General Issues October 2009

Another month has passed and once again it has been a very interesting education of your thoughts and concerns. Thank you to all that have posted and we look forward to hearing more of your comments and concerns.

If you are confused about how to post on the blog or feel more comfortable e-mailing me your comments and concerns, please do so and we will post it for you.

Dustin McIntyre, Gateway News and


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via email said...

your video of the children at Landmark is a perfect example of what a media outlet should do. You are acting as a median between young students and potential elected officials.

You have gained a long term fan!

Cloe, Brighton Colorado

Marcus and Yuri said...

Commerce City Pit Bull Discussion, What Happened?

The Commerce City agenda read: Pit Bull Ordinance and Vicious Animal Discussion. Maybe, in retrospect it should have read Pit Bull Ordinance and Vicious Animal Report by CCPD.

Either way, only two words can describe what transpired: Needs Clarification.

Some citizens showed up to council ready to speak, many for abolishing the ban completely, and at least one for keeping the ban in place. Was this meeting suppose to be a re-enactment of the recent Denver City Council meeting, where this topic was discussed? Reportedly, no, it was merely to address the notion that there are illegal pit bulls in the city limits of Commerce City and what should be done about it. I guess the easy answer is to ticket the illegal ones, right?. But, on the other hand, this issue is dealing with people’s pets and that can really have some strong human emotions attached to it. Lets all remember that we are humans, right?

So, why have a yearly registration of new pit bulls if there is a current ban and the registration for those “grand fathers” is over? I don’t know, sounds like this topic needs to be brought to council for discussion. But when, during the election, after the election?

Not an easy issue to deal with, of course (BSL) Breed Specific Legislation sounds horrible. You can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t assume all pit bulls will go nuts and attack people as if they were kittens dipped in BBQ sauce. And what about the lil’ rascals dog Petey? But, then think of this, you are a council member of some city that has a ban on pit bulls and you lift the ban and some child loses an arm or worse, because of a irresponsible owner. Are you going to be okay?

So, which is it, nurture or nature? Bad dogs or bad owners? A little bit of both?

What ever side you take, there are reports, facts and statistics to back it up, don’t believe me, do a quick search on the internet.

Conclusion, this will be brought up again, for those who didn’t get to speak on Monday, don’t worry, it will come up again. Your voice will be heard. Remember the people have the ultimate power, you want this issue addressed, keep the issue alive, the squeaky wheel always gets the grease.

As for my 2 cents, if you, the owner train your pit bull to be aggressive and it causes harm, you should be personally responsible and charge with a harsh enough sentence that it is a deterrent for ANYONE!

Marcus and Yuri, Commerce City Voter.

A BIG Thank You to Dustie McIntyre for talking to us and filling us in on all of our questions about this issue.

Roger, Ward III said...

Where does Ed Perlmutter get off saying that he supports only one of the candidates that is running for ward 3. NOT FAIR! I have to echo everyone else, HAS the congressman even met the other candidates? WE HAVE 5 of them!

Patty, Core Commerce City said...

I hope you all have the same thought of me when it comes to the pitbull mix attacks that happened on friday.

My thought is that it is 100% the owners fault and nothing to do with the dogs being a pitbull mix. I agree that we need a law harsh enough that will make it so no one will train their dog to be violent.

Patty, Core Commerce City

Anonymous said...


I hope you twitter anything that important that happens on Monday. Cas I WILL NOT be watching the stream but rather watching the FARVE BOWL. GO PACKERS!

Thomas said...

WHEREAS, the City of Commerce City provides insurance to its full time employees for
medical care; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Commerce City wishes to extend such
medical care coverage to its eligible members.

How is City Council Members considered to be "Full Time"?

I don't care what anyone says, at this point in time the council is only a part time council, they do not deserve full time pay or full time benefits.

Estelle Remington said...

United Commerce City

There are those in Commerce City that are still promoting a complete oneness of support in how we manage North and South Commerce City. Commerce City can not really become one management solution as we have two different personalities with two different needs based requirements in a partnership of relationship more like a marriage. The Core City has been the backbone and financial provider for our Commerce City family for about 50 years. The Northern Range has been a Bedroom Community that will eventually add "Green" commercial and retail areas.

It will take perhaps five to ten years for the Northern area to start to pay for itself. Each partner must grow and remain strong for the other to achieve future goals. It is exactly these characteristics that will give Commerce City success in the future. Each partner will help the other through whatever, we have to face in these next generations. However, the money that is collected in the Northern Range needs to remain in the Northern Range so that when the need arises the money to pay the bills will be there.

Estelle Remington

David Pocs said...

RE: Pit Bulls

After reading a story this morning about a 70-year old woman being mauled by a pair of pit-bull mixed dogs in Adams County, I can not in good conscience vote to lift a ban on vicious dogs.

I would not be able to live with myself if such an incident were to occur in Commerce City.

David Pocs

Darren said...

i see the marijuana issue on for tonight, will we have a chance to speak tonight on this issue?
Darren, resident

Gateway News said...

Yes the public will have the opportunity to address council.

Jenna said...

love the landmark forum. better question asked then ccpbpbpba thing

Valerie, Commerce City Voter said...

Congressman Perlmutter has worked with Mr. Serna for years. There is nothing wrong with him giving him his support.

Valerie, Commerce City Voter

Tim Dalton said...

Straight from the Planning Board Notes: "Mr. Lewis had strong reservations with the proposed ordinance, and stated that the City
did not need medical marijuana facilities."

I don't care about your personal feelings on the matter! What matters is what the voters of the state of Colorado says and the current law!

They have the right to exists. You have the right to regulate, so do your job!

Tim Dalton

Erin NW said...

so sad about the 25 year old H1 N1, do you know the name?

Wes said...

I suggest council be on Tuesday Nights.

Irene said...

med marijuana, such a gray area! looks like we are going to be dealing with this for some time.

Olivia said...

medical marijuana = local issue versus state level saying it is okay versus Federal saying it is not okay versus Feds now saying that they have better things to do and will not really enforce federal law.

Lionel said...

Commerce City will be full of medical marijuana dispensaries, it is cheap and it will ruin this city.
I agree with Orval Lewis.

Gina, Commerce City said...

If city doesn't vote to regulate medical marijuana will just be a free for all. Marijuana people will love it!

Anonymous said...

city needs to put a STOP to all Medical Marijuana in the city limits.

Anonymous said...


Dutch said...

Can a city over ride the State?

Selena said...

I think Commerce City will be ruined if the council allows the medical marijuana to come into our city.

orieada said...

voters have ultimate power, I don't think the city can just kick them out, need clarification.

Anonymous said...


Yuri said...

Planning Commission has already passed this, if city says No Medical Marijuana at all, they will be sued.

Yuri said...

Bob just said Home Rule city is over ruled by the state.

Nancy said...

City playing legal game to see how they can. Using a conditional use provision and land use code. Then council can play a little bit with requirements in a certain location.
NOT FAIR. Land Use should not be used to keep a business out.

Anonymous said...

City do what you can to NOT allow these medical marijuana place here. Have you seem the Westword lately. It is full of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Yuri said...

Medical Weed guy trying to fight with Orval. FUNNY!

Confussed said...

But you can't regulate when there is no regulations does not exist?

Darren said...

I am too confused,
If nothing is in place why does he need a conditional use permit now?

Don't they want to start their business now?


Anonymous said...

Conditional use means the zoning that is currently in place does not allow the business as being discribed.
Therefore "conditional use" allows with specific conditions.

Anonymous said...

Commerce City Driving business out of the city. Is this true? City will address?

Anonymous said...

A lot of vague comments about city not business friendly.

ccSpeaks said...

Not True, 7 Eleven, is a real issue, I hope gateway news puts up the video of Jim Benson talking about 7 eleven.

Yuri said...

perception? What about the facts?

Anonymous said...

First Benson says we should be business friendly, then complains that Mc D's was allowed to open without the light being ready.
Guess we should have stopped Mc D's from opening....that would have been REAL business friendly!
He goes on and on in circles!
Boy he loves to talk!!
Since some business's say it goes well and some say it doesn't,
maybe it is because, some business do what they are supposed to & some don't?

Anonymous said...

Benson's a dope.

Most of Brighton's business growth was planned over 10 yrs ago, and those new businesses are hurting. Businesses are trying to get out of their leases.

Vesta wasn't something they worked for, but fell into their lap due to rail location and available land.
For someone loving detail Mr. Benson, you need to get the facts!!

Anonymous said...

Jim is so mean to Paul!

Tim Dalton said...

Benson still has it out for Paul. What happened to Council NORMS!

Dustie, Gateway News said...

Vikings Winning! Go Farve! 3 touchdowns!

Anonymous said...

Rule? Benson's don't need no stupid rules!, he writes his own and follows what he wants!!
He is arrogant!

Hyde said...

Mayor Paul Natale: views of one council member is not the views of the entire council.

Anonymous said...

There goes Drotar's plug for her candidates, or those she doesn't like!!

Josh said...

ed stay out our local election!

Anonymous said...

agree with mayor. i rather be in commerce city then brighton.

Anonymous said...

There can be no doubt now what Benson and Drotar have in mind. They want to get rid of the staff that is on board now. They think once Bensons minions get elected, they will control the city and he can be crowned king for life.
We need to make sure we all get out and vote to keep this from happening.

Tim Dalton said...

candidate Leffel...scary

Yuri said...

wow that is scary! cant wait to go and ask him some questions I have.

Wes said...

they didn't even dress leffel up, he looks just like that at council.

Fred A. said...

I read a comment early about the health core plan and the city council not being full time so they don't deserve the full time benefits such as health care.

Where is your heart. This council works pretty hard, I think the least we can do is offer them full time health care benefits. It is not like a raise of actual cash. I have NO PROBLEM with city council being able to have the option of the full time health care benefits that are offered by the city.

Fred A.

Erin NW said...

I agree fred! People are so mean sometimes. We all need to start being nice to each other.
Erin NW

ccSpeaks said...

Orval, I am in complete agreement with you on the medical marijuana issue. If I was elected to city council, I would not want my name on the medical marijuana ordinance too.


Ryland said...

Was the marijuana guy last night high when he was talking with council. He did say he himself was a medical user.

Duncan, Curious in Reunion said...

Following the strict letter of the law, how can Commerce City allow someone to grow medical marijuana in the city limits over the height of 6 inches.

Sec. 8-122. Removal, trimming, control required.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who is an owner, lessee or occupant or any agent, servant or representative or employee of such owner, lessee or occupant having control of any occupied or unoccupied lot or any parcel of land in the City to permit or maintain on any such lot or parcel of land or on or along the sidewalk, street or alley adjacent to the same between the property line and the curb or middle of the adjacent alley or if there is no curb, then between the property line extended to the adjacent constructed roadway, excluding City designated open space and trails, any growth of weeds, grass, brush or rank vegetation of dead weeds, grass, brush or unattended growth of vegetation, not to exceed a height greater than six (6) inches on any part of the property excepting and excluding from the provisions hereof ornamental-type grasses, native plant material and all materials identified in the City-approved plant list and landscape specifications and/or authorized in Section 20-32 of the Code of Ordinances of the City.
It shall also be unlawful for any such person to cause, suffer or allow poison ivy, ragweed or other poisonous plant detrimental to health to grow on any lot or land in the City or to allow seed, pollen or other poisonous particles or emanations therefrom to be carried through the air into any public place.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person who is an owner, lessee or occupant, having control of any occupied or unoccupied lot or any parcel of land in the city to permit or maintain on any such lot or any parcel of land, limbs of trees or shrubs which hang out over the sidewalk or street unless the tree limbs or shrubs are trimmed to a height of ten (10) feet or more above the elevation of the sidewalk and are trimmed to a height of fifteen (15) feet or more above the elevation of the street pavement adjacent to the gutter.
(c) It shall be the duty of any person who is the owner, lessee or occupant of any lot or parcel of land to cut and remove or cause to be cut and removed or destroyed by any other lawful means all such tree limbs, shrubs, weeds, grass or other rank, poisonous or harmful vegetation as often as may be necessary to comply with the provisions of this section.
(Code 1969, § 9-64; Ord. No. 1327, § 1, 3-6-00; Ord. No. 1580, § 1, 6-18-05)

Duncan, Curious in Reunion

Hyde said...

As stupid as that sounds, Duncan has a point:

(any growth of weeds, grass, brush or rank vegetation of dead weeds, grass, brush or unattended growth of vegetation, not to exceed a height greater than six (6) inches on any part of the property)

Does that include in a warehouse?


Kelley's Commerce City said...

wow! key word here is "ANY" maybe a long shot but should be verified.

great stuff gatewaynews!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I think marijuana falls into the same category as those fields of sunflowers you see on 104th and all those pretty flowers and wild grasses in your yards and nurseries within the city limits.
As a matter of fact: As soon as they get their permit and set a precedent, I plan to get one and grow marijuana in my backyard to increase my property values. I can see it now. Home for Sale with “Cash Crop”

C_City Voter

Corey said...

think the six inch was for landscaping. We should focus on regulation ordinance. But you get an A for effort.

Anonymous said...

nice try, that is only for landscaping.

ray said...

i think marijuana is considered to be ornamental?

Wes said...

gateway, do a cartoon about weeds in commerce city, i can think of 100s!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Willy's cousin or brother an ornamental weed??
Maybe he is medicinal?

Corey, Northern Range said...

I have a real issue with the commerce city tea party question. I do not see how it could be "forced" when you box your own self in and then city practices its own rights as a home rule city.

Not Forced! Rather boxed in and city acting on what has been talked about for years.

Such silliness.

Anonymous said...

explain how this was forced.

Hyde said...

How can the candidates who say they are for a ONE CITY then be against the recent annexation?

Everyone saw this coming miles down the road. UNFAIR Question!

Tim Dalton said...

so, tea party, what do we do, just sit here like a piece of swiss cheese? How long do you suggest we do this for?

Tim Dalton

Anonymous said...

i thought tea party lost in court, why still making a fuss?

Lionel said...

wow! why ask such a question. get over it and move forward. no wonder we are where we are

liz, commerce city said...

hey tea party, its over, lets work together

ccSpeaks said...


a friend of commerce city said...

City did nothing wrong, they had meetings, and this has been talked about for years. This was not a surprise, matter of fact, it was a priority for the last council that was in place. now it is election time and they flip.

once a politician, always a politician.

Bob Zeiler said...

City Counsel did not pass any ordinnce to allow any one to grow marijuana within Commerce City. What they did was talk about restrictions as to what zoneing areas that these places could operate.also talked about what restrictions could be set on how far they could opperate from other zoneing areas along with how far these places could be from schools, religious organizations etc. And what would be required as far as security issues were conserned. they also said that more study on the whole issue was needed. This study could take place any time in the next 6 months. There were other things they talked about.In my opinion the counsel did there best to tell the people who would be interested in putting this kind of bussiness in Commerce City.Thank you but we are not interested at this time.

Anonymous said...

Forced annexation. It seems as though one of the person who is a member of the tea party doesnt want to be annexed`into Commerce City. He sold some of his property in years past knowing that the sold property would be within Commerce City limits, This may have caused his remaining property to be surounded by the city limits of Commerce City.
A few years ago before This was brought before City Counsel This same person came to Counsel and ask if our police could help in patroling this area more.There were other things he ask the City to help him with.He also stated that he couldnt no longer opperate his corn maze becase of the tax burden the annexation would cause him.Now the City has annex this area and he says no I dont want in. I dont need you right now.
Come on Murry get over it

Anonymous said...

CCSpeaks, it is obvious you are no type of leader. You can't walk around issues for ever. You hit a point you have to take a stand. The land that was annexed knew it was coming for years.
They didn't mind using the streets in our city ruining them with their heavy trucks. They only wanted to take from us.
Like everyone else that has written they need to get over it.
As for the candidates that say they are against annexation, they need to understand the WHOLE situation, I doubt many do!
And no I am not on council!

Anonymous said...

How does Mr Serna say he is against "forced" annexation.
At the werth forum, he stated that it is time for the city to become one and annex the other areas to make it whole.
I know that many in Monaco neighborhood are completely against being will he force them???

Anonymous said...

For those of you who don't know, the Poll taken by the Commerce City Tea Party, was conducted by Glenn Murray of Murray Farms, who is also is on the Board of Directors of South Adams County Water and Sanitation District (Treasurer).
The question asked is a typical, loaded poll question, they only want to know YES or NO, when the topic obviously requires a much longer qualified answer, regardless, if you support it or not!
The candidates were not allowed to answer the question properly, so the results of this poll are obviously skewed.
The voter needs to be aware of the links of Mr. Murray, the previous city Mayor and Mayor ProTem, the Carz Club and their coterie of Candidates.

Voters please review the previous blog entries on this question, and Med Pot and Pitbulls by the few Candidates who have bothered to try and answer them for you.

Wes said...

So let me get this straight, we have commerce city tea party members on the water board?
why is this not a bigger deal then it is?

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment about Serna, what are you going to do about monaco area when it comes their time to come into the city?
at least now we know where the candidates stand now.
better late then after the election.

Julie, Reunion said...

hey people, are we going to be one city or not. I am tired of being a piece together quilt. We need one last sweep of annexation and everyone needs to be part of the city. Otherwise, what are we doing?

Todd, Max said...

have to love those questions that give the candidates no room to explain themselves, so unfair!

D. Ludwig said...

I wonder if Mr. Perlmutter asked Serna about how that seat tax fiasco on knonke went?

Anonymous said...

DAMN Gateway! everytime I visit you have some bombshell, first the Ed Perlmutter support for only one candidate and now tea party question!
It is getting good!

via email said...

Councilman Lewis,

I don`t think we have to budget to be on the cutting edge of the law for medical marijuana.


Anonymous said...

I made a mistake on the spelling of a name in my comment on forced annexation.(Oct.7) The spelling error I made was on the name Murry. It should have been Murray as in Glenn Murray. Sorry I check my spelling closer next time

Anonymous said...

Hey Gateway
How about a question for candidates on who is associated with carz club. I count at least 4 of the 14 running
Also what are their thoughts about Neighborhood services and do their properties comply

Anonymous said...

Sorry Gateway
Change that number of carz to 5

Anonymous said...

Sorry Gateway
Change that number of carz to 5

Patty said...

My question is, where do we see our city in 5 to 10 years. Still having these unincorporated patches? Drive around the city and you will see the worst parts are not in Commerce City, but Adams County. We really need to be one city, both mentally and also physically.
Patty, voter

Irene said...

dusty, why ask a question about forced annexation?

Gateway News said...

The question asked to the candidates about the "forced annexation" was by the Commerce City Tea Party, not the Gateway News. We are just reporting.

Curious in Reunion said...

I understand that some of the candidates do have property issues with the city. If they get elected, why exactly is that going to work? city going to give a council memeber a code violation?
Curious in Reunion

dalton said...

they should, council members are not above the rules.

Senior, via email said...

i have never been more informed about an election in my life, i have been in this city for 32 years.

there is not any issue that has not been brought up and talked about extensively.


Anonymous said...

I thought the City Manager was not taking an increase this year. Here is a quote from the budget memo.

Within the City Manager budget $42,684.00 was added to the Administration division for the contractual obligations for the City Manager.

Whether it be salary or another type of compensation- Flannery did not follow through with his stated comment about not accepting any increases.

David Pocs said...

RE: Forced Annexation

The issue of forced annexation is not a yes/no question.

My no answer was one that does come with elaboration. To force annexation upon residential or commercial property without prior discussion or negotiation is in my opinion wrong. Communication is the key to effective governance and leadership.

My in-laws live in an unincorporated area abutting a municipality. They live fine without the services of the city. There are some in their neighborhood that would like to be annexed into their city. They have discussions with the city before any annexation, and there is upfront information about what costs and services would be incurred for those residential units.

I feel that commercial properties do need to be fully informed as to their rights, the rights on the city, and the fees and services that entail an annexation. There are impacts on city streets and some services by commercial uses. There needs to be some understanding that once annexed, that streets will be improved, that some services will be provided, and that commercial properties will get something for their tax dollars.

As a candidate and not on city council, I am not fully informed on these issues and my stance may change. But that is okay. People need to be fully informed before they can make informed decisions.

Anonymous said...

the 42, was for last year, so yes, the city manager did keep his word. You have to know what you are talking about first of all.

Yuri said...

thank you David, I knew it was unfair to ask you a yes or no question for such a broad issue. Hate those types of questions.


Anonymous said...

Mr Pocs, I feel you and the other candidates were basically set up, when asked Mr. Murray's question.
You are right there is not a yes or no answer.
You are also right the discussion should take place, and in the case of the area the city recently annexed, many, many discussions took place for a number of years.
Promises were made to improve the roads and RR crossings in the area, those have been, or are taking place.
I have been listening to the meetings asking & questions because of an interest in this particular situation.
Yes, being fully informed is the key.
Many of the candidates THINK they are, glad you admitted you aren't

Christian said...

love the videos, all of them, not crazy about the tea party question.

Wes said...

saw your medical marijuana video on another website. someone else embedded it on their website. you okay with that?

Gateway News said...

Yes, all videos eventually tie back to I have no issue with them posting on their own websites if it is relevant to them.

Mac McFarlin said...

Three hot topics, two of which are from setup questions fanning the flames. All three about difficult subjects.

The PIT BULL Ordinance we have in place, is actually a Vicious Animal Ordinance, in which the Pit Bulls became and continue to be the star breed or mixbreed. Until something better is brought forward, we need to enforce what we have.

Med Pot, state constitution, ammended by vote of the people,
(2000) says it's legal.
Local jurisdictions are expected to be the stewards of their own communities. City staff asked for direction from Council several months back, due to a query from an outside party regarding a Med Pot outlet being established in Commerce City.
Council charged staff with addressing the issues and starting the process of Commerce City proactively controlling the distribution of Medical Marijuana in Commerce City.
When the issue was brought before the Planning Commission, on which I serve, the issue was not, is POT LEGAL? The issue was how to control its distribution within the City. After much discussion, the case was passed, 4 to 1, to send it to Council with a Favorable Recommendation.
Upon its passing, Commerce City will be one of, if not, the first community to proactively address the issue in the state. By doing so we avoid the hassles of going to court to try and control it after the fact.
If Med Pot wants to be in Commerce City, it will be by our rules.

So yes, I'm in favor of MP for those who need it, and yes, I'm in favor of the Ordinance controlling it's distribution.

Forced annexation, I answered YES, because I've lived in Commerce City for 48 of my 58 years, and have been involved in city affairs for the last 10. Because of that fact I'm aware of Commerce City's long standing preference for Voluntary Annexation rather than Forced Annexation. The annexation of the properties the Tea Party is concerned with has been a forgone conclusion for years. When the DIA IGA's were signed, which ended the annexation wars of old, with the signing entities having growth boundries established, the die was cast. All that needed to happen was for land owners to sell property (some farm and industrial) to home developers, which just happened to be out on the fringes of Commerce City's Growth Boundry, which encapsulated the properties that were annexed. CRS requires a minimum of 3 years of encapsulation before a property can be involuntarily annexed. This encapsulation has been in place for a lot longer than the 3 year minimum. I know from personal knowledge, the work that city staff put into working with the land and business owners, to accomplish the best possible zoning for each parcel, to help makesure their current and future needs would be met. This was not an acrimonious act, but one whose time had come.

Know now, if you don't already, we have other unincorporated areas in the City boundries, and they will more than likely require a forced annexation. The City has tried to get an 85% approval of the residents before moving on an annexation, they've not been able to get that 85% rating for any number of reasons.
These are annexations that need to be done for the betterment of the whole of the Commerce City community. As a rule I would prefer a volutary annexation over a forced anyday, but in these cases a forced annexation will probably be neccesary. And I will support it.

My answers are based on my knowledge and experience with these issues, and the players behind the questions.

Mac McFarlin
Ward 1 Candidate

ccSpeaks said...

the Angelou website is down for the Commerce City study.

it used to be:

we were told by city staff at a council meeting that they would have the statistics they reported up on the websites, do you know anything?


Kerstin said...

I really appreciate that the members of our community seem to be involved in this election. Definitely get informed before you vote.

I must say the phone call I received from Mr. Murray caught me a little off guard. I guess running for Council I should be prepared at any moment. I was in the middle of placing a campaign sign in someone's yard and my husband handed me the phone. I would have extended my answer as well if given the chance. I feel if the landowner is given ample time to process it and figure out what to do with their property and assets on the property then I am not against it. Reading these other responses to see how the process works, it appears that is the case.

Yuri said...

Thank you Kerstin.

But knowing the issues, if it was Glen Murrary, it was the tea party issue. You should have not been caught off guard.


Robert J. Loew, Esq. via email said...

Letter to the Editor
Gateway News

Re: Adams County Initiative 1A

Dear Masseurs and Madams,

I am writing to urge support for County Initiative 1A which will restore the voters’ rights to select their elected officials for a third term. I have been heavily involved in government throughout my career having served as a City Attorney and County Attorney. I am now in private practice. Like many, I was of the view that term limits would have the effect of ending entrenched special interests. If I had given the matter more thought I would have realized that restricting the voter’s right to choose actually has to opposite effect. It is never a good idea to strip the right of the voter to choose.

Since the advent of term limits we have seen elected officials retire early as they are unable to continue in office. Non-elected officials have then been appointed to replace them by party insiders. The result is that the voter has no say or input in those who represent them. The appointed elected official then is able to run in the next election in the powerful position as an incumbent. Something none of us could have anticipated.

We elect our representatives in order to impact public policy. Once elected, it takes them time to educate themselves and gain the necessary comfort to make the changes they promise in campaigns. With term limits, by the time this level of comfort is reached they are “lame ducks” and unable to make change. This results in empowering the unelected bureaucrats and government becomes even more unresponsive than it was before term limits. That is not what was intended.

Initiative 1A strikes a good balance by restoring the power to the voter to select their representative, while at the same time keeping a form of term limits in place. I urge you to support those efforts by voting yes in the election.
Yours truly,

Robert J. Loew, Esq.
Fairfield and Woods, P.C.

Yuri said...

so the trailer parks will go away if we dont elect gene leffel?

Gateway News said...

ccpba didn't advertise the candidates forum in the Gateway News.

Wes said...

is there more behind the citizen who complained about the Gateway News?

Tim said...

she complained about the candidate forum? If the ccbpa don't pay for an ad, why would there be an ad?

Marcus and Yuri said...

how come candidate Leffel got to defend his allegations, but the Gateway News could not?

Marcus and Yuri

Jean said...

benson really hates paul!

Gina said...

whoever is saying that if they don't vote for leffel, they will lose their trailer park is down right mean.

Gina said...

I don't see the 9 news health care link on the city website. Just some information about it.

Gateway News said...

It is

It should be on the City's front page.

Look for the 9 news icon

Irene said...


I Love you guys and I live in the Core. I get it!


Erin NW said...


I really do appreciate the stream. I am from the North and do not have time to go to council because I have 2 children.

Erin NW

Don't let some sour grapes get you down.

Wes said...

Why do they have to shred the ballots

Gateway News said...

Thank you for your comment, I never let it get me down. We have maps and signed documents with all of the carriers. The facts are the facts.

We will stay the course and stay positive.

Gateway News

Anonymous said...

why does the city manager committee have to be anonymous

Wes said...

council should go to china, bottom line.

Yuri said...

go to china! god benson your so transparent!

Erin NW said...

cool quilt!

Kyle said...

gateway news, you have changed the way people get their news. you are pioneers and people are just jealous.


David Pocs said...

RE: China

I grew up in a classic industrial midwestern town in northern Illinois. During economic downturns, the city has been hit very hard by unemployment.

Over the past several years, city officials have been going to China on economic development missions. One ED official stated: "The Chinese have a collective consciousness where relationships are built upon years of interaction. You have to prove you are credible."

The Wanziang America's solar panel assembly plant, now under constuction in Rockford, IL has begun accepting resumes for the 300+ good paying jobs that they will have in my hometown.

There are other companies now interested in Rockford, which has received more attention than other areas by sending their chief executive (mayor). The mayor was invited to speak at a conference, while no one from a delegation from a larger U.S. city was given the same opportunity.

For more info, follow this link:

Keep going to China, and we'll be bringing back souvenirs of jobs.

David Pocs, City Council Candidate Ward III

Anonymous said...

I listened tonight also.
Benson is a dope & it doesn't change, he is constantly trying to embarrass our city, it's staff and our mayor.
He is an embarrassment to me!!
Never will he get my vote again.

DeeDee said...

If you didn`t have the Gene Leffel senior citizen video, I would have never believed it. AMAZING , you couldn`t make this stuff up.

Love it Gateway,

ps, I got my Gateway, keep up the good work.


Fred A. said...

Jim Benson,
Is it your agenda to destroy Paul? I am getting sick of it!
Fred A.

Anonymous said...

Why is anyone surprised at what’s done by some. How do you think they got most of the signatures for the recall? They spread untruths about what’s really going on and will never mention the great things that are being done. They really go after the elderly with their scare tactics which is absolutely disgraceful. I’m happy that a citizen was upset enough to take time to come to the meeting to openly share this information.
We are all tired of that good ole boy network and the way they do business. It’s time we remind them they weren’t able to scare enough signatures with lies for their recall and won’t be able to scare voters with their lies in the election. Let’s get the truth to our voters so decisions are based on facts.

C_City Voter

Connie said...

why can't the 93 year old senior who said that she was going to lose her housing if she didn't vote for Gene Leffel, just dial *69 or maybe she has caller ID?

Hyde said...

Jim Benson, you have lost my vote too. I will not support someone who is constantly trying to bring down the mayor.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Benson,

what happen to the council norms? Why are you so mean to the mayor Paul?

Curious in Reunion

Ryland said...

poor seniors! so what leffel scares kids at night and seniors during the day?

Anonymous said...

Jim needs to re-read the council norms that he voted for.

Cheo said...

I find some of the candidates to be very angry and bitter. Why so angry and bitter candidates? It should be a happy time

Morgan said...

We should change the voting system in this city to reflect that of school district 27J. Whole city votes for all ward positions. Otherwise not fair to the actual voter who care enough to vote.

Think about it.

Morgan, Northern Range

Anonymous said...

Connie- the 93yr probably doesn't know about *69 and she was most likely so upset she didn't know what to do.
How is this any different than Rene going to the rec center and telling the seniors lies?
He is spreading all kinds of fearful rumors as well as making all sorts of promises.
Sadly most of them don't know the truth about him or our city adminstration and current council.
Hopefully some will wise up!

Anonymous said...

It would be great to get Bullock, Leffel or Romine on tape making untrue statements to the voters. That crap is not only anti-north its anti-Commerce City and shows total disrespect for our elderly populace. How embarrassing would it be if the trailer park story was picked up by TV? There goes our image we’re trying so very hard to improve

Mann in the North said...

Do we want term limits extended to three terms?
N0! and NO!
Adams County Ballot question 1A, VOTE NO!
Commerce City Ballot 2A, VOTE NO!

*Two terms is long enough for our politicians.
*It is good to have new blood and new ideas.
*Our term limit amendment is not BROKEN - So don't "fix" it!
Do not extend term limits to 3 terms!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If new blood is a good idea....then don't bring back the old council people and the "old Commerce City dealings"
Bring us honesty! Let us continue the image building we have begun!!

Bill Becker via email said...

October 14, 2009

Letter to the Editor,

Ref: Adams County Ballot Question 1A, Term Extension To 3 Terms

I am writing this letter in strong support of the Adams County Ballot Question 1A on whether or not the voters should be have their rights partially restored to extend county elected officials’ terms from two to three terms.
To begin with, I don’t believe in terms limits at all because they are so illogical to me. A business would be insane to have such a policy. We should know enough, and care enough, to keep the excellent public servants who want to continue, and vote out those who aren’t up to snuff.
So I worry about the institutional knowledge lost as those elected are forced out just when they are at full stride.
And I worry about our rights to vote for whomever, whenever we choose. One size simple does not fit all situations.
Additionally, I don’t like the fact that term limits unintentionally shifts too much power to staff members since they become the ‘tutors’ of the newly elected as the churn continues. Staffs’ job is to execute the will of elected officials, not to both guide policy issues and then execute the same.
If a third term was strongly supported by voters in recent elections in both Weld and Arapahoe counties, then why not here for the good people of Adams County?
Lastly, in this bitter economic climate, why be forced to switch horses in mid-stream in a well run county if the majority agrees? For all of these reasons, I will be voting YES on 1A so that the voters’ rights on choice can be restored.

Bill Becker, Thornton Resident

King of Olive Street, Commerce City said...

so I am getting the impression that Commerce City did the "Forced Annexation" only because of money? I don't remember it being that way, but rather something that has been talked about in great length a long time ago.

Funny how past council members talk about it has never been discussed before and the city just surprised us all with a surprise.

King of Olive Street, Commerce City

Hyde said...

new council will re-visit pit bulls, weeds, annexation process, land code, sign codes, etc.??
looks like they are going to be really busy.

David, Voter Commerce City said...

candidates are giving the perception that city is evil land grabbers. I don't think that is really true. City has to grow, if a city is not growing its dying.
am I wrong?

Dutch said...

just curious, whatever happened to the 30/30/30 formula that cites are supposed to follow?

30% Industry
30% Commercial/Retail
30% Residential

Why put all our eggs in one basket?

Ryland said...

too many city laws?
I have no problem with the current city laws.
Some are complaint driven, it is like this in many cities.
If you don't think Commerce City needs at least some kind of a tough weed ordinance then you, sir are crazy.

Fred A. said...

funny! candidates say commerce city is best place in the world, then turn right around and bash staff and code enforcement.

do you candidates hear yourself. why would you want to come to a city and make a life for yourself after hearing some of the videos out there.

selective harassing code enforcement?

get my drift

Fred A.

Anonymous said...

candidates a little hard on neighborhood services.

Josh said...

Rene says laws created to effect only one person, needs to stop at the staff level?



Chad Askins said...

I see signs on the commerce city tea party of 104th avenue. Are they in the court systems still?
Chad Askins

Ollie said...

Min 4:13 of the at large candidates too many laws? must see it.

Accusation of selected enforcement by the city.

City needs to address this.

Anonymous said...

hey King
thanks for the info. You are so right.
The annexation talk was started even before Ford. Murrey has been talked to for years about it. There were a bunch of meetings prior. It is selective memories.
I will be so happy when this election is over. The carz candidates continue to lie to everyone. I hope everyone realizes.

Anonymous said...

Have you driven by his property?
If not, drive by and then see if you feel the same way.
While out there, drive by the others houses also
They should be ashamed

wes said...

gateway, i have been watching the live stream of the little boy on your main news website, how are you doing this?

Dustie said...

Via USTREAM, Embedded code.


Concerned Citizen said...

It is not very nice of the candidates to say that there is selected enforcement of the city laws.

charlie said...

I have a comment, didn't ward 1 create ward 2? Why is there such a sense of we "owe" ward one because of industry? Why can't we all be just one city and not worry about what part is doing better then others.

Some people I guess just have to have something to be upset about all of the time.

Anonymous said...

Listening to the "too many ordinance" question, brought me a few chuckles.
A couple of the candidates don't like any ordinances, have said so many, many times. Their properties clearly explain why.
Yet they want our city to bring in business/retail.
Image has been a struggle for us (all admitted we have an image problem).
Who wants to move in to a neighborhood with terrible yards, weeds, junk etc. That is part of the image issue.
Some of these candidate speak out of both sides of their mouths and are hypocrites.
Annexation...when the cnadidates were questioned by Murray,they said no. At this forum they say we need to annex. What if people vote no (ref Mr. Bullock?) yet they area needs to be continuous. He assumes they, the residents will agree to come into the city.
I am tired of these candidates with taking both sides. Take a stand!!
Oh yea...Ha ha ha, I said they make me laugh!

Kathy Teter, via email said...

“Support of 2A”

I am writing this letter as a citizen of Commerce City and not in the capacity of your City Councilmember.

My name is Kathy Teter, and I have had the privilege of serving you for the last six years as your Councilmember At Large.

I am supporting 2A on the November 3rd ballot for many reasons. The knowledge and experience I have gained during my tenure is tremendous! Being a Councilmember is “on the job training”. Being there at all the hundreds of meetings, serving on boards and commissions, special joint meetings with other cities and districts, lobbying for tax dollars on Capitol Hill, and the training seminars are all learning experiences that will improve our city and its citizens.

The first four years is all about learning. The second four years is putting this learning together with the strength and passion to do great things and what is best for Commerce City. After two terms of public office, you are finished. You cannot run for a third term.

This November, Commerce City Council will be saying goodbye to three strong and dedicated leaders, due to term limits. Their wisdom and knowledge will be greatly missed.

Other cities in Colorado have three terms, including Denver, and it works quite well for them. So this is not an entirely new concept or issue. Two years ago, when former Mayor Sean Ford, helped to get this same type of issue on the ballot, I was in full support of his idea and the issue. At that time it almost passed.

I have served you well for the last six years. I have returned every single phone call, fax or e-mail during this time. I have resolved hundreds and hundreds of complaints, and would love to serve you for a third and final term, either as Mayor or your Councilmember. I, of course would have to run for this seat in order and be re-elected.

I believe two terms are too few and four terms are too many. Three is just right!
Please join me by voting “Yes on 2A”. It’s the right thing to do.

Kathy Teter,
Citizen of Commerce City

Tracey Snyder, via email said...


I am writing this letter to the people of Commerce City not as a Councilmember, but as a citizen.

Currently on the ballots that you have received, is a question about allowing three possible terms for City Council Members, instead of two. I am in favor of this opportunity. Council Members attend many conferences, and countless hours of training in the years that they serve. The time that it takes to really understand what you need to know to be effective is considerable. Once you have a Councilmember that is trained and knowledgeable, you have an investment in that person. A Councilmember who wished to be re-elected for a third term must be elected for that term. If they were not doing a good job, the people could vote them out of office. But the people that are serving the community well could have a chance to put the knowledge that they have gained back to work for the good people of our city.

Please vote YES on 2A! Let’s keep our investment working for us!

Tracey Snyder
Commerce City Citizen

Edward Casso via email said...

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer my endorsement for two candidates who are running for the Commerce City Council Municipal 2009 Election.

I fully support and endorse Jason McEldowney for the At-Large Council position. I have literally met hundreds of locally elected officials since I was elected to the statehouse in 2006. Mayors, school board members, council members from across this state and country. I can say with utmost confidence and seriousness that Jason McEldowney is among the brightest, most knowledgeable, and capable elected officials that now serve locally anywhere in this state. Jason has a tremendous feel on how the north range should grow, and how the core city can and should be revitalized. Councilman McEldowney has the right energy and temperament to bring positive and permanent change to all parts of Commerce City. It would not surprise me if Jason is our next Mayor, and if Jason so chooses, an Adams County Commissioner sooner rather than later. I strongly encourage the voters of Commerce City to consider sending Jason McEldowney back to the city council.

I also fully support Gulliermo Serna for the Ward III open seat where I live. Mr. Serna has been a foundation and pillar of the Commerce City community for decades. Mr. Serna cares about the future of our children, and was a key player in getting the Kids First ballot initiative passed. Mr. Serna would be a strongly needed voice on the council for the residents of Ward III, and he has a truly unique perspective having lived in the core city for so many years. Experience like Mr. Serna is rarely seen, and the council would be much better with him on it. I strongly encourage a vote for Mr. Serna.

State Representative Edward Casso

Zackery, River Run said...

I'm with you Ed, two really good guys. For those of you who have not voted yet, Jason and Gulliermo are two positive choices.
Zackery, River Run

unitas said...

great videos gateway, so entertaining. hard to believe it is real life!

joan said...

I guess I have the same question for mr. casso as I did with mr. perlmutter......have you even met the other candidates?

concerned voter, joan, dunes area of commerce city

Tim Dalton said...

WOW! looks like serna is liked by everyone, he must be the golden candidate!

Tim Dalton

Upset in Commerce CITY said...

whatever CASSO! Why don't you concentrate on your own job and leave our local election out of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andres Piecre said...


Wes said...

mr. Serna, nothing against you, but why are you getting the endorsements of state level politicians? Is there any background to this?

Ollie said...

Gulliermo Serna has COMPLETELY wrapped up the "ED VOTE"

Erin NW said...

Congratulations Candidates MacEldowney and Serna on your endorsement.

Kyle, Reunion said...

I get it, ed perlmutter and casso

the "ed vote" FUNNY!!!!!!!!

Irene said...

I never saw Mr. Casso at any of the forums, and so Mr. Casso, did you even meet the other candidates?

Anonymous said...

They both think that's the way to get the mexican vote the next time they run for office. They must think mexicans are stupid and willing to vote just based on race

Beth S. said...

supporting any candidates with out meeting all of them is so unfair. I do not understand this higher level endorsements of local candidates.

vicky said...

NO MATTER what the 2 Eds say, Mr. Serna is a good candidate and should not be looked at in a negative way because of an endorsement by someone else, you got my vote Mr. Serna

Anonymous said...

race should have NOTHING to do with elections, vote the person not race or because your friends tell you to vote a certain way.

Josh said...

you got to love endorsements that are from people that don't even live in Commerce City

Joseph Parks via email said...

Please Post of your Blog,

I am disappointed in the statement from both elected reps. Perlmutter and Casso in supporting certain candidates at a local level. As with many others, I want to know if they have even met with any of the other candidates that are running?

Joseph Parks, Commerce City

Danny J. said...

from the casso support letter:
"Jason is our next Mayor, and if Jason so chooses, an Adams County Commissioner sooner rather than later."

Come On! lets get past this election first.

Anonymous said...

I thought Jim Benson was going to be our next mayor?!?!?!?!?

Lionel said...

Hey Casso,

what do you mean "our" mayor, do you live in commerce city?


ccSpeaks said...

if jason gets in, it will be for a four year term, our mayor position is up in 2 years, how is jason going to be the next mayor?

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of the other comments on here. I am still voting for Jason, but have funny feelings about other politicians endorsing each other.

Anonymous said...

Man, every time I read this blog something new happens.
I thought the Beacon coming out was a Hoot!!
Gotta love ole Norman, trying to influence the south with his buddies.
Speaking of influence, I understand Drotar is supporting Rene and Douglas. Isn't that a major slam against Jason.
I am finding I respect Jason a bunch more just because of that. If Douglas is in with Rene...well that says alot.
Go Jason! for that matter go Andy Hahn!!

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed with Ed, now I'm disappointed with Ed2.
They got my vote once, but not again.
Ed & Ed2, what ever your reason, no doubt there's something you figure to gain, unless you have met & talked in depth, with all of the candidates you SHOULD not endorse any.
I agree with the writer who said Casso "concentrate on your own job". In my opinion, that would be nice for a change.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Gene Leffel denied having anything to do with the call to fighten the elderly women, at the last city council meeting.
Read the "Election Issue " of the Beacon.
The last line on his full page ad is,(He) "does not agree with bulldozing orginal parts of our city, for the benefit of outside interests"
No, there is no fear mongering going on!!
Also, does that mean he is for bulldozing the newer parts of our city, and what does outside interests mean?
I don't believe that any one on the council now, or the city staff or for that matter anyone running for council would ever support such a stupid idea!!

Anonymous said...

Gateway, or anyone??
How come the ad in the Beacon against 2A, doesn't say who paid for it.
Isn't that a disclosure that is required?

Anonymous said...

Is everyone forgetting the fiasco Mr. Serna caused with the Boys and Girls Club? I certainly didn't and am even surprised he is running for City Council. As far as the endorsements go--Who cares??

Roger, Southern Commerce City said...

boys and girls club seat tax was beaten in the polls even worse then the benson name change.

We need someone in office that has a real grasp of what the people think.

Patty Higgins, Commerce City said...

Andy Hahn has really good answer in what changes are needed now video.

Tim Dalton said...

These are the words of the at large candidates in the gatewaynews video:

Need to restore the meaning of community?

commerce city is not a business friendly city?

we we being mean to businesses? are we chasing business away?

I hope the commerce city staff is aware of what is being said in public.

I personally do not think it is that bad and yes I do realize it is campaigning time.

Doc said...


AKA said...

at least we all know now where the 2 eds stand, THANK GOD!!!!!!

Collete, Keeping them Honest said...

Thank you Gateway for the videos online:

videos are great, you can go back and review what the candidates said. For example, Rene Bullock says that their is a "community group" out their doing what he says the city should be doing without any budget.

He is referring to the URCC. My question is, didn't the Commerce City just give them $500?

And don't they get money from the Denver Foundation by way of the Community Enterprise group?

So I think they do have a budget?

Betty, Commerce City said...

why does the city have to create a "historical society"?

Citizens should have done this and from my understanding, they have with the URCC group.

Governments do not have to do everything

PS-I really didn't like the Two Eds endorsements either. Nothing against the candidates, I will actual vote for Jason McEldowney, But Casso and Perlmutter should stayed out of it.

Valerie, Northern Range Commerce City said...

Robert Romine says we need to turn out smarter people and stop chasing business away.

Are we chasing business away?

DeeDee said...

We chased NASCAR away! At least Benson did!

Jaydeen said...

NO ON 2A, Think for yourself, not because Kathy and Tracey tell us they support it!

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