Elected official steps down from Granby town board
Citing frustrations over the town’s ongoing negotiations with the developer of Granby Ranch, Granby Trustee Natascha O’Flaherty announced her resignation Tuesday.
Asked if board members had any potential conflicts of interest during the evening’s town board meeting, O’Flaherty, who typically discloses her personal associations at the beginning of each meeting, read a statement instead.
“I wanted to submit my resignation,” she said. “I ran for office to serve the citizens of Granby. It’s been a privilege and an honor.”
O’Flaherty went on to highlight some of the town’s accomplishments that she has been a part of, including putting meeting minutes online, providing virtual access to meetings, working to update the town’s comprehensive plan and trying to hold the developer accountable as she advocated for the homeowners at Granby Ranch.
“It takes hard work and proactive planning to ensure the town we love maintains its character and is the place we want to live and can afford to live,” she said. “I have done my best to serve you to that end, but I believe my voice and time can be more effective as a private citizen.”
The board quietly thanked O’Flaherty, and she sat down in the audience.
When the mayor asked for unscheduled public comments, O’Flaherty spoke up again. This time she criticized the board, saying that trustees were negotiating an agreement behind closed doors that could alter Granby Ranch’s Planned Development Overlay District.
“This proposed agreement is purporting to amend the Granby Ranch PDOD,” O’Flaherty said. “There is a process for doing that. It’s called planning commission and public hearing. It’s not up to the town attorney or board to take action to change the PDOD by contract. That troubles me.”
The board has discussed the omnibus agreement, the draft of which is publicly available, a few times during executive session.
A Granby Ranch resident herself, O’Flaherty has often spoken up against the developers of her neighborhood, and she has not been a part of those town board discussions because of a potential conflict of interest: The Granby Ranch developer has outlined a trail plan that cuts through O’Flaherty’s property.
O’Flaherty has said that this trail is illogical and illegal. She also has accused the developer of planning the trail on her property to force her recusal from those discussions.
Asked for further comment on her resignation, O’Flaherty also cited her frustrations with the town attorney. Krob Law has long served Granby as the town attorney, and O’Flaherty, an attorney herself, has clashed with the town’s legal representation on a few occasions.
Earlier this year, O’Flaherty suggested the town put out a request for proposals to compare town attorneys, but did not receive support from the rest of the board.
“In my opinion, there are law firms that can better serve the town and at a lesser cost,” she said.
Responding to the criticism, Krob Law said in an emailed response that the office works to provide quality, reasonably priced representation to Granby and other municipal clients.
“Our representation of the Town of Granby for over 25 years, in addition to numerous other cities, towns and local governments throughout the state of Colorado, evidences our office’s success in this endeavor,” Nathan Krob of Krob Law said. “We thank Trustee O’Flaherty for her service to the Town of Granby.”
O’Flaherty stepped down after over three years on the town board. She had 11 months remaining in her term.
The remaining trustees did not discuss replacing O’Flaherty at Tuesday’s meeting.
With nearly a year until the town’s next election, the board could choose to take applications and appoint someone to fill the vacancy, but no decisions have yet been made.
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