A Voice of Colorado No. 318 Version 5.0:

Despite an overwhelming rejection of tax increases in recent years the majority of the Loveland, CO. City Council recently decided to authorize the spending of up to $85,000 on consultants, who will allegedly help the council and staff in their efforts to convince voters and taxpayers a tax increase supposedly for the funding of capital projects is appropriate.

Voting in favor of the expenditure: Richard Ball, who represents Ward I, Joan Shaffer, who represents Ward 2, Leah Johnson, who represents Ward 2, John Fogle, who represents Ward 3, and the Mayor of Loveland, Cecil Gutierrez. Those voting against the expenditure included Dave Clark, who represents Ward 4, Steve Olson, who represents Ward 3, Troy Krenning, who represents Ward I, and Don Overcash, who represents Ward 4.

The experts who will be paid up to $85,000 are Paul Hanley of George K. Baum and Co., and Diane Jones. Funds for this expense will come from the city’s general fund.

If the experts and the council determine that voters and taxpayers are willing to increase the sales tax in Loveland for this purpose the question would be placed on the August 2018 ballot. All tax increases of this nature, according to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), require voter approval.

The proposed increase would be 0.5 percent, bringing the sales tax rate to 3.5 percent. The average Colorado Home Rule city has a 3.57 percent general sales tax rate.

If voters approved the increase the money generated would allegedly be spent on specific capital projects supposedly for the benefit of the city.

Over a ten year period the increase would theoretically generate $8.2 million.

Council members who opposed spending the money on consultants as well as the tax increase have argued that reallocating available funds instead of raising taxes is a more pragmatic approach.

Council members who support spending up to $85,000 assert that the process of determining whether or not voters and taxpayers would support the sales tax increase would be done in three steps: A needs assessment that allegedly includes defining priorities for capital projects and preparing a message for voters and taxpayers; a public information program involving open houses, meetings of a citizen task force, a letter to registered voter households, and other outreach efforts; and a community comment period involving a mail survey and telephone poll. Each step would also involve a review with the City Council and conclude with a formal presentation on community feedback.

If the Loveland City Council wanted actual opinion on the matter they would ask voters and taxpayers directly instead of spending almost $100,000 without due reason.


A Voice of Colorado No. 248 Version 5.0:

The Ward II City Council race in Loveland, CO. has taken form with the seat being vacated by Joan Shaffer. At least one candidate has announced intentions to pursue the position, another has expressed interest, and a third said that she may withdraw to support another candidate – if they choose to run.

Business owner Jacki Marsh, who previously announced her plan to run, has made it known that she will withdraw her candidacy to support Kathi Wright if Wright chooses to run – an announcement she has not publically made to date.

Gail Snyder, who describes herself as pro-business and a fiscal conservative, may then have competition for the elected position from Kathi Wright, who describes herself as more liberal on most issues.

Snyder announced her candidacy August 8, 2017, and submitted completed petitions the following day. The signatures were verified August 9, 2017, and Snyder subsequently accepted the nomination. Her presumed opponent, Wright, has said she has begun collecting signatures, but has not completed an affidavit of candidacy and has not turned in required petitions.

Gail Snyder and her husband, Bob Snyder, own the Bob Snyder Insurance Agency, a Farmer’s Insurance office, in Loveland, and have done so for seventeen years. In their business much effort has been committed to understanding the Affordable Healthcare Act – an attribute she says demonstrates her ability to find solutions to complex problems. She has also made it known that she wants to retain the individuality of Loveland and not become another Boulder or Fort Collins.

Kathi Wright, who may run for the same position, has worked for the City of Loveland for thirteen years. She moved to Loveland in 1978 and has several reasons for her possible run, citing diversity, alienation by a growing number of people who live in Loveland, jobs and housing, and children.

Currently Jacki Marsh is running for the Ward II seat, but has made it known she will step aside if her friend, Kathi Wright, runs. Marsh, the owner of Rabbask Designs in Loveland, had completed the requirements to run for office before learning of Wright’s possible intentions. If Wright does not run she will continue her pursuit, with an emphasis on accountability.