Tag Archives: Saguache

Latest News – August 18

Emojis Express Themselves in Downtown Saguache 

The Emoji Movie is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated comedy playing in downtown Saguache’s Cozy Castle Cinema this weekend (August 18-20). 


Hidden inside a smartphone, the bustling city of Textopolis is home to all emojis. Each emoji has only one facial expression, except for Gene, an exuberant emoji with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his best friend Hi-5 and a notorious code breaker called Jailbreak. During their travels through the other apps, the three emojis discover a great danger that could threaten their phone’s very existence.

Cozy Castle Cinema

The Cozy Castle Cinema in downtown Saguache.

Showtimes are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 7 p.m.

Ticket prices are $7 with children 3 and under free. The Cozy Castle Cinema is located at 403 4th St, in downtown Saguache. 719-221-4159.

Latest News – August 17

Forest Plan Up for Review; Public Invited

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest and Saguache County are co-hosting a public open house in Saguache to talk about the Forest Plan Revision, a document that governs all management actions on the forest’s 2.9 million acres. The following video explains more:

The open house will be held this evening Thursday, Aug. 17 at the Road and Bridge Meeting room located at 305 3rd Street from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Forest Plan Revisions starts with an assessment of current conditions on the Forests. At the open house, the GMUG planning team will share initial assessment work and early ideas about need for change in the Forest Plan, while inviting the public to contribute their ideas.

According to Samantha Staley Forest Planner “We’ve started to build a comprehensive snapshot of what’s going on in the Forests today , but we hope the open house is an opportunity to widen the lens. What has the public noticed? What concerns do our stakeholders have about the state of the Forests? The assessment relies on existing information and the best available science and covers a broad array of resources and programs, including wildlife, livestock grazing, timber, mining, ecosystems and recreation.

A very important component of the plan is incorporating information from the public. The end result of the assessment is to identify changes that should be made in the new Forest Plan, including changes identified by the public.

tree

The forest for the trees! Make sure your voice is counted at tonight’s Forest Plan meeting in Saguache Road and Bridge Meeting Room

In order to keep interested stakeholders informed, the GMUG is utilizing a variety of communication tools, including open houses, webinars, posting information and updates on the web site and through email.

The open house is designed to help citizens understand the assessment process and review preliminary assessment information with resource specialists. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for community members to contribute their suggestions or concerns which will be incorporated in the assessments. For information about how you can learn more and be involved, CONNECT HERE.

It will take them at least three years to revise the Forest Plan.  The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 requires that forest plans be periodically revised. Their current forest plan was developed in 1983 with five subsequent amendments. New guidance in the Forest Service’s 2012 Planning Rule directs forest plans to be science-based and developed with extensive public involvement

Latest News – August 15

Supplemental Food Distribution in Saguache Today

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Supplemental Food Programs are available in Saguache Today. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

The next Supplemental Commodity Distribution and CSFP will be Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. at the commodity building at 505 3rd Street in Saguache and in Center earlier in the day from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 pm in Center at the Kiwanis Building at 5th & Broadway.
Everyone is welcome for the supplemental distribution!
If available, please bring proof of income, residency, and photo id. If you are having someone pick up for you, don’t forget to send in your proxy form. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
  

Seniors Saving Money with SHED in Saguache Today

Saguache County seniors are taking advantage of the SHED (Saguache Healthy Elders Discount) program and saving hundreds of dollars every week at the 4th Street Food Store.

The weekly truck arrives with more food to re-stock the shelves at the 4th Street Food Store in downtown Saguache. Photo: Saguache Today/Lynn Nowiskee.

To sign up for SHED membership, you must be 60 years of age or older and reside in Saguache County.  Members receive a 20% discount on all food purchases at the nonprofit grocery.  Ride-share and/or grocery delivery service also is available through SHED.

The program, started last fall with generous support from the Saguache County commissioners, is intended to help seniors on fixed incomes who earn too much to qualify for other assistance but still struggle to make ends meet. 

Participation is increasing steadily as awareness of the program grows.   Nearly 40% of our customers now are taking the SHED discount, and we encourage eligible residents to do so as needed.

From squash to cherries, summer’s fruits & vegetables are coming soon to 4th St Food Store.

With the discount, on prices already significantly lower than those offered at comparable health or local food stores, low-income residents no longer need to drive 100 or so miles roundtrip to shop for healthy choices.

That saves time, gas money, wear and tear on vehicles, and it keeps more tax dollars in Saguache County.

The 4th Street Food Store, a nonprofit project of Saguache Works, is dedicated to providing affordable access to fresh, healthy food, to supporting Valley food producers and to creating jobs for area residents. Lower prices, and SHED discounts, leave very little margin to cover overhead expenses and to pay store staff.   Saguache Works very much appreciates, therefore, those senior customers who can afford to pay full price and decline to take food discounts.

To sign up for SHED, or to inquire about ride services, stop by the 4th Street Food Store, at 404 4th St. in downtown Saguache, or call 719-655-0216.

Latest News – August 14

The Latest BUZZ Down at The Everson Ranch

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Beehive at the Ranch. Photo: Cherrye Williams

Here’s the latest news from the historic Everson Ranch, owned by the Orient Land Trust. The ranch sits at the base of the beautiful Sangre de Cristos Mounatins at the north end of the San Luis Valley. If you are interested in receiving their newsletter: CLICK HERE.

Some of the most exciting new additions at Everson Ranch this summer are the new honey bee hives. We have two hives with the Italian Strain and one hive of the Carniolan Strain. During the 1st year the colonies will build up their troops along with enough honey to get them through the winter, Next year we should be collecting honey and other products that the hives produce (including beeswax, propolis, pollen and royal jelly). In addition to our new hives we also have at least six natural hives on the land.

Honeybees live in colonies with one queen running the whole hive. Worker honeybees are all females and are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside of the hive. They forage for food, build the honeycombs, and protect the hive. Many species still occur in the wild, but honeybees are disappearing from hives due to colony collapse disorder. Scientists are not sure what is causing this collapse.

Honeybees are important pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables. They live on stored honey and pollen all winter and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. All honeybees are social and cooperative insects. Members of the hive are divided into three types. Workers forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean, and circulate air by beating their wings. The queen’s job is simple—she lays the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. There is usually only a single queen in a hive. If the queen dies, workers will create a new queen by feeding one of the worker females a special food called “royal jelly.” This elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen.

Everson Ranch Wide

The historic Everson Ranch sits at the base of the beautiful Sangre de Cristos Mountains in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

Queens regulate the hive’s activities by producing chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees. Male bees are called drones—the third class of honeybee. Several hundred drones live in each hive during the spring and summer, but they are expelled for the winter months when the hive goes into a lean survival mode.

With even just one hive you can help grow local gardens, fruit orchards, vegetable plantations, etc. The survival of plants depends on pollination, and the honey bee accounts for 80 percent of all pollination done by insects. Without the honey bee’s services, more than a third of the fruits and vegetables that humans consume would be lost.

Bee sure to stop by the ranch and learn what’s all of the buzz with beekeeping!

Latest News – August 12

Magpie Gallery: A Combination of Inspiration & Art 

By Kathy Bedell, Saguache Today

In honor of next Saturday’s Saguache Art Festival, here’s the next Meet The Artist story, featuring the Saguache artist and owner of the Magpie Gallery, Judith Page

For art-lovers wondering about the genesis of Saguache artist Judith Page’s colorful, and often whimsical artwork, the answer can be traced to a naughty childhood habit: coloring in the wallpaper.

Magpie Gallery_1

Artist and owner Judith Page writes up the receipt for another satisfied customer at the Magpie Gallery located in downtown Saguache Today.

“Yes, I got caught doing that on more than one occasion,” recalls Page during a recent visit to the Magpie Gallery at the corner of 4th and San Juan. But perhaps that childish indiscretion was more the result of the artist’s self-described upbringing in a “poor” section of Washington, D.C., rather than a desire to deface her girlhood bedroom. After all, most artists work with what they have, right?

Judy’s signature style is the use of bold, primary colors to illuminate fantastic imagery.

Judy’s signature style is the use of bold, primary colors to illuminate fantastic imagery.

However, these days Page’s meager beginnings seem as far away as her birth place,  and nowhere is that more apparent than in her Magpie Gallery. From the array of colors used in Page’s mixed media illustrations, to the cross section of textures in the glass and wood beads adorning the windows and walls, as well as the hand-woven decorative baskets and rugs, visitors tend to forget they are in downtown Saguache!

Page has been producing & selling her artwork in the San Luis Valley since 1998. According to the Magpie Gallery website: Judy’s signature style is the use of bold, primary colors to illuminate fantastic imagery.  

“My art reflects a way of seeing the world with a sense of wonder, where anything can happen, where things are a little askew,” Page explains on her website. “I hope to excite a sense of curiosity in my viewers, that they might look at the world a little differently.”

And if Page’s art helps people to see the world a little differently, then her partner Dean Coombs’ African collectibles help bring the world to the corner of 4th and San Juan. In fact, it’s that deep sense of texture that visitors to the Saguache art studio connect with the moment they enter, producing that childhood desire to run one’s hands across the rows and rows of one-of-kind beads.

And while many in the San Luis Valley know the Coombs name as the third generation printer and editor of the Saguache Crescent, Dean has been collecting African beads and ethnographic artifacts for more than 20 years, much of which is on display and/or for sale at the Magpie Gallery.

As one art enthusiast expressed during a recent visit, “I’m surprised to see this kind of African collection in the middle of nowhere; it’s lovely!” And no doubt the word has gotten out, as collectors from around the region now seek Coombs out because of his rare and diverse collection of art, particularly his vast selection of high quality beads.

Come and see one of the most unique art shops in the San Luis Valley for yourself; the Magpie Gallery is open during the days and times listed below. And remember that Saguache’s 8th Annual Saguache Art Festival is happening this Saturday, Aug. 19 – do you need a better reason to stop in to Saguache Today?

The Magpie Gallery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. (Closed for the winter from January – April except by appointment). 324 4th Street, downtown Saguache Colorado. Call 719-655-2650.

Magpie Gallery_4

The Magpie Gallery stands as an anchor to the ever-growing arts and cultural district in downtown Saguache. Business is flourishing on 4th Street!

Saguache Art Festival Celebrated August 19

Calling all art lovers, artists and anyone who has been wondering what’s happening in the arts scene in Saguache Today!  Next Saturday, Aug. 19 is the 8th annual Saguache Art Festival and everyone is invited to this fun, free festival in the heart of downtown Saguache.

 This year’s festival will feature more than 20 artists and crafters, with music and food throughout Downtown Saguache. The festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artwork will be on view in galleries, shops, studios, and outside, with media demonstrations during the day and a photography competition held at the Methodist Hall. Visit Hauck/Pedersen, in business in Saguache for over two decades, showcasing figurative expressionist collage and painting. New participants this year include Ramblin’ Roy with his assemblage sculptures and Ruby Creek Press’ photographic postcards of Saguache. The 8th Annual Saguache Arts Festival is presented by the Saguache Chamber of Commerce.Art_social media_Saguache Today copy

Latest News – August 11

Orient Land Trust Issued Water Boil Order

Two weeks ago on July 27, the Orient Land Trust (OLT) received notification that their monthly drinking water test had come back positive for E.Coli and Total Coliform Bacteria. OLT owns and operates the Valley View Hot Springs as well as the historic Everson Ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos mountains on the north end of the San Luis Valley.

eversonranch_saguache-today

The Orient Land Trust’s historic Everson Ranch sits at the base of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains in the San Luis Valley. The Valley View Hot Sp[rings sits above the ranch inthe mountains and was issued a water-boil order on July 27, 2017. Photo: Saguache Today.

This order affects their drinking water spring only, and not the pools or ponds at Valley View Hot Springs. They are providing commercial water to fill water bottles and encourage everyone to bring water with them when visiting.

It’s not uncommon for bacterial contamination to occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source. It’s been an historically wet summer in the valley. After their findings, the state of Colorado ordered a boil order.

If you have questions or concerns please give OLT a call at 719-256-4315.

Below is a copy of the boil order:

DRINKING WATER WARNING
Valley View Hot Springs (PWSID CO0255850)

BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING
Hiervan el Agua Antes de Usarla

  1. coli and total coliform bacteria with no chlorine residual were found in the water supply between 07/24/2017 and 07/29/2017. These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.

Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains). It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.water boil

What does this mean if I live in this area? What should I do?

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

  1. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems. The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.

If you have an infant, severely compromised immune system, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your doctor about drinking this water. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

What is being done?

They will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. 
They are providing commercial safe drinking water and following all recommendations and state mandates.

They anticipate resolving the problem by as soon as possible. For more information, please contact OLT’s Facility Manager Mark Jacobi at  or 719-298-0660.

*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.*

Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua potable. Tradúzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.
This notice is being sent to you by the Valley View Hot Springs
Colorado Public Water System ID#: CO0255850
Date distributed: 7/27/2017
Generic Flushing and Sanitization Procedure for the Distribution System
The flushing and sanitizing of a drinking water system begins at the treatment plant and proceeds systematically outward to all ends of the distribution system. Proper flushing, sanitation, and bacteriological testing are required prior to lifting a boil-water advisory.

  1. The first step is to increase the disinfectant (chlorine) level leaving the properly operating treatment plant, and entering the distribution system, to between 3 and 4 mg/l (free chlorine).
  2. The next step is to systematically begin flushing from the entry point of the distribution system outwards to all ends of the distribution system. Adequate flushing can be easily verified by measuring for the increased disinfectant residual at each flushing point.
  3. After flushing, the disinfectant (chlorine) residual level is returned to the normal operating range and the system is once again flushed until the disinfectant (chlorine) level at the system’s furthest tap is within the normal operating range, generally greater than 0.2 mg/l but less than 2.0 mg/l free chlorine.
  4. Once the quality of finished water has stabilized throughout the distribution system, microbiological samples (Standard Coliform Test) must be collected at representative locations, (minimum of 3 to 10 sample points), in the distribution system, including all ends of the system. Disinfectant (chlorine) levels in the sampled water must also be measured at the same time the microbiological samples are collected.
  5. If the above microbiological monitoring results indicate unsafe conditions (total coliform – positive, on any single sample) the above procedure must be re-implemented until the microbiological monitoring results indicate safe conditions, (total coliform – negative, on all sample locations).
  6. Submit results in a written document summarizing all activities undertaken to fix the treatment problem, flush and sanitize the distribution system, and results of all laboratory and field-testing.

 

Latest News – August 8

Town Issues Addressed Without Trustee Quorum

By Kathy Bedell, © Saguache Today

It seems the one thing that the Town of Saguache and its residents can agree on is that tonight’s usual Town Trustee meeting for August 8 has been canceled.  From there, the divisions can run as far as the distance between the Sangre de Cristos and the San Juan Mountains, as the discussions of recent events – which no one is 100% clear on yet – continue on various social media platforms. Town officals posted the meeting cancelation notice on its doors to Town Hall as well as on its Facebook Page.

And while opinions may change with the stroke of a keyboard, the Colorado Constitution is a bit more formidable, allowing for solid guidelines and laws when it comes to the business of managing municipalities, which still needs to be carried out at the Saguache County seat. 

Once again, Saguache Today brings you the word straight from the source: Saguache Mayor Greg Terrell. There is also a response from Town of Saguache Trustee Wyoma Hansen who submitted her resgination on July 21. Saguache Today will do its best to continue to update this post as other elected officials weigh-in on the situation.

From the Mayor – August 7, 2017

Mayor Greg Terrell_2 copy

Saguache Mayor Greg Terrell

The following is intended to inform the citizens of Saguache of issues concerning the town. I will first cover some of the rules and regulations of local government. Then I will share how those rules and regulations have been applied to a recent situation of which there seems to be a great deal of misinformation being discussed in and around town.

I intend to follow up with a second article that will cover the status of various projects that the town is either planning for or is currently undertaking.

Local Government

There are matters of which a member of a town board cannot speak publicly, specifically confidential personnel issues and what is said in an executive session.

Four trustees, as the majority of a seven-member board, can take control of a board. They can call for a special session at any time, put an item on the agenda, make a motion, can second that motion and, if any four trustees vote yes, that motion carries. An executive session can only occur if a motion is made, it is seconded, and a majority votes yes. A mayor can call for a special session and can put an item on an agenda. However, a mayor CANNOT make a motion and cannot make a second.

A mayor gets only one vote. When the mayor is not present within the town, the mayor pro-tem is the acting mayor. The board can choose another trustee to act as mayor in the absence of both the mayor and the mayor pro-tem.

Any member of a board of trustees, including the mayor, has access to legal advice, professional services, periodicals, other towns’ mayors, trustees, council members, managers and administrators, clerks, state and federal agencies, insurance organizations, law books, videos, and institutions of higher learning. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities for education, training, networking, workshops, etc. These resources are available online, by telephone, hard-copy documents, and videos.

Within short drives of Saguache, training workshops, organization meetings and conferences are offered. The cost of these educational opportunities is, for the most part, covered by memberships and services the town already pays for, i.e. the town’s insurance carrier CIRSA, the town attorney, and Colorado Municipal League (CML) membership. If a board member needs legal advice on any town matter, he/she has immediate access to several attorneys. If there is a need for other types of advice, board members have a wealth of resources available at their fingertips, at no expense to them.

Recent Events

Before delving into recent events, I would like the community to know that I have asked and received legal advice on what I can, and cannot, talk about. I know most of us would rather not have the legal stuff clutter our town issues. Unfortunately, it is the reality of local government which operates under the laws of the State of Colorado.

Why the preamble? Because many of the details of recent events fall into a category of issues which cannot be discussed openly. However, what can be shared with you follows.

Saguache Town Hall post

The Saguache Town Hall is located at 504 San Juan Avenue. Photo: Saguache Today

The last Town of Saguache Board meeting occurred on July 11th. There was no board meeting on July 21, as was previously misstated by a number of sources. Between July 12 and July 19, I was out of town, most of that time out of state. Former Mayor Pro-tem Engquist was acting mayor. I did not return to my duties as mayor until the morning of July 20.

On July 17, Mayor Pro-tem Engquist contacted me by phone concerning a personnel issue. Several trustees were aware at that time of this matter. Instead of calling for legal advice, they waited for my return. Having just driven nearly 2000 miles, I was handed the matter in brief on the evening of July 19 and the full matter the morning of July 20.

Several trustees asked me to take a specific action. I did talk at length with three trustees that morning and did inform all three that I would take action. Immediately thereafter I contacted the town attorney for legal advice on the matter.

The legal advice I received was not to take any action without due process, meaning a thorough investigation of the situation. To do otherwise could subject the town to potential legal liability. As your mayor, it is my responsibility, along with the town attorney, to protect the town from such liabilities. It is the responsibility of every board member, including the mayor, to follow due process.

Due process of law is the cornerstone of American government. It is the rules, laws, and procedures by which government operates and is established in the 5th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. Due process is based on two principals: truth-in-fact and fairness. Due process is often divided into two general headings: procedural and substantive. Procedural are the rules of due process. Substantive is due process in principal.

All elected officials take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. The Colorado Supreme Court says that whenever a local government board or official takes action, procedural due process is REQUIRED.

Swearing in Saguache Town Board April 2016

All elected officials take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution as did these elected Town of Saguache Trustees did in April 2016. 

On July 20, I informed former Trustee Hanson of the requirement of due process. I told her it required investigation of the issue and gathering evidence, including interviews of various individuals.

Once an investigation of the matter was completed, the facts discovered would then be presented to the board of trustees for review. The town attorney would offer a legal opinion on any potential action. After that, the board could determine what course of action to take. If an action were to be taken, it would require a formal decision by the board.

On both July 20 and July 21, with the town attorney involved at every step, due process was followed. On July 21, I had two phone conversations with former Trustee Hansen. During the first conversation, I advised her of the resignation of the deputy clerk. I asked former Trustee Hanson to contact the town attorney for details concerning both the resignation and the due process in progress.

Sometime after the first conversation, I received information from Town Hall that a citizen had been in an accident and was at a Colorado Springs hospital. I contacted the citizen’s family and was asked to go to the Springs.

The second conversation with former Trustee Hansen occurred as I was leaving town. I asked her if she had talked with the town attorney. She said that she had not. She stated that I had somehow forced the deputy clerk to resign. The fact is, I asked the deputy clerk not to resign, as did the town attorney. The deputy clerk’s resignation was her choice alone.

Former Trustee Hanson then informed me she had resigned as trustee and to check my emails. That was the last time I spoke with her. I did look at my emails and found three resignations. I next traveled to Colorado Springs, during which time I was in communication with the citizen’s family. In short, the citizen was released from the hospital, and I brought the citizen back to Saguache in the early hours of July 22. I saw the email of the fourth resignation at that time.

Why the resignations? I am puzzled. As stated previously, if four trustees object to anything, they can use their powers to call for a special session, put their issue on the agenda, make a motion, second it and out vote the other members as the majority.

If they need legal guidance on a decision, they can call either or both the town attorney and the attorney(s) for CIRSA. I know none of the trustees who resigned called the town attorney, let alone any other attorney available to the board. I know this because I asked. The two remaining trustees have talked with the town attorney.

My suggestion for the community is to ask the following questions of the four trustees who resigned:

1. Did you reach out to any of the numerous resources at your disposal? 
2. Why did you abandon your responsibilities as elected officials?
3. Why, if the matter was important, did you not take action rather than waiting for the mayor to return and then the next day resign?

What Now?

I and the remaining board members, with the assistance of the town attorney, have consulted with CIRSA’s attorneys, CML, and The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) as to next steps. We have also sought the advice and guidance of administrators and clerks in other municipalities here in the Valley.

When a local governance board lacks a quorum (in our case 4 are needed), then the remaining board members must find and appoint trustees until a quorum is reached. Once the quorum is met, then the board must authorize the remaining seats to be filled in accordance with state statutes.

A trustee (not the mayor) is tasked with finding a citizen willing to be appointed and thereby obtain a quorum. Without a quorum, the board is very limited in what it can do, including having a meeting. There were two meetings scheduled, July 24 and August 1. Both had to be canceled due to a lack of a quorum. No decisions can be made by the board until a meeting can be held, except those which are “necessary.”

The mayor can authorize certain things for the town to continue to operate. I did authorize, upon CIRSA and the town attorney’s recommendation, that the town administrator find and fill the clerk position with an “Interim Town Clerk.” The requirements were as follows: must be local, must have good accounting skills, and must have professional writing skills. The town administrator did hire someone last week who met all those requirements.

This position will last until a town clerk is hired and appointed by the board. The board must agree by vote to advertise for and follow procedure in hiring a town clerk. Since the town clerk’s resignation in March, the board has been reluctant to begin this process. It is my hope that once the board seats are filled, that this process can begin. The town’s bills will continue to be paid. These bills can later be reviewed by the board. The only other matter I have authorized is the formal extension of the town’s annual audit which was requested by the town’s auditor, Pete Blair.

Moving Forward Takes a Team

We still have projects in motion. We still have statutory requirements to meet. We still have the daily operation of the town to handle. The participation of citizens in the process, by seeking out the facts and basing any action on that which is in the best interest of the town, are the traits of good local government. Citizens have a choice, by their actions, which path will be taken. The town can either be an environment of hatefulness, polarization, and stagnation, or it can be an environment of problem solving, teamwork, and securing the town’s future.

Sincerely,

Greg Terrell, Mayor
Town of Saguache

 

Bebuttal from Wyoma Hansen, (resigned) Town of Saguache Trustee:

The following letter was posted to a local facebook Page by Wyoma Hansen, one of the four Town of Saguache Trustees who submitted their resignations on July 21.

In response to Mayor Terrell’s letter dated August 7, 2017.

Wyoma Hansen_Saguache Today

Wyoma Hansen

I encourage the citizens of Saguache to ask Linda Ahrens about her resignation.

Answers to the questions that Mayor Terrell wanted the citizens to ask the four trustees that resigned. Following is my response to the questions:

1) I did reach out to different organizations, reviewed Colorado Revised Statutes and talked with individuals that work or have worked in town government organizations. From my conversations and research, I determined that working with the Mayor was the best way to resolve the issues, but this has not happened.

2) Abandon is a harsh term to use in reference to my resignation. I resigned because unforeseen chain of events that were happening on my watch, that I will not tolerate.

3) We were following the mayor’s advice and when he returned, the events took an unexpected turn, which blindsided the trustees.

Some of the events involve confidential personnel issues. I would like to encourage Mayor Terrell to be a leader, work with the four board members and resolve the issues.

My suggestion for the citizens of Saguache is to ask the following questions of the remaining board members and Mayor Terrell.

1) When will a forensic audit begin on the town finances? Due to the number of employees that have been involved in the finances an audit should be done immediately to protect the town and new employees.

2) Do you feel the State of Colorado Attorney General’s office should be brought in to review the town’s records and business practices?

3) Why was there no effort by Mayor Terrell to meet with the four board members to resolve the issues?

4) When will you be holding a town meeting to discuss the issues?

I apologize for long messages, but posting on Facebook seems to be the only venue that the Mayor responds to.

I am impressed with the outline of time and energy Mayor Terrell has spent on the issues. Did he ever say I tried to work with the four trustees, in the letter? Seems like it would of been a simple solution for a leader.

I believe it is time to move on and get beyond the he said, she said articles. I hope the citizens of Saguacge remain involved in what is going on.

Sincerely,

Wyoma Hansen