Letter: Grand Lake town manager not doing his job
January 11, 2018
Grand Lake town manager not doing his job
On Jan. 8, the Grand Lake Board of Trustees addressed a new municipal fee that will be added to Grand Lake water bills in 2018. The fee had been included in the 2018 budget to address a nearly $80,000 shortfall in the budget. Trustees included an agenda item on the Nov. 11, 2017 meeting to set a public hearing for Nov. 27 to discuss the fee. Trustees approved a public hearing and directed the manager to set the hearing.
The Nov. 27 meeting agenda had no item for a public hearing. A memo included in the Nov. 27 packet from Jim White to the BOT dated Nov. 27, 2017, stated: "At its last meeting, the Town Board voted to set a Public Hearing; inadvertently, we missed the deadline to publish for a Public Hearing on November 27, 2017. Subsequently, I called the Town Attorney…"
So, when Manager Jim White doesn't do his job as directed by the trustees, he doesn't notify the trustees, but instead calls the town attorney.
The first time he notified the trustees that their directive to set a public hearing hasn't been followed was in the memo included in the Nov. 27 meeting packet. The 2018 budget and municipal fee were approved at that meeting.
At the Jan. 8 meeting, the trustees acknowledged they should have held a public hearing, even though not legally required. I give the benefit of the doubt to the Trustees who I believe acted properly by voting to approve the public hearing but then were not kept informed when it wasn't set up.
I'm concerned that Mr. White did not do his job and, in my opinion looked to the town attorney to cover for him.
When I expressed this at last Monday's meeting, the town attorney, Scotty Krob, defended Jim White as the most experienced manager he ever worked with, and in my opinion, made disparaging and unprofessional remarks about the previous two town managers being inexperienced. Funny how with all his experience, Mr. White couldn't manage to get a public hearing posted and needed legal advice about what to do about it. Mr. Krob also said the Trustees were justified to set a fee for services even when services are provided by others, like Mountain Parks Electric and the Sheriff's department. Mr. Krob then said that unless the town paid the sheriff's department, people in Grand Lake would not receive service. I asked Mr. Krob point blank if he was saying, if I called 911 in an emergency and the town hadn't paid the sheriff's department they wouldn't respond? Mr. Krob told me that was right. I said again that I thought this was not true, but Mr. Krob insisted it was.
Today, I was assured by Sheriff Brett Schroetlin that the sheriff's department will always respond to all calls from Grand Lake. I think the people of Grand Lake need to be aware of what I see as reckless and untrue statements made by Scotty Krob, the town attorney, and wonder how we can trust anything he says. Between Mr. Krob and Mr. White, it seems to me, our trustees are not getting good information to make the best decisions for the town of Grand Lake.
Pat Farmer, Grand Lake