Scott Wedel

Scott Wedel 2 days, 12 hours ago on Richard Lowe: Conflicts raise questions

Though, how the school board conducts its election of board president is legal dubious because serious doubts have been raised whether a Colorado board may in open meeting hold secret ballots. It appears that court cases have been filed, but the elected boards have agreed to change their practice prior to getting a clear judicial ruling.

Legal argument against secret ballots is that it is obviously against the intent of open meetings. And if legal then why couldn't a board sit in open forum and spent the entire meeting passing secret messages to each other? Thus, if secret ballots are legal then same mechanism of writing anonymous messages on paper could be extended to all board activities and fundamentally gut the open meeting law.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 13 hours ago on Richard Lowe: Conflicts raise questions

I am publicly critical of Michelle Dover's campaign and now I am accused of supporting her because she is a friend. Interesting how people assume that those they disagree with have bad motives. I am defending her because I have been at both meetings and she has been open, honest and done what she said. In the first meeting, she disclosed she was on the sub teacher list and that she was removing herself from that list. No one at that meeting had any issues at the time with the meeting continuing.

All of this is sour grapes claiming that someone on the list of potential substitute teachers, but not working as a sub teacher is an employee of the district. Despite someone merely being on the list receives no benefits and Michelle Dover removing herself from the list upon learning it was a potential issue. And she didn't fail to disclose, I was there at the meeting in which she did disclose. At the meeting she said she would request that her name be removed from the list of potential sub teachers. And I was there at the next meeting where she said she had sent that request after the previous meeting. That she sent that request when she said she did should be easy enough to verify. That she did not work as a sub teacher since being sworn in is easy enough to verify. That there are no benefits for being on the sub teacher is easy enough to verify.

Local DA Barkley is certainly free to investigate, but what is claimed to be there? That Michelle Dover was openly on a list of potential sub teachers, hadn't worked as a sub teacher, disclosed that she was on the list of potential sub teachers and upon being told that as a board member that she couldn't work as a district employee then she removed herself from that list? Even Brent Barkley knows he'd get laughed out of court if he tried making that case.

Also, even criminal issues with an elected official does not lead to unwinding everything voted on or quorums met by that official. An elected official can be convicted of taking bribes to approve something, but that doesn't mean that approval is revoked.

What if some district staffer created a list of approved contractors and included a company which Joey Andrew had an ownership interest? Does every decision involving him become negated? Of course not.

The difference between the Colorado statutes regarding conflict of interest and what be perceived as a conflict is very relevant in this situation. If she is violating state laws then she faces those legal consequences. But vague public perceptions of possible conflicts is purely a political issue up to each elected official to decide how to deal with.


Scott Wedel 2 days, 19 hours ago on Richard Lowe: Conflicts raise questions

Looks like sour grapes from the spouse of a defeated candidate.

First, it appears to be a novel legal theory that a board member's potential conflict of interests invalidate the actions of the board. The board member with conflict of interests is exposed to criminal prosecution. Unwinding board decisions would mean that all legislative decisions and laws could be questioned if it was later determined that a board member acted improperly. That would lead to chaos.

Second, if there are process issues then they are resolved by redoing the decisions, not by have board members resign. Next school board meeting will redo any decisions if district's legal advice thinks there is the slightest chance of their being legal issues.

Third, the school board does not determine employment status. It doesn't matter that Michelle Dover didn't copy the school board on her request to be removed from the list of a sub teacher. Nor does school board determine whether someone is still employed by the district.

Fourth, Rich Lowe's article shifts from a legal standard of conflicts of interest to general perceptions of conflicts of interest. It would be legal for Margaret Huron to be sole negotiator for district and her daughter to be sole negotiator for teacher's union unless it could be shown Margaret Huron would directly financially benefit from the negotiations. And the real world scenario is highly unlikely to have that sort of possible appearance of conflict of interest because her daughter is one of many teachers on the bargaining committee and Margaret Huron won't be the district's sole negotiator.

I think if Joey Andrews or Roger Good want to pursue Rich Lowe's strategy of pressuring the board majority to resign then that opens a very divisive can of worms. Such a course of action needs far more of a legal basis than hyperbole by someone that lost at the ballot box.

I almost feel sorry for Anne Lowe. She ran a decent campaign and seemed genuinely interested in serving the public. But with this sort of divisive actions from her husband then she has no chance as a candidate for any local office. Her husband has set the precedent that either he gets his way or he will go over the top asking for mass resignations and threaten legal actions.


Scott Wedel 3 days, 9 hours ago on Operation Round Up transitioning to "opt out" program

"The association hopes by removing the necessity to opt in, more customers will participate in the program"

So when people don't want to sign up for something then might as well assume they meant to sign up so sign up for them. Woohoo our monopolies know better than the public.

Since they will round up $.01 to the next dollar then might as well make it $.99 each month for each customer. And if it can be $.99 then it could be $1.99 and so on.

Since rounding is so easy and fun, I think I'll sign up for the rounding down option.


Scott Wedel 3 days, 19 hours ago on Planning commission approves conceptual plan for 180-unit condo complex near Walgreens


In this location it will be hard for residents to park elsewhere. So if there would be a shortage of parking then they won't be parking in front of other people's houses and generally messing up parking for neighbors.

Any parking issue would tend to be self correcting as people with cars would be reluctant to live at a place without enough parking.


Scott Wedel 4 days, 15 hours ago on Our View: All Routt County's students matter

Jobs pay better in SB and OC is not a bad drive. Ask OC businesses if it is easy to find good employees without paying SB wages and promising good hours. Some ag business is going to be hard pressed to pay well enough to pull workers away from SB jobs.

And South Routt is not a inexpensive place to operate. On average you pay more for the electrician or plumber to come out because they are set up to operate in SB.

And I note the South Routt business owners and employees that are dropping their kids off at SB schools. So at least some of those families with at least one parent working in South Routt are also using SB schools.

If Soroco officials think they can solve their attendance issues via some ag jobs then that will be proved wrong soon enough.


Scott Wedel 4 days, 18 hours ago on Our View: All Routt County's students matter

The local issue is not a lack of jobs. If anything, we have too many jobs that lead to people commuting to SB.

The issue isn't purely quality or perceived quality of school district because Hayden school district is clearly an underperforming district and is markedly worse than Soroco. But they don't lose as many students to SSSD. Probably because Hayden is the one population center in their school district and their centralized local schools are convenient even if they are not very good at middle school and high school levels.

But Soroco has very challenging district boundaries. It covers a large area, but the largest population center, Stagecoach, is a residential area just over the boundary from SSSD. Stagecoach is far enough from OC that Stagecoach residents do not drive through it to say pick up take out dinner on the way home from SB. Town of Yampa which is close to the geographic center of Soroco is a smaller town with less than 25% of Soroco's population.

Unifying Soroco with SSSD does not instantly solve the challenging distribution of South Routt's population. But it would greatly increase the viability of a Stagecoach area elementary school that could also draw from the southern portion of SSSD such as Blacktail, etc. It would also remove the "need" of Soroco parents to get their kids into SSSD before they could potentially be blocked by crowded classes. Even as SSSD accepts a bunch of out of district students, they didn't accept all 9th graders that applied. So that means, in the future, if parents want their kids into a larger, better SSSD high school then they need to get their kids into SSSD years ahead of time.


Scott Wedel 5 days, 5 hours ago on Our View: All Routt County's students matter

"Oak Creek officials are optimistic the community is poised to grow"

Same delusional officials that describe downtown OC as a pedestrian oriented retail district.

OC is going to lose out to Stagecoach as a place to build single family homes. Lots of nice lots near a lake. County has improved cty rd 14 so commute is much less scary.

OC could probably attract multi-family projects, but town doesn't want that.

And OC is still the worst run water district in the state that loses at least 100,000 gallons a day (as much as 50% of drinking processed by water plant) and yet still has no plan to annually replace some portions of the most deteriorated water mains.

And it has been 8+ years since State Dola official said he knew of no other water district that had been unable to figure out how to use water meters for billing commercial accounts. So, right now, OC subsidies large MJ grows by charging them the same fixed rate as an small real estate office.

"And while there is room for them [out of district kindergarten students] in 2015, there may not be when they enter 10th grade."

How is it figured that there is room for them in 2015 when Soda Creek still has portables? They don't accept those students this year then SC would only take a couple of years to no longer need portables.

The issue regarding out of district students is that SSSD tells the public the schools are overcrowded and causing all sorts of issues for current students and then lets in a bunch of out of district students.

Though, I think Montessori Charter school will remove any limitations on South Routt elementary school students from attending school in SB.

And the fundamental issue of why the districts should merge is that current situation with Soroco's largest population center, Stagecoach, will be a problem for both districts. Stagecoach families with predominately enroll in SB schools and many of them will take steps such as renting a small SB apt to get their kids into SB schools. And there is potential for a huge number of additional Stagecoach homes. So SSSD could be stuck having to do a lot of work to keep them from finding ways to get enrolled in SB schools. Meanwhile, Soroco faces an ever larger portion of it's population not interested in the local school district.


Scott Wedel 5 days, 15 hours ago on School Board meeting abruptly adjourned over conflict of interest concerns

But the removal of potential sub teachers from the list has never on the consent agenda.

And the list of resignations is heard as an item to thank those people for their contributions. Not to claim that the school board vote on that item has any legal relevance on whether those people have ceased employment.

Likewise, the list of possible sub teachers is just a chance to publicly welcome them back. School Board has no legal authority to remove anyone from that list.

Thus, being on the agenda is just ceremony and not something which school board can do anything other than acknowledge.

As I said before, Roger Good should have just asked Meeks to verify that Dover was no longer on sub teacher list.