Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What George was up to ...

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 1:44 PM

When George Culpepper was sent packing last week, he left some unfinished business behind, based on 274 pages of e-mail messages obtained Tuesday night by the Independent under the Colorado Open Records Act.

Most notable is a request from Councilor Joel MIller, sent on Jan. 7, two days before the city delivered Culpepper's termination notice to him.

Miller, who's earned the label of troublemaker among the powers that be, asked Culpepper to:
click to enlarge Miller: not a fan of the mayor's regime.
  • Miller: not a fan of the mayor's regime.

• research how to file seek a court injunction against Mayor Steve Bach. The mayor has announced he'll ignore Council's adoption of an ordinance specifying 12 departments in the city budget as specified in the City Charter, as opposed to Bach's budget structure of five departments. Miller noted in his e-mail the Charter requires the mayor to "enforce all laws and ordinances," and that one basis for forfeiture of office is if the mayor "violate[s] any express prohibition or requirement of this Charter."
(Bach maintains Council's ordinance violates the Charter; hence, he can't enforce it.)

• find examples of other cities with a council-mayor form of government in which the city attorney is appointed by the mayor and problems have resulted. "Also, are there examples that we can cite where those municipalities hire outside counsel for the City Council when a conflict arises? It's my understanding that Denver does it fairly regularly," he wrote. 

• provide information "as to how one would file a complaint with the Colorado Bar association on [City Attorney] Chris Melcher for his failure to provide counsel to a charter-defined client?"
Miller further explains, "Mr. Melcher advised the Mayor to defy ordinance 13-77 (12 departments) and failed to give any counsel or recourse to City Council despite repeated requests. Furthermore Mr. Melcher's actions to prevent Council from obtaining outside counsel has further injured City Council's legal position with regard to the budget ordinance."

Culpepper responded the next morning: "I will research this for you and see what I can find."

Of course, he won't now.

Culpepper also had many other issues on his plate, including "No Man's Land" on the west side, a fire hydrant issue and a development issue, to name a few.

He also was involved in trying to set up a meeting between the mayor's staff and Council staff to learn more details about City for Champions, the $250 million proposal to build four tourism venues. The meeting never happened, apparently, after economic vitality chief Bob Cope canceled a session originally set up for late December or early January.

After the meeting was arranged, Cope called back to say he needed to "run this meeting by the mayor," Culpepper wrote to Council President Keith King on Dec. 30. "It has now been cancelled and Bob has yet to return my phone call. So we must now wait until Jan. 16th to get any information re: C4C [City for Champions] from Bob."

That Jan. 16 meeting, Thursday, is supposed to include Council, says Councilor Helen Collins, who says she plans to attend in hopes of hearing more about C4C's financing.

The latest on City for Champions is here.

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