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The police investigation report has not been released to the public.
The Steamboat Springs City Council has failed to exercise its oversight responsibility by failing to read and release the report.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today has completely failed the citizens of Steamboat by not conducting an independent investigation of the allegations against the police department and refusing to litigate for disclosure of the secret investigative report that resulted in the resignation or termination of the command staff of the police department, the city manager and the city attorney.
But hey, let's all pretend that nothing ever happened.
Meanwhile, the city, under the leadership of Walter Magill, will demand that the residents of Steamboat tax themselves at an even higher rate to pay for a new police station. This when the city currently has more than enough money and assets to pay for the new station.
Why on earth would any resident of the city, much less the county, vote to increase taxes in order to fund a city and police department that refuses to inform those residents what happened that resulted in the destruction of the careers of the police chief, the deputy chief, the city attorney, and the city manager while at the same time the District Attorney is persecuting and prosecuting the whistleblowers who dared to expose the malfeasance of those so-called leaders.
I guess we're all supposed to pretend nothing happened. Sadly, that's the reality of the of the way the Steamboat Pilot & Today is now behaving after failing to pursue its unique constitutional authority and responsibility. And, given that surrender, it's unlikely that the public will ever know what happened if the new city council shirks its responsibility to our community in the same way the previous council shirked its duty.
Given that the current council never exercised due diligence by doing even a rudimentary background investigation of now forcibly removed City Manager Deb Hinsvark - an investigation that almost certainly would have revealed problems in Kansas City predictive of the damage she inflicted here - the best course of action is for the current council to leave all hiring process decisions for the next council. Hopefully, the next council will take its responsibility seriously in a way that the Hinsvark council was never capable of mustering.
Unfortunately, until just two years ago, despite the BLM policies the horses were being sent to slaughterhouses according to a report in the Denver Post this weekend. See: Federal report: Colorado wild horse buyer sold mustangs for slaughter (http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29014000/federal-report-colorado-wild-horse-buyer-sold-mustangs)
"The nation's largest buyer of wild horses repeatedly lied to federal officials and sent roughly 1,700 mustangs to the slaughterhouse, according to a scathing federal report issued Friday finding significant oversight lapses within a Bureau of Land Management program that is supposed to provide the horses with good homes.
"Between 2008 and 2012, La Jara rancher and livestock hauler Tom Davis bought 1,794 horses from the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program, which manages tens of thousands of mustangs that roam across the West and are, to many, potent symbols of the land's unbridled majesty. The next-largest buyer purchased 325.
"When investigators from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General confronted Davis about the purchases and asked him how many of those horses had been resold for slaughter, he told them, 'Probably close to all of them.' ...
"Federal and state authorities in Colorado declined to prosecute Davis for his actions, according to the inspector general report." (See the linked article for more details)
This article would certainly have benefited from reaching out to members of the councils that followed the council that saddled Steamboat with the Iron Horse. While I consider Steve Ivancie a friend, his recitation of what took place - coupled with the reporter's failure to provide context to the decisions made about the Iron Horse at various points in time - paints a picture that is tantamount to rewriting history that is well-known to those of us who have observed this fiasco from start to finish.
In short, this is lazy reporting and it does a disservice to the councils and city management teams that struggled to make the best of a hot fiscal mess that was dumped in their laps just as the Great Recession caught up with Steamboat. And, it does a disservice to readers who may be unfamiliar with the history of the Iron Horse and how that history may impact the current council's decision.
Excellent letter, Ed.
As usual, this current council is operating ass-backwards. This council - a council that never exercised appropriate oversight of Hinsvark and couldn't summon the integrity to review the police investigation reports and order a release to the public of a redacted edition of the report - should not be trusted to choose the next police chief via a place-holder city manager.
It really is that simple.
Main Street Steamboat Springs Board of Directors: Thank you for this reasoned perspective. I agree. I will vote no on 3A and 3B.
This article is certainly incomplete and likely inaccurate when it comes to: A) The totality of the dollars being pumped into our local school board race by the state teacher's union and B) The various mechanisms being employed to pump those dollars into the race. In fact, the reporting is so incomplete, this article would lead a reader to draw conclusions that may be the opposite of the truth when it comes to the resources available and being expended to elect individual candidates.
Even though ballots are already being cast, I hope there will be further reporting so that the electorate will have the full picture.
A good starting point would be to ask the two questions any good reporter (or informed citizen) should ask when examining the truth behind campaign finance at any level of government. First, who is contributing? And second, why are they contributing? This article is certainly incomplete - and it may also be inaccurate - on the specifics when it comes to answering the first question. And, tragically, there is nothing that gets to the heart of the second question - a question that may find answers with implications far beyond the boundaries of our local school district.
City Council just passed a unanimous resolution opposing school bond ballot measure because of the $6-8 million exposure to the city coffers for road improvements.
Perfect concept for the location!
Congratulations. That's a good team.
Last login: Friday, November 20, 2015
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