Tag Archives: Boulder City Council

E-mail sent to new member of Boulder City Council

This goes to show that even I can write a politely-worded missive on a subject I feel so strongly about . . .

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Here’s what I think about the “leadership” offered by Lisa Morzel

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Lisa Morzel — who will be OFF Boulder City Council in 2019, thank our lucky stars — is the main reason (going back to her actions a decade ago) we don’t have an affordable Safeway supermarket and a full-size branch library in the vicinity of N. Broadway & Yarmouth. Morzel has also been committed to turning the area of N. Broadway & Lee Hill into a homeless ghetto. She consistently panders to citizens who voice their concerns, then turns around and meekly supports the corrupt and incompetent Boulder city staff.

Screw another “advisory board” — which have proven to be a ruse designed to bamboozle voters.

I’d rather suffer the world’s worst case of JOCK ITCH than have Morzel around for 2 more years, until term limits put her out of office!

‘Public safety in focus . . .’ Since when does Boulder city staff give a damn?

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN — NOT MARIJUANA TRAVELERS AND SEX OFFENDERS!

By Max R. Weller

Read the article in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

Two homeless men, who refused to give their names, share a bite to eat while sitting in Central Park in Boulder.

Two homeless men, who refused to give their names, share a bite to eat while sitting in Central Park in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

The Boulder City Council held a lengthy workshop session during its meeting on Tuesday, aimed at fine-tuning the new management plan for the city’s homeless shelter.

That plan has been drafted and redrafted through the fall, as the city and the shelter attempt to agree on operational terms that satisfy the shelter, the people who live near it and officials who are working to implement a new homelessness strategy.

Reaching a draft that leaves all those parties feeling good has proved to be very difficult in recent months, and the lingering discomfort of some players in this process was on full display at times during Tuesday’s discussion — particularly on the issue of “sexually violent predators” in north Boulder.

No decisions were made following the council’s hearing, as the council was giving guidance to City Manager Jane Brautigam, who is tasked with negotiating on a management plan with the shelter that sits along north Broadway near Lee Hill Road.

That negotiation process is nearing an end, though, and the assumption at the meeting was that the council might not reconvene on this issue until June.

Following a “good neighbor” meeting on Oct. 2 with north Boulder residents who live near the homeless shelter, administrators proposed dialing back some operational changes in order to address concerns they heard at the meeting.

At the meeting, neighbors learned of a plan that would see the shelter open 160 beds year-round for homeless people classified as having “moderate” or “high” needs.

The shelter would operate within the larger homelessness strategy that de-emphasizes emergency services and requires homeless people seeking help to register with a “coordinated entry” system that aims to refer people to appropriate paths out of homelessness or toward agencies that can help them.

More than 500 people have completed the coordinated entry screening to date, according to Karen Rahn, the city’s director of Human Services.

The shelter is primed to undergo some significant operational changes, beyond becoming more of a year-round site. It would also eliminate “clean and sober” requirements and amend the way it handles people deemed by the state to be “sexually violent predators,” of which there were four at one point last summer.

It would also eliminate morning services — such as showers and breakfast — for walk-up clients (Emphasis is mine — MRW), and forbid shelter clients from leaving and re-entering the facility during the daytime except in cases where those clients had appointments or otherwise important business to handle.

“If all you want in the community is a shower and a locker and you’re not interested in services, no, there is not a place to go,” Rahn said of this likely change at the shelter, describing the general point of “coordinated entry.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Some neighbors of the shelter spoke during the public hearing about the various ways in which they feel unsafe living nearby. One man talked about a homeless man found staying in his basement, while another woman said that her son is regularly harassed on the way to school by homeless people offering drugs and alcohol.

“It sounds like so many disagree with what we’re doing,” said Mirabai Nagle, the councilwoman who was elected in November. “If (neighbors) just aren’t happy, and they inundate us with this amount of emails, to me that says we’re doing something wrong, possibly.

“Are we serving our residents who are homeless or are we serving a greater influx of transients? I don’t know if our infrastructure and budget are set up for this.”

Several veteran council members went around explaining to Nagle the “context” for Tuesday’s discussion, related to the broader homelessness strategy.

But even after that, Nagle turned to the neighbors in the crowd and said, “Does this make sense to you?”

Audience members shook their heads and one shouted something before being shushed by Mayor Suzanne Jones.

“We hear you,” Jones said to the neighbors. “It’s a balancing act of trying to figure it out. We appreciate your input.”

There was some discussion later at the meeting of whether that section of north Boulder needs its own police annex.

“I certainly understand the neighbors’ concerns up there in wanting more police presence,” police Chief Greg Testa said to the council. “But I have the staff that I have and we have to answer 911 emergency calls for service throughout the entire city, so I cannot just assign officers to patrol the area of the shelter.”

Jones said to Testa that he should let the council know if he needs more resources to keep the community safe, and Testa thanked her for that, but added that it would be a challenge to hire more officers even if the money were there, due to officer shortages in the area.

Some citizens said that cellphone coverage is spotty in parts of north Boulder, which makes them feel even less safe. Councilwoman Lisa Morzel said that she walks the area frequently and can confirm the service is “really bad.”

The council agreed upon one way they think they can make things safer: limiting the number of “sexually violent predators” who live at the shelter at any one time to one. That was an idea that came from Councilman Aaron Brockett and, while it was not final — as nothing was Tuesday — it did seem popular among the members.

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Regarding the parts of this story I italicized above, the Homeless Philosopher himself will be banned from Boulder Shelter for the Homeless despite having been a morning visitor there for almost a decade — without ever receiving a single disciplinary consequence for any inappropriate behavior. Most of the residents at this facility can NOT make that claim, so I’m wondering now if my friend R. was spot on when she said to me: “Max, you have a bulls-eye on your back. The shelter wants to get rid of you!”

Generally speaking from my years of experience, the walk-up homeless clients at 6AM who seek a hot shower, access to a small locker, and a hot breakfast (which I only rarely eat) are NOT troublemakers when compared with BSH residents staying in the facility overnight. BUT, ending so-called morning services is low-hanging fruit that both city staff and the executive director, Greg Harms, can  grasp and point to as their effort to ensure the safety of residents, workers, business owners, and customers in the neighborhood. It’s horse pucky, of course:

Scooped up by Karen Rahn.

(BTW, I have friends among all of those neighborhood groups listed above, and I wish that city staff would ask them about me. And the newspaper, too.)

But, I digress . . .

The REAL problem here is that the new and highly-touted Coordinated Entry for homeless shelter / services is a sham. It’s the same worst-behaved transients without ties to Boulder County who are being given a hearty welcome, and Boulder County’s own homeless people continue to be shortchanged. Yes, we have been LIED to by the bureaucrats and the nonprofit do-gooders alike. And most Boulder City Council members seem to be willing to play along . . . Furthermore, of the 500+ people who have been screened to date, you can depend on NOT a single one of them finding permanent housing and remaining in it long-term — 5 years, let us say. ALL of them will recycle through the system over and over again, which guarantees JOB SECURITY for everyone involved in running this con game.

 True now more than ever! 

Comment from reader on previous post

This is the post: Boulder city staff deliberately misleads city council and public. And this is the (unedited) comment by “Lola” copied below:

I attended the most recent City Council public hearing (11/14/17) on the sexually violent predators and I was baffled by the lack of public interest or input on this subject. The council spent hours listening to people complain about a liquor tax on manufacturers of craft beer, wine and distilleries and eventually abolished the $3,000 fee because it would cause such financial hardship to those capitalizing on the vices of alcoholics and future alcoholics, than they spent time and consideration on protecting those who cannot protect themselves from the sex predators in our lovely progressive city of Boulder. I got my two minutes to speak to the council and I addressed directly the city manager and the city attorney Tom Carr after his various slides of outlines and recommendations of restrictions and erroneous statistics and callous analogies; comparing pedophilia to the nasty habit of cigarette smoking. I was sad and astonished that there were only two people who planned to speak and I was first on the list. The other speaker was a registered sex offended. I never write down what I want to state or ask of the council. I tend to listen to the presentation, even as ludicrous and uniformed as Tom Carr the City Attorney begins and ends his presentation whilst councilman Yates corrects his erroneous statistics with a simple Google search, I find it all to be as you have stated – misleading the general public. I reiterated what you have said all along, so I broke down the stats for them based on the current list of registered sex offenders in the city of Boulder. The number of SVP’s, according to Mr. Carr is 4. One has moved to Cali, so now we are down to 3. I presented my opinions to the council and did the simple math for the Mayor and council. I downloaded the current list. It is 40 pages long. Each page has 3 individuals and their convictions and where they supposedly reside. Of the list of 120 convicted sex offenders almost every page has at least one redaction. MOST listed are convicted of child sex assault, child exploitation, person of trust, child pornography, and various other offenses. It is my opinion, that anyone that victimizes a child is highly likely to re offend and should be considered as a violent criminal since it is the most heinous of crimes. It is also likely that the predator got caught this One Time but has repeated this crime many times and will continue to do so without constant monitoring. MOST of the RSO’s in Boulder have been convicted of crimes against children and MOST are from other states and MOST are not on any kind of monitoring or supervision. The ugly truth about Boulder is that your city council has made it a Mecca for the predators across our country to come to Boulder because it welcomes them with open arms to resources and housing and the ability to re offend and to eat up more resources. I have personal knowledge of 4 sex offenders in the homeless community that came here got housing and resources from the NBS, Bridge House, BOHO et al.and re offended. Only one of those remains in prison after years of dealing drugs, sex assault, attempted kidnapping, extortion and stalking. The Boulder Police allowed this pervert to commit crimes against dozens of women, in order to “build a case” on him. He was already a registered and convicted sex predator. Tom Carr will have you all believe that according to his studies and stats that if these offenders have a job and a home then they will not re offend. I called BS to the council and Tom Carr. He goes on to explain how unfair it is to these predators to limit them and their rehabilitation and that basically by limiting them we would contributing to their re offending and that somehow we must show more compassion. I did ask Mr. Carr ” where are your studies and stats that show one case in human history where upon even one human being has ever been rehabilitated or cured of pedophilia?” I got no answer. I also stated there is no correlation between being housed and fundamentally changing sexually orientation . I asked Mr. Carr, “do you believe that in some miraculous way that having a job and a house changes the mind, the soul, and everything broken inside of a predator?” No response. I also made a harsh statement of reality that by allowing these sex predators into the shelters it excludes a vast number of survivors. Women, children and men who would rather barely survive the freezing cold than go into the NBS, Bridge House, Ready to Work, etc that cater to them. For all the time effort, MONEY and hot air blasted into this subject by the Council, you will never hear any of them, including the Mayor, talk with any amount of compassion about the rights of the victims, survivors of these crimes and furthermore the danger that these predators pose to the general public, to children and the exponential damage done to a human being for the remainder of their lives, with one exception, Mr. Yates.
Now Mr. Carr suggests we have a working group and spend more money and time to work it out. I pleaded with the council not to waste their time throwing more money at the problem and allowing the policies to remain unchecked. I ended with a quote:
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no one recipe for living that suits all cases” Carl Jung.
I will continue to be the voice for those without one.

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Well, at least there’s ONE city council member who isn’t asleep according to Lola’s account.

Is it any wonder things are so FUBAR in Boulder, CO?

Convicted child molester from Connecticut, now living in Boulder, CO (victim was a 12-year-old boy).

— MRW

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

Boulder city staff deliberately misleads city council and public

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

See the story in the Daily Camera here, Housing restrictions not answer on ‘sexually violent predators,’ Boulder staff tells council. Copied below in its entirety:

Boulder’s City Council should not adopt any laws limiting housing options for “sexually violent predators,” and should instead form a working group and try to improve inter-governmental cooperation on the issue, city staff recommends.

This summer, amid community tension over multiple “predators” moving into Boulder’s homeless shelter, the City Council requested more information on ways it could better monitor and manage this population — including by a possible ban on renting or buying housing within a certain radius of community gathering places, such as playgrounds and schools.

Sex offenders are given the additional “predator” label if they are convicted of certain sex crimes, including sexual assault and sexual assault of a child from a position of trust, and then deemed by officials to have personality traits that make them a greater risk to reoffend.

There are currently three “predators” living at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. A fourth, Christopher Lawyer, who was convicted of kidnapping and raping a newspaper carrier, was at the shelter but recently reregistered in California.

All three have been discharged from parole and are no longer under state supervision, which means that a couple of the council’s previously brainstormed ideas for increased monitoring, including making them wear GPS ankle bracelets and sending them to a halfway house, are not feasible.

It is still possible for Boulder to exclude the “predators” from living in certain areas, but city staff has looked into this and agreed it’s a bad idea.

Studies have repeatedly shown that limiting housing options for sex offenders and those deemed “sexually violent predators” does not improve public safety and may in fact increase the likelihood of recidivism.

Such laws can effectively zone certain individuals out of contention for local housing. One Florida study found that, of nearly a million housing units studied, only 4 percent complied with state and local restrictions.

A memo from city staff to the council stated that, “The significance of the impact of housing restrictions is the lack of housing availability leads to transience, homelessness and reduced employment opportunities. Housing instability is associated with increased rates of recidivism.”

For that reason, authorities on the issue, including the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, advise communities not restrict where sex offenders can and cannot live. Even so, several communities in the state have implemented restrictions.

The Boulder City Council will hold a public hearing on the matter Tuesday evening, during what will be the last meeting of these nine council members. Following last week’s election, three new members will be sworn in Nov. 21, and Matt Appelbaum, Andrew Shoemaker and Jan Burton will vacate their seats.

During the hearing, staff will recommend the council not take any significant action for now, and instead move to “direct the city manager to have the police work with the state Department of Corrections to monitor placement and residency of sexually violent predators.”

The memo to the council continues, “In addition, staff recommends that the city manager form a working group consisting of members of the community as well as representatives from the police department, the human services department, the city attorney’s office, the county and the state Department of Corrections.

“This working group would be tasked with making further recommendations regarding potential city policies and legislation.”

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Boulder city staff is deliberately misleading city council and the general public, because there are MANY MORE registered sex offenders staying at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Boulder Community Treatment Center (B.C.T.C.), Bridge House’s Path to Home, or otherwise lacking a permanent address than just the 3 Sexually Violent Predators. Furthermore, a lot of the sex offenders are from elsewhere in Colorado or even from other states! The last thing Boulder needs is another “working group” when the solution is clear: Provide bus tickets to ANY transient now stranded in Boulder, CO so they can return to wherever they came from . . . Boulder can’t solve the world’s problems, and there is NO effective “treatment” for pedophilia or sexual violence against adult women. City staff is trying to sell us on more Rainbows & Unicorns here, instead of securing the safety of our citizens — including the homeless survivors of sex crimes who are staying at local homeless shelters. 

See for yourself how many perverts are in our community, and please bear in mind there are others who refuse to register with the police as required by law: City of Boulder Registered Sex Offenders.

I don’t believe we should follow the direction of city staff in this case, and throw up our hands in surrender to sex offenders who drift to Boulder, CO from all across the country. Better to fire the city manager and her legion of ninnies who came up with this crackpot idea . . .

Give the transients bus tickets back to where they came from!

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Read the story in the Daily Camera here: Conflicted Boulder City Council creates new plan for homeless sheltering in severe weather. Copied below in its entirety:

Jason, left, and Mark, both of whom refused to give their last name, take a nap on the grass in front of the Glen Huntington Bandshell in Central Park in

Jason, left, and Mark, both of whom refused to give their last name, take a nap on the grass in front of the Glen Huntington Bandshell in Central Park in Boulder. Both of the men are currently homeless. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

The Boulder City Council entered Tuesday night’s meeting with a dilemma concerning severe-weather sheltering for the homeless.

In a 5-1 vote — Sam Weaver, Andrew Shoemaker and Lisa Morzel were absent — the shorthanded council approved a new plan that will offer the homeless emergency shelter for an estimated 60 to 80 nights between December and February, up from the standing approach that would have done so for only about 20 estimated nights.

But the council, by its own admission, did not necessarily resolve the conflict inherent in Tuesday’s discussion.

The dilemma arises from the fact that Boulder is leading a countywide shift in homeless services, which is centered on a plan to offer homeless people personalized paths to long-term stability by getting them registered with a new “coordinated entry” system.

This way, the thinking goes, homeless clients will be better known to the system, and less likely to repeatedly need to seek out emergency, “Band-Aid” solutions.

Notably, the new strategy de-prioritizes these emergency solutions, such as walk-up sheltering and the services provided by now-dormant Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, as money and time is diverted to long-term programs.

But where does that leave homeless people who are not a part of the coordinated system, but still seek out shelter on cold nights?

For a City Council banking on this overall strategic shift, the challenge on Tuesday was to strike a balance between respecting the new strategy and implementing a severe-weather sheltering policy that responds to the very real threat to life that winter conditions present.

Councilman Matt Appelbaum stressed that the new systems need to jibe, and not run in parallel.

“It makes sense not to try to create a parallel system,” Mayor Suzanne Jones agreed. “But we also don’t want people to die on the streets.”

The key to that balance, according to Boulder’s Human Services director, Karen Rahn, is to get homeless clients who come to the severe-weather shelter involved in the coordinated entry system as soon as possible, so that they’re not coming back over and over for one-off nights of shelter — and thereby subverting the whole intent of the new program.

Rahn’s staff recommended a plan that would have seen emergency sheltering triggered whenever the National Weather Service issued a winter weather warning or watch, or temperatures were at or below 20 degrees.

This would cost the city an estimated $60,000 and lead to shelter being open somewhere between 50 and 60 nights from December to February.

The council felt that recommended plan would be insufficient.

Following a motion from Councilman Aaron Brockett, the council approved a plan to trigger emergency shelter under all the conditions named in the staff recommendation, plus in the event of weather with temperatures below 32 degrees and predicted snow.

That plan will provide sheltering between 60 and 80 nights this winter, according to estimates, and cost about $80,000.

“I think the imperative is to have people not dying on the streets when it’s preventable,” Brockett said.

Before casting the lone dissenting vote, Appelbaum said that the city needed stricter criteria for anyone seeking severe shelter, lest the overall plan be subverted.

“Go with the new system. Make it work,” he said. “Get people to go through the evaluations, the navigation system and so on. … I’d certainly have it so people are required to enter the system after a couple of uses.”

But, much as this council wants to see the coordinated entry program succeed, Appelbaum’s warning against “parallel” systems didn’t compel five of the six members present on Tuesday.

Following the council vote, city staff will move ahead in seeking out a provider, and hope to have details of the severe-weather sheltering plan in place by November.

“It’ll be a little muddy, and that’s the way it is,” Jones said of the conflicting efforts. “That’s the way it’s going to have to be.”

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Two points come to mind:

1) You can NEVER force anyone to become a permanent dependent on the social services system against their will, apparently NOT even if they’re mentally ill and a danger to themselves. Just look at the scores, perhaps hundreds, of transient Froot Loops in Boulder County, CO right now; many have been part of the “homeless circuit” traveling around the country for years!

(The Homeless Philosopher falls into a different category — that of crotchety old hermit — but he is equally determined to live apart from the misguided “programs” offered by clueless do-gooders.)

2) What happened to the vague promises to begin PRIORITIZING homeless shelter / services here for residents of Boulder County who are in need, and who request assistance? It seems to have been put aside . . . I see nothing different at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this season; my educated guess is that more than half of clients there are from outside our city and county of Boulder, and many are Marijuana Travelers from outside of Colorado altogether. WTF?

If you’re concerned enough to want to lessen the risk of homeless people dying of exposure, OFFER THEM BUS TICKETS TO WARMER CLIMES! Giving homeless petty offenders a choice between being cited into court (and then sent to jail upon conviction for various offenses) OR a bus ride out of town would result in at least 90% choosing the latter option, I’m absolutely convinced.

(BTW, what those two BUMS pictured above need, more than anything else, is for someone to come along and kick their lazy butts!)

‘Council fails community’

Read the letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera by Barbara Turner here. Copied below in its entirety:

Once again, the Boulder City Council disappoints. And the person most responsible for this is Mayor Suzanne Jones. From inside her cocoon of wealth and privilege, she has neither the understanding of nor empathy for the families with young children and us older folk who live in North Boulder.

Just as Bob Yates was gaining support for doing something about the fear in North Boulder, Mayor Jones shut him down. And again, after waiting three months for the subject of how to deal with the four “sexually violent predators” in Boulder to reach the agenda, it was shunted aside to another wimpy study group.

As Councilman Yates said, it is the council’s job to see that people in Boulder are safe and feel safe. For myself, just three weeks shy of 84, I cancelled my membership at the recreation center because of reports of a predator in the hot tub. I no longer walk around Wonderland Lake alone because of the presence of homeless and possibly predators in the underpass and on the paths. A few weeks ago, the Camera chart of crime statistics showed a sexual assault on 19th Street between Violet and Yarmouth.

I join the speaker who said “Shame on you, Greg Harms, for your decision to house … sexual predators at the shelter.”

There is no hope for this council. Not one of you running for re-election will have my vote.

Barbara Turner

Boulder 

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See City of Boulder Registered Sex Offenders online and note the following: 1) The address of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless at 4869 N. Broadway; 2) “B.C.T.C.” is Boulder Community Treatment Center but it’s extremely unlikely that any sex offender there is being rehabilitated.

— MRW