BIAAC Meeting Notes – 27 June 2008

BIAAC Meeting Notes

Friday, June 27, 2008

 

Debbie Brinkman explained the role of the council liaison as a bridge between the two groups.  She is not a voting member of BIAAC but is there to help the group in providing a council perspective.  It gives both groups additional opportunity for dialog and discussion through the benefit of regular reporting to the council and the community.

 

The charge given to BIAAC this year, “Aging Gracefully” was given based on the constant theme in past BIAAC reports of Littleton aging – it is a national experience.  Different cities have been able to capitalize on this group economically and the council would like to get some input on what Littleton needs to do to capitalize on the aging of the nation.  There may not be anything that needs to be done differently but we don’t know.  Debbie turned the meeting over to Chris Gibbons who lead the election of a new chair.

 

Doug Hauck nominated Susan Thornton and Lisa Schomp seconded.  Kim Glidden nominated Mike Price and Bill Snyder seconded.  Mike was elected on a 4/2 vote.

 

Mike had prepared what he thought could be the basis for a mission statement for this year’s charge.

 

 

“To develop a self-contained report on the challenges facing a mature community which will include specific recommendations for business opportunity which can be implemented by the City to aid existing and new businesses toward a more vibrant community.”

 

 

Bill Snyder suggested that they look at anticipated problems – economic problems.

 

Mike preferred the word challenges to problems.

 

Lisa Schomp said she had a real problem understanding how the assignment fulfills what BIAAC is to do.  She takes care of her businesses and employees so they stay healthy.  We don’t have time to take care of someone’s homework assignment.  It is the city’s job to do the study – we are not here to do research.

 

Doug Hauck said it was determined at the last meeting to spend 4 weeks on this – that was the agreement.  We have “tons” of undone business that hasn’t been implemented in the last 4 or 5 years.  The references to aging in the reports is – how do we get younger.  To attract new families we need density.  This assignment should be done by staff.

 

Hauck wanted to get to code enforcement, meet with new developers.  Merle’s is coming on and Nevada Place is being launched – that is what business leaders do.    Why don’t we have any young people moving into Littleton?

 

Mike said he didn’t think the task is to focus only on data.  A lot will be to deal with the data and business.  He did not want to self limit this – we won’t just be looking at the older population.  We need to look at a broader spectrum and we need more data and less opinion for a meaningful report.

 

Kay said it sends a message that Littleton is focused on aging and maturity.  This could be a sub-group.  She thought it was too narrow of a focus.  We need to bring young families in for the schools.  She did not like the message that the charge sent and she thought it was discriminatory. 

 

Mike said they only have 6 months left and they need to get going – if it only takes one month to do the research it takes a month.  Let’s not argue – let’s do it.  We work for the city council.

 

Hauck said they didn’t work for the city council.

 

Mike said he didn’t want to be adversarial and Hauck interrupted Price by saying he wanted to get back to revenues and code enforcement.

 

Price said there was not sense in beating the same horse and he hoped that everyone gets on board.

 

Kim got back to the mission statement thinking it should end on a more vibrant note – such as – business opportunities to aid existing and new businesses.

 

Schomp said she was there to help Littleton stay and become more vibrant and remain a jewel where people want to come and be involved.  She gets the feeling that there are those that don’t want to change or move forward and the blight moving down on us doesn’t matter.  She was asked to serve – if you don’t want me here that’s fine.  She said she was being real stubborn and the charge was not what BIAAC should be doing.  That’s social services work.  I see what is happening in the community and it is very disturbing. At every turn we are not helping Littleton be more successful and I want to see us help new businesses be successful.  I want people here at night.  This is the wrong direction.  If I am not what you need – tell me and I will gracefully bow out.

 

Price told her she was part of big business in Littleton and there is value in her input.  Aging is going from one phase to another.  There are some notable statistics in the data provided by Chris Gibbons – we are losing population between the ages of 35-40.  Let’s not make this about knick-knacks in downtown for the grandchildren.  I want differences of opinion and us working toward the same goals.

 

Linda K, Planning Commission liaison, said she works with the hospitals and thought the study would significantly benefit healthcare in Littleton.

 

Price said 37% of the population in Littleton is over 50 but only 16% are over the age of 65.  Is this a market we can exploit?  I think we can come up with a report to benefit the city.

 

Bill Snyder said he read the past annual BIAAC reports and recommendations and had trouble finding any of the recommendations that had been implemented.  Why do we do this?  We need to get back in step and do what council wants.  We are wasting time – this may be a step back but we will get back in sync with council.

 

Price said he wanted opinions backed by credible data.

 

Schomp said after 5 years of reports and beating our heads against the wall the aging shopping centers have done some work.  Things are changing and she takes exception to Snyder’s comment that nothing has changed.  We have to go back to the same things over and over – persistence pays – things are changing slowly.  We are the burr under the saddle.  She suggested that staff make a list of businesses that did not come to Littleton and why.

 

Price thought there were 3 or 4 sub-committee areas –             

            Big Business                             Lisa Schomp

            Housing                                    Kay and Mike

            Downtown                               Kim and Doug

            Industry                                    Bill

            Interview other Cities                Mike

 

Committee reports should be given when they reconvene on the 18th of July.  Price will talk to the absent members to see what capacity they want to work.

 

Brinkman talked about the vacancies – the council will post and interview for the new members.

 

Kay wanted the school district to be a subcommittee and she volunteered to work on that with Susan Thornton.

 

Price thought that was a good idea since there was such a cry over a private school coming into Littleton and taking students from LPS – the reality is there are only 3 kids from 80120 zip code in that school.

 

Lisa thought restaurants needed to be represented in BIAAC.

 

Gibbons said they would be meeting on the 3rd Friday at 8am to 10am – if they finished up early great.

 

Bill wanted to clarify something said earlier by Hauck – BIAAC decided they wanted to invite the council to breakfast.  I don’t want it on the record that we were only going to spend 4 weeks on aging.

 

Gibbons asked how many audience members might be regular guests that their meetings so he could reserve a large enough meeting room.

 

Price then asked for comments from the audience.  David Schwan told the group they were really missing out on an opportunity to get the bicyclers and in-line skaters into downtown Littleton because there is no signage telling them about the restaurants etc in downtown or in Aspen Grove.  Good signage is missing.

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