City Council Study Session – 23 January 2018 – LIFT, Biogas, Mineral Station

City Council Study Session.     23 January 2018        Citizen Minutes


Joint Study session with the Planning Commission to Review the Draft Mineral Station Framework

Jocelyn Mills, Community Development Director, gave a background of how we got here. The first question came from Jerry Valdes asking about whether or not the bridge over Santa Fe would need to be moved. Mills said it could. Mark Relph, city manager, said it is likely that it will have to be moved Continue reading

Confidential Memo from Attorney Written for Public

TO: Mayor Brinkman and Members of City Council
FROM: Lena McClelland, Assistant City Attorney
CC: Mark Relph, City Manager
RE: Councilmember Fey’s Amended Motion at the December 19, 2017 City

Council Meeting DATE: January 16, 2018


On December 19, 2017, at a regular meeting of the city council, a motion was made which directed staff to work with the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem on an expedited recruitment process for the vacancies of the LIFT Board. Councilmember Fey moved to amend the motion to require that “interviews do not begin until city council has received a recommendation from the LIFT Board on the exact number of vacancies as the LIFT Board understands it, and that the interview process is open to the public.”1 A question arose at the January 9, 2018, study session of the city council as to whether this amendment to the original motion was being followed.

Short Answer

This amendment to the motion is being followed to the extent it is not preempted by and does not conflict with state law. Further, to the extent that the amended motion can be followed without conflicting with state law, there must be a quorum of members in order for the LIFT Board to take any formal action.


The Colorado Urban Renewal Law sets out the method in which appointments are to be made to a local urban renewal authority. According to state law, appointments are to be made by the mayor of the municipality and are subject to approval by the governing body of the municipality in which the authority has been established.2 Appointment of a commissioner to the authority is proper when the mayor has filed a certificate of the appointment or reappointment with the clerk.3 The certificate of appointment is conclusive

1 Amended Motion by Councilmember Fey, Littleton City Council Regular Meeting on December 19, 2017, regular-meeting-12-19-2017 (found at timestamp 1:11:27).
2 C.R.S. § 31-25-104(2)(a)(I) and (IV).

3 C.R.S. § 31-25-104(2)(b).

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City Council Regular Meeting 16 January 2018

Littleton City Council.       Regular Meeting.       16 January 2018

Roll Call – Kyle Schlachter was absent

Public Comment

Heather ?? appreciated the attention Littleton has paid to providing a walkable and a bicycle friendly community. However she was concerned about the lack of code enforcement and her concern about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in Littleton.

Jeanie Erickson told council she is part of a Littleton Pedestrian and Safety Group and wants to work with staff on safety issues. A friend of hers was killed crossing Federal three years ago and today there is still no cross walk on that section of the roadway (vicinity of Berry and Federal). She was told one was coming but three years is too long to wait.

 Linda Knufinke presented part two of her presentation on just how much moving over to South Metro for fire service will cost property owners in Littleton. Without having the benefit of council having a real discussion on the true cost of going to South Metro one can only speculate but we know that South Metro charges a 9.25 mill levy to their customers. Using that 9.25 mills she took a look at three commercial properties and presented her findings.

1600 W Mineral – If the city gave up their 6.6662 mills permanently to help defray the cost of fire the property taxes on the property at 1600 Mineral would increase $1379. If the city does not give up any of their 6.662 mills their taxes will increase by $4928. Continue reading

City Council Study Session 9 January 2018 (LIFT and Fire)

City Council Study Session               9 January 2018                 Citizen Minutes

Priority Based Budgeting

A consultant from the Center for Priority Based Budgeting presented their approach to working with the city to implement priority based budgeting (PPB). It will take a few years to implement this approach fully but once implemented the city should be able to identify which programs (and related expenses) are not contributing to the priorities of council. The contract has already been signed.

Draft Policy for Authorities, Boards and Commissions Interview Process Continue reading

According to Mr. Kemp Combine Square was secure and being monitored by a private security group

At the October 12, 2017 LIFT meeting Ryan Toole asked about ordinances regarding neglected properties in reference to Columbine Square Shopping Center. Mr. Kemp, Littleton’s City Attorney, said he would look into it as a matter of public safety to make sure the property is not a hazard.

Shortly after the meeting Mr. Kemp sent an email to the LIFT members (10/27/2017) assuring the members that Columbine Square shopping Center was secure.  His email is below. Continue reading

Columbine Square Void Analysis – Report provided to LIFT by Community Development

This is another report that shows what sort of businesses are not int he trade area currently and might be suitable if and when Columbine Square redevelops.

Columbine Square Void Analysis & Demographic Report 7-7-17

Columbine Square Market Analysis – Report Distributed to LIFT from Community Development

This report shows what sort of businesses might work well on the Columbine Square Shopping Center site.

Market Analysis – 5151 S. Federal Blvd. 7-7-17

From Complete Colorado on LIFT Membership

Littleton Urban Renewal Authority member at odds with Mayor and newly elected council member

LITTLETON — The election of two new Littleton City Council members in November, and the resignation of a member of the Littleton Invests for Tomorrow (LIFT) board has thrown the city’s Urban Renewal Authority (URA) into uncharted territory and has at least one member of LIFT frustrated.

Concerns are over Littleton Mayor Debbie Brinkman and the current LIFT chairman canceling all LIFT meetings until further notice. It’s a directive LIFT member Carol Brzeczek says the two are not authorized to make.

Brinkman did not respond to an interview request, instead asking Littleton Town Attorney Steve Kemp to respond on her behalf.

Urban Renewal Authorities such as LIFT are entities created by municipalities to help determine whether areas inside the jurisdiction are found to contain blight or slum and whether they are eligible for public/private partnerships to improve the property.

Although the members of LIFT are appointed by the Littleton City Council, state law governs how URAs operate. They have their own bylaws, in most cases their own attorney and operate outside the discretion of the entity that created them.

According to its bylaws, LIFT is made up of seven members that elect a chairman, a vice chairman and a secretary at the beginning of each year.

Brzeczek is questioning why the mayor and Kyle Schlachter, the current chairman of LIFT who was recently elected to city council and is refusing to immediately give up his role on LIFT, chose to cancel the December meeting as well as any future meetings until they can appoint three new members.

Bylaws say four is quorum, but also allow for a lesser number if needed.

“A smaller number may adjourn from time to time until a quorum is in attendance, action may be taken by the Authority upon an affirmative vote of the majority of the Commissioners present,” the bylaws read.

Brzeczek said there are some housekeeping measures that need addressed, but more importantly, that not meeting is in violation of the board’s bylaws. She said no one has the authority to cancel meetings arbitrarily.

Schlachter won’t authorize a meeting until the board is back at seven members.

Schlachter was elected as an at-large candidate to the city council in November. Karina Elrod was also elected as an at-large candidate for city council. She resigned from LIFT on Dec. 11. Ryan Toole, the vice chairman of LIFT, unexpectedly resigned for personal reasons on Nov. 10.

That leaves just four members. Schlachter, who has said he will resign eventually, technically makes it five, but his membership on LIFT is questionable now that he is on city council.

Under state law, one member of the city council can sit on a URA; however, in 2014, Littleton City Council passed a resolution that removed that requirement and appointed a member of the city council to act only as a liaison to the board.

Kemp wouldn’t give an opinion on whether he believed Schachter’s continuing role on LIFT was valid.

“I’m not going to respond on that,” Kemp said. “That question has not been asked of me by the council, and that is a question involving legal advice. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to respond in this setting.”

In emails obtained by Complete Colorado between Schlachter and Brzeczek, Schlachter is clear he should not be holding both offices.

Schlachter says in the emails he won’t resign until a full board is in place because he is concerned that if he resigns any sooner, there will be no one to sign on the bank account.

According to the bylaws, if the chairman resigns, a new chairperson is supposed to be elected at the next meeting. The December meeting was canceled by Schlachter, despite having the required quorum.

He adds he’s canceling all meetings because of the conflict.

“As Chair, I do not plan on calling a meeting, as I agree with you that I should not serve on both Council and LIFT simultaneously,” Schlachter said in the emails, calling it difficult to function with just four members. “There is no urgent action needed by LIFT (especially with a reduced Board), so I feel the best plan of action is to postpone any meetings until early next year. And from my discussions with the City Attorney, I feel the most prudent course of action is for me to remain Chair until the LIFT Board is fully reconstituted and a new member can take over the role of Chair and new signers can take that responsibility.”

Brzeczek said although having just four members is not ideal, bylaws need to be followed, and Schlachter lost his ability to be on the URA, let alone act as chairman, since he was elected to the city council in November. She said Schlachter is creating his own rules in violation of state law, and those rules are being blessed by Brinkman and Kemp.

“Difficult to function doesn’t have anything to do with by laws that say we shall meet,” Brzeczek said. “All I’m trying to do is fulfill an obligation. But we have a city attorney that has told him he needs to remain as chair and hold onto the checkbook.”

Schlachter’s full term as chairperson is supposed to be over in January despite his election, but emails show the board is likely not going to meet again until spring.

“Scheduling-wise, it seems that Council might be able to prioritize LIFT interviews at the beginning of February,” Schlachter said in the email. “I realize that this is not ideal, but with only four continuing Board members (I do not plan to continue, but I am still currently on the Board) I think it is imperative to wait until a new Board is fully identified until holding a meeting where a new Chair can be appointed.”

This is not the first time there has been controversy surrounding LIFT. In 2015, the city council nearly disbanded it.

Brzeczek, who also ran for city council but lost, believes Schlachter and Brinkman are trying to control the LIFT board for personal reasons.

“The mayor didn’t want me on the URA, and hasn’t supported my citizen activism in the past,” Brzeczek said. “We are being held hostage by a mayor and a brand-new city council member that have no authority over us. What makes it impossible for us is the city is so ingrained in the day-to-day operation of the Urban Renewal Authority that I can’t get access to our website and then city clerk is following the instruction of her council member who thinks he’s also still chair of the URA.”

Brzeczek said one the reasons the board needs to meet is to hire legal representation.

“We have no legal representation to go and challenge what’s happening,” she said. “This has left us in a bad situation.”

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City Council Regular Meeting – 19 December 2017 – STAMP, Preliminary Project Plan and LIFT

Littleton City Council Regular Meeting.      19 December 2017.     Citizen Minutes

Public Comment –

Linda Knufinke presented council with two different scenarios for paying for fire service through South Metro and how much each of the scenarios will cost the property owners in Littleton. The added expense is significant. She asked the council to begin that discussion.

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City Council Study Session – 12 December 2017 – Mineral Station Master Plan & Preliminary Project Plan

Littleton City Council Study Session               12 December 2017.     Citizen Minutes

All council members were present.

Id#-17-345    Overview of Mineral Light Rail Station Area Planning Project

In 2013 Littleton received a grant from RTD, DRCOG and the Federal Transit Admin for the Station Area Master Plans for the Mineral Light Rail Station and the Downtown Light Rail Station. (Littleton contributed a portion of the coss for the market analysis of what might work in the way of development in the two areas – all options were to be transit oriented development (TOD) or high density.) Continue reading