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. 310 Version 5.0:

Lenard Larkin, a candidate for the Loveland City Council, for Ward I, has made it known that he is running for elected office because he believes the council should have a different perspective, one that he describes as contrarian. Larkin seeks the council seat being vacated by Troy Krenning, and is competing again Jeremy Jersvig.

As part of his platform Larkin wants the council to support small businesses that bring quality jobs to the community. He also believes that the council should support the Thompson School District and finance high-speed internet for residents.

A life-long resident of Loveland Larkin works as a cable installer. He previously ran for elected office as a Democrat in 1996, when he challenged Republican incumbent Bill Kaufman in the Colorado House of Representatives, District 51, but now considers himself to be neither liberal nor conservative.

A Voice of Colorado No. 272 Version 5.0:

Then there were three.

The race for the next mayor in Loveland, CO. recently took an interesting turn when Loveland business owner Jacki Marsh filed her affidavit of candidacy. Marsh, who previously withdrew from the Ward II race, reported with this announcement that she has just begun to collect the required signatures, and acknowledged that getting the required 25 signatures by the deadline of August 28, 2017 would be a challenge. Her competition for the elected position of mayor includes Ward III councilor John Fogle and former council member Larry Heckel.

Originally Marsh planned to run for the Ward II seat vacated by Joan Shaffer, but made it known that she would withdraw if her friend, Kathi Wright, chose to run against Gail Snyder to avoid a splitting of the vote.

She said a reason for running is because she does not approve of how the current mayor reorganizes the agenda of the council meetings, favoring special interests, including corporations and developers. If elected she will encourage a more balanced agenda, which should allow for citizens to speak. Other possibilities to ensure equal time include a rebuttal time for citizen commenters – allowing a member of the public whose three-minute speaking time was insufficient to offer rebuttal or clarification. She also suggested discouraging council members from offering commentary during question periods.

In other Loveland races:

Dave Clark, the Ward IV incumbent, officially announced his intention to seek re-election. He has submitted the required signatures, which have been verified.

His run for elected office technically makes the fifth term for Clark, although only two have been full four-year terms. He joined the Loveland City Council in a special election in January 2004, ran unopposed in 2005, left the council in 2009 when he attempted unsuccessfully to run for mayor, rejoined the council for a one-year term in 2012 as a result of a special election, and won a full term to the council in 2013.

A former contractor, Clark is executive director of the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, located in Johnstown, southeast of Loveland.

Mr. Clark supports widening Interstate 25 to address growing congestion on the road, as well as increased traffic on U.S. Highway 34.

He also emphasizes the city’s budget, which he says needs to focus on responsible spending.

Currently he is running unopposed.

In the Ward I race Jeremy Jersvig announced his intention to fill the seat being vacated by Troy Krenning. He completed an affidavit but has not submitted petition signatures. His presumed competition is Lenard Larkin, who took out a candidate packet, but has not made announcements regarding his intentions.

In Ward II Gail Snyder has submitted the required signatures, and they have been verified. Competition for the seat includes Kathi Wright, who declared her candidacy, but has not returned petitions as required, and Gary Lindquist, who acquired a candidate packet but has not filed anything to date.

In Ward III incumbent Steve Olsen, who was elected in a special election in 2016, has filed his petitions. His competition, John Keil, who completed an affidavit for candidacy, has made it known that he will not run for council in this election.

A Voice of Colorado No. 234 Version 5.0:

The pursuit of elected office in Loveland, CO. continues to develop. Jeremy Jersvig, presently the chairman of the Loveland Planning Commission, and resident of Ward I in Loveland, recently announced his intention to fill the seat being vacated by Troy Krenning. Mr. Jersvig worked on Mr. Krenning’s campaign when he ran for elected office four years ago.

Mr. Jersvig may have competition for his pursuit because Ward I resident Lenard Larkin, who also acquired a candidate packet from the City Clerk’s Office, has expressed interest in the seat.

The top two issues for Mr. Jersvig’s campaign are public safety and economic development, which he has said have seen changes in the five years he has lived in Loveland.

If elected he would advocate a focus on attracting and retaining more primary employers and less emphasis on retail development. He would also discourage economic incentives because he favors free markets.

Mr. Jersvig is now serving in a second three-year term on the Planning Commission.

His previous experiences include service in the United States Navy and his current employment in the Larimer County Assessor’s Office.