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Entry for August 29, 2007
Can this be true?  Please read the report - linked from LovelandPolitics.com.



Since both The Ranch and Grand Station are in Loveland City Limits, efforts to take a big development from one site and move it to another would not add value, jobs or new tax base for either the city or Northern Colorado.  Imagine if the city created tax incentives for business development fratricide.



If you were the Editor of the Reporter Herald, would you print the letter or run a story or both?  Why didn't they?  Did Cathay Rennels put a campaign contributor ahead of the county's best interest?  Why didn't the county publicly scold McWhinney if they indeed believe this to be true?
2007-08-30 04:56:49 GMT
Comments (79 total)
Author:Guch
Ryan, sorry but your posting was removed. As you know, drug use is a crime and accusing someone (even in jest)of such on this web blog cannot be allowed.

Please feel free to post again but refrain from saying anything that could be libel. Thank you.
2007-08-30 15:43:50 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Oh my God! If this is true, the entire campaign by McWhinney for Grand Station wasn't accurate and is, in fact, very misleading!

I cannot understand why the Reporter-Herald ignored this story other than to protect McWhinney and city staff from public outrage.
--Kim
2007-08-30 15:56:42 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Guys - try and connect the dots - here is what was reported in the Loveland Reporter-Herald last June by Kate Martin (go to their website for the full article);

Worries about winter weather and Loveland’s development process could further delay an Embassy Suites hotel planned for Larimer County’s fairgrounds complex, county officials said Friday.

Hotelier John Q. Hammons was supposed to break ground at The Ranch in September. If he does not break ground on time, a contract with Larimer County says he will have to forfeit $300,000 to the county for missing the deadline.

A proposal going before the Larimer County commissioners Tuesday would extend the deadline to April 1, 2008. In return for extending the deadline, Hammons would kick another $50,000 into the pot of “earnest money” to show he is sincere, said Larimer County Manager Frank Lancaster.

These penalties are peanuts compared to a $79 million parking garage. Do you think that is why they are discussing this in private?


--No Way
2007-08-30 16:19:05 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Here is what the Greeley Tribune said in an article about Jay Hardy before he jumped ship and went to work for McWhinney;

"Jay Hardy, fairgrounds director, has been negotiating the agreement with Hammons, who owns 58 hotels nationwide, including the University Park Holiday Inn in Fort Collins."

It interests me a great deal the timing of his departure. It appears to me the County may have already lost this deal and just doesn't know it yet.

--John
2007-08-30 16:26:13 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I know the story is true and have my own evidence to contribute if you need it. Where is your offer to county employees who can give you more information on this disgusting situation?

All of us in the county felt that Kathay prostrating herself in front of Chad McWhinney by keeping his dirty little secret was disgusting. Well, at least we now know that campaign contributors come before duty to this one county official.

Agreeing to keep this secret is a type of treason against the county. She needs to be recalled!

Frank never really did figure out who was the bigger liar. McWhinney said they were approached by Hammon and John Q. said he was approached by McWhinney.

I don't know Loveland well but you sure do have a fine newspaper down there. They remind me of the player who is really on the other team. They get the ball but run in the wrong direction! I hope that editor sleeps well at night because if it were me my conscious would keep me awake at night if I were trying to bury stories instead of reporting them!

Where is that Ouch guy? I will be happy to show him this story isn't half of what the county found out about McWhinney business ethics.
--Insider
2007-08-31 00:01:48 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I only have two questions: First, did the hotelier stand to gain more money at taxpayer expense by moving? Second, are any people running for the Loveland city council that I can vote for that aren't in bed with these shady developers?
--Will B
2007-08-31 02:23:48 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Yes. Don't vote for any incumbents or Krenning.
--Jerry
2007-08-31 03:00:28 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Will B, Yes, the McWhinneys have said they needed the trolley and parking structure paid by tax dollars to close current negotiations. $79 million for a parking garage isn't bad nor is a $1 million trolley ride as an attraction. Neither is a public use, however.
--CC
2007-08-31 03:18:27 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I think Frank called the McWhinneys highly unethical and incredibly dishonest - at a county staff meeting according to my friend who works with the county.

Thanks for informing the public about these characters. Chad isn't the nice guy he pretends but I think Jay had nothing to do with it. I don't believe he knew what kind of people he was getting involved with and now may regret his choices.
--Linda
2007-08-31 04:58:57 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ok..what am I missing here? The lead-in to this story tells us that the fairgrounds is in the city limits of Loveland as is the proposed Grand Station.

Hammons was iffy as to building the hotel next to the Ranch and caused the county some serious concerns.

The McWhinney's property is almost across the street from the Ranch.

McWhinney's have already announced several hotels to be located at Grand Station. Some are much better than what Hammons would build.

So, you have Hammons hotel next to the ranch or you have the same hotel on McWhinney's property which is close to the ranch. Both locations are in Loveland and in Larimer county.

Does anyone really care if the hotel (now already approved by Loveland's city council) is at either location?

I have no idea if McWhinneys tried to have Hammons move the location or not but either way it would have been build in the same city and same county.

If the city passes a lodging tax, it would work at either location. The property tax to the county is the same and the hotel serves the same customer base.

I guess it's like me and you owning separate building sites in Loveland and we both are trying to get the same builder to use our property instead of the other guy's lot.

Sorry, but I just don't get it.


--ouch
2007-08-31 12:36:04 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch, are you playing some sort of game here? The County had been working since before 2005 to attract John Q. If he instead went to Grand Station, not only would the TIF mean less property tax for the county but it would also be a net loss for the city until the county would recruit another hotel.

Are you saying its OK to use tax incentives to draw a business from one location in Loveland to another just down the street?

The county was angry since they were working with McWhinney closely on the larger Northen Colorado business development team and sharing confidential information about their negotiations with Hammons with the McWhinneys.

Do you think that was proper business ethics for McWhinney to continue the conversation and hire the county's lead guy without ever letting county know they were competing for the same developer?

What kind of business are you in that this is OK.
--Handle
2007-08-31 20:22:02 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Sorry...forgot about the TIF...sleepy this morning.
--ouch
2007-08-31 20:38:31 GMT
Author:Anonymous
OUCH, Are you Andrew Boucher?
2007-09-04 21:01:37 GMT
Author:Anonymous
No, he is not. He certainly has never worked for McWhinney either (as earlier posts claimed) but is well placed to provide an authoritative opinion on city issues.

The purpose of the blog is to allow people an ability to comment annonymously on issues facing the city. He is not required to reveal his identity to post here.
--Guch
2007-09-04 21:08:56 GMT
Author:Anonymous
What a fantastic story! I am going to keep my eyes on this site in the future!

I can't believe anyone on Loveland's City COuncil still thinks sticking with these people is going to help their political future! Here FTC we have seen them as McWhinney puppets for a longtime. This only confirms what we long suspected!
--Roger Kim
2007-09-04 22:31:41 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I'm just sayin, Boucher, bOUCHer. Kind of suspicous. That would be McW political consultant. Thanks Handle, you hit the issue straight on. Just to add a point, the loss of taxes by the County to the whole URA is in the hundreds of millions and they still have not gotten Crossroads Blvd. fixed. McW built Kendall Blvd instead of fixing Crossroads interchange which would have helped the Ranch.
2007-09-05 03:12:54 GMT
Author:Anonymous
It seems like if this council remains with the same team (Krenning included) and City Manager, you can bet they're gonna give more of our tax dollars to these crooked developers. They're just waiting until after the election. It's time for Lovelanders to vote for clean government.
They've cheated the County out of millions with their "Urban Renewal" special district on farmland; they're using our tax dollars to draw business from Loveland; andit sounds like they're trying to get out of fixing the interhcanges on I-25 by building parking garages and trolleys with tax money instead. Then they ask us for ANOTHER TAX to fix the interchanges through the so-called RTA engineered by McWhinney. The tax dollars come out of our pockets and into theres.
Why do we need tax-payer subsidized shopping ten miles east of town anyway? Have they driven on 34 lately? Council should be ashamed, and the bureaucrats who sold this even more so.
--Anonymous
2007-09-05 03:53:48 GMT
Author:Anonymous
just me thinkin' Chad McWhinney intentionally propositions the County's hotelier to come over and play at Grand Station - no one says anything. Maybe if Chad McWhinney had propositioned John Q. while making a wide stance in a public bathroom stall, people would care and this unethical conduct would get better news coverage.
--Allan (Larimer for Life)
2007-09-05 07:11:24 GMT
Author:Anonymous
To those living outside of Loveland but still in Larimer County...the county has not lose anything. The taxes they received on the land (which was not being farmed) is still there. They just don't get any increases based on higher valuation of property due to the development under the URA.

Unless you assume that the same developments would have happened without the city of Loveland. You really believe that the county would have given the same incentives?

Even if they had, the developments (now and planned) would have a different look. The county does not have the same building design standards, open land or landscaping requirements.

So, you have the same developments in the county instead of the city with lesser quality design standards.

In addition, the county gets to share the sales taxes and the city doesn't.

Good for you.....bad for the residents of Loveland.
--ouch
2007-09-05 22:41:41 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Without revealing too much that I can't say, suffice it to say you have absolutely not even the beginnings of an idea of what you are talking about. You obviously know nothing about zoning, annexation, development standards or the process of development in our region, the application or workings of the TIF or development finance. The danger of these blogs is they are great equalizers that give a forum to fools that think they know what they are talking about but don't even have a clue. You are the most dangerous or idiots because your reach exceeds your grasp. I hope to god you are not one of the candidates for Council, or have any influence on anyone that is running because you are totally ignorant of this topic.
--OUCH HAS NO CLUE
2007-09-06 04:49:30 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch,
Developments of this density can't happen in the county, they must be annexed. The developers have no choice because they need City services.

As for the argument that these developments wouldn't happen without incentives - these developments serve mostly people who live nearby - Loveland, Greeley, SE Fort Collins. If people will shop, or a business chooses to locate in Northern Colorado, the market will create retail or office opportunities - that's basic econ for ya.

Wherever shops locate in the County, the County gets the full tax revenue. Except when a business locates in a URA, much of the tax money stays in that URA. Essentially, the County gave up funding for services to residents, in order to pay for roads, utilities, parking and maybe trolleys in Centera. Sounds like a raw deal to me.
--Anonymous in Larimer
2007-09-06 05:45:49 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Anonymous in Larimer: You are correct with regards to the URA, which was my point. The county still gets the same as before which was its share of the property tax prior to the developement which is now part of the URA. The development would not have happened without the URA creation.

So, how did McWhinneys or Loveland cheat the county out of millions of dollars with the creation of the URA as the previous anonymous said?

No URA, no development.

However, I disagree that the developments would have happened without incentives. Loveland was in direct competition with Fort Collins and Windsor for a new mall/shopping area. All three were trying to get the development with Loveland being the first because of incentives given for the development of the Promanade Shops east of I-25. Fort Collins has now (somewhat) changed its mind by starting to give incentives.

Granted, the market will dictate development but with our area population growing the city that waits for this to happen will be passed up by those cities willing to give incentives to have the developments already in place.

To the other Anonymous: Your comments make no sense. You can't reveal too much? Go ahead and tell me how I'm wrong on the workings of the URA and how Loveland cheated the county out of tax dollars with the Promanade Shops. If you're unsure, go talk to the county and then talk to the city and see what the policies are with regards to annexations and development standards. You may also want to check the intergovermental agreement between Loveland and Larimer county.

I assume you live in the county and not in any city. If you're upset with how the county works then you should go talk with your county commissioners...but don't blame Loveland.


--ouch
2007-09-06 13:25:11 GMT
Author:Anonymous
If 'Ouch' is Andrew BOUCHer then his credibility and respectability are shot.
--Mo
2007-09-06 19:10:04 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Sorry, not who I am. Once again, no connection with the McWhinney organization...or any other developer or builder.

Can't anyone be in favor of the current McWhinney developments and not be connected to them?!
--ouch
2007-09-06 22:10:38 GMT
Author:Anonymous
A friend of mine who knows bOUCHer very well and his background in questionably legal campaign matters, in addition to being McW’s lobbyist, read this blog and confirmed that OUCH was definitely using his writing and speaking style. Also, OUCH knows nothing about which he speaks. For example, in the reply above he says that if the Promenade were developed in the County it would not be to the quality of the City's standards and later mentions the City's Intergovernmental Agreement with the County like he knows what that is. If he really knew what he was talking about the IGA mandates any urban development in the City's GMA to annex first. That's just an example. I really don't feel like spending the time to pick apart his arguments each and every one of which are based on erroneous information but he obviously is a poser at best and a McW plant at the worst. Oh, and for all the subsidy the City gave to Promenade, its really not a very high quality development, its mostly built of DRIVIT which is a cheap synthetic plaster on insulation board that fades, cracks, dents and stains over time. That mall will be obsolete and in need of real redevelopment subsidy inside of 10 years just like the Outlet mall which is only 10 years old itself. Developers are building these cheap crapy malls and getting cities to subsidize them faster than they can go out of style. We need to invest in our downtown and revitalizing the parts of town McW has sucked out to the interchange. OUCH is just slightly informed poser that McW has put up to post on this blog.
--OUCH, get out of town
2007-09-07 02:40:46 GMT
Author:Anonymous
To add to the comments above about market driven development, malls such as McW has built and propose have been built all over the world at greenfield interhchance locations without the need for subsidy. Why is it any differnet here? If there were any need for a subsidy, why doesn't McW just discount its land cost and take the hit rather than the tax payers. The reason is they have never had to, the City just hands them a subsidy without ever taking a strong negotiating stance. They forget the first rule of negotiation which is to be prepared to walk away from the table. McW knows they won't so they take advantageo of that weakness and exploit it without limit.
2007-09-07 03:18:32 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch:
Development in a URA - tax money stays in the URA
Development anywhere else - tax money goes to services for all county residents

As simple as that. By putting growth into a URA, residents of Larimer County (Loveland IS in Larimer County) lose out. That's why URA's need a public purpose to justify themselves.
--Anonymous in Larimer
2007-09-07 03:56:16 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I just heard about this thread.

I am not "ouch". I've never posted on this board before.
--Andrew Boucher
<mailto:aboucher99@hotmail.com>
2007-09-07 12:22:24 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I am not a crook
--Richard Nixon
2007-09-07 13:56:03 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Anonymous in Larimer: I thinks that's what I said...The county gets what it received before the development and does not benefit from the increased property tax due to the development being in a URA.

Larimer County only loses money if you assume that the development would have happened without the URA. I assume it would not have happened.

Anonymous: The land was annexed into the city before the development. You may wish to re-read my comments again. Maybe several times. I said even IF the Promanade Shops had been developed in the county, it would have had a different look because of the difference in building, open space and landscaping standards. I never said it could have been built in the county. Check your dictionary for the meaning of the word "if".

You may also wish to check on areas where there is competition for development between cities. You will find that is it common practice to offer incentives.

Talk to Johnstown and see if they have given incentives for the 25/34 development.

Talk to Fort Collins and see if they are now giving incentives.

I'm sure that there are plenty of developments happening at interchange locations without incentives...just not here. You said: "why is it any different here". If you really don't understand how it works when you have several cities trying to get the same type of development then you are really in the dark.
--ouch
2007-09-07 14:17:52 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I appreciate this website, and the opportunity to comment.

I strongly disagree with Ouch, who says,
” No URA, no development”. “[the] County only loses money if you assume that the development would have happened without the URA. I assume it would not have happened.”

Both arguments are patently false.

First, the County loses money because:
a) The development will consume additional County services and infrastructure (on the residential side alone there will be an estimated 12,880 new residents in 5600+ residential units), plus commercial, all consuming road and bridge capacity, other infrastructure and County services, etc.
and
b) Because of the URA, the property tax increment (est. $88 Million) that SHOULD HAVE gone to the County (and $182 Million to School District and millions more to the City) to partially offset such costs will INSTEAD be given to the developers’ profits.

Second, it is illogical to suggest that the area wouldn’t have developed without the subsidy. What is true is that, without government subsidy, it might have developed more “naturally”, i.e. not happened quite as quickly. The subsidy interfered with Market forces, and ACCELLERATED its development…and with it the demands on I-25 and its interchanges, US34, etc. Demands, by the way, that led the McWhinney representative and the City Manager to try to push a new 1% tax on the region to pay for fixes that Centerra had already been obligated for. This is pure and simply, subsidized sprawl at its worst.

I am always amused at how those who eschew regulations or controls (because they claim to adore the "free market") then are so quick to use the public's taxes to skew the market towards one developer or another. This is sheer hypocrisy!
--Roger Hoffmann
2007-09-08 00:04:48 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Thanks Roger for clarifying the amounts that have been handed over to McW. Most folks have absolutely no idea of the magnitudes of money that have been handed over to them. The City has realized only about 1.8 million annually in tax return for the nearly four hundred million $ handed over to McW. If you net out the increased cost of City services, decreases in revenue from other sources displaced by new retail, it is clearly a disastrous return on investment. And the true long term cost of services to support the influx of non-living wage employees has not even been accounted for yet. Not to mention the cost to redevelop these obsolete malls inside of 10 years when they go under. I my extensive involvement in public affairs over many years, I have never seen this magnitude of public money handed over to a private developer with absolutely no justification or financial scrutiny not to mention the total lack of accountability on the part of the developer. This is truly the deal of a life time for them. This is the biggest and most scandalous affair of government mismanagement I have ever seen. And to boot, they come in and ask for money that should go to fund our schools and county services to fund a choo choo train to no where and their parking structures? I have to pinch myself sometimes to even believe this has gone on in full view of the public.
--OUCH, TAKE A CLASS IN FINANCE
2007-09-08 02:25:52 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Roger: You are fully aware of how it works. Any home built in any city will affect the county in which the city is situation. If only for no other reason than the residents of the new home may drive on county roads.

Big deal. What is any city to do? Stop all growth so there is no impact to the county?

You cite dollar amounts that should have gone to the county, school district and city that are now comsumed by the URA. Let me say again that the development would not have happened without the URA. It is faulty to say that the dollars "SHOULD HAVE GONE" to the county, school district and city when they would not have been there without the URA.

You can't have it both ways. You can't eliminate the URA and still have the increase in tax dollars from the development that was possible with creation of the URA. Granted, some growth may have happened without the URA but on a smaller scale and not now. Then Loveland could have played catch up instead of being in the lead.

Roger, you know better than that.

You can't have the dollar amount you quoted without the development and you can't have the development without the URA.

You also were highly involved with the RTA and are fully aware that Loveland along with Fort Collins and Greeley dropped out.

Anonymous: You must come from somewhere that has seen a downward growth pattern. You speak of obsolete malls and say you have never seen such incentives. You need to live in the current time and not what may have happened to your area in the past. Your involvement in pulic affairs had to be with some backwards or depressed area of the county.

If you really belive there was no justification, financil scrutiny or accountability involved then you truly have no idea as to how the MFA reads. Maybe you can get a copy and educate yourself.
--ouch
2007-09-08 14:08:56 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I was the project manager for a company that owned 10X the acres of McW, developing in the fastest growing region of the country. The obsolescence of mall development is legend. The outlet mall, as one example, is less than 10 yrs old and sits 50% vacant. Malls sit vacant and empty and declining all over the country. The Foothills mall and Longmont malls are also good local examples, as are the many vacancies of strip centers and big boxes along Loveland's major roads. Retail formats are now cycling into obsolescence in about 10-years or less, regardless of where they are located. In fact, in faster growing regions like here and where I worked previously, the cycle is faster because the demand is constantly moving as sprawl progresses ever outward and competition is so fierce. The irony is that Grand Station will canibalize Promenade and so the developer is building his own demise. Promenade carries a 25 year debt obligation under the Metro District which is supported by the URA and that mall will fail in less than 10 years due in part to Grand Station and the fierce competition along the front range as neighborhing communities redevelop their obsolete malls. Grand Station will be in competition with mixed use centers being developed all along the front range and will never draw from the market area proposed, regardless of whether it has a choo choo train or not. OUCH, what is your educational and professional attainment? By the level of your analysis, I would say maybe high school? What do you do, sweep the floors at McW's offices?
--OUCH, GET SOME EDUCATION
2007-09-08 15:04:41 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Oh..nasty, nasty. As I said, go educate yourself. You were a project manager which in other words means that you were on the contruction side not involved with the planning
stages, including any marketing research studies.

You said it yourself: "...the fierce competition along the front range..." But yet you would rather have Loveland do nothing. No incentives, no URA and no future revenues. Let the other cities have it all.

If you had been smart enough to check with the manager of Loveland's outlet mall, you would have found that their sales and occupancy has increased after the Promanade Shops were completed.

Please do us all a favor and first check your assumptions against actual fact.
--ouch
2007-09-08 21:17:29 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Response to Ouch, though I didn't post here to get into a personal debate (I'd gladly do that in a more appropriate setting.)
It appears you didn’t read my previous note because you missed its points.
Please re-read it.
Essentially, your argument is:
a. No subsidy (URA) no development. THEREFORE,
b. No development, no new taxes.
Though your premise is false, you also omit any mention of relaationship of development to public costs. You should also have added: c) No development, no additional costs to citizens.

Additionally, there is an underlying assumption that: the development is good and desirable on in any case.

Your first premise (a) is false. MANY developments take place (routinely) without such subsidies. HOWEVER, such subsidies DO accelerate the timing of such developments because they reduce developer risk.

I also reject what I believe is your underlying, implied assumption. The development would only be a public good if:
The development’s fiscal benefits outweighed its costs to the city and residents ,
AND
It didn’t result in further decline of quality of life for the residents.

Even without including any discussion of less quantifiable quality of life impacts, I believe that the current City leadership is grossly derelict in neglecting to either project or track purely economic COSTS. To do so, the City would have to include far more than just the immediate (site-connected) infrastructure costs. I won’t list here all of the ways in which the City’s economic analysis fails, because it would be a lengthy post, but in a nutshell, the City fails to look far enough “downstream” both geographically and temporally at the impacts.

An example: it is broadly accepted that residential development doesn’t pay for itself and in fact costs a City far more in additional service demands than it takes in. So Cities often try to recruit retail and other commercial instead. But Retail and Commercial lead to residential anyway: the businesses themselves demand it, and in any case the very infrastructure placed for commercial leads invariably to more residential development. This is undeniable and well known. So one can not just count the “new taxes” (greatly reduced for 25 years) from Centerra without also taking account of the costs of new demands from all the residential (not just the 5600 units of Centerra, but also the subsequent sprawl it will enable and trigger.)

Finally, yes, I was involved with RTA Steering Committee, until it violated agreed-upon principles and turned into a tax-grab for developers…one that Loveland’s Council and Manager hung desperately onto until both Fort Collins and Greeley dropped out and it became apparent there wouldn’t be enough public tax dollars in it to let Centerra off the hook. I’m glad you raised that point, Ouch, because in fact, it is another illustration of the point I just made. Boosters like yourself like to tout all the alleged tax benefit, but what about the fact that all that development out there creates HUGE new problems for I-25 interchanges, ones that City officials and boosters like yourself seem to want the taxpayer to now pay for?

--Roger
2007-09-09 00:01:42 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Oh nasty, nasty, WTF? Are you Senator Craige, keep your feet on your side of the stall. A project manager oversees both the pre-planning and construction and actually my background is in the master planning side whicn includes market research and feasibility analysis and land planning. Agree Roger, no reason to argue with this guy. Roger, hope you speak out with these arguments when this goes to Council.
--OUCH is a naughty, naughty boy
2007-09-09 01:04:05 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Anonymous: You background speaks for itself..what you once were, you are no longer. Too tough? Fired? Unable to cope with the demands? Bad decisions? Whatever the case, enough of this dialog...you can lead a horse to water...so on and so forth.
--ouch
2007-09-09 02:32:06 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch, I don't understand why you believe there is no cost to the county with development within Loveland. East Loveland residents will use county roads, library and other services provided by the county.
--Amazed
2007-09-09 03:09:33 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Amaxed: Please read my prior post. I agreed there is cost for county roads. Loveland has its own library. Does the county have one?
--ouch
2007-09-09 03:16:01 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Roger: Good points and bad points.

I agree that incentives do accelerate the timing of the development but I believe it's the only way to stay ahead of the competition (other cities).

I also believe that the future benefits outweigh the short term costs to the citizens. Time will be the judge.

Short term capital outlay may exceed current revenues due to increase fire/police responses and basic city services to the area but I believe that in the long run, the revenue will be more than enough to pay for the additional demands. Again, time will tell.

Yes, I do belive that the development is good. It was a pleasure going to the Promanade Shops today instead of driving to some shopping complex in Fort Collins or Greeley. As a citizen of Loveland, I rather enjoy spending my dollars here.

That's only one reason why I disagree with YOUR ASSUMPTION that "no development, no additional cost to citizens" There is a cost to the citizens without this type of developoemnt...increased property taxes due to lack of revenue, lack of a choice of shopping within the city, increased gasoline for travel to cities that have the malls and shopping centers. I firmly believe that our quality of life is increased with the developments we now see east of I-25.

As far as the residential increase, I agree that residential units never pay their own way but how would you suggest we limit the number of homes being built in Loveland? A lottery for homebuilders? Or does the council pick and choose and then be accused of playing favorites?

Roger, we have argued/debated this before and we are just on opposite sides of the fence. Again, time will tell who is correct.
--ouch
2007-09-09 03:41:29 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Interesting you should profer what happened there, OUCH. The developer became very, very influential with the Mayor and Council. You can read between the lines there. We directed contracts and consulting agreements to Council members. Yes, that is how its done, no records and technically legal. The public finally got tired of it and elected a new Council and everybody, on the public and private side were eventually fired. That was a very hard lesson to learn and I have never become involved in anything like that since. It is absolutely essential that the commmunities keep an arms length relationship with development partners. The end result is always bad for both sides. Yes, I am not what I once was though, through not fault of mine, I never participated directly in any of the influence peddling. We had a guy that did that for us. Does this story sound familar? Though my career has gone fine, just in a different direction.
2007-09-09 17:27:02 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Anonymous: Thanks for the insight and I sincerely wish your career continues to go fine for you. I just happen to believe that the current Loveland council is honest and is only doing what they believe is best for the city and its residents. As I told Roger in the earlier post, time will tell.
--ouch
2007-09-09 18:27:07 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Thanks, its stupid to get nasty on these things, I appologize for my immature comments.
2007-09-09 18:36:20 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Response to Ouch Part 1:
You say you believe that incentives are necessary as they are “ the only way to stay ahead of the competition (other cities).”

Competition for what? I anticipate that you’ll say, “why, for sales taxes” …right?

Well guess what, that’s the entire point you keep missing or willfully ignoring. If sales taxes could be increased in a vacuum, say, without incurring more residential (rooftops) development, then you might have a case. But that’s an impossibility.

Show me ONE PLACE in this great state where a municipality was able and willing to limit development to retail (or even more generically, to commercial). It DOESN’T happen. For one thing, there are tremendous business pressures to encourage new residential. The retail outlets and real estate interests which own them KNOW they can not rely entirely on “pass-through” traffic, and WANT more residents because they want more customers. The developers know this, too….and they also know they can make plenty on so-called “Mixed Use” Devlopments….portraying them as if all the people who live there will work and shop there too….While this is good in theory it simply doesn’t often work that way.

For another thing, the very infrastructure placed to support the RETAIL development leads land speculators, developers and builders to want to build residential developments all around; and there is no political will, certainly in Loveland City Government, to say no.

It would be useless to argue to the contrary. Case in point: A developer (before your time, I suspect) himself verified this. It was following a rare denial (in Loveland) of a large development proposal called “Twin Lakes” – in between Loveland and the then-new “Outlet Mall”. (The Planning Chief at the time told me that the local developers ganged up and “homered” the outsiders, which was the only reason the project was defeated. At the hearing for the Gateway PUD, I had warned that while on the surface new retail sales taxes would look like a no-lose proposition, that the infrastructure would then lead to a whole spate of residential development, which would then offset any benefit the retail provided.

After the denial of the Twin Lakes PUD, the developer came up to me and said,
“I want to tell you that back when you warned the City, I was watching the hearing. You were telling it like it is. In fact, it was when the City decided to put the infrastructure out there that we then decided to take out the purchase option and pursue this development. So whatever happens in the future, just know that you were right and that a developer told you so.”



You also believe that while initial costs may exceed revenues, the future benefits outweigh the short term costs to the citizens.

But it isn’t enough to say “time will tell”. Here’s the problem: You locked the residents and the future City Councils into a long-term contract, of 25 years duration, during which tax revenues are substantially diverted to the developer’s ends. Not only the sales tax, but ALL of the property tax increment. But as malls AROUND AMERICA show, the lifespan of malls is NOT very long. 25 years could easily be the end of its usefulness…particularly if the energy experts around the globe are correct and we have indeed hit a post-Peak Oil world.

NOW you may feel it’s ok to gamble with other peoples moneys, and put future governing bodies at risk, but I think that is both irresponsible and unethical. Frankly, it stinks.
--Roger
2007-09-12 04:42:49 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Resp. to Ouch, Part 2:
You also say “ There is a cost to the citizens without this type of development” citing: “increased property taxes due to lack of revenue,”. This is absurd on its face for several reasons. First, it presumes lack of revenue if we don’t grow. In a properly balanced system and budget, revenue streams are balanced to O&M costs, and new development would pay for ITS costs and impacts. The revenues from the sales taxes, property taxes, fees, etc. don’t magically disappear!

Now…if on the other hand, your service cost recovery program is inadequate to keep up with actual costs of growth…which I proved during my tenure on the Economic Vitality task force, then the opposite of what you are implying is true…i.e. growth is a losing proposition because it requires broad distribution of the costs of growth in the form of new taxes, higher rates and fees, and higher property taxes. And…guess what…property taxes ARE increasing, SALES TAX increases are periodically ARE proposed (witness 3 failed attempts at a city-referred tax question, along with the City’s professed interest in the RTA 1% sales tax.)

It is profoundly illogical to tie economic health to unlimited growth. The latter is a logical impossibility. Nothing in the natural order supports this, and in fact, everything in observed nature and existence proves its impossibility. What happens when there is, for instance, no more water to divert or store; the congestion and air quality are so bad no one will move in, or you simply run out of room to develop and the costs exceed what anyone will pay? Taken to its logical end your argument shows its failure; because if you are creating a situation where growth is necessary for economic health, but further growth is impossible, then you have condemned future populations to poverty (along with depriving them of most of the quality of life.)

As for the question of how to limit the # of residential units, I’ll leave that to you and those who keep boosting all this development. First off, though, I’ll observe that it’s TOO LATE. The City already has an unbuilt lot inventory of so many years (it was up to about 12 years worth at one point, that the point is moot. At McWhinneyLand-East alone there are what, 5600 units? More? And the City Council in their infinite wisdom already signed off a contract with them removing any City ability to limit permits or otherwise slow their development. So the question is moot.

But here’s a thought: Stop throwing gasoline on the wildfire. Stop giving further incentives; stop further whittling away at the already-marginal terms of the MFA and development agreements. And if you must continue doing that (rewriting the terms to further harm the City taxpayers) out of some misplaced allegiance, all I can say is just don’t go to the voters expecting any new tax increases! They may be at times distracted, but they AREN'T stupid.

--Roger
2007-09-12 04:45:30 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Roger: First, Loveland has not had a mill increase in years. Why? because the sales tax revenues allow for the operation of the city without any increase in property taxes. The property tax increase you talk about is from school district ballot issues and county taxes. Any increase on the city side is only due to home appreciation. That's a good thing.

Yes, I know what your going to say; that because of city growth, the demands on the schools and county have forced an increase in property tax. Roger, I have seen much larger property tax increases in areas where there is no growth. Why? A lack of sales tax revenue. The only option left for some of those cities is to raise property taxes.

As you are aware, the city gets 11.8% of the property taxes, the county gets 27.6% and the school gets 57.3%

Yes, you are correct that with commerical comes residential and with residential comes commerical. With an increase in homes, you have a greater buyers market to support any commerical development. With an increase in commerical, you have a greater desire for people to move towards the commerical area for ease of shopping. That's how it works and has worked forever.

Go way back when the country was forming and you had individual farms that were self-supporting. The owner had to travel somewhere to sell his goods and buy supplies.

What happened? Someone built a grist mill and then a general store to serve the people in the area. Once they were built more people moved into the area because of the convenience. It may have happened without incentives but it still happened.

Same principal today only now you have more competition with surrounding cities which makes incentives necessary.

In your world, the grist mill and general store would have never happened if the local people had to help pay for the convenience. Know what then? The grist mill and general store would have been build somewhere else.

Believe it or not, some people of this community might like having the shopping close at hand and are even willing to pay for it.

I would have moved to be closer to that grist mill and general store. You would have stayed on the farm, hitched up your wagon and taveled to town to sell your crops and buy supplies.

It's strictly a matter of personal preference.
--ouch
2007-09-12 16:25:29 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch is a socialist, pure and simple. He doesn't believe market forces can create residential or commercial developments. He believes that government should be paying for these developments.

Reality- high quality public services are the job of government. Communities with these services - not choo choo trolleys - will attract the right kind of development. Incentives are to be used sparingly for a public purpose or when there are real barriers to development. If you haven;t noticed, we're not even fixinf the 34-25 interchange anytime soon. For Loveland ot give $349 million in incentives to comrades Chad and Troy (that's more than the whole City budget, I believe) is insane. There are 50 or 60 thousand people in Loveland, companies will come in here to serve those people.

We should be going after the good jobs, which we've lost, not retail. If people have $ to spend, you can bet retail will follow. Fort Collins, even Windsor are landing major manufacturing plants with hundreds of jobs.

The purpose of government is NOT to maximize the revenue it draws from its citizens, but to serve them well.
--PATRIOT
2007-09-12 23:58:53 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch is not a socialist, he is most likely a city councilman trying to defend his decision about centerra while still remaining anonymous. Roger Hoffman truly IS a socialist, as anyone who remembers his ridiculous run for county commissioner can attest. He actually made Gibson look qualified.
--Patriot Jr
2007-09-13 00:50:22 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Patriot: Market forces are creating the demand for commerical developments..why do you think they are being built? That demand creates competition among the front range cities which in turn forces the cities to offer incentives.

I am anything but a socialist.
--ouch
2007-09-13 13:43:45 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I agree with patriot jr. Hoffman may be on the right side regarding McWhinney, but he's also against almost all growth...except perhaps gov't subsidized housing. Opposition to public/private partnerships is logical, esp. in the case of the McWhinneys, but don't let that cause be stolen and reworked by nanniest NIMBYs like Roger Hoffman.
--Not a Roger fan
2007-09-13 19:38:53 GMT
Author:Anonymous
If you accept the simple premise that competition between Cities forces subsidy of retail, why then does it have to be located at 1-25 and 34? There are many, many successful regional centers located on major arterials with closer proximity to established poputlation centers. Consider the concentration of regional retail on 287 in Ft. Collins. Why does Loveland insist on subsidizing only one large developer in a remote location from its existing population? Seems inefficient and leaves much of its population without convenient access and forces them to travel to Ft. Collins which is more easily accessed due to the superior north/south mobility. The strategy is lopsided, it does not even hold water if you accept the simple premise. A more efficient and effective strategy would be to locate more regional serving retail at say 29th and 287 and capture more of the established local potential. I-25 and 34 has only a couple thousand residential units and will not be a significant regional population center for many years.
2007-09-13 20:49:59 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I would love to see the McWhinney's development or similar developments closer to the west end of Loveland. The problem is that McWhinneys had already owned the land to the east (most of it). 29th and 287 is, of course, already development albeit at a level lower than what is being built in the east.

As I understand, a lot of the land off of Wilson and some off Taft are classified as open lands as you approach Fort Collins and can therefor not be built upon.

I also understand that there will be some commerical development to the west near the homes being constructed around Wilson and 47th street.


--ouch
2007-09-13 21:31:54 GMT
Author:Anonymous
"Ouch" would like to see development on the West side of Loveland. Where 'The Don' Marostica has holdings.

So "Ouch" is in bed with 'The Don'.

Somehow that makes sense.
--Ken
2007-09-14 00:10:44 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ken: You have to be kidding. How about it would be more of a convenience for people living in the western end of town?! I have no idea where Marostica owns property nor do I really care.

My response was to the previous post. To your way of thinking, that person must also be in bed with Marostica because he/she would like to see some development to the west.

Get real.
--ouch
2007-09-14 13:14:55 GMT
Author:Anonymous
The orchards and vicinity are way underutilized and could be intsified in a format with structured parking similar to that envisioned by McW. Also, there's lots of land to the north and many vacant underutilized parcels on 34 and 287 that would better serve the existing population. Here's another issue. $80 million for structured parking at Grand Station? At $25,000 per space, that's five times the cost of surface parking which is about $5,000 per space. Why? Scarce land, costly land? That's usually the only reason to justify the huge cost of structured parking. The City would be better off buying the land from McW, building surface parking and taking the remaining $60,000,000 and spending it where it is needed in blighted areas of the City such as the vacant Alberson's and surgar factory. McW could still develop, albiet in a larger footprint the same magnitude of development, the land is there and in a pedestrian format using a new urbanist perimeter block with surface parking which is pedestrian friendly. Everybody wins. McW and the City get their new development and the City benefits from fixing truely blighted areas of the City. The money could be spent building a landscaped boulevard from Centerra to 287 with median landscaping, street trees, public art, sidewalks, etc. It would extablish a gateway for both McW and the City, create a link from Centerra to the balance of the community and benefit the broader community. Yes, Marostica owns some land near the Alberson's but he is doing a good job trying to redevelop it and that area seriously needs some enhancements. OUCH, what do you think of that idea?
2007-09-14 13:28:54 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Great idea..if you could talk to all the property owners between Centerra and 287 and have them sell their properties for a landscapped boulevard.

I've never heard of any parking problems with the orchards shopping area and even if the area were to expand it would have to be some owner/developer who comes forward with the plans...just like the McWhinneys and the east end of town.

With regards to buying the land from the McWhinneys, you would have to have McWhinneys sell some of their land to the city. However, they don't want to sell it, they want to develop it.

You are right about the surface parking versus parking structures...land cost is too much.

There is no $60,000,000 that the city has that could be used for blighted areas. The money is from the cash flow that McWhinneys get from the URA and sharing of sales tax revenues. They issue bonds for the cost of parking and other improvements which is then paid back to the bond holders through the URA and taxes.

As I understand it, the money for parking at the McWhinney's development is already going to the McWhinneys through the URA and tax sharing plans. They just wish to have permission to use some of that money for parking.


--ouch
2007-09-14 15:32:46 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Nope, easily done, the City controls the URA, not McW. That's what folks don't understan. The City would not need their approval. All that's needed is to add the 34 right-of-way to the URA boundary, done by resolution. TIF can be spent on any eligible public improvement the City deems appropriate to address conditions of blight. Actually by adding r-o-w adjacent to an area that's truely blighted, it legitimizes the URA. The right-of-way is there, no need to get additional from the land owners, it can be done within the existing right-of-way. The bonds would be unaffected if all that is added is r-o-w.
2007-09-15 12:56:31 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Granted the city creates the URA but the 34 and I-25 interchange is already in the MFA for improvements to be made by the McWhinneys from URA monies.

--ouch
2007-09-15 13:48:06 GMT
Author:Anonymous
The McWhinneys did NOT own most of the land they developed on. IN fact, they had a relatively small parcel, but bought options to purchase surrounding farms; options which would be exercized only if the City agreed to development plans and terms the McW's needed.
Ouch, surely you knew this!
--Steve-o
2007-09-15 18:06:35 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Also, the argument that "we're forced to subsidize retail because of competition" is bogus. What about the market? If there is a a demand, then the market will fill it. This "competition" that ouch refers to is a game for suckers. Sure the developers will ask for extra "incentives" ...why not? As long as there are suckers (or proxies) who'll give them away, the developers will hold out their hands.
Sounds like ouch and PatriotJr are the socialists here, not Hoffman.
--Steve-o
2007-09-15 18:18:16 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Steve-o: You may be correct with regards to the land but I had always been told that the land they are now developing or most of it was in the family (great grandfather)....am I wrong?

I've already said that the market drives development. Larger markets create larger demand for development and increased competition among the cities...what's so hard to understanad about that?

Read some history books on what a socialistic society is all about then see who fits the mold better....you and Roger or I and Patriot Jr.
--ouch
2007-09-15 20:42:12 GMT
Author:Anonymous
ouch...wrong. According to the reports, McW's continue to buy options on these farms. Their dad gave them only a small piece to start. Somebody sold you a billa goods. I'm definitely no socialist. Aint it funny how folk who support welfare for fat cats call others socialists.
--Steve-o
2007-09-15 21:19:40 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Steve-o: Again, you may be right with reagards with the land. I know that they purchased land south of 34 across from centerra and the land for the proposed grand station. I thought that the land for centerra was already owned by the McWhinneys....maybe not...I'll check.

Socialists do not support welfare for your "fat cats", they support welfare for the general public. You have it backwards.

Incentives to the McWhinneys isn't even close to being a socialist.
--ouch
2007-09-16 12:36:08 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Good morning Ouch, you are up early this morning. Trouble sleeping?

Nobody who believes in a free market economy would be supporting Loveland's subsidies of the McWhinney developments. What started in many cities as a vehicle to ensure convention centers are built or urban blight is removed has now turned into a free for all to subsidize rich campaign contributors.

The limits placed on the use of these tax vehicles to subsidize development were abused by Loveland's City Council.

Using their legislative powers and the discretion provided to them by law to falsely declare open farmland urban "blight" only because the McWhinneys owned it was a sneaky and dishonest move. It introduced a type of moral hazard into our local governance that will take years to remove.

Imagine if Loveland's Fire Chief used his power in an equally dishonest fashion to pretend the arson of a contributor was an accidental fire so he could collect insurance money on an old building? I think all of Ouch's arguments could apply to this as well in defending the Fire Chief because we need development at any cost.

What if a Police Chief used his power of discretion to claim the McWhinneys were robbed so they could collect insurance money on an item they never owned. Perhaps, this is also OK with Ouch so long as they use their ill gotten gains for development in Loveland.

No, they were not victims of Urban Blight or even the kind of blight the people helping to save the grainery are fighting to reverse in downtown Loveland.

If all our public officials took the lead from this City Council of pretending something is different than what it is only for the financial gain of their contributors - we would have economic chaos like Iraq or Nigeria where public officials are little more than pawns of the financial interests who back them.

Insurance companies, retail stores and even most developers expect to have fair rules of the game where one company or individual cannot buy the discretionary powers of their local officials through campaign contributions. Why couldn't farmers along the I-25 get the same incentives as McWhinney? No, they were forced to sell their property to the big campaign contributors who enjoy favors in city hall not generally available to the public.

There is an old saying in Farsi that applies very well to Loveland's current City Council.

It takes only one village idiot to roll a boulder into the well and even the town's smartest minds cannot remove it.

Campaign finance reform for Loveland is the start but now we need people on the City Council with integrity. That may require digging an entirely new well. Moral corruption, once introduced, is very difficult to remove.

Ouch, please stop trying to excuse what is wrong and your sleep patterns may improve.
--Art
2007-09-16 14:04:45 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Good morning Ouch, you are up early this morning. Trouble sleeping?

Nobody who believes in a free market economy would be supporting Loveland's subsidies of the McWhinney developments. What started in many cities as a vehicle to ensure convention centers are built or urban blight is removed has now turned into a free for all to subsidize rich campaign contributors.

The limits placed on the use of these tax vehicles to subsidize development were abused by Loveland's City Council.

Using their legislative powers and the discretion provided to them by law to falsely declare open farmland urban "blight" only because the McWhinneys owned it was a sneaky and dishonest move. It introduced a type of moral hazard into our local governance that will take years to remove.

Imagine if Loveland's Fire Chief used his power in an equally dishonest fashion to pretend the arson of a contributor was an accidental fire so he could collect insurance money on an old building? I think all of Ouch's arguments could apply to this as well in defending the Fire Chief because we need development at any cost.

What if a Police Chief used his power of discretion to claim the McWhinneys were robbed so they could collect insurance money on an item they never owned. Perhaps, this is also OK with Ouch so long as they use their ill gotten gains for development in Loveland.

No, they were not victims of Urban Blight or even the kind of blight the people helping to save the grainery are fighting to reverse in downtown Loveland.

If all our public officials took the lead from this City Council of pretending something is different than what it is only for the financial gain of their contributors - we would have economic chaos like Iraq or Nigeria where public officials are little more than pawns of the financial interests who back them.

Insurance companies, retail stores and even most developers expect to have fair rules of the game where one company or individual cannot buy the discretionary powers of their local officials through campaign contributions. Why couldn't farmers along the I-25 get the same incentives as McWhinney? No, they were forced to sell their property to the big campaign contributors who enjoy favors in city hall not generally available to the public.

There is an old saying in Farsi that applies very well to Loveland's current City Council.

It takes only one village idiot to roll a boulder into the well and even the town's smartest minds cannot remove it.

Campaign finance reform for Loveland is the start but now we need people on the City Council with integrity. That may require digging an entirely new well. Moral corruption, once introduced, is very difficult to remove.

Ouch, please stop trying to excuse what is wrong and your sleep patterns may improve.
--Art
2007-09-16 14:07:58 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Art: Whooooa....You really think 9:00 is early? Get out of bed and do something.

Your analogies are terrible. You have current law being broken versus a city's right to create a URA.

You quote Farsi..a Persian language (Iran). Hmmm..upset with any government over here?
--ouch
2007-09-16 20:07:10 GMT
Author:Anonymous
You posted at 6:00 AM - I responded to your post before 7:00 AM. The time listed (for reasons I don't know) are GMT.

Farsi is a Persian language not just the language of Iran. It is also much older than Islam and not everyone who speaks Farsi is Islamic. It is also spoken in other places outside Iran. I really don't have time to educate you today Ouch so try and crack a book this weekend.

I especially like the comments at a recent Council meeting where two Councilmen stated to McWhinney's lobbyists "I am not a developer so I don't understand...."

Well here is some news - nobody elected you to try and act like a developer by partnering with one. It was clear that everyone except Dave Clark was confused and out of their element. If they can admit to McWhinney they don't know what they are doing why can't they admit it to the public?
--Art
2007-09-17 00:14:21 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch is still type of a socialist. His argument that he wants to provide welfare to "fat cats" rather than the middle class just makes him a "right-wing" socialist.

He says the market is about "competition between cities!" Open an econ textbook. The market is about competition between individuals and companies. Governments exists to serve the people with public services.

The Council ought to take charge of this URA and put its money into the 34-25 interchange and highway 34 right away, rather than building McWhinney spine(less) roads.
--PATRIOT
2007-09-17 04:10:53 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ok. probably enough on this thread. I was wrong on the time...glanced at the date not the time. I'm usually up by 6:00 so I guess that was the correct time that I posted. No big deal either way. A lot of people are up early.

I added Iran in my comment because Farsi is most common in Iran...you may wish to check this out if you're unsure.


--ouch
2007-09-17 12:16:11 GMT
Author:Anonymous
“Steve-O”-How interesting that you have labeled me a socialist. In fact, I am a partisan Republican. My comments did not speak in favor of, or in opposition to, McWhinneys or Centerra. I only said I believe “ouch” to be a council member, probably a “councilman”. Secondly, I stated my belief that Hoffman is a socialist. Hoffman painted himself as a far left-wing candidate in his 2004 run for commissioner. He did receive the AFL/CIO endorsement after all (http://www.cfpe.org/downloads/Endorsements2004.pdf). Clearly, Roger is commenting here using his own name for political gain. How unfortunate that Hoffman2004.com is no longer in service. Suspiciously, he has not posted on this thread since my original comment on the 13th, but suddenly we get the irrational ramblings of “steve-o”. Go ahead steve-o, step into that phone booth, pull off those glasses, and let’s hear from Roger again.
--patriot jr
2007-09-17 20:26:25 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Wow. A lot of comments since my last post. How unfortunate that obviously uninformed people have to resort to ad hominem attacks on me from the safety that anonymous posting; instead of addressing the issue and debating like a man.

The steady, routine decay from honest debate to such childishness is precisely why I and others are reluctant to post on such blogs.

While Ouch at least stayed on topic (more or less, though at times I wondered), in particular, two posts signed by “PatriotJr” and “Not a Roger fan” ) accused me of socialism. I challenge either of you to show even one instance wherein I have espoused any position that is socialist. One points to an endorsement by a union during my 2004 campaign as “proof” of being a far-leftist. Does my endorsement by the Fraternal Order of Police prove the opposite? Does the union’s other endorsements also therefore prove that 7 Congressional candidates, about 75 legislative candidates, and U.S. Senator Salazar are all far-left? In any case, I suggest that if you want to bandy about the label “socialist”, you ought to make some attempt to understand the meaning of the word.

Nor have I ever advocated for government-subsidized housing. In fact, I have called for the opposite; i.e. an end of taxpayer-subsidies especially for residential development. During my tenure on the Affordable Housing Commission, I specifically argued against such subsidies. If the one(s) who posted such lies have any decency any guts whatsoever, they will apologize for these lies.
--Roger Hoffmann
2007-09-18 00:48:08 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Roger-My most sincere apologies. How could anyone ever doubt the moderate, centrist views of a politician who was a contributing reporter to the now defunct Main Street Free Press? It was truly a shame to lose such a fine and impartial source of news. Of course, its archives are still online here: www.mainstreetfreepress.com. Likewise for the moderate tendencies of the Sierra Club, of which you are a member, in the Poudre Canyon Group. Ecoterrorists like Paul Watson, he was on S.C.’s Board of Directors, have called the Sierra club home for a long time. I invite you to google “Paul Watson ecoterrorist”.

Roger, I think we would both agree that “socialism” refers not just to the distribution of wealth by the government, but also control of the land and natural resources by the government. It is your continuing support of the intervention by gov’t into the rights of private property owners which leads me, and apparently others, to consider you a socialist. Please keep in mind that I am NOT talking about public/private partnerships, of which I am opposed. You accuse me of an “ad hominen attack” and not debating the issues “like a man”. Please understand that the “issue” I wished to debate here was, in fact, you, so an ad hominem attack is most appropriate. Also, other than the “junior” in my title-which I added because I had posted after a blogger named “patriot”- how do you even know I am a man? Surely, you aren’t sexist also?
P.S.-I have posted anonymously, like every other person on this blog except you, because I am not a politician, and I’m not trying to exploit any issue for my own gain. Give “steve-o” a big kiss goodnight from me.

--patriot jr
2007-09-18 21:15:19 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Patriot Jr’s apology seems anything but sincere. The ad hominem attack continues to obscure the topic of this thread.
BTW, I will refer to you in the masculine precisely because you used “Jr”. If you want to be known as a woman, than just say it instead of implying that I am sexist for correctly translating the meaning of Jr.
(and btw, I don’t know your steve-o, am hetero myself but if it’s your thing, feel free to give him a kiss yourself…though you’d better ask him first.)
Jr. further muddies the stream by the logical error of guilt by association. For example, Jr. claims that I am a Sierra Club member, and since Paul Watson (whom he labels "ecoterrorist" for his confrontations of whaling factory ships) was once a Sierra Club board member, Therefore I must be like Paul Watson. The argument is thus: “A is part of Set x” “B was once part of Set x”. Therefore A = B. Absurd! (Shows why "Critical Thinking" should be a classroom requisite.)

While I keep ALL my contributions to groups private, and will therefore not comment on which groups I may support at any time, I have been over time been a supporter (and therefore a “member”) of MANY different groups covering a BROAD interest and political spectrum. Among them are conservation groups, sportsmens (hunting and fishing) groups, charitable organizations, economic development organizations, science and exploration groups and more. Many are apolitical, some are political and some of the latter are considered anything but liberal. You know NOTHING about me.


Since the owner of this site allows it, you can continue to engage in ad hominem attack if you like, but you weaken your arguments in the process, because others care more about the issue than your opinion of the writers.

Another problem: Jr. chose to create a new, personal and overly broad definition of socialism which doesn’t jibe, for example, with http://mw1.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Socialism . But let’s for sake of argument include a broader extension to include, “also control of the land and natural resources by the government”. To suggest that I have EVER advocated for such a thing is outrageous. I challenge you to supply one example in which I have ever argued that government should control private property. I am apparently a stronger advocate for private property rights than you.
When it comes to “natural resources”, let’s be specific. Some protections of the “commons” are vital to our survival. For example, if you’re talking about whether a person upwind or upstream of you (and others) has the right to dump poison into the water or air that you also live on, well, you’d be largely alone in arguing that’s his right. As is said about the rights of smokers, for instance, your rights end at my nose and lungs.
Jr. also maligns me because of articles I had published in “Main Street Free Press” www.mainstreetfreepress.com . I invite readers to read the series of 3 articles (in their last 3 editions…not my fault, honestly!) they were nice enough to publish. No other print media outlets being interested in such in-depth analysis of regional transportation developments, I was quite happy to have that paper (or any other so inclined) print them. But again, the attempt at “guilt by association”. I stand by my words in those articles and invite readers to judge for themselves whether there is some hint of socialism in what I’ve said.

Having said all this, I think that the real intent of Jr. was to use red herrings to get off the topic introduced by the website owner. You can make this about me or any one person, but I think we’d all be better served by discussing the issues. If it irks you, Jr. that I have the guts to sign my name, then so be it….I suppose I could adopt a moniker instead.
--Roger
2007-09-21 01:31:16 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Here is my latest theory. I have been trying to bust OUCH for some time. I am the one that put the Andew Boucher theory out which is wrong. He's definately not a council member, does not know enough about the technical side of the URA. My realization now is that OUCH is the alter ego of Guchwale, the host of the this site and he uses this to keep the discussion going and make things interesting, which I really have no problem with. Maybe OUCH might want to come out now. I'm right, uh?
--OUCH is GUCHWALE
2007-09-22 02:05:10 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I don't even know who "Guchwale" is. There is no way I would even think of starting a blog such as this, which in my humble opinion, has been started by someone who just hates city government.

If new faces are elected to the council, this site will continue with the same people still complaining about the decisions that the city makes.

It's just human nature.

Does it really matter who I am? If I were one of the flock then nobody would really care. It's the difference of opinion that bothers most of the other viewers of this blog.

I am fully aware of how the URA works. Are you?
--ouch
2007-09-22 12:33:10 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Roger, cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare.- Cicero

Congratulations, Roger! You seem to have mastered a Latin phrase; perhaps in the future you can refrain from using it “ad nauseum”.

Apparently the numerous comments about the identity of “ouch” have not taken us off topic, just my remarks about you, which, as I already explained, were my primary reason for posting here. Perhaps you have whined to the webmaster to remove my messages, but I can see no reason why the owner of this site would not allow my comments (there are many worse about council members and the McWhinneys). As I said before, you posted here using your own name for political gain, and while you have neglected answering this charge, it still rings true. You have been given a chance to defend yourself and your record (and failed on both counts).
Your analysis of your own political associations seems myopic. Yes, taken individually, a labor union endorsement or membership in an environmental organization may not mean much, but together, these and the many other comments of public record, endorsements and memberships, and campaign contributions, create a clear picture of Roger Hoffmann the politician. Your claim about keeping your membership affiliations private is preposterous; I thought we were dealing with someone with the “guts” to sign his name. You also seem blessed with the uncanny knack to defend persons and organizations while attempting to personally distance yourself from them. For example, the “confrontations” you speak of involving your fellow Sierra Club member Paul Watson actually involve his ramming, and sinking, numerous fishing vessels. The Main Street Free Press was really no more than an outrageous liberal blog put on paper. The AFL/CIO is really trying to strip Colorado workers of their right to work. Now, please spare us the semantics, the people on this blog can do their own research and formulate their own opinions. The last thing anyone wants is a rambling five paragraph screed from you explaining why “right to work” is a bad thing, then telling us you do not formally endorse either side.

Finally, this is copied directly from Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, which you cite, EMPHASIS is mine:
Socialism
Function: noun
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or GOVERNMENTAL OWNERSHIP and administration OF THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is NO PRIVATE PROPERTY b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

I assume you agree that “no private property” means control of land by the gov’t and “governmental ownership of the means of production” would include natural resources (like trees, coal, gold or farms, for example).


--patriot jr
2007-09-26 14:47:00 GMT
Author:Anonymous
The clock is off. 9:29 am.
2007-09-26 15:29:47 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ah, the clock lists Greenwich Mean Time.
2007-09-26 17:18:45 GMT
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