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June 16, 2008 - Refusing To Admit Its Delayed
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After months of delays and clever "reorg" announcements, McWhinney spokesman (nicknamed by some as Bahgdad Bob) finally admits the Grand Station project will not begin as planned.  The June 14, 2008 story in the Loveland Reporter-Herald carried the announcement as if it were new information.  It was reported here last February.



LovelandPolitic s first reported Grand Station problems and inevitable delays last February.  Will Councilman Glenn Rousey eat his words as he challenged everyone here last February  that Grand Station would begin as planned?





2008-06-17 07:09:47 GMT
Comments (29 total)
Author:Anonymous
I believe if you check my postings regarding Grand Station, I said I believed that Grand Station would be built and I still believe it will be completed...although a year later than planned.

If I actually said it would be built in the original time frame, then of course, I'll be happy to eat my words...but you may wish to check the previous postings.

The economy has forced many developments around the country to be delayed and Loveland is no exception...I'm not sure anyone (even on this blog) could blame McWhinneys or the city council for the current downturn of construction in the country.




--ouch/rousey
2008-06-17 12:40:17 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Point taken. However, the evidence the man hired to run Grand Station, Tom Martin, had already left McWhinney and was in a new job in California while McWhinney spokesmen were still pretending all was proceeding according to plan is evidence they were not being straight with you.

I don't doubt the council was willing to give McWhinney the benefit of the doubt and that you were sincere in defending Jack Wolfe's promises that everything was on-track to begin construction as planned.

I like the analogy of Bahgdad Bob since he also denied Bahgdad was under attack even as bomds were falling all around him during a press conference. Similarly, the exodus of top management from McWhinney combined with a commercial lease team unable to sign-up stores were bombs the public could see but the Council refused to acknowledge.

McWhinney tapped out their debt late last year on properties and I predicted on this blog they would blame the market or economy when they got around to making the announcement.

Mr. Rousey, all I wanted to communitcate to you earlier is to watch your back (really our backs) when dealing with McWhinney. They strung you along and now everyone who stood with them looks as foolish as Bahgdad Bob.

Here is my advice, don't have the City Manager set-up meetings for you. Investigate yourself by calling the former CFO, VP of Marketing or even leasing to hear their views. I doubt they will tell you the recently announced delay in Grand Station was due to recent market conditions or even a surprise. They met last December and were told the lack of interest in the project was problem.

Why is Wolfe still saying there is lots of interest when he can't sign the leases required to get it off the ground? By the way, the Centerra managers also told you this at a council meeting last year when you approved the $80 million for the parking garage using Metro District funds.
--Walter
2008-06-17 15:32:37 GMT
Author:Anonymous
What of the rumor the McWhinneys plan to sell their remaining interest in Centerra to gain financial footing for their project in Broomfield?

Was that rumor actually fact, dismissed by The Reporter-Herald because they willingly turn a blind eye to the lies of the McWhinneys?
2008-06-18 00:44:32 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Ouch/Rousey - I blame you, Larry, Dave and the Mayor for putting special interests before everyone else in this town.

What if I told you I just forgot to put aside the money for my property taxes or forgot to follow city code or decided speeding tickets are too high so I don't have to pay them?

I know, you would never give a resident of this town a break. But if I were McWhinney or another developer - the sky is the limit.

Every house in Loveland is worth less as some of the worst developers on the front range put-up crappy houses and never added a single park or school. Streets in some developments are so narrow a fire engine can't go down the street when cars are parked on both sides. That "Victorian" tragedy continues in front of Irwin Middle School - please pull the dam permit.

To add insult to injury you don't even collect their Use Tax (I read the story here) and give the buffoon responsible for the mess the right to "settle" their debt without even keeping records so we don't know if Larry Heckel also evaded his city Use Tax obligations.

Yes, I blame you for not caring about my property values while cutting real traffic mitigation fees so a developer's project can "pencil out."

So I waste time in traffic congestion spending more on gas caused by your weakness in not collecting traffic mitigation fees, I see my son start 1st grade in an overcrowded elementary school competing for resources his "low income" neighborhood didn't contribute to and I can't find a place to picnic peacefully with my family anymore near Lake Loveland (a lake you have given exclusive rights to wealthy property owners instead of the residents of Loveland).

This is the worst council in all the years I have lived in Loveland. You really should hide your head in shame for the poor decisions you have made!!
--M. Crawford
2008-06-18 01:22:41 GMT
Author:Anonymous
M.Crawford: Whoooa! I (this council) had nothing to do with Lake Loveland. The lake and water rights are owned by the City of Greeley and the surface rights for boating/swimming was sold to the surrounding property owners many, many years ago...the swim beach is leased by the city from those property owners.

Should the city have purchased this lake years ago? Hindsight tells us yes but at the time the cost seemed too hight to the council at that time (20-30 years ago?)

As to having a pinic....I believe Loveland has many wonderful parks for use...the mountain park is great, albeit crowded on the weekends...Namaqua park is small but lightly used...the youth park is great with the splash area...the new fairgrounds park is planned to be opened this october and should be of benefit to the entire community.

The use taxes that were forgiven (actually not that many and based on audits) were because the city used the wrong tax table...our mistake and we needed to correct it.

Property values are down across the country..not just Loveland and not as bad in Loveland as in other communities. This has nothing to do with the number of parks in our town.

If you have a street that is not able to be used by the fire department (fire code requires 20 feet unobstructed width), please let me know...I'll be happy to ask the city to limit on-street parking if the current parking reduces the required width.

Thanks Walter

--ouch/rousey
2008-06-18 13:36:44 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Sorry, but I need to ask....If Grand Station starts construction in 2009 and is completed at a later date than originally planned because of a market slump (or for whatever reason) is it really a big deal?

There is, of course, no revenue sharing or metro district funds used unless/until it is constructed.

I would assume (sorry) that many developers with a project of this size would hesitate to announce any delay.....kinda turns off prospective occupants not yet signed up. Right?
--ouch/rousey
2008-06-18 13:49:06 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Thanks for the story. I understand market swings. But my problem with this is that the City Manager and Council keeps giving our taxes away to the McWhinneys, even when it's clear that risks abound. In fact, they couldn't keep to plan EVEN WITH the huge subsidies that reduce their risks far below what any other developer would have. And I'm also upset that they make these decisions that they won't have to be accountable for when things go bust, after they've left Council (or Loveland). They walk away and we taxpayers, and some future Council are left with the mess. Why are they gambling with our taxes?
--Herm
2008-06-18 17:17:10 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Mr. Rousey you need to consider the following;

1. According to a news story a few months back, John Rust advised you that Lake Loveland's largest adjacent property owner is the City itself. He reminded you that the Recreation Association that now controls surface water rights for lake Loveland does so as part of an agreement with the ditch company that included the city allowing the use of city property for their loading dock and other concessions which is all NEGOTIABLE. Show leadership, courage or at least initiative by actually doing something for a change instead of letting the city manager decide what you will discuss and what your choices are.

2. Loveland was saved the last big property drop in value since our properties DIDN'T increase much since 2000 like the rest of the country due to over building you support.

3. I live on West 44th Street and cars are already allowed to park only on one side of our street. But when people get talking or stop to run into their house for a minute parking on the prohibited side it creates a fire danger for everyone on the street since fire engine can't get through. The police are good at enforcing it when people keep their cars there but please - cities with properly planned streets don't waste police time on this since they don't have substandard streets that need to be constantly policed. You probably approved it to give the developer more profit without thinking about the long-term consequence of your decision on everyone elese.

We hate the neighborhood and want to move but you and your friends have done such a great job keeping home values down in Loveland I can't get what I payed for it and owe more than its worth!

Houses are supposed to go up in value but since your tenure on the Council they seem to go down. If we had bought in Ft. Collins like our friends our house would have appreciated 30% by now.

Thanks again - you and your special interest owned friends have done a great job wrecking what was good in Loveland.
--M. Crawford
2008-06-20 00:21:02 GMT
Author:Anonymous
M. Crawford: After Mr. Rust came before council, the city (at the direction of council) looked and could not find any agreement that would allow the citizens (other than the surrounding property owners) to have surface rights to the lake....again, way before my time.

It sounds as if 44th street was built to appropriate standards and the residents themselves are causing the problems of blocking the street. With over 30 years in the fire service, I can assure you that I would not even think of allowing any street to be constructed of a width less than allowed by fire code.

We moved to Loveland from Illinois in 1997 and purchased a home later that year. We had a nice increase in property value for several years and then property value flat-lined...the same for our friends in Illinois and family members in other parts of the country. I believe a similar pattern was witnessed in Loveland in the mid-80's. It also happened to my bother's home in California in the late 70's....it's a lot more complicated than simply believing that it must be local government's fault....in real estate, timing and location is everything.....by the way, I believe if you check you will find that property values in Loveland have increased at a higher precentage than Fort Collins during the last decade.

Once again, I have no "special intrest friends" and owe nothing to any builder or developer. We (the council) make decisions that we feel is best for Loveland...like anyone else, sometimes we may miss the mark but it's not for lack of trying and it's not because we favor one group over another.

Sorry to get away from the topic at hand but I felt it necessary to respond to the comments above.
--ouch/rousey
2008-06-20 13:23:42 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I have known John for many years and he will not say something unless he can back it up. His point to you all was that Association membership is based on owning property adjacent to Lake Loveland. The city is the biggest owner and cannot be kept out of the association because they meet the requirement more than all the other owners put together. You are now paying them a quarter million (or somthin near that) for the swim beach.

And property values in California nearly doubled in the time you have been on the council here.

It is interesting you were willing to vote on taxes for McWhinney for 25 years after only being in the community for maybe six at that time.

Thank you for your kind answer. Unfortunately, what damage was done is done. I just think tying-up future councils for terms you have not been elected to serve by giving city revenue to McWhinney was a mistake. Just my opinion and everyone else I know in Loveland.
--M. Crawford
2008-06-22 21:27:54 GMT
Author:Anonymous
M. Crawford: Thanks for the comments..however, the city pays the homeowners association at Lake Loveland $1,800.00 per year (just increased from $600.00)....as reported on this blog.

Those property owners who have surface rights had to purcahse those rights many years ago. It is my understanding that the city did not participate in buying any surface rights.

An excellent web site is: www.dqnews.com which has current real estate vaules across many states, including California. California home sales are broken down by city and zip code and shows median sale prices for may 2008 versus may 2007.....for example, one zip code in Fullerton shows a drop in price of 10.7%, Laguna Hills -52,6%, Mission Viejo -25.8%, Anaheim -33.33%. By county, Napa County -21.33%, Orange County -23.62%, Sacramento County -34.78%

There are a few pockets with increases but very few...actually, kinda of scary!

My point is that Loveland is not alone in seeing lower home prices and readers of this blog should not believe that Califonia is seeing an increase.

Sorry to hear your comment about my vote when only being in the city for six years...I have to vote on issues regardless on my time in the community. Similar votes were cast by those members of council who have been here much longer....not sure if the length of time as a resident should determine how or if an elected member of council should vote?? A certain time of residency reguired before a person can run for council?
--ouch/rousey
2008-06-23 14:04:58 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I am posting here at the first blog site, only because it is at the top of the list.. since most "devoted" fans will likely go here first.

I want to qualify that I have lived here for over 10 years, and didn't know this site existed... until a couple of weeks ago (told by a friend that was laughing most of the time).

After perusing several of your "documents", I became very concerned over several items that you published. So, I took it upon myself to make contacts with original authors, documents, etc. to understand what is going on... which ones are of little consequence..

Let me state that in all my years as an ex-journalist, I am astounded at the lack of accuracy; possible liable; extreme bias; and most of all total lack of proper perspective to the public that this site purports and expounds.
I also discovered, quite by accident, that the "founder" of this site supposedly has been rejected more than once by the political machinery of Loveland, and therefore has a personal axe to grind with the powers that be... what a shame. Grow up and get a job.. better yet, get life.
--retired editor
2008-06-25 05:53:57 GMT
Author:Anonymous
When it comes to "Retired Editor" - perhaps you would care to identify yourself and present your credentials.
2008-06-26 00:08:00 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Hey 'Retired Editor'what is the source of your information?

The person I was told who is behind this website never ran for any political office in Colorado and is gainfully employed. Actually I have heard different names but I think there is more than one person writing stories so maybe we are thinking of different people.

If this person really ran for some office and was rejected - maybe Guch Wale (who told me he manages this blog but doesn't write the stories) or someone else can fill us in on who that is.
--Carol
2008-06-26 15:39:01 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Retired Editor is a hoax. He can't site a single example of anything on this site being libelous or inaccurate while making false accusations against a person he doesn't know and can't even name.

I read LovelandPolitics constantly but I also read the Reporter-Herald and subscribe to it at the office. On human interest stories, events calendars and general news I like the Herald.

If I want to know what is happening in City Hall I read this site. Sometimes the Herald is shamed into reporting real political news now that they never did before only because people have an alternative news source.

I am glad LovelandPolitics doesn't cover obituaries and wedding anniversaries here since the Herald already does and those are very easy and straight forward. When I want to know what a press release says or the McWhinney view - I also read the Herald's story that appears like a reprint of some developer's press release.

If you want to know what really happened - I come here and read both the stories and the comments. I have never known any link, news story or source on this site to be in error. I wish I could say the same for the Reporter-Herald.

Loveland is big enough for both this site and the Herald. Even if you retired from the Herald - why are you so worried?

--Richard Smithies
2008-06-26 16:08:37 GMT
Author:Guch
Our policy is to only provide public documents obtained (in PDF format mostly) from public sources which we make available to our readers. If anyone believes something on the website is factually incorrect (other than the blog which is the sole opinion of those posting comments) than we welcome your comments.

For the record, we have received corrections regarding grammar, spelling and other minor errors but to my recollection never had to retract any story or discredit any source due to factual discrepancies. Anyone is welcome to post their contrary views or raise specific concerns with us directly that we can address. General, non-specific complaints are impossible to investigate or respond to as they contain no verifiable information.

If anyone has a valid complaint regarding any story, please let us know and we will be happy to investigate the complaint and consider providing you equal space to refute the information you disagree with or correct it if it is truly in error.

Guch
2008-06-26 16:41:06 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I haven't posted in a long while but thought something really needs to be said.

When this website called the "For A Better Loveland committee" a front formed only to lobby for the hotel tax instead of just being a bunch of concerned citizens looking to help the community - people like Rousey complianed it wasn't true.

Last Tuesday one councilor asked if they could pass a hotel tax onto the ballot for November for '08 or is it too late. Both the Mayor and Larry Heckel responded that the group formed "just to do that" was floundering. They complained the Chair, Gaye Stockman, had resigned and other members were not doing the work they agreed to do when the committee was formed.

Good call guys - just another example where the cynics at both the Herald and City hall reported nonsense while you guys nailed it as the Mayor and City manager's attempt to secretly create a lobby.

I think it failed because committee members were not happy about the dishonest way it was being promoted and bailed to save their reputations. Had it not been for this site outing them it would still be going on today.

You deserve an award in journalism for doing what the yellow bellied reporters in the Herald are afraid to do - report all the news!
--Walter
2008-06-27 02:47:43 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I haven't posted in a long while but thought something really needs to be said.

When this website called the "For A Better Loveland committee" a front formed only to lobby for the hotel tax instead of just being a bunch of concerned citizens looking to help the community - people like Rousey complianed it wasn't true.

Last Tuesday one councilor asked if they could pass a hotel tax onto the ballot for November for '08 or is it too late. Both the Mayor and Larry Heckel responded that the group formed "just to do that" was floundering. They complained the Chair, Gaye Stockman, had resigned and other members were not doing the work they agreed to do when the committee was formed.

Good call guys - just another example where the cynics at both the Herald and City hall reported nonsense while you guys nailed it as the Mayor and City manager's attempt to secretly create a lobby.

I think it failed because committee members were not happy about the dishonest way it was being promoted and bailed to save their reputations. Had it not been for this site outing them it would still be going on today.

You deserve an award in journalism for doing what the yellow bellied reporters in the Herald are afraid to do - report all the news!
--Walter
2008-06-27 02:48:56 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Walter: Please direct me to where I made comments regarding the lodging tax and the group that was supporting it.


--ouch/rousey
2008-06-27 13:35:35 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I went back to look and couldn't see any posting by you on the hotel tax blog roll - I stand corrected.

My point, however, remains the same as the leader of the group and those who instigated it are all your political allies and the people you vote with and defend.

“Our first agenda item is a convention and visitors bureau, but we see real value in the organization to address other needs in the future,” said member Gaye Stockman, the CEO and president of Loveland Chamber of Commerce. “This is not a one-shot thing, but is looking long term.”

Of course, she left town and now that its too late to get the hotel tax on the ballot to fund a convention center in Centerra - the group is folding. Well, I guess that means it was a one shot thing.

Interesting you did vote to change on one parcel to a convention center so it looks like the McWhinney's have lost their hope for even more public money to develop their properties.
--Walter
2008-06-27 13:49:49 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Correction- I mean you voted to ZONE a parcel for a convention center this week (according to the story)so McWhinney hasn't lost its ambition to get public monies to develop their property.
2008-06-27 13:52:20 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Correction- I mean you voted to ZONE a parcel for a convention center this week (according to the story)so McWhinney hasn't lost its ambition to get public monies to develop their property.
2008-06-27 13:52:38 GMT
Author:Anonymous
That last post was inappropriate. I hope the owner of this blog will delete it.
--Julie
2008-06-28 05:20:52 GMT
Author:Anonymous
I think it's hardly inappropriate. Ken Amundson is a lying scumbag. The RH Line is nothing more than a bully pulpit. Just because someone at The Reporter-Herald got pulled over for a moving violation, and got ticketed, and had their vehicle searched doesn't give them the right to smear the Loveland Police Department with made-up comments so they can get revenge for not maintaining their vehicle.
--Tim
2008-06-28 15:06:18 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Guch, above you state "If anyone believes something on the website is factually incorrect (other than the blog which is the sole opinion of those posting comments) than we welcome your comments.

For the record, we have received corrections regarding grammar, spelling and other minor errors...."

Is that really a picture of Jack Wolfe with McWhinney? If not, you may want to publish a correct to keep honest within the community.

2008-06-28 21:51:49 GMT
Author:Guch
Hmmm... you should sign your post or risk having it removed.

1. Have you ever heard of satire? Clearly Jack Wolfe has never been a member of Saddam's Iraqi Army nor was he a spokesperson for Saddam but just for the record - the picture is the famous "Baghdad Bob" and not Jack Wolfe. Everywhere the picture appears it says he has been called 'Loveland's Baghdad Bob' in case you missed it.

2. Yes Julie, we have removed the posting. Name calling and profanity will not only fail to get a message across but means the posting will be removed. For the record, we suspect in the past (not this case) people looking to get sympathy for themselves will post some indefensible and offensive comments about themselves to show how terrible this blog is. 99% of the people use this as a forum to share ideas and debate solutions so we keep it going for them not the name callers.

3. Tim, if someone on Loveland's Police Department has been unfairly maligned by the Herald or an employee of said paper - tell them to give us a call or email. We enjoy bringing to light controversial stories so long as the information is completely true and factual. A number of people here care a great deal about emergency services and want future tax revenues to not be diverted to McWhinney so they can go to that most important of all local government functions - emergency services.

Thanks everyone for participating -
2008-06-29 05:37:55 GMT
Author:Anonymous
Guch, I was not aware of the word "satire", thanks for the help there. Webster's Dictionary shows the word as meaning "stupidities and abuses" among other things. That helps me understand this website a little better. Thanks for the clarification.
--Baghdad Bob
2008-06-30 14:22:48 GMT
Author:Anonymous
BB, you apparently didn't understand the word Guch used so here is the real Webster definition online for anyone to check -

Main Entry: sat•ire
Pronunciation: \ˈsa-ˌtī(-ə)r\
Function: noun
Date: 1501
1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

Both definitions I think work here very well. I read on this site on Feb 5, (go to McWhinney button on main page) that “Among the most shocking departures has been Wendy Crawford, Vice President of Retail Leasing, Tom Martin, General Manager for Grand Station and now even the company's Senior Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ken Howell.”

It was FOLLY for Jack Wolfe to indicate, on behalf of McWhinney, to the media and community that everything was on-track. The truth matters even when it is uncomfortable.

I liked the photo of Baghdad Bob similarly telling the media Baghdad wasn’t falling while the evidence was all around him. Remember, Jack Wolfe’s motives are clear. McWhinney was asking for nearly $80 Million in debt and future taxes to pay for their private parking garage for Grand Station. The fact it wasn’t really happening this year was relevant and timely information they chose to withhold from the public and City Council in my opinion.

It just isn’t right. Your anger is terribly misplaced. If you are Jack Wolfe, you should be angry with your employer (McWhinney) for putting you in such an awkward position with this commuty.

--Walter
2008-06-30 15:20:52 GMT
Author:Anonymous
WOW!! I guess I am not as rusty with my journalistic touch as I thought I was... good healthy debate here since I last logged on. Oh, by the way, assuming that I am retired from the Herald was a big mistake.. I am retired from an east coast newspaper, and I would be a fool, as most would be, to announce my name on here... is there anyone else stupid enough to "come forward and complain"? That has got to be one of the best all time journalistic traits... because throwing the gauntlet down doesn't work; it only aggrivates... so, I take it, that Guch, Walter and Rich are all ultra-right conservatives? Does that mean that a posting here is bad-mouthed if it leans towards a liberal set of ideals? Do I hear a hint of Fascism?
--Retired Editor
2008-07-09 04:56:30 GMT
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