grew visibly agitated, raising his voice while declaring there was no need for a resolution and denying any mistrust among Greeley residents.” The paper quotes the mayor as saying, “It’s unfair and unreasonable to assume there’s not trust. I’ve worked in this community for 50 years. I resent that fact that you think we are not (trusted) and we have to pass a resolution.”

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports state health officials “have concluded the health risks for people living near oil and gas development are low. A new Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment report says there’s no need for immediate public health action, but recommends the issue undergo more study. It says that evidence suggests the risks of harmful health effects is low for people living 500 feet or more from oil and gas operations. With certain exceptions, state rules currently require at least a 500-foot setback between drilling pads and homes.”

“Longmont’s City Council members on Tuesday night voted their unanimous preliminary approval of an ordinance that would regulate and set plant limits on the growing of marijuana inside homes for the residents’ medical or recreational use,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The measure, which also deals with inside-the-home production and processing of marijuana products, generally sets a six-plants-per-adult resident limit — up to a maximum of 30 plants per dwelling unit if five or more adults are living in that unit.”

The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent has affordable housing issues on the front page. “A regional housing development authority involving multiple area governments and making use of a voter-approved tax or fee may be one way to create the collective clout needed to make serious headway in addressing workforce housing needs for the Roaring Fork Valley. David Myler, an area land-use attorney who has been involved in several affordable housing projects in the valley and who sits on the Colorado Housing Finance Authority board, has teamed with Bill Lamont, a retired city planner in Boulder and longtime local resident, to pitch the idea to local elected officials.”

“A presentation at a Loveland City Council meeting Tuesday night on a report for next steps to take to bring high-speed internet to Loveland generated even more questions,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The staff report provided information on survey results from residents and business owners in the city about broadband internet, what’s missing and what they feel the city needs but doesn’t have. But councilors wanted more specifics on semantics and demographics – how were the questions worded, how were the answers collected, which age demographics supported which options and what the term ‘inclusivity’ means, to name a few. Some of that data, however, wasn’t collected.”

The Pueblo Chieftain reports on a county discussion about how to sell seized marijuana grow equipment. “A local auctioneer told The Pueblo Chieftain Tuesday that the county contacted him to sell the equipment to the highest bidder at an auction on March 11. Last year, when the sheriff’s office raided several properties and homes where marijuana was being grown illegally, detectives not only confiscated the plants, they also confiscated the growing equipment.”

“During an unannounced inspection in February, the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board identified 20 deficiencies at Hesperus Ski Area, which is expected to remain closed until mid-March to address the concerns,” The Durango Herald reports. “Inspectors found problems with sign displays, record-keeping, general maintenance and insufficient training of employees, according to a five-page inspection report that Hesperus Ski Area provided this week to The Durango Herald.”

Fremont County allowing storage of train cars near homes is causing concern, reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Members of the Wolf Park Homeowners Association on Tuesday presented the Fremont County Board of Commissioners with a petition of 93 signatures, requesting the board put an end to the long-term storage of train cars on a spur track leading to the Cotter Corp. located in a residential area. Residents asked the board to use their influence as the licensing and permitting authority with the Martin Marietta Corporation to end the practice that they say has lowered their property values and decreased their quality of life. They said it has been an ongoing issue for eight years.”

The Denver Post reports how Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is trying to tweak a bill to make government more transparent in Colorado by adding more secrecy provisions. “The draft proposal, obtained by The Denver Post, would add a new exemption to Colorado’s Open Records Act to allow the government to withhold ‘any personal identifying information’ for people who are not public employees — including something as simple as a name, phone number or address. Open-records advocates and some state officials say that could allow the government to withhold or redact countless records currently considered public, including property or business records, or the names of people who communicate or do business with public officials. Even something as simple as a publicly available building permit often includes the name and phone number of a private citizen.”