And then, like a Friday afternoon bombshell – a plotline that’s been building for months…
by Mary Ann Lynn
Like sands through the hourglass… so goes the soap opera that is Loveland City Council. When we last left the city council majority, or the “Fitz Four” (Mayor Fitzgerald and council members Gross, Settell and Zamagias), they had really painted themselves in a corner – stomping out of a city council meeting after just seven minutes to the hearty boos of residents in the audience and subsequent public outcry. How did they get here? For a while, everything was going so well. The majority had the votes to pass anything they wanted. The mayor had padded key committees to further smooth the path. After a while, they didn’t even bother to communicate what they were doing to the council minority (Bailey, Phelps, Weisgerber) because, what was the point, really?
But there was this pesky group of “zealots” at every council meeting. They formed a PAC and relentlessly shined the spotlight on wrong doings of the Fitz majority. The broader population of residents started tuning in, paying attention, voicing concerns. Other groups of concerned residents were being formed and getting vocal. Week after week in editorials, meeting after council meeting, residents were speaking out against the lies and conduct of the council majority. Literally NOBODY was showing up to defend the behavior or integrity of the Fitz Four. If you are part of this majority, you need to change the narrative – quickly. Allegations of stalking and much ado over Facebook comments proved ineffective diversions. An obscure proposal for changes to the city’s charter provided some level of distraction – a brief reprieve.
[quote_right]Could the drama get any higher?[/quote_right]And then, like a Friday afternoon bombshell – a plotline that’s been building for months… Loveland Community Heartbeat PAC delivered to the Board of Elections mayor recall petitions with 2,000+ signatures – more than twice the number of signatures needed. The recall of Mayor Mark Fitzgerald is now all but assured. Four council seats are up for election in November, and the prospects for Fitzgerald, Gross or Zamagias retaining their seats are getting dimmer by the minute.
Could the drama get any higher? In the week since the recall petition submission, we have seen highly personal attacks on PAC members and the recall process, and a local business targeted for choosing not to participate in the controversy. Enough. More than 2,000 Loveland residents have spoken. These overly dramatic and sinister plots may make for good daytime drama, but they are being played out to the great detriment of our community. It is time to recast Fitzgerald, Gross and Zamagias.
Up-dated 7:14 AM 7-25-17
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