City Council Regular Meeting 6 June 2017. (Fire Dispatch discussed)

City Council Regular Meeting                     Citizen Minutes                June 6, 2017

1,.  Meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm.

Present – 7 – Members Peggy Cole, Bill Hopping, Jerry Valdes, Bruce Beckman, Doug Clark, Debbie Brinkman and Phil Cernanec.

2.  Approval of Agenda – Agenda approved as presented

Public Comment

Coral Conway promoted Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Alex Wood, an owner of The Boardroom Sports Bar (old Marie Calendar’s restaurant) asked the council for some guidance on how to change the city code to allow off track betting at their facility.  Red and Jerry’s holds the only license south of 6th Ave and west of C470 and they would like to see their license used at The Boardroom.  The owners would like to feature that as well but the city code does not allow off track betting to occur in the same location where alcohol is served.  

Mark Relph, City Manager, informed the council that the conversation has started and staff would be putting together a letter to explain the process to the owners.  Doug Clark asked about the other locations – Mr. Woods said there are only 10 licenses in the state and they all operate in locations that serve all alcohol.

Carol Brzeczek urged the  council to define “adequate facilities” in the revised Subdivision Exemption code before it is implemented again.  Her inquiry into the origination of the code indicated that it came about to accommodate a property owner on Windermere that wanted to divide their existing parcel into two for a second home.  One requirement to avoiding the subdivision requirement was based on whether or not the existing water and sewer facilities were adequate to serve both homes.  When The Grove was granted the Subdivision Exemption adequate facilities was interpreted to mean will Denver Water provide water and will the City of Littleton provide sewer.  She thought that was rather silly knowing that Denver Water has agreed to provided water to Littleton and of course the city would provide sewer to residents.  In fact, she read from a memo regarding the Grove and adequate facilities where staff had hand written are we backing off from this requirement indicating to her that the code was not being adhered to as it had been in the past.  She is concerned that the C columbine Square Center is being demolished and it is zoned B2 and she could see the same thing happening there that happened at Bemis and Littleton Blvd.

Brzeczek also supported the new master plan for Progress Park.

Pam Chadbourne thanked the council for the approval of the minutes to the Consent Agenda.  She was concerned about the lighting at Bowles Grove Park as only the energy efficiency was mentioned in the plan.  She asked council to ask South Suburban to establish lighting standards.

Bill Hopping thought Pam had a good point and asked about the city’s own lighting code recognizing that some lights were grandfathered in.  Mark Relph said he wasn’t familiar with the details of the code but they could take it up with South Suburban.

Consent Agenda

ID# 14-2017 Approval of the Bowles Grove Park Improvements

ID# 15-2017 Resolution adopting the master plan for Progress Park

ID#17-158 Approval of the May 16, 2017 meeting minutes

All passed on consent with Phil Cernanec moving and Doug Clark seconding.  Motion carried 7/0.

5.  Ordinance on First Reading

ID# 14-2017 Agreement to contract emergency dispatch services with Metcom through South Metro Fire Rescue – Chief Armstrong was there to answer questions.  Cernanec said he appreciated the clearer language on the performance agreements and asked if citizens would see any difference in services during the transition other than a seamless change.  Armstrong said it would be seamless.

Bruce Beckman said citizens need to hear a little more before the second reading and requested information be provided in written form to answer the most prevalent questions.  He asked to see how the costs charged to the City compared with what was being charged to other fire partners.  He asked why a statement (communication equipment in the center is ours to maintain) was bolded in the agreement.  Armstrong said it was a legal matter that the lawyers had to work through – what would happen if the city defaulted on their payments would services be dropped or continued?  Both legal teams are now satisfied with the current language.  Beckman said that there was angst with the change and he was feeling it.

Bill Hopping moved and Debbie Brinkman seconded to approve the agreement.

Clark challenged the claim that there would be $300,000 in savings.  The dollar amount used for comparison purposes was what was budgeted and not actual dollars spent.  Using actual dollars the savings was more like $41,000 for the first half of the year.  He did not see any reason to rush this decision.

He noted that the contract with Lockheed Martin was for 15 years at a 2% escalation factor for each year.  Meadowbrook has a 10 year contract that escalates at the CPI rate.  He estimates that we will be “under water” in 2024.  It is pure speculation where we will be in 2022 because the contract is only for 4 years and to base a decision on cost savings beyond the contract date is foolishness.

The wise thing to do is to vote down the motion and figure out if we are merging with South Metro before doing this.  (In fact, that is precisely what the consultant so highly thought of by the fire chief suggested in a letter to the council.  Apparently some do not want to take the advice of their consultant.  I am including the recommendation from the consultant’s letter.  The entire letter is posted on this site; look for Letter to Fire Partners posted 4/16/2017.)

From the recommendations letter dated April 8, 2017

Recommendation #4
Any meaningful decisions regarding the Littleton Fire Department, such as equipment purchases, internal organization, employment, promotions, etc., be postponed until this matter is fully resolved. This specifically includes the transfer of Littleton Fire Department fire communications and dispatching.

CPSM is committed in its efforts to assist the Fire Partners in providing an unbiased and comprehensive assessment of the terms of the proposed agreement. We are available to assist in this effort so please feel free to contact me at or (716) 969-1360 if you have any questions.


Leonard A. Matarese, ICMA-CM, IPMA-SCP Managing Partner

Debbie Brinkman said the current situation in dispatch – problems with staffing and the high turn over rate – the Chief brought a plan to provide a higher level of service.  What dispatch needs is far beyond what we budget for them now.  She’s comfortable with moving to South Metro – this is an appropriate solution but she agreed there needed to be outreach to the community.

Jerry Valdes asked how they came to a 4,.5 year agreement.  Armstrong said the South Metro Chief could not project his costs out beyond that any better than they can.  Peggy Cole said there was a big difference in 4 and 13 years……is there something in between?  Beckman said he was looking for an agreement beyond four years.

Clark said insinuations were made that this is a safety issue when in truth we are meeting our goal of responding to 90% of all calls within one minute.  There are staffing issues but if Cunningham goes to South Metro (as they have said they will at the end of the year) there will be a reduction in the work load.  Staff is working long hours and we need to fix that.  We asked for a 13 year contract and we got an addition year (from 3 to 4).  There is no point in going forward until we know if we will be merging with South Metro.  Armstrong thinks they will still be understaffed if Cunningham leaves.

Bill Hopping said there are some matters more important than cost to consider.  Motion passed 6/1 with Clark dissenting.

Ordinances on Second Reading

Ordinance 09-2017 to amend the city’s zoning code title 10 with respect to commercial mobile radio service and to expand the city’s regulations to include wireless communications facilities.

These changes brings the city’s code in compliance with state and federal laws.

Pam Chadbourne said she hates what has happened with corporate control over municipalities and individual rights.  She showed pictures of utility lines close to her home and said the equipment should be buried and we are not handling this properly.

Jennifer Price from AT&T thanked city staff for their open process in working with them.  There is a 250,000 % increase in data use.  Clark moved to approve the motion and Cernanec seconded.

Ken Fellman, acting city attorney, said most of what Pam Chadbourne showed in her pictures could be buried but you can’t bury a wireless antenna.  Under the new laws we have to make way for stand alone poles for wireless.  The city is doing the best they can.  The FCC is taking local control away.

Motion passed 7/0

Ordinance 12-2017 tp approve the Colorado Quarterly Census of Employment  Wages database. Cernanec moved and Hopping seconded and motion passed 7/0.


June 22 at 5:30 the City will hold a community meeting on downtown parking at the City Center

Another will be held on June 24 at the Littleton Museum at 9:00 am

Clark said he had received calls about construction workers occupying the downtown parking spaces and moving their cars every couple hours.  He thought construction vehicles should be prohibited from parking on Main Street.

He wanted to clarify something regarding the parking exemption in downtown.  The Historical Preservation Board is not the only entity that can grant the exemption.  The Littleton Mixed Use building was granted the 50% parking requirement reduction by the Planning Board as well as the parking reduction Merle’s received.

He had been convinced by a citizen that the language in the recently approved change to the Subdivision Exemption Code now called Administrative Platting was confusing and he would meet with Jocelyn to see if they can come up with clarifying language.  He also mentioned the struggle with defining adequate facilities.

Beckman reminded the community that the FAA changes will be significant.  In the past the FAA was very open to listening to the community but it appears that the FAA is ignoring the provided input this time around.  Centennial is the second largest regional airport in the US – the FAA is looking at this as a blank slate and it is not.

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