Loveland - December 20, 2006
Using a loophole in the popularly passed Amendment 41 that limits gifts politicians
may accept from lobbyists and special interests, the Loveland City Council passed an
ordinance Dec. 19, 2006 exempting itself from the Amendment. The most well
known provisions of Amendment 41, the annual $50 gift limit from any one person
in one year, was cleverly replaced by the ambiguous term "occasional."
According to the authors of Amendment 41 who spoke with LovelandPolitics.com,
the City of Denver and other home rule cities were exempted from Amendment 41
limits on gifts from special interests since they already have stricter limits in place.
The Loveland ordinance is clearly contrary to the intent of Amendment 41 and
leaves the door wide-open for members of city government to continue enjoying
free meals and entertainment at lobbyists' expense. Greeley and Ft. Collins have
chosen to comply with the Amendment that passed by a landslide last November.
On the advice of City Attorney John Duval and City Manager Don Williams at the
November 21, 2006 meeting, the City Council decided to quickly enact the toothless
ordinance that primarily prohibits bribery and other obvious criminal activity
already illegal but exempts them from Amend. 41 limits. COMMENT ON BLOG
|Loveland City Council Votes "End-Run"
Around Gift Limits Approved by Voters
|Mayor Pro Tem Pielin took
exception to resident Roger
Hoffmann's comments to the
Council of describing the ordinance
as an "end-run"
|Councilmembers Steve Dozier and Dave Clark (right) quietly await
instructions from the City Attorney before voting to exempt
themselves from gift limits of Amendment 41. Dozier stated, "I
really don't care either way" after a resident requested the word
occasional be changed to annual.
|Councilwoman Jan Brown said almost
nothing but voted for the End-Run.
Two members of the public spoke to Council against the tricky loophole ordinance that passed unanimously.
The Mayor entertained comments from Council that appeared supportive of a change but Gene Pielin and Walt Skowron
spoke emphatically against changing the ordinance by pretending the voters also allowed the loophole therefore they must
also be in favor of the Loveland City Council exempting itself from the annual gift limits and other reform measures in
One speaker pointed out all federal officials manage to live under similar gift limits the Loveland City Council finds so