Friday, January 28, 2011

Current Watch: "Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Investigation"

Today's post is put up by 'GWS44'. 

Yesterday, a Garfield County citizen commented and put up his name.  This individual has been aware of the whole scope of problem from the beginning.  His comment was heated, direct and if there were no concerns for harm to others, we would let it stay.  In fact, we wanted to let it stay.  It was pulled by grace that runs far, far deeper than my own.

With everyone agreeing this morning we're putting up his revision at his request.

For anyone else wanting to speak while we have comments down again, write in by email in a letter form and we'll review it.


I talked to her at length yesterday after she pulled my name and comment off this blog.

There’s 2 reasons I’ll go along with that.

The biggest one is after talking, I see your right.  There’s a list now of people hurt and after a lot of years, clear evidence that shows who did that. That woman is known now with hard evidence that eventually stops her.  If people don’t have a safe place from that, they not only won’t talk, she’s daily revealing she doesn’t think she has anyone stopping her and anyone getting in the way gets hurt.   

The second reason I’ll go along with being yanked is because the men involved in this group and the men who have fallen in alongside them since you started now have one who needs help staying standing. They now have vulnerable younger kids and their parents in the line of fire from that same woman running loose. The goal seems to be complete destruction of their lives. On the other hand it’s not an option to let lives be taken. Those men are right that the thing to do is stay standing in front until authority deals.  Those men are right that there isn’t anyone stopping her.  The vulnerable come first.

You put me up in an email post too.  For now, leave my name off and I won’t post it again until we agree on that.

Here’s my words:

“Interesting to see the delay in the video put up on the city site.  Save the smoke and whistles trying to slap an excuse on that. I don’t want to see minutes like I saw yesterday on the city site that are shaved down from what they were when they came in the council packet last Monday.  Shaved down in Kaup’s stmts of why she’s not running again.  I don’t appreciate the attempt to insult my intelligence.  Remember, your all on public record now in a lot of areas and your actions reveal. 

Chuck out to the garbage every single word out of council, city leaders, tourism and the chamber mouths that distracts from that fact and please do so from this point forward.  I don't want to hear it.

At this point, I want to know where in the hell my Garfield BOCC is. 

They oversee the county.  What we have here that a blind man can see now is verified proof that more than one of Garfield’s citizens has a complaint against the chamber of commerce.  And every one of those complaints says the same thing.  Get the problem of your public tax, your public contract and your whole relationship with the chamber away from the victims.  Deal with it, it’s your responsibility, they have nothing to do with it and never have wanted to.  What we have here now is a proven city council not doing anything about at least the current for over a year now until recently when it's so bad it gets filed in a court of law.  What we have here now is a legal process trying to back track and clean up but think it's Ok to still let more fall and all to go deeper into the shadows.   

The writer before me is dead on right.  Those things stand when all else falls away.

What really stands up that needs intervention from higher, is council and chamber board not just turning backs on those complaints, but encouraging the harm happening to people by encouraging a process that is now proven to allow anything to go on because they're being led around by the help that can't be fired.

To hear at Christmas another family has fallen prey. And to keep hearing no matter how bad or obvious it gets, there’s still a council sitting that has the audacity to act like they are now in public meetings plus still sit cowering in front of that one sick mind in the help that can’t be fired,  sends nothing but a cold chill up my spine. 

To watch with my own eyes that council has the power to run human lives, businesses and physical bodies into harms way is a feeling of fear looking at the depth.

Since when is any part of this allowed?”

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Current Watch: "City of Glenwood Springs City Council, Tourism Marketing Contract 2012, Tourism Oversight and Promotion Board

This morning's post is done by 'GWS44'.

Today's Glenwood Springs Post Independent announces a deadline of this coming Friday (2 days from now), for 'vacancy' seats on the new Tourism Promotion Board that was just sat last fall.

These three seats have always had a short term in order to work the new board into the designated seating cycles. 'smalltown7' is just not buying the obvious today in the fact that the PI has not announced this publically so the folks could truly be informed.

When City Council chose to heavily seed the new board with the current marketing vendor's Board of Directors last Fall, the public noticed.  One of those seeds is Ken Murphy.  He sits both Chamber Board of Directors and the new Tourism Board.  Ken also was sitting the Financial Advisory Board that has a direct tie to the tourism grant fund requests.  Ken is a highly qualified person and well liked in the community.

smalltown7 points out again that this is not a popularity contest and we do not care for the performance of our City Council's oversight.

It is a true conflict of interest for the marketing vendor board of directors to be seating the Tourism Board.

The people's request for a city handled tourism board has seen nothing but purposefully driven friction from the tourism sector that is now having to fund their private businesses themselves and who support giving no public transparency.

Nobody will blink today seeing this from the PI. It's also possible they still just remain asleep at the wheel and missed the signficance of these seats upcoming.

We hope our resident seat in Scott has not already reached a point of being so fed-up with little to no true support (or) is watching the current harm being done to still yet another local family, that he decides this is not worth it and bails.  If he does, we hope John Duven steps up now that he has not turned in a petition to take the council seat held by Dave Sturges.

We call out today to 81601 avatars in commentary and ask you to pull in any tourism sector replacement that meets the requirements and at the very least replace Ken Murphy.  Steve Beckley needs to move on as well.  From the sound of the tourism feedback, his position of trying to force the old status quo that has kept both the rift in the community and our lodging revenues in the tank is just not right for 81601. 'necky', 'remedy'--you both could make this change happen because of how you are placed in the community.

There are terrific replacements on council in Leahy and Gamba.  They'll do a great job.

Support Edmonds for Arensman's seat and urge him into the position of Mayor.  smalltown could support Arensman if he retains his seat but feels it's time for a clean sweep.

Very disappointing that Dave Sturges has no competition unless what could be a well-supported write-in steps up. The one thing we know historically with Dave is that once he can finally be made to move, he usually follows through.  His handling of the chamber situation and his allowing the lack of support to hold the tourism board's positions is deeply concerning.

Applications for the Tourism Board seats are due by this Friday.

Good luck and our thanks,  to any qualified  individual stepping up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Current Watch: "Tourism Marketing Contract 2012 and City of Glenwood Springs City Council Oversight"

Instead of continuing to answer individual emails with the right links, here again are the links to access the minutes archives, the new video library, the board meeting dates and the email address to set yourselves up to go in and view the tourism board minutes.

We are not certain, but do believe if you will just click on the links from this post, they will show as safeplace under #8 IP address.   takes you to the city's site.   takes you to the video feed.  takes you to the minutes and agenda archives for a number of years.  takes you to the meeting dates of all boards within city control and some county.

GWS44 here, posting these links to you.  And also bringing an interesting detail that should be watched on the upcoming 2/3/11 council meeting.

Today's PI, plus from the looks of things at least 2+ dozen search optimized newspapers and viral sites all over the country, has the article  on Randi Lowenthal's new idea. 

Avatars in comments on safe sites are commenting that they feel council should fund Randi and the Roaring Fork Resource Center's new project, with the 'cushion' Lindsay spoke of along about this time last year when the chamber was promoting themselves for the upcoming 2011 contract award.

This is a cushion that 81601 has heard about for a lot of years.  Usually during the friction moments each year when the chamber is on the hot seat.  Yet, it never shows up.  Not even when grant funds are hit because there is no money for events they say are related to tourism.   Like last year.

This year, smalltown7 calls out, here on SafePlace to our current  Glenwood Springs City Council, for a reveal of that cushion.  And then, a request for the decision on pulling that cushion over into promotion of small businesses in 81601 that are definitely going to be pulling in visitors and revenues into town under Randi Lowenthal's 'Economic Gardening' project.

The email address below is to the head city clerk who handles putting people on emailing lists for current council packets.  This is also where you set up to come in during City Hall hours to view the Tourism Board minutes. The answer to the question of why Lindsay is still doing the minutes of the Tourism Board, we cannot answer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Current Watch: Tourism Contract 2012, The City of Glenwood Springs City Council oversight and a sharing of email from a follower"

The following is an email from a follower that we are asked to not cut down to a capacity that fits comment character allowance.

Sure.  We are happy to do that for you. Verbatim as received:

“The key to this stranglehold on the AC tax and our revenue generating tourism promotion could be said to be in the details that stand when all else falls away.

In the over 20 years the chamber has been the sole source vendor for promotion, there has never once been anyone in true control of the promotion contract funded by public tax except the unprecedented allowing of the vendor.

Nobody cares if the vendor is the chamber or the guy down the street.  They care where officials put the marketing contract that gives peak performance and public accountability for that performance.  The only ones who seem to care about the chamber being the hired help are the ones who have made this about personally supporting one individual within the chamber and a political popularity contest for the powerful who are run by that individual.  The citizenry has never bought into it and we have been listening to it for years. 

During that 20+ years, somehow the hired help vendor has developed into controlling all  information,  handed a contract and a check for the entire amount of the contract and  spend that without anything except weak control  from their own board.

It’s only been because of friction from citizenry for more than 18 years, that the chamber board handling this contract has moved in the last three out of 20+ years to being even partially not hand-picked by its own employee. An employee that no one can possibly argue with as being the most magnetic polarizing force the community has ever encountered. It’s only because of the yearly repeat of that friction that awareness of a problem continues to grow hits the public eye. 

During the past five to six years, the detail that refuses to be lost in the mist is the truth. 

There is no employee plot.  There is no lack of money. There is no economic factor that put the community here.  There is no lack of cooperation or lack of enthusiasm to make big ticket things happen in our town. There is no incompetency in who gets hired within the subs or employees of the hired help.  There is no elected official not friendly to the hired help.  There are no persons unknown not touched by the hired help, there is only an entire community helplessly in tow of the hired help’s agenda to not part the mists.  There are no consequences for the mists of the chamber board, there is now only one apparently very private citizen that apparently did nothing more to get caught up in this than to tell the powerful to take hold of their problem and leave her out of it.  Two years or more ago according to public record, yet the mists have not parted, they instead have been turned into a concrete wall using the mother of all excuses that it is OK because they are, the hired help that cannot be fired.

There only remain the two components of the truth that never die. 

1.  There is a complete shirking of duty on the part of the chamber board in not governing the accountability and transparency of their entity, because they refuse to lay down the public fear fueled by not showing the hired help’s intent.

2.  The hired help has convinced elected officials that no matter what the hired help does, the hired help is apparently above ethics, law and is infallible. So much so, elected officials and powerful business now have moved the citizenry from the possibility of belief that even our prosecutor and law enforcement might be approving on behalf of the hired help that anything goes, the public only has to look at the public record and the obvious to know for certain that the hired help has put our prosecutor and his investigation methods into public concern. I resent deeply our prosecutor and our law enforcement being placed in this position but also clearly see the verifiable of public record that duty followed would not have them there.  Knowing the hired help  as well as they do, the citizenry may have some hope of their concerns over our prosecutor and our law enforcement being alleviated from taint as the mists continue to part.  But the verifiable that we  have any citizenry, including the private one and all associated with her left hurt and unprotected is as zgnative says, horrifying.

The smaller details remain kicked under the rug even though when combined they are the bulldozer that knocks down the wall are easy to spot.  Just pick up the rug and let the bugs scurry.

  • A good deal of talk of big things and big change from the chamber with no performance showing the turn-around of this supposedly different chamber board in charge.  
  • After 3+ years of that big talk, there is still nothing but double speak on what the real numbers are. Leading up to this time the community, despite incredible assets, remains one of the poorest displays of performance in the state. When the citizenry objects, we can believe our eyes and ears and watch where that is brushed over by our own council still letting the hired help run the show.
  • There is no itemized break-down of the tourism contract spending because when it suits them, the board still says they are a private entity that now, apparently claims full ownership and control over what our public funds bought and if fired, we can't have our own assets.
  • During the past 20+ years, there has never once been any report that tied the lodging sales to the sales tax sales. The city does the sales tax sales, the chamber does the lodging sales. There is no municipality in the state (maybe even the nation) that allows the hired help control over the books when public funds are involved.
  • To make this even more alarming, this same vendor has been allowed to co-mingle what they do with a clear and direct tie to being the head of all of our small business in the area.  If we were to place a vote of confidence before voters in the way that Aspen just did that earned a voters confidence approval to actually raise the lodging tax in Aspen, it would landslide fail.
  • During the course of this massive failure within the AC tax, the downtown has polarized away from everyone and we spend more money to help it.  The elite few (not unlike what happens right now with skico) have prospered so much that no one has even blinked an eye yet at the outrageous admission from the chamber retreat that they want an attractions tax added on to the burden of the people so there can be more uncontrolled money to spend.  Those elite few are the attractions that have had their advertising budgets paid for by the promotion of what is supposed to be global 81601 tourism.  While the small businesses within 81601 have suffered for almost three years from all eggs being in one basket.
  • Even knowing they have no confidence from the population, when it suits hired managers, elected council and stroked tourism board members to not tangle with the chamber because it’s too much or fear of ending up like we are right now verifiably in personal harms way; the chamber/hired help hides behind some cock and bull concept that they are a private entity, owner of the brand and all with it that public funds hired and paid for. 
  • To further that embarrassment of insult to the citizenry’s intelligence, this dancing by the hired help is not being done by a private business, it is being done by a held at high standard non-profit in position of trust.  Who highly likely should never have been put in this position in the first place if we are to look around the country at the state of failure our chambers of commerce are in.

On a logistics level, it does not matter if all the above is wrong.  The citizenry is neither blind nor dumb.  We are not stupid.  We will vote out the weak, keep on carrying the load and believe in a democracy that eventually will change all of this.

On a moral level, any individual in the community of 81601 who does not see the magnitude of this entire situation, that feels no concern  that our foundation is cracked and marred forever now by the hired help, will remain my community but is no longer  a neighbor of my household, my professional services and my firm. You ask too much of me and my own to participate in this.

As for all of us  raising our public voices, under the circumstances of the obvious, be wise enough to remain closet expressions and err on the side of prudence.  I know I am.

As for the private citizen who still has not spoken a word according to public record, but whom I hear from sources I trust deeply really is a very good person who no one could ever say is not vocally forthcoming if asked and whose intent shows on every aspect of her being; you have my deepest prayers and most heartfelt wishes that your life is not ruined beyond hope of any repair.  

As for the verifiable others falling daily in harm to the obvious and verifiably no prosecutor or law enforcement in front of them, I honestly do not know what to say.

As for what sits on that dais calling itself my friends and my leaders, think again."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Current Watch: "Tourism Marketing Contract 2012 (and) City of Glenwood Springs City Council oversight"

smalltown7 post the Draft Agenda for the City of Glenwood Springs City Council Meeting of February 3, 2011.

Click on the title of this post for viewing. 


Item #10:  'Discussion and/or Action on 2012 Tourism Marketing Contract' makes this an upcoming meeting that is extremely important to the citizens of 81601. 

All citizens are urged to watch this council meeting. 

You do not have to buy into council's mandate that they want you to appear in person.  You can review and watch from the privacy and comfort of your own home.  Simply go to the City of Glenwood Springs homepage and click on 'live feed'. 

Should you miss the meeting, you can now also simply go to the video library link under the City Council sub-category and pull it up on file.  Conveniently broken out into sections of meeting so that you do not have to endure sitting through the entire meeting.
In the past, smalltown7 has posted 'after the fact'.  Always hoping that their belief in giving every entity under Current Watch the benefit of the doubt would bring same to be forthcoming.  That turned out to not be the case, yet the wheels of rightful things kept turning and the end result of victory came to the voices behind the scenes.

Now, that the tourism marketing portion of the Accommodations Tax is safely in City oversight hands and your  new board has held firm gaining control of the 2011 contract and vendor, what faces the citizens of 81601 is the last section of your list of concerns.

Do you get an RFP for all future awards, including 2012?  Is there going to be public awareness of the results of audits forthcoming from private hands?  Is Strawberry Days truly a civic event and if so, why is there no city oversight or handling of all the money pertaining to the event?  So much has torn Glenwood Springs apart in the battle to get Ordinance #12, Series of 2010, where are we now and how do we pull together?  What more lies ahead that is in the public eye?

As these concerns unfold over the next few months, Glenwood Springs also has a City Council election coming up.  A very, very important one with (4) major seats in play.

81601 has some very strong and incredibly capable competitors stepping up for these seats.  This is likely the most important election for City Council and Mayor 81601 has ever known.  The smalltown7 group urge anyone qualified by living in the correct ward who desires to do what is best for Glenwood Springs to step up.

This time, there is no longer a fear of retaliation  nor is there a need to be concerned over back-door politics.  smalltown7 makes it known now that Russ Arensman is the only incumbent they feel could be a possible to stay.  If you will go back and watch all videos and read minutes from the past few years, you will see that Arensman has grown throughout the bloodshed of 2009 and 2010.  He has strong competition who is also very fit.  smalltown7 makes it known at this time that their decision is not to disclose their personal choices.  That decision making turned out to be very wise as Ordinance #12, Series of 2010 began to wind up to really be possible.

You, the citizens of 81601, have done an incredible job with your new board.  smalltown8 is greatly encouraged and so very glad to see the growth.

As this group looks at the tasks remaining, they see that once again, the slippery slope of disinformation and/or omission, is still a factor attempting to side-track your progress. 

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." John Wooden 

We are not certain exactly how to do it, but have decided that a vital role for this group is to keep pointing out the little details:

This evening (January 20, 2011) City Council meets.
  • The two items of likely significance at this meeting are unfortunately at the discretion of Council to disclose.
  • Those items are #5A pertaining to approval of minutes from special closed door meeting held January 12, 2011 and Item #9 Council Reports on Board, Committee and Commission Meetings. 
  • Relevant to both item #5A and Draft Agenda for February 3, 2011 are the meeting dates of the new tourism oversight and promotion board.
  • If you have been following the progress of Ordinance #12, Series of 2010 and 81601's new board, then you are aware that the meeting held on January 13, 2011 was the first meeting after they had set their mandate that in order for approval of the 2011 Tourism Marketing Contract to be given, both oversight of spending in all contracts by the vendor (and) the removal of accounting from the Chamber of Commerce vendor and the Chamber Board.  Accounting to be placed into private hands for accounting and audit purposes.
  • Located for your review on older minutes are Leo McKinney's comments that he was wondering if the tourism board could be stopped from their executive session request last fall.
  • Located for your review on older minutes is Dave Sturges placing a disclaimer of liability on to the meeting record after the board's mandate was given.
  • Yet, our council is verifiably not transparent in all matters pertaining to the accommodations tax and have been that way for decades. 
  • A very important area that voters need to ask some hard questions about are the number of closed door sessions this council has gone into.  The dates of their doing so are significant and will likely reveal how significant as the months ahead unfold in the public eye. For now, smalltown7 urges you to keep a close eye on upcoming ventures and awards of contracts where the accommodations tax are concerned.  Ask questions on closed door meetings.  Check with your tourism board members and make sure they are comfortable with where they are at between their last meeting of January 13, 2011 and council's agenda for February 3, 2011.
  • The only 'rush' there has ever been is the one that puts the tourism contract into the coffers of the Chamber as the sole source vendor all these years.  That is no longer the citizens of 81601's concern and you can safely and freely focus on your goals and aspirations for revitalizing the assets of our community.  
smalltown7 keeps talking.