Open Letter to the City of Loveland
by Tom Calarco
It’s a little over three years since I moved to Loveland and less than two years since I moved downtown. I have no personal investment in the community, other than that I rent an apartment here. I could just keep quiet and enjoy the bike trail, park, and other amenities that it offers. However, I’ve always been self-righteous and believed in doing the right thing and when it comes to government, it’s to serve the best interests of all the people and the community it represents. As a result, I feel the need to speak out regarding what I feel is the outrageous flaunting of power of the current city administration, and also some concerns about the proposed new city hall project.
It was very apparent last year when the city council, or at least its majority that supports the current mayor, tried to block the Farmer’s Market from operating downtown Loveland that something was amiss.
It seemed pretty transparent to me that the mayor had a vendetta against its founder Donna Bednar when he removed her from the city’s Beautification Committee and followed it by trying to block her Farmer’s Market, which had a one-year hiatus at another location because of downtown construction, from returning to downtown. This vendetta originated when Fitzgerald himself was removed as Loveland’s city manager during the late 1990’s when Bednar’s husband was on the city council.
It seemed pretty transparent to me that the mayor had a vendetta against its founder Donna Bednar.
Dave Kennedy alleged the reason the city opposed the return of the market was due to traffic concerns. However, when the people of the city arose in protest, he found a way to allow it to come back.
Now, it seems like déjà vu and once again the city council’s majority is trying to find a way to block not only the Farmer’s Market but also other events that take place downtown which provide immeasurable benefits to the community, some of a charitable nature. Ostensibly, it is not because they oppose the city hosting these events but because of concerns of revenue. The city wants to levy heavy fees that no other community in the area levies on the vendors who participate. Furthermore, they want to require background checks on these vendors, which adds another fee to participation because the checks need to be paid by those who are checked.
The bottom line is that these fees are going to make it prohibitive for many of these vendors to come to Loveland and hinder some of these events from continuing here. The question that remains to be answered is WHY ARE THESE FEES NECESSARY?
That brings us to another part of the issue: the proposed new City Hall.
I listened to some of the discussion about it on Loveland Magazine, and it reminds of Joni Mitchell’s song, Big Yellow Taxi, and the line, “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
I listened to Pam Gross say that in demolishing the current obsolete city hall that we should tear up the unused space in front of it. Apparently, she has no use for the trees and green space there. Better to put concrete and pavement that can be used for economic development and revenue.
Apparently, Pam Gross has no use for the trees and green space there.
Also, Dave Kennedy talked about making Grill Millitzer a two-way street lined with retail shops. It was a little unclear how they were going to do this, and in fact, nothing is yet set in stone about this proposed project. But it seems to me that this is the beginning of a transformation of downtown Loveland that has already begun with the construction of Loveland Station. This project is being administered by the Community Improvement Corporation led by Gross with the advisement of experienced economic developers. And it’s all about the money.
The question that needs to be answered is what lies ahead for downtown Loveland? Should it be transformed into a money pit that will gradually erode its quaint charm and green space? Or would it better serve us to remain as the place the average person comes to relax and get away from the encroachment of urban development?
Would it better serve us to remain as the place the average person comes to relax and get away from the encroachment of urban development?
Another question that also should be considered is: Do the members of the majority faction on the Council stand to gain financially from this urban transformation?
As Joni Mitchell sang: “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”
For Background Read what Tom Calarco has read …
Loveland Magazine pulls back the curtain on the process of building a new City Hall
These exclusive LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV videos will tell you what is being proposed
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