Gary Cogswell: Reconsider choice

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Dear City Council members,

My concern and admiration goes out to you for your willingness to serve on City Council at this very challenging time. As a person who sits on two community boards of directors (Yampa Valley Land Trust and Perry-Mansfield) as well as a business and property owner in the city, I think I have just some idea of all the forces pushing and pulling on you.

First, as a board member of the Yampa Valley Land Trust, I wanted to thank you for your continued support of our organization. I think we all agree that the Land Trust continues to give our community and the Yampa Valley great value in its wonderful success in open space preservation.

As a board member of Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, I would like to thank Paul Strong and other council members for clarifying that they were confused as a result of a statement made by a city staff member. This statement led the council and the community to believe that Perry-Mansfield is in a very strong financial, or "cash," position. I think the record has been corrected to clarify that we are anything but. Our board, like any responsible board, understands if council decides not to fund a request. However, when a city staff member makes a statement that can create an impact on our future fundraising, we, as an organization, appreciate council members clarifying that the statement was misleading.

Finally, may I recount a little story? I have volunteered to give Brett and Kay Brooks some of my time to help them make plans to rebuild their home near Hayden. They lost their home, their possessions and one of their family dogs in a lightning-started fire several weeks ago. Brett and I made an appointment with Carl Dunham, director of the Routt County Building Department, to discuss options for their plans to rebuild. Carl was so helpful and informative on the rebuilding issues. When we needed to get into questions of planning, he went right over to the Planning Department and pulled in Connie Staponski to provide even more clarification and information. At the conclusion of the meeting, Carl commented that his department is here to be as much help as possible within the rules and the laws of Routt County.

I would want to ask you if that is not the definition of good government, what is?

I am concerned by the City Council's decision to sever the relationship between the city of Steamboat and the Routt County Building Department. I feel city staff members who are not taking into consideration the importance of maintaining intergovernmental communication have influenced you into making this decision.

As I heard in a wonderful seminar hosted by Councilman Towny Anderson, the worst mistake made by the "Town Fathers" of Vail Valley was to not work more closely with the county government and nearby communities. I am concerned that the city of Hayden is travelling down the same unfortunate path as well.

I would encourage you, please, to reconsider this decision. Let us all keep good communication going in our wonderful valley.

Gary Cogswell

Steamboat Springs

As a person who sits on two community boards of directors (Yampa Valley Land Trust and Perry-Mansfield) as well as a business and property owner in the city, I think I have just some idea of all the forces pushing and pulling on you.

First, as a board member of the Yampa Valley Land Trust, I wanted to thank you for your continued support of our organization. I think we all agree that the Land Trust continues to give our community and the Yampa Valley great value in its wonderful success in open space preservation.

As a board member of Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, I would like to thank Paul Strong and other council members for clarifying that they were confused as a result of a statement made by a city staff member. This statement led the council and the community to believe that Perry-Mansfield is in a very strong financial, or "cash," position. I think the record has been corrected to clarify that we are anything but. Our board, like any responsible board, understands if council decides not to fund a request. However, when a city staff member makes a statement that can create an impact on our future fundraising, we, as an organization, appreciate council members clarifying that the statement was misleading.

Finally, may I recount a little story? I have volunteered to give Brett and Kay Brooks some of my time to help them make plans to rebuild their home near Hayden. They lost their home, their possessions and one of their family dogs in a lightning-started fire several weeks ago. Brett and I made an appointment with Carl Dunham, director of the Routt County Building Department, to discuss options for their plans to rebuild. Carl was so helpful and informative on the rebuilding issues. When we needed to get into questions of planning, he went right over to the Planning Department and pulled in Connie Staponski to provide even more clarification and information. At the conclusion of the meeting, Carl commented that his department is here to be as much help as possible within the rules and the laws of Routt County.

I would want to ask you if that is not the definition of good government, what is?

I am concerned by the City Council's decision to sever the relationship between the city of Steamboat and the Routt County Building Department. I feel city staff members who are not taking into consideration the importance of maintaining intergovernmental communication have influenced you into making this decision.

As I heard in a wonderful seminar hosted by Councilman Towny Anderson, the worst mistake made by the "Town Fathers" of Vail Valley was to not work more closely with the county government and nearby communities. I am concerned that the city of Hayden is travelling down the same unfortunate path as well.

I would encourage you, please, to reconsider this decision. Let us all keep good communication going in our wonderful valley.

Gary Cogswell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

birddog 6 years, 6 months ago

Gary, thanks for your letter. You have hit the nail on the head. The building dept is running better now than it has in years. Even if the city did go to an outside firm they would still have to hire more code enforcement personnel.

The problem lies with the city sticking their fingers into more and more things that require more and more people. The building dept needs to stay focused on building code issues to insure quality. Requiring the building inspectors to try to keep track of the forever-expanding dreams of the city planning dept will only serve to compromise the quality of the homes constructed. The city council is making a big mistake if they go through with their plan. I hope the elections will improve the situation.

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slow_rider 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree - we only have ourselves to blame if we do not vote for a new City Council. The current members have shown themselves to be a knee-jerk reactionary group that responds to special interests without considering where they are taking us.

Have you noticed that they have not halted growth, despite all their talk. There has been no action taken to address all the impacts that growth will create. We need a more responsible and more accountable City Council.

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