Granby appoints revised ROSH board after disputes over spending
The Recreation, Open Space and Housing Foundation has a new spread of board members after delayed appointments and Granby Ranch residents calling for the foundation’s dissolution.
Full to the point someone had to fetch extra chairs, the Granby Board of Trustees meeting saw 16 prospective board members who had submitted applications introduce themselves on Tuesday.
The mayor emphasized at the beginning of the process that the only business of the meeting was to discuss appointments.
“The town has very, very limited authority and very limited scope with ROSH,” Mayor Paul Chavoustie said. “I know in the past we’ve heard things about ROSH and ROSH expenditures. Whether you like them or don’t like them, that is not going to be discussed tonight.”
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The foundation receives a 1% transfer fee from second sales and beyond of properties at Granby Ranch and Edgewater. Granby Ranch residents have accused ROSH of mismanaging the funds, but ROSH members have rebuffed those accusations.
Granby Ranch residents argue the covenants of ROSH dictate that the foundation’s money must be spent in Granby Ranch, while ROSH officials argue differently. This conflict has led to repeated delays to appoint new ROSH board members, which the town trustees must approve. Last week, the foundation’s president, Tom Marquart, resigned.
On Tuesday, the town board agreed to look at both former ROSH members and newcomers to appoint, so former ROSH members were not guaranteed a continue spot on the board.
All applications from non-ROSH members were Granby Ranch residents, from where the majority of ROSH funds currently come.
The trustees decided to appoint seven members — ROSH can have up to nine — to leave two open spaces for Edgewater residents in the future. The town kept the number odd to ensure there would be a tiebreaker in case of contention.
After the 16 applicants introduced themselves, the trustees cast ballots for their seven preferred candidates. Staff counted the ballots and the five top candidates included three current ROSH members: acting president Susanne Peterson, treasurer Pete Gallo and Elaine Henrekin. The other two were Granby Ranch residents Robert Blay and David Sardinta.
Because of a tie, the town again cast ballots to select two more members from the remaining three candidates: ROSH secretary Susan Baird and Granby Ranch residents Connie Gerlach and Katy Hale.
Gerlach, who has an extensive accounting background, won the vote to divide the board equally between Granby Ranch residents and acting ROSH members.
There was another tie between Baird and Hale. After a third ballot and a tense moment of counting, Hale was announced the seventh board member to some applause.
It is up to the ROSH board to determine officer positions. Both the town trustees and the new ROSH board express a desire for unity and working as ROSH was designed.
“My intention is ideally to look at what the intent of the ROSH board was, or is, and make sure we’re delivering upon that intent,” Sardinta said the board, “and then just helping everybody see both sides of the story.”
In other business:
- The board approved 4-2 a memorandum of agreement with Headwaters Land Trust to begin negotiating a conservation easement on the town owned land near the corner of US Highway 34 and US Highway 40.
The dissenting votes came from Cathy Tindle and Mayor Pro-Tem Deb Shaw. Tindle, who has worked for the Grand County Assessors Office for 20 years, raised concerns with the complicated language of easements that could severely restrict access on the land. While the mayor pointed out that the easement would be negotiated to ensure access, Tindle wondered why the town had to go through the easement process.
The memorandum does not finalize anything in the easement, though the town did agree to cover $60,500 in total expenses even if the agreement falls through. If the easement is finalized, which has a deadline of December 2021, the town will receive almost $3 million in revenue.
- The board continued the discussion to adopt a public works manual. Trustee Natascha O’Flaherty, who was the only trustee to have read the entire 336 page document as of the meeting, pointed out multiple issues with the text. The town manager also said the manual needs to be cross-referenced with town code. The discussion was moved to March 24.
- The board approved an easement deed between the town and the Granby Sanitation District.
- The town agreed to donate $1,500 to the Grand Places Initiative as seed money. All other towns involved in the initiative are expected to donate the same.
- The board approved accounts payable and minutes from the three previous meetings.
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