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Mayor announces new Citizens’ Forum policy for council meetings

WALSENBURG — In light of a recent Walsenburg City Council Citizens’ Forum incident in which two city employee’s performance of their duties were addressed by a dissatisfied citizen and business owner, Mayor Jim Eccher Tuesday night announced a new disclaimer that will be read into the record prior to future Citizen Forum segments. Eccher read the statement at the end of this week’s meeting. The disclaimer reads in part: “We welcome comments on public policy issues that may come before city council. Personnel issues, including employee performance, involve rights of the employee, the city and the citizen involved. To protect everyone’s rights, complains involving employees and their performance may not be made during open city council meetings. If you have a complaint involving the performance or actions of a city employee, make an appointment with the city administrator to meet in his office to file your complaint. The administrator will assure everyone’s rights are protected and will investigate your important complaint. The city council has delegated its authority over personnel to the city administrator. The city

administrator has authority to resolve personnel complaints within the limits of local, state and federal law.” The issue stemmed mainly from The Pawn Shop owner Joe Kancilia’s comments questioning the performance of Police Chief Tommie McLallen and Police Captain Vincent Suarez, during an investigation of the sale of a possibly stolen electronic item, and investigation of an attempted break-in at the business. City Administrator Dave Johnston said the issues were addressed to Kancilia in a multi-page report prepared by Chief McLallen earlier this month and sent to Kancilia and shared with city council members. In other business, the six city council members present Tuesday night voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2014-R-17, which authorizes the sale of real property (approximately 332 acres of the City Ranch to Martra Holdings). • Unanimously passed Resolution 2014-R-16 which appropriates additional sums of money to defray expenses in excess of amounts budgeted for the Capital Improvement Fund; increased from $278,827 to $338,827, and the Water Park Fund; increased from $218,410 to $223,410. • Approved 2015 contracts with Salazar Cleaning for city hall janitorial services at $500 per month. • Ranch Manager Contract with Joe J. ‘Butch’ Corsentino. • City Attorney Daniel R. Hyatt. • Designating the Huerfano World Journal as the legal paper of record for the City of Walsenburg. • Approved five year satellite monitoring system agreements with the Colorado Division of Water Resources for three gauging stations. The contract for service will cost the city $300 per month, or $3,600 per year. • Accepted the contract for service with Rubin Brown as the city’s auditor for the coming year. • Approved liquor license renewals for the Starlite Inn, 110 W. 6th St., and Crown Lanes, 221 Main St. (this item passed on a 5-0 vote with Mayor Eccher abstaining). •Adopted on second reading Ordinance 1052, which establishes surcharges on general offenses ad Model Traffic Code violations and adopts certain penalty assesments, court costs, and surcharges. The item passed with an amendment that sets a flat $20 court cost charge for municipal and Model Traffic Code violators who choose to pay the ticket without going to court, and calls for a review of all fines in the Ordinance to ensure they are not in excess of $300. • Adopted the employee seasonal holiday schedule for 2014, that calls for City Hall to close at noon on Dec. 24th and remain closed for Christmas Day and Dec. 26th, and gives employees New Year’s Day and Friday, Jan. 2nd off work (excepting public safety employees who are regularly scheduled to work those identified holiday shifts).