Recall on hold

Recall on hold

There are 5 comments on the Estes Park Trail-Gazette story from Feb 12, 2013, titled Recall on hold. In it, Estes Park Trail-Gazette reports that:

Is there a recall of four trustees and a special election in our future? It's like reading tea leaves, a little muddy at this point.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Estes Park Trail-Gazette.

CryCryCry

Denver, CO

#1 Feb 12, 2013
Poor Dr Bergland. All you seem to be able to do is whine when you don't get your own way. The MPEC is a guaranteed venue. It will house the Scotts Festival, The Rooftop Rodeo, various equestrian events, and Farmers Markets just to mention a few. What can you guarantee with your out of place performing Arts Center? Nothing. It all depends on being able to book events, then drawing attendance. You have said that it can be used by the schools. The schools are in a financial crisis now. Are you going to let them use it for nothing? Your comment above about stupidity and malfeasance shows your true colors. If I was you, I would be very careful with my comments. If I was a town trustee and read that I would vote you down right fast! What gives you the right to tell me and anybody else that EPIC is good for us? EPURA tried that and I'm sure you know those results. Try puting your project to a public vote and let the chips fall where they may, or are you afraid to find out what we the people really want. Somebody mentioned in a past comment that they would like to file a petition of recall of EPIC Trustees for failure to identify a reason for their recall petition of four trustees other than they don't like the way they voted. Sounds fair to me!
SunshineX2

Estes Park, CO

#2 Feb 12, 2013
Muddy ? More like EPIC is poisoning their own well. Should they manage to force the 'downtown' location. Well, this resident wouldn't take free matinee tickets for their best production....

Somebody, please,'fetch the cow......no, make that two cows, big ones'.
EPVirtualNative

Estes Park, CO

#3 Feb 13, 2013
"Bergland further commented, "Odd how the trustees voted to encumber the town with millions in debt for a MPEC, not to mention up to $250,000 in operational deficit last night (Thursday), yet grouses over the parking spaces sacrificed for a facility that will generate tax revenues in the $200K range, and cost taxpayers nothing to build. Talk about stupidity or malfeasance!"

Let the de-construction of this statement begin: Municipalities do have to invest in improvements to their infrastructure. 30 years ago the fairgrounds were busy during the summer. Today, not so much. The Ranch and The Budweiser Events Center are good facilities that are an asset to the region. How much business do we lose because our fairgrounds have under par facilities and no indoor venue?

The "sacrifice" of a few parking spaces? As the late Senator Everett Dirksen said regarding money and the federal budget, and I may not have the quote exact, " A million here, a million there and pretty soon you're talking real money". Substitute parking space for money and you see the road you head down. Downtown needs more not less parking.

If the good Doctor had done his research he would know that the Town has done very little in terms of debt financing of projects over the years. Frank Lancaster, the Town Administrator readily agrees that the MPEC will run in the red, for a while. Long term it is an asset that attracts people and has parking with room for more parking. We all have to "encumber" ourselves throughout life. Mortgages, car payments, student loans are all debts. Hey, better not buy a house, wouldn't want to "encumber" ourselves! Good thing that Bill Hewlett and David Packard along with others did not have the scared mentality that others suddenly have. We would not have the innovation and the technology we do today. Our industry is and always will be tourism. The MPEC and a well though out theater complement each other.

A theater in any location will generate revenue. As will the MPEC. Open your eyes this year when the Hunter-Jumper and Arabian Horse Show folks are here. Lot of money being spent. A better facility could mean more shows generating more money.Once again, invest now and reap benefits later.

Finally, CryCryCry touches on something. The schools will get to use the EPIC facility? And the other theater groups as well? Is that in writing? Or is this whole thing just a Trojan Horse to give people a big tax deduction on the front end and a revenue stream on the back end?
No Where

Denver, CO

#4 Feb 13, 2013
Peretaining to the recall effort, Have Dr. Bergland, Gail Upp, and Greg Steiner filed the petition of recall as individuals, or is it a joint collaboration of all EPIC supporters? It would be very interesting to find out. How about it Dr.B?
Watchful Taxpayer

Boca Raton, FL

#5 Feb 14, 2013
Mr. Bergland is quoted here (and in the print version of this article) as saying that the downtown theater will "cost taxpayers nothing to build."

It's important for both individuals and organizations, when advocating big projects such as that theater, to be credible in their advocacy. In that context, this statement is a failure. There are (at least) two taxpayer subsidies built into the plan that the Trustees wisely rejected:

One-time: Selling the parking spaces to EPIC for $1 subsidizes the operation to the tune of the market value (less $1) of the land in question. Given the cost of land downtown, this could well be significant.

Ongoing: Ownership of the empty parcel by a nonprofit would have removed it from the real estate tax base (even though about half of it, apparently, would have been used as for-profit retail space), and entities such as the school district, the fire district, and Larimer County itself would all have to raise tax rates on property in the base to make up for the lost revenue.

Now, it could well be that the Town (and its taxpaying citizens) could afford the one-time subsidy, and it's probable that the increase in real estate taxes for the rest of us, particularly when spread across the entire county, would be marginal. Nonetheless, these are subsidies that do indeed cost taxpayers something.

For my money though, taxpayer subsidies ought to be investments in the future, and what's needed in the Estes Valley is investment in a more diverse economic base. The theater would not have done that -- after all, people coming from out of town to see plays and concerts is just more tourism. If we're going to make more public investments, let's invest in something new for the future, not just more of the same.

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