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CONTINUING COVERAGE THE COUP IN THE LAKE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE Leadville and Lake County have always been Democratic, something that likely goes back to the days when most residents were involved in mining. There has always been a strong Democratic Central Committee, although some infighting is not unique. This past year, the long-standing Democrats started taking sides when Ken Olsen, a former county commissioner who had been term limited, decided he was going to run for commissioner again, but from a different district. He planned to do this by claiming his office as his residence. This caused an uproar with some committee members backing him and others crying foul, as did the Herald Democrat. This series of stories tells how the young Democrats in town (the newcomers who got involved initially to support Bernie Sanders) managed to take over the Democratic Central Committee, putting the oldtimers out in the cold, at least for now.

Pennington returns Page 10

CMC JaZz Project entertains Page 13

Five girls qualify for state Page 18

Herald Democrat

Leadville, Colorado

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Vol. 137, No. 3 • 75 cents

Olsen changes address to run for office by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Ken Olsen will be running against Bud Elliott for the District 3 county commissioner seat, currently held by Bruce Hix, and has listed his accounting firm as his residence. Olsen’s residence, as recorded in the Salida, Leadville

and Buena Vista Yellowbook, is 1833 Silver Eagle Ct. Currently, Dolores Semsack represents the district in which 1833 Silver Eagle Ct. is located, District 1. Olsen served as Dist. 1 commissioner for two terms starting in 2003. Semsack is serving her second term and will retain the seat

until the 2018 election. Currently Olsen has listed “731 HWY 24 S” as his residence on his voter affidavit, which is the location of his accounting firm “Kenneth L Olsen Inc Pa: Olsen Kenneth L CPA. ” According to Statute 1-4205 of the Colorado Election

Winter driving takes skill

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Statutes, “No person shall be a county commissioner unless that person is a registered elector and has resided in the district for at least one year prior to election.” Elliott said Olsen has violated this statute on two accounts. The first is that his business does not count as a residence. The second is that Olsen submitted his voter registration form with the changed address on Nov. 13, 2015. With the election taking place on Nov. 8, 2016, Olsen has failed to be a registered resident of the district for an entire year, Elliott said. Olsen said his actions are entirely within state statute. “I am free to change my residency if I want to,” Olsen told the Herald Democrat. Olsen would not respond to questions asked by the Herald Democrat on whether he was living at the 731 U.S. 24 address. County Clerk Patty Berger said that Olsen is free to claim

his business as his residence and that the property was built as a house. “That is his business,” Berger said. “Many people run businesses out of their own homes.” Berger said that upon hearing concerns that Olsen’s candidacy was not valid, she asked Olsen to confirm the property was his residence. She said Olsen provided copies of tax bills and sanitation bills, among other documents. Berger said it all checked out, and that she is not required to validate if the property is a residency any further than that. “We don’t have to follow him. We don’t have to peek through the windows,” Berger said. “We don’t have to do any of that.” Berger confirmed that Olsen did turn his registration in on Nov. 13, but said regisContinued on page 3

Alpine success

A black Ford pickup topples over on Colo. 91 roughly a half-mile past mile marker four at approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. No injuries were reported.

LLCEDC updates its activities by Marcia Martinek Herald Editor The Leadville Lake County Economic Development Corporation has been in business for 2 1/2 years now, and it invited the community to an annual update last week. Using numbers rather than business names, Nicole Thompson, executive director, revealed that since its inception the LLCEDC has helped 29 existing businesses, assisted 28 entrepreneurs, assisted four businesses with alternate financing options (less than $10,000), worked with three potential businesses and numerous investors.

It has a close association with local realtors when site location is needed, serves as a clearing house for information, provided eight training sessions with 75 attendees and is providing monthly articles in the Herald Democrat, she continued. Thompson touched on some concerns expressed that the LLCEDC is a secret organization and acknowledged that client records are confidential, and especially discussing potential business transactions. However, she said, the organization does conduct an annual meeting and a summer open house that are open to the public. A variety of five-year goals were discussed. Within these goals was a survey of local businesses, 50 percent

of which is expected to be completed by year’s end. Revitalizing downtown is one of the goals, and this includes work on the Main Street Program, feasibility studies for the Tabor Opera House and the convention center at the mining museum. It will also include consideration of a restaurant association, museum association and creation of a promotional association to result in six events. Keith Moffett, a m e m b e r o f t he L L C E D C board, announced that 17 new members joined the organization in the past year with a current membership of 71. The LLCEDC grew

Continued on page 2

Photo by Danielle Ryan

Lake County High School Panther Nathanael Main finishes in 15th place in the slalom at Beaver Creek. The Alpine ski team is doing well in competition this season. See story on page 19.

Herald Democrat — JANUARY 21, 2016 — PAGE 3

Instruction focused on needs

Date of change disputed Continued from page 1

Continued from page 2 said that the college has experienced an 18.5 percent increase in enrolling Latino/ Hispanic students this year; that percentage is 8.8 percent in Leadville. Hauser said the college is dedicated to providing the instruction that is needed in each community, pointing to the welding program recently publicized in the Herald, as well as programs designed to meet the needs of the Climax Mine. She pointed to local tax support for the college, saying CMC wants to be sure that taxpayers are getting a return on their investment.

Photo by Marcia Martinek

Carrie Besnette Hauser, president of Colorado Mountain College, gives the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Leadville Lake County Economic Development Corporation.

Funding available for energy efficiency The Cloud City Conservation Center has been awarded $60,000 in funding to help Lake County homeowners and tenants improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Energy Outreach Colorado, a statewide organization, has selected a number of nonprofits in the mountain area to facilitate energy efficiency improvements for families and individuals who earn 80 percent or less of the local area median income. The funding allows an average of $2,500 per home for improvements to the

insulation levels, air sealing, refrigeration replacement and heating equipment replacement. No match will be required from the homeowner or tenant, but improvements are decided based on a priority list for the home. Energy Outreach Colorado funding in turn comes predominantly from Xcel Energy, which charges a small fee on every energy bill to pay for this type of program. “People in Lake County who are struggling with high energy bills will benefit from this program because energy

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tration is not an indicator of residency. “That’s the date he changed his residence on his voter registration. That is not the date he moved.” Berger said that if Elliott wants to challenge her ruling, it is entirely his responsibility. “If Bud wants to challenge, there is a process,” Berger said. “The burden of proof is on him to prove that he doesn’t live there.” Elliott said he has no intentions of challenging that Olsen does not live at 731 U.S. 24 S., but rather that he did not file it as his residence in his voter registration on time. “Dates and numbers of weeks and numbers of months are very precise, there is not a lot of room to play with,” Elliott said. Elliott said there’s a larger issue at stake than just someone opposing his run for commissioner. Olsen is taking advantage of the entire election process, Elliott said. “I’m concerned about the

integrity of the election process,” Elliott said. “I feel when we have different rules for different people and different rules from the law, we are undermining the integrity of the election.” Elliott said he plans to challenge Berger’s acceptance of Olsen’s candidacy by early May. “In this case, the county is ensuring that I would have to hire a lawyer,” Elliott said, “which probably doubles the expense of the campaign. That’s directly related to what people are concerned about.” Olsen said during last week’s Democratic Committee meeting that his “interpretation of the statute was correct.” “Although I can be viewed as an opportunist or a carpetbagger, I feel I am completely within the grounds of the statute,” Olsen said. The Herald Democrat asked the Colorado Secretary of State if a candidate is allowed to claim a business also as a residence. The SOS did not reply to the Herald’s inquiry.

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PAGE 4 — Herald Democrat — JANUARY 28, 2016

OPINION Editorial

Here’s our take Election news is in the headlines, and the Herald has started getting calls about the fact that Ken Olsen has switched his primary residence from Dist. 1 to Dist. 3 in order to run for county commissioner. Specifically he has switched his primary residence from his home to his place of business. What we’re hearing is: “How can this happen?” (We’re also hearing: “I’d say something but I have to do business with the county and don’t want to go on the record ... blah, blah, blah.” In other words, “Let the Herald speak up.”) Here goes. We’re having a hard time wrapping our minds around this one. Everything we’ve read in the Colorado Revised Statutes indicates that this doesn’t wash. For example: “The residence of a person is the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person ... in which a person’s habitation is fixed and to which that person, whenever absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence.” “No vacant lot or business address shall be considered a residence.” The only way it does work is if Olsen has really moved lock, stock and barrel into his place of business and has permanently vacated his home. It means he’s changed his driver’s license and car registration and is filing his income tax from that new address. If, in fact, he has been serving as a political delegate from Dist. 1, he has now resigned. It means when he closes his eyes at night and opens them in the morning, he generally can be found at 731 U.S. 24 South. And this isn’t just for the duration of the campaign. If he should make it as far as getting elected, he will have to remain at the address while serving, because people who move out of their districts lose their positions. So do we think that’s what’s happening? Well, Olsen wouldn’t respond to questions from this newspaper as to whether he’s actually living at that address. That kind of raises a red flag. Yet County Clerk Patty Berger, who has the responsibility to ensure that elections are on the up and up in this county, doesn’t appear to have a problem with the whole thing. She said Olsen can claim his business as a residence, and that many people run businesses out of their homes. Yes, but do people run homes out of their businesses? She said she saw tax and sanitation bills, but we’re sure that as owner of that building, Olsen pays the property taxes and the sewage bills. She said she is not required to go any further. For example she doesn’t have to “peek through the windows.” Olsen also changed his official address on his voter registration a couple of days late. In other words, his new address on U.S. 24 won’t be his official address for a full year at the time of the November election. “That’s not the date he moved,” Berger said, implying that the date Olsen moved is what really matters, not the date he officially changed his address. So what date did he move into 731 U.S. 24 South? We don’t want to see Berger peeking through windows, either, but when an issue is as controversial as this one, we do expect more oversight. The real burden, however, falls squarely on Olsen. He still owes the voting public some answers. Marcia Martinek Herald Editor

Letters to the editor New ownership of Safeway should be good

“With new owners, Safeway moves on.” That was the headline in the San Francisco Gate on Jan. 29, 2015. In early January of 2015 Cerberus Capital Management, a New York private equity firm, bought Safeway. Cerberus also owns Albertsons and a string of smaller grocery store chains. Cerberus has just over $24 billion under its management. Safeway as it is now known may no longer exist. It is a shame that the Safeway era may come to an end, an era that started in 1926 in Pleasanton, Calif. At one time Safeway was the second largest grocery store chain in

the U.S.A. Cerberus is currently restructuring Safeway. Some smaller and less profitable stores are being sold or closed. In the meeting held recently with the Albertsons/Safeway people out of Denver, our local Safeway will not be sold or closed. What also came out of that meeting is that there are plans in place to do what can be done to improve our local Safeway. There is no doubt that we need a larger and more up-to-date Safeway. But the problem is where to build a new store. Our local Safeway is land locked and cannot be expanded. Once the merger of Albertsons/Safeway is completed, what will emerge is a new company “yet to be named.” There will be 2,300 stores with a total of 250,000 employees. Cerberus is clearly “bullish” on the supermarket

sector. What this means for us locals should be a good thing. We should start to see better product selection, more competitive pricing and the ability to respond to local needs more quickly. At least that is the word coming out of Albertsons/Safeway corporate headquarters. Harry Temple III Leadville

Buy a gun; just don’t load it Re: Jan. 7 Herald Democrat guest column, “Time for editors to arm themselves?” by Barbara Selvin. Every time I read Continued on page 5

Guest column

Attending college now possible by Carrie Besnette Hauser President & CEO Colorado Mountain College Last week, in the Glenwood Springs central administrative offices of Colorado Mountain College, something special happened. Roughly 30 of our employees volunteered their time over lunch to fold, stuff and prepare nearly 2,000 personalized letters for mailing. These letters are a ticket to a college education for our local students. They are a promise to each and every graduating high school senior. These “President’s Scholarship” letters offer automatic admission to Colorado Mountain College and $1,000 toward the first year at our college. The goal of this program is to invite every graduating senior to think about and plan for their future. The funding is

an incentive to help students focus, plan and prepare. This is the second year of this initiative, one we hope to continue for years to come. The President’s

Scholarship program is one way of returning on the investment that our Continued on page 5

Herald Democrat


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Eleven to compete at state Page 22

Herald Democrat

Leadville, Colorado

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Vol. 137, No. 7 • 75 cents

Olsen steps down, Bertolas and Rimbert step up by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Brad Littlepage rescinded his resignation as the chair of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee on Feb. 9, and called for the removal of county commissioner candidate Bud Elliott and his registered agent Harry Camp as officers of the Democratic Cen-

tral Committee over a controversial agenda item to discuss the ethics of Ken Olsen’s candidacy. The move by Littlepage eclipsed a shuffling of the democratic candidates running for county commissioner, with Olsen stepping down as a candidate and Tyrone Rimbert and Ron Bertolas announcing their

candidacies for District 3 and 2 respectively. Because of Olsen’s withdrawal of his candidacy, an ethics conversation was never had and the call for Elliott and Camp’s resignation was never addressed. An email sent to the Democratic Central Committee on the afternoon of Feb. 9 an-

Tuesday morning accident

nounced Littlepage’s decision to remain the democratic chairman. Littlepage cited the Colorado Democratic Party Plan of Organization and Rules. “If a chair of any central committee resigns before the end of the regular term, the resignation must be presented in writing to the state chair. A vacancy shall be declared when these written notifications of resignation are accepted,” the rules state. Littlepage sent a notice of resignation as chairman, along with his decision to drop out of the race for county commissioner, on Feb. 1 to 30 individuals involved in the Democratic Central Committee, as well as the Herald Democratic and Leadville Today. Littlepage said despite this, he never sent the notice to the state

chair. “I didn’t even think of it,” Littlepage said when asked by current county Commissioner Mike Bordogna if he intentionally omitted sending his resignation to the state chair. The Democratic Central Committee, which planned to accept Littlepage’s resignation on Tuesday, was unable to do so before Littlepage’s rescission of his resignation. “They can go to the state and fight it, because I’m not resigning,” Littlepage said during the meeting. Littlepage said he rescinded his resignation because of concerns he had when he saw an ethics conversation on the agenda regarding Olsen’s candidacy. Continued on page 2

Special districts are holding elections Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

A Chevy S-10 tumbled down the embankment at approximately 8:20 a.m. Tuesday at the eight-mile marker on Colo. 91. No injuries were reported.

Police department under investigation by Marcia Martinek Herald Editor The Leadville Police Department is currently under investigation by the office of the Fifth Judicial District Attorney, which is being assisted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The investigation is into “irregular practices regarding the handling and storage of items of evidence, and possible financial improprieties” occurring at the police department,

according to a news release from District Attorney Bruce Brown. Brown said his office initiated the investigation on Jan. 14 at the request of Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe. The release goes on to say that no timetable exists for a conclusion of the investigation, no arrests have been made and no criminal charges are currently pending. Information will be released as it becomes available. The City of Leadville is currently recruiting for a new police chief. Former Chief Mike Leake

resigned his position on Dec. 22, 2015. At the time, thenLeadville Mayor Jaime Stuever would not comment on the resignation, saying it was a personnel matter. He said he did not ask the chief for the resignation but also indicated that Leake didn’t have much choice in the matter. The Herald subsequently learned that Leake had been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Aurora on Feb. 21, 2015, leading to his spending seven days in the Arapahoe County detention facility this past October.

by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Many Lake County special districts are holding elections in 2016. The deadline to apply to run for a board of a special district is Friday, Feb. 26. Those interested should obtain, fill out and turn in a self-nomination and acceptance form to the designated election official of the district. The elections will be held May 3. St. Vincent General Hospital District There are two open seats for the St. Vincent General Hospital District Board of Directors. Dennis Johnson and Byron Copley, the incumbents, are expected to run for the seats, according to Karen Onderdonk, St. Vincent director of community relations. Self-nomination forms should be obtained from and turned in to Jennifer Robbins, the designated election official for the district. Election information and contact information for Robbins can be found in the Herald’s Feb. 4 public notices.

Leadville Sanitation District The Leadville Sanitation District will have three director seats open for the upcoming election. Howard Van Voorst, Robert Vigil, and Sherrie Popovich, the incumbents of those seats, will all be running in the election. Lake County resident Jane Gowing will also be running for a seat on the sanitation district. Self-nomination forms should be obtained from turned in to Angelina Salazar. Election information and contact information for Salazar can be found in the Feb. 11 public notices. Parkville Water District The Parkville Water District will have three director seats open. Currently only two incumbents are running in the race. Chairman Mark Glenn and Vice Chairman Gary Slifka will both be on the ballot. No additional self-nomination and acceptance forms have been turned in yet, according Continued on page 2

PAGE 2 — Herald Democrat — FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Littlepage: Committee heading in wrong direction “What made me decide that the central committee was heading in the wrong direction was that the central committee’s business to determine if Ken Olsen has the right to run is not this group’s decision,” Littlepage said. “It is a legal decision in the courts. We have nothing to do with making that decision or even discussing it.” In the email Littlepage sent, he justified his call for the removal of Elliott and Camp as officers for the central committee because he said their placing an ethics conversation on the agenda violated the Colorado Democratic Party Plan of Organization and Rules.

“Mr. Elliott and Mr. Camp are in violation of Article 10 Section 3 because they are opposing a nominee of the Democratic Party which is cause for removal.” According to Title 1-4-601 of the Colorado Secretary of State’s election rules, the Democratic party will not officially nominate a candidate for the primary ballot until their county assembly. Camp said he recognizes the final decision on Olsen’s candidacy would have to take place in court, but that should not rob the Democratic committee from being able to consider if Olsen’s candidacy was the right thing to support. “I thought this was unethi-

Continued from page 1 to designated election official and Parkville General Man-

ager Greg Teter, leaving one of the seats, to this date, unfilled. Self-nomination forms

Continued from page 1

cal. I thought that we representing the Democratic party of Lake County should at least discuss it,” Camp said. “If we put it to a vote, there’s a good chance that we would say that Ken and Patty (Berger) were in the right. And we would back that as a group. Legally, you’re probably right, but it’s not ethical. Ken should wait two years, and I would support Ken in my own district.” Olsen told Camp that he needed to drop his concerns and focus on other issues. “You won Harry. It’s OK. Whatever it takes,” Olsen said. Olsen told the committee it was time to look past his candidacy and focus on what’s important. “I think Lake County needs

to get off of the minutiae of dealing with people like Ken Olsen and his candidacy and start dealing with real things in Lake County,” Olsen said. “Like us and our citizenry rather then beating up on people. I think that’s a real good thing to do.” A flurry of new candidates enter the race “I want to announce that I am resigning as a candidate for District 3,” Olsen told the Democratic Central Committee that evening. It was not long before other candidates filled his vacancy. Tyrone Rimbert announced his candidacy for District 3, focusing on his experience as a small-business owner.

“I feel like I have ran a successful business for the last 15 years. I have become involved in watching Leadville have successes and our problems as well,” Rimbert said. “I’m very passionate about our community. I think we have the ability to grow, we have the ability to have goodness in our community, and I feel I can do a good job doing that for us.” Ron Bertolas announced his candidacy for District 2. “I was born and raised here, and I’ve seen enough,” Bertolas said. Former city clerk and mayoral candidate Joe Swyers also announced his candidacy for District 2 in last week’s issue of the Herald Democrat.

Special district elections are scheduled for May 3 Sites being considered by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer With a location for the proposed justice center needing to be established by the end of April, the county says it has narrowed down the list of possible locations to three sites. Lake County Commissioner Bruce Hix said the county is not ready to release the specific locations just yet, but said one location is on countyowned land and two of the locations are privately owned. Nan Anderson, the architect for the project, set the deadline of the end of April. She said she will need to be given a way forward by that date for the current timeline to be met. “It doesn’t need to be in the county’s hands, but we need to be given a clear direction,” Anderson said. Hix said the deadline may be aggressive, but the county is giving it its best shot. Negotiating with the owners of the property, if the county decides

to pursue a privately owned location, could take a substantial amount of time, Hix said. The county needs at least six acres for a property to be feasible. Anderson said several other factors are being considered, including proximity to utilities, whether it’s within walking distance of downtown Leadville, if it’s located within the proximity of established transportation routes, whether it’s located within city limits, among other considerations. The justice center has not been given an exact price, although figures between $10 million and $20 million have been cited by Lake County Sheriff Rod Fenske. A sales tax to fund the construction of the justice center will likely be on the November ballot. Fenske said a referendum will have to be on the county commissioners’ desk by the end of August for the sales tax to make the ballot.

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should be obtained from and turned into Teter. Election information and contact information for Teter can be found in the Feb. 4 public notices. Other special districts Those interested in running for the Lake County Conservation District should obtain and hand in their self-nomination form to Joan Dawson. Election information and contact information can be found in the Feb. 11 public notices. Those interested in running for the Mountain View Villages Water and Sanitation District should obtain and hand in their self-nomination form to Crystal Schenck. Election

information and contact information can be found in the Feb. 11 public notices. Those interested in running for the Sylvan Lakes Metropolitan District should obtain and hand in their self-nomination form to Gerald Vargo. Election information and contact information can be found in the Feb. 11 public notices. Those interested in running for the AltaColorado Metropolitan District No. 1 should hand in their self-nomination form to Debbie Braucht. Election information and contact information can be found in the Feb. 4 public notices.

Two directors for each district of the AltaColorado Metropolitan District Nos. 2-5 will be elected on May 3. Election information and contact information for the designated election official can be found in the Jan. 28 public notices. Those interested in running for the Brooklyn Metropolitan District should hand in their self-nomination form to Donald Andrew Purdy. Election information and contact information can be found in the Feb. 4 public notices.

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PAGE 4 — Herald Democrat — FEBRUARY 18, 2016

OPINION Editorial

Serious business Although the antics of some members of the Democratic Central Committee over the past weeks bring to mind a soap opera, we must remind ourselves and our readers that serious political business is at hand. We will eventually have to elect people to represent us, and these people, the county commissioners, hold much power in Lake County. They, perhaps more than anyone, can directly affect our quality of life, our property values, our economics. In fact actions taken within the next year or two can impact this area for years to come. So we need to look at each candidate carefully. Our current poll, which appears on our website at www. and also on this page, outlines some of the candidate attributes that we might consider important. At this writing, “integrity” is winning, but we’ll see how it goes. We want to encourage all of you who are affiliated with a political party to get involved in this election from the start. First, attend the March 1 caucus. This is important because at the caucus, attendees will choose delegates for the county assembly. Consider becoming one. You can be sure that most or all of the candidates will be out recruiting their supporters to attend the caucus and attempt to become delegates. This is how it’s done. If you are a delegate, you will vote at the county assembly to determine which of the candidate wannabees will make it on the primary election ballot. Anyone getting less than 30 percent of the votes will go no further in the process unless that individual qualifies to petition onto the ballot or run as an independent. The truth is that a candidate can lose the position of county commissioner at the caucus level if he doesn’t get his ducks in order. But even if you aren’t already sure who you want to support, we encourage you to attend the caucus and consider becoming a delegate. You will hear plenty from the candidates before you actually have to vote at the county assembly – and that should help you decide. Now about that Democratic Central Committee meeting last week, here’s what we think we saw. Brad Littlepage had previously announced his resignation as chair of the committee along with saying he would no longer run for county commissioner. Bud Elliott had been vice chairman, so that would put him in line to chair the group. Elliott put together an agenda for the meeting, which included Harry Camp’s request that the subject of “ethics” be placed on the agenda, in order to discuss of Ken Olsen’s change of address, from home to business, so he could run for county commissioner from a district where a seat was open. Camp is Elliott’s registered agent, and Elliott is running for county commissioner from the same district as Olsen was. Suddenly Littlepage rescinded his resignation as chair via email, saying he had not resigned properly and had changed his mind. In the same email he said Elliott and Camp were violating the State of Colorado Democratic Rules by aiding or supporting a political candidate opposing a nominee of the Democratic Party. (If this were actually true, would it not mean that all candidates in a primary election would be in violation of the aforementioned rules if they campaigned against their opponents?) In any case, Olsen announced he was no longer seeking to become commissioner, there was no real discussion of ethics, and Littlepage remained chair. Does any of this matter as we move forward. Yes, but only to a certain extent. You can take it or leave it. But don’t let this dissuade you from the political process, whether you are a Republican or Democrat. Your involvement matters, and perhaps it matters more now than ever before. And, incidentally, so do ethics. Marcia Martinek Herald Editor

Letters to the editor Cross-country skiers are losing trails A sincere thanks to Colorado Mountain College, Paul and his crew, Brian and Chris, Craig at the golf course and the snowmobile club. Your efforts are deeply appreciated by many crosscountry skiers. In an effort to educate all multi-users, cross-country skiers are losing quality trails. Some of the trails in the county were cut specifically for cross-country skiing, by cross-country skiers. Trail grooming came about for safer and faster skate skiing. There are many miles of trails and county roads not specific to groomed use for all to enjoy.

With a three to four month window of opportunity, crosscountry skiers aren’t asking for much, other than a quality and safe experience. For a community this size, we have some of the best venues in the world for recreation. Articles about Leadville this past summer in the Denver Post never mentioned anything about our great cross-country skiing opportunities. The signage encouraging users on the Mineral Belt Trail/CMC trails to respect skate and classic skiers is not working. In an era of mobile devices, there is very little activity until word gets out that the trails are groomed. Many dogs continue to be unleashed once out of sight from trail heads. The famed Howelsen Hill Nordic complex in Steamboat

Springs is considering ambassadors to monitor their multi-use mess. Sk a t e sk i e rs wit h t he V technique are feeling the impact more so with multiusers not staying to the outer edge of any groomed surface. This makes it extremely hard to maintain balance with the many divots. Pet owners, please remember to pick up after your dog. It is an unsightly mess that will stop any skier. Hopefully, with due respect and common courtesy to all users, folks will return and enjoy the many awesome trails and county roads Lake County has to offer. Frank Mencin Don Quinn Leadville Continued on page 5

Guest column

The potential value of vulgarity by Gene Policinski Inside the First Amendment Let’s hear it for vulgarity! Well, at least let’s hear it for occasionally “hearing it,” and other offensive terms and ideas. Let’s accept that there are times, such as presidential elections, where we have an abiding need to really “hear” the speaker, unfiltered and raw, and not just through a prettified, sanitized, preplanned utterance. We need to be surprised, shocked, awed or offended at times to get the full-on impact of what people are saying in this widely derided but no less-observed era of rehearsed talking points and “sound bites.” Language “with bite” or just plain speaking may be shocking but also can be insightful — the very point of the First Amendment’s protection for free expression. The U.S. Supreme Court

affirmed the legal protection of offensive speech in 1971, in Cohen v. California — an opinion by Justice John Marshall Harlan II that included the worthy

observation that while “the particular four-letter word being litigated here is Continued on page 5

Herald Democrat


01197) is published every Thursday and is the official

newspaper in Lake County, Colorado. The newspaper office is located at 717 Harrison Ave., Leadville, and is

open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except Wednesday. Telephone number: (719) 486-0641. FAX: (719) 486-0611. E-mail:

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and $37 per year out of county. Second-class postage is paid in Leadville, CO, and additional mailing offices.

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Editor Marcia Martinek Copy Editor Veronica Mohrmann Advertising Manager Stephanie Wagner Reporter Ryan Fitzmaurice Office Manager Kimberly Jackson Production Michell Thonoff Distribution Marge Hickman

copyrighted. Contents in this newspaper cannot be

reproduced without prior, written permission of Arkansas Valley Publishing Company.

A Colorado Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors award winner

results of our WEBSITE POLL Feb. 10-23, 2016 What issue are you most focused on in the next county commissioner election? Party affiliation Integrity shown by candidates Transparency Availability of BOCC to public

Keeping roads open Cutting spending Investing in community initiatives Other

Have your say at

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Climax talk proves popular Page 11

Burkhardt gets to compete Page 12

Redden takes first place Page 23

Herald Democrat

Leadville, Colorado

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Vol. 137, No. 5 • 75 cents

Lack of Miranda rights could impact case by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Several statements used as evidence by the prosecution could be thrown out in the Maria Day case as Day was never read her Miranda rights when

she was arrested on July 8, 2015. The information came out in a Feb. 1 motions hearing where testimonies were heard regarding 13 different motions. This included a mo-

tion to suppress statements from evidence, as the defense questioned whether the gathering of these statements violated Day’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. The twelve other motions were also

Ready to hit the slopes

evidentiary seeking to limit or admit evidence into the trial. Day is facing a seconddegree murder charge; leaving the scene of an accident that caused bodily injury, a third-degree felony; one count of vehicular homicide in the fourth degree; and two counts of crimes of violence. The charges stem from a July 8, 2015, incident where Day allegedly struck and killed her boyfriend, John Alexander Martinez, with a 2002 Lexus. Day’s mother was in the car with her when the incident occurred. No evidentiary motions were ruled on Monday. The argument and ruling over those motions is scheduled for March 8. Several statements used as evidence were challenged by

the defendant. This includes a statement given at the crime by Day before she was arrested, where she said, “It’s my boyfriend, it’s OK.” Another was taken at the hospital after her arrest when she was getting blood drawn by the police department “It looks like he won’t be running or walking for awhile, which sucks, because he runs in almost all the local races. But he’ll be OK.” Interim Police Chief Saige Bertolas said all statements were given voluntarily and that Day was never interrogated. Sgt. Calvin Dawe testified he placed Day under arrest after he saw the injuries to the victim. He testified that he did Continued on page 3

Littlepage drops out

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Asher Horning is all bundled up and ready to hit the slopes last week with his Center classmates after a little bit of encouragement. See more photos on page 13.

by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Brad Littlepage resigned as chair of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee and announced he has decided to not run for county commissioner on Monday, Feb. 1. The announcement was made in an email to the Herald Democrat and another to the members of the Democratic Central Committee. No reason was given. Sarah Mudge is now running for the Dist. 2 commissioner seat unopposed.

The next Democratic Central Committee meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Leadville Senior Center. Bud Elliott, who is also running for county commissioner in Dist. 3, will take over the proceedings as vice chair. County Clerk Patty Berger said she has received no information on why Littlepage has withdrawn from the race. The Herald Democrat was unable to reach Littlepage for comment.

Medical clearances of prisoners questioned at board meeting by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Concerns that prisoner medical checkups are neither thorough nor sufficient to prove they are in good health before being put in prison were raised in Thursday’s St. Vincent Hospital Board meeting. Hospital Board Member Fernando Mendoza, who also serves as the Lake County un-

dersheriff, said the Lake County Sheriff’s Department has an agreement with St. Vincent Hospital to medically clear new prisoners before they are taken to jail for the first time. After the medical checkup, the county gets a document from the hospital. Mendoza said sometimes he doubts how soundly prisoners have been medically cleared. “We conduct medical clearances, from the sheriff’s office standpoint, to ensure that person’s safety in jail,” Mendoza said. “My concern is sometimes the medical clearances

are simply he can walk, he can talk, he must be healthy enough.” Mendoza said he’s concerned that if something happens the hospital may find itself liable. “I’m weighing liabilities from both the sheriff’s office and the hospital, and I see someone come in with a very high level of intoxication, they’re on drugs, but they have a waiver,” Mendoza said. “That’s concerning to me from a hospital standpoint.” Dr. Gary Petry, of St. Vincent Hospital, said it’s not that

St. Vincent is being negligent, but rather not every prisoner brought in is cooperative. “Sometimes it’s very straightforward. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes you have a patient who is very violently agitated and refuses to be examined,” Petry said. “And I cannot touch him, as I understand it, because they refuse to let me examine them.” Petry said he is unable to involuntarily commit someone to an inpatient mental health facility, known as a psychiatric hold, until a hospital is willing to accept a patient. Petry said

it can take days to do this, and therefore it is rarely an option. Hospital Board Member Byron Copley said that Petry is free to act as he sees appropriate. “There are general accepted policies, but there are decisions that aren’t clear cut,” Copley said. “The doctor has the right to make that decision.” St. Vincent Hospital Leadville Medical Clinic Director Peggy Frank said a task force consisting of employees from the hospital, the county and the city has already been formed on the issue.

PAGE 4 — Herald Democrat — MARCH 10, 2016

Commissioner candidates discuss their visions Continued from page 3 do my part for the community.” Elliott said the most important thing Leadville can do is focus on sustainability, which includes making annual sizeable contributions to the county’s Mine Closure Fund. “That’s one of the things every business owner learns, is that if you make an invest-

ment, it has to be sustainable,” Elliott said. Swyers said he plans to focus on economic development, and said one of his ideas was to bring the 10th Mountain Division back to Lake County. “Bring the 10th Mountain Division here,” Swyers said. “And I mean the military division. Not at Fort Carson, or Camp Hale, but here, perhaps up at the Black Hawk as a

base.” Tina Tekansik brought up her previous experience working as Lake County’s public trustee and said she would bring those skills to the position. “My job duties then was collecting our monies,” Tekansik said. “And if I’m elected it’ll be a turn around and I’ll be spending monies.” Rohn Bertolas said, despite

expectations, he didn’t know many people at the assembly. “I was going to put in my note that most of you know me,” Bertolas said. “But I need to tell you, I hardly know anybody anymore in this town.” Bertolas said he would focus on bringing an industry to Leadville as a way to bolster economic growth. “But not the marijuana industry,” Bertolas said.

The Republican caucus Turnout was also high for the Lake County Republican Caucus on March 1. There were about 100 members in attendance, Lake County Republican Secretary Rhonda Huggins said. No presidential straw poll was taken, and no Republicans have declared for county commissioner.

Conditions Sunday said to be perfect for skijoring Continued from page 2 Joring America, had been around since 1996. “We feel we always had the best safety record. If you look at other skijoring events around the country, you’ll see that,” Jason Dahl said. “We always had a hard time stomaching someone else, who is unorganized and inefficient, coming in and telling us what to do.” Jason Dahl said a veterinarian was on-site for the two days of the event, but would not clarify if the veterinarian was contracted by Leadville Ski Joring. Dahl also said there was no outside individual independent of the event who approved course conditions, but rather the event depended on the riders’ feedback. One of those riders, Tim McCarthy, evaluated the course Saturday morn-

by Cara Russell Chamber Executive Director This quarter’s member s p o t l i g ht i s o n K at hy Blackford, the chamber’s newest board member. Kathy may be the latest to be appointed to the chamber board, but she is certainly not new to the chamber. She served in that role many years ago and is excited to be involved with the chamber on a deeper level again. She appreciates the networking that the chamber provides, and the events it hosts, especially the BBQ and Brew Fest. She’s eager to see the s u cce s s o f l a s t ye a r ’s barbecue be repeated and improved this June. Kathy has been in the banking industry for 23 years – and 19 of them have been with Peoples Bank in Leadville. She was born and raised here, got married to her husband, Michael, here and raised four kids here. She says she’d love

ing with a measuring stick and said it was an almost perfect course. “As far as I’m concerned, they did everything right,” McCarthy said. “I let my daughter ride on that course. I would never do that if I thought it wasn’t safe.” McCarthy said despite this, considerations should be made to determine if the event should be held earlier in the day to help preserve the course. Greg Dahl said despite the tragedy on Saturday, the event was perfect on Sunday. It was symbolic, he said, for how the event has to move on from this in years to come. “Today we did; we had a beautiful race. The track was good. The horses loved it. The skiers loved it. They were getting big air,” Greg Dahl said Sunday afternoon. “When something negative happens, you have to push through it and get to the positive.”

to see the momentum continue to build for the recreation opportunities in the area, because we have so much to offer that other areas don’t. When asked what she thinks has made some businesses here thrive when others have failed, Kathy advised business owners not to grow too big, too quickly. “ They should get comfortable filling a niche,” she said. “Do business within your means and focus on growing at a more organic pace.” On a separate note, the chamber suggests you mark your calendars for some upcoming “can’t miss” events. Our casino night will be held on May 14 at the Elks Lodge at 7 p.m., the BBQ and Brew Fest is scheduled for June 24 and 25, and the Victorian Homes Tour will be held on the afternoon of Dec. 3. We need volunteers for all of these events and would love your help!

Photo by Stephanie Wagner

Turbo continues down Harrison Avenue solo after losing rider T.J. Simmons and skier Cody Ehlenfeldt in a crash on the course Saturday afternoon. Turbo took a hard right on West Fourth Street and headed to his trailer at the Elks Lodge.

New generation learns to skijore Page 13

Dogs help raise funds for shelter Page 14

Winter bikes circle the MBT Page 31

Herald Democrat

Leadville, Colorado

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vol. 137, No. 10 • 75 cents

Younger voters make their presence known

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Rohan Roy reads the rule sheet to the caucus voters in his precinct.

by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer A younger and more diverse group of delegates elected at the Lake County Democratic Central Committee Caucus established a new status quo in Lake County’s Democratic party last week. On March 1, 226 local voters turned out in what was record-breaking turnout. The group also was a transformative force, not only changing the makeup of the delegates elected, but also forcing a change in the location of the caucus and altering the way Lake County’s Democratic caucus was run. “This is unprecedented,” Joe Swyers, candidate for county commissioner, told caucus voters. The event was originally planned to be held at the Elks Lodge at 7 p.m. With the large turnout, which made it hard to even fit through the front door, the event was moved in a last-

second decision to the high school and began at 7:30 p.m. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders heavily carried the vote of Lake County Democrats, leading the vote over presidential candidate Hillary Clinton 164 to 53. Upon being tasked with nominating delegates, caucus members were initially told by precinct organizers that the nomination was a blind process in which nominated delegates could not share their voting preferences. Many caucus members questioned the rule, resulting in five out of six precincts having nominees state whom they were likely to vote for if they were nominated. The Colorado Caucus rules state that delegates cannot be told who to vote for. But in the section on delegate selection the rules state: “Delegates and Continued on page 3

Skijoring weekend brings both spectacle and sadness by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Leadville’s 2016 Crystal Carnival and Skijoring event came and went with its usual sense of excitement and celebration. The death of a horse on Saturday, however, left a note of sadness that stayed with participants and spectators throughout the weekend. Hometown favorite Greg Dahl became the 2016 champion of the skijoring circuit. Dahl didn’t place first in any of the Leadville skijoring events, but his third-place finish in Sunday’s Open Division catapulted him to the top of the skijoring rankings. Dahl is a veteran in the sport starting in 1995. He said the reason he began in the sport was as simple as a phone call, when Paul Copper, lead organizer for the event, called him. “He said, ‘You have horses, bring them down. We’re going skijoring,’” Dahl recalled. Since then, Dahl has been

hooked. It always goes the same way: He’s nervous before the race, but as soon as he knows his horse is OK, he’s ready to go. “Once he drops his head, I know it’s all good,” Dahl said. This year’s event saw a record turnout, according to event organizer Jason Dahl. Forty-four teams participated in the Sport Division and 18 teams in the Open Division. Rider Savannah McCarthy, her horse Tank and skier Jason Dahl finished first overall in the Open Division with a time of 15.15 seconds. This is McCarthy’s fourth year in a row winning the division. Rider Richard Weber III, his horse Derby and skier Tug Birk took home first place in the Sport Division. Ryan Rivera, the winner of the Legends Division with his horse Twister and skier Jesse Biggins, said it was only natural for him to be out on the course; skijoring runs in his family. “I grew up here and watched everyone else do it, and my stepmom did it one year,” Ri-

vera said. “So, I did it, and I won.” Dana Stiles tackled the event with a new horse, something that made her more than a little nervous. Unlike

veteran skijoring horses, you never know how a new one will react. “It changes things a lot. You have the “oh crap” moment because you don’t know

how they’re going to do,” Stiles said. “I ran him in Minturn last week, and he swerved Continued on page 2

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Mario Giarratano, sweeping fast to his right, snatches up the rings while being pulled by Jorge’ Calzadillas and his horse Martin.

Herald Democrat — MARCH 10, 2016 — PAGE 3

Voters educated on caucus process Continued from page 1 alternates to all party assemblies and conventions are to be chosen in a manner which fairly reflects the division of candidate preference, expressed by those participating in the nominating process.” Nothing in the rules mandates a blind nominating process, but the rules do state that “participants in the caucus may adopt additional rules, provided they do not conflict with either state, county or national party rules, state election laws or other instructions to the caucus chair.” County commissioner candidate Sarah Mudge said that she and fellow county commissioner candidate Bud Elliott worked to educate new voters on the caucus process, even holding a pre-caucus training in February. “I made an effort to educate people on the process. Anyone who was interested asked me

questions about it,” Mudge said. “There was little to no one that really understood what it did and how it was supposed to work.” Mudge said part of the caucus procedure that allowed for delegates to state preferences was skipped over in past caucuses. Because of the events of this caucus, Mudge said she wouldn’t be surprised if those steps were added back in the near future. “It sounds like there’s going to be a new influx of people, and procedure might change,” Mudge said. “That might be on the (Democratic Central Committee’s) agenda tomorrow night.” Mudge said she does not just credit her own efforts for the change, but also enthusiasm caused by Sanders. Mudge also said Lake County voters as a whole are growing more passionate. “I talked to many folks at least three times about the

process,” Mudge said. County commissioner candidates share their visions The caucus was also where many Democratic voters were able to meet the county commissioner candidates for the first time. Mudge stressed continuing to improve education in Lake County, as well as supporting the Leadville Lake County Economic Development Corporation and keeping housing available for new citizens. Mudge said it was her family that has caused her to be as committed as she is to Leadville. “With that added responsibility of a family, my expectations increased for what I wanted from this community,” Mudge said. “With those increased expectations, it only made sense to increase my part and my responsibility to

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Matt O’Brien votes for delegates in precinct 4 during the March 1 Democratic caucus.

SAVE THE DATE! June 24 & 25

Continued on page 4

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Spring forward Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

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Herald Democrat — MARCH 10, 2016 — PAGE 5

OPINION Editorial

Change in the wind? We’ve heard a number of accounts of the Democratic caucuses held last week, including from our own reporter. We were aware that efforts were underway to educate voters about the caucus process this year, and guess what? It seems to have been effective. The turnout was overwhelming; the Democrats had to change their location to accommodate the crowd. And we understand some of the old-time Democrats were somewhat taken aback on the way the sessions proceeded. These caucuses may turn out to be significant in many ways. Certainly they mark a change in procedures. We understand that there were questions when individuals revealed whom they supported while attempting to be named delegates to the county convention. This is not an unusual thing, although perhaps it is in Lake County. How are you going to pick your delegates if you don’t know whom they favor? We’re very familiar with this procedure in other parts of the state. In any case, the county assembly comes next. We said a few weeks back that a candidate can lose the position of county commissioner at the caucus level if he doesn’t get his ducks in order. The county assembly is the next opportunity for a candidate to lose the race before an actual election. The delegates have been selected and they will decide which candidate or candidates go on to appear on the ballot at the primary. These will be the candidates who get 30 percent or more of the delegate votes. Candidates getting between 10 and 29 percent of the votes will go no further in the process unless they petition onto the ballot. Some also could decide to run as independents. In in any case individuals can still declare their candidacies at the assembly, so we’ll have to wait and see. Once the candidates are established for the primary election, and assuming there is a contest, we will be asking them to answer a few questions for the edification of our readers; likely there will also be a meet the candidates event. We haven’t said much about the Republicans but are unaware at this point of any candidates for county commissioner. That can change any time up to the assembly, which is actually this Saturday, 10 a.m. at the Climax building at CMC. The Democratic Assembly is the next Saturday, same time, same place. The primary election is June 28, and we suspect at that time we will know who will be elected to the two county commissioner seats. Unless the Republicans catch fire in the next week. In this election year, it seems that just about anything can happen. Marcia Martinek Herald Editor

Herald Democrat


01197) is published every Thursday and is the official

newspaper in Lake County, Colorado. The newspaper office is located at 717 Harrison Ave., Leadville, and is

open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except Wednesday. Telephone number: (719) 486-0641. FAX: (719) 486-0611. E-mail:

Subscription rates are $27 per year within Lake County;

and $37 per year out of county. Second-class postage is paid in Leadville, CO, and additional mailing offices.

POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Herald Democrat, P.O. Box 980, Leadville, CO 80461-0980. Herald ads, copy, maps, photos, and layout are

Editor Marcia Martinek Copy Editor Veronica Mohrmann Advertising Manager Stephanie Wagner Reporter Ryan Fitzmaurice Office Manager Kimberly Jackson Production Michell Thonoff Distribution Marge Hickman

copyrighted. Contents in this newspaper cannot be

reproduced without prior, written permission of Arkansas Valley Publishing Company.

A Colorado Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors award winner

In memory

by Paul Irwin

Letters to the editor Marijuana odor is unpleasant at caucus I participated in the Lake County Democratic caucus on Tuesday, March 1. I have lived in my same precinct for over 39 years and participated in this event off and on for many years. I have overseen my district by appointment as precinct chair, and I have also been voted as a delegate before. It was amazing to see the tremendous turnout

of voters this year, most all of whom were there on behalf of a particular county commissioner candidate and a particular presidential candidate. The demographic of caucus attendees has changed here, noticed by myself, as I had pretty much never even seen most of the folks that were attending. This process of political caucus is a privilege that is allowed voters in a democracy and truly it is an honor to be part of this special event. With so many participants, many more than usual, the meeting had to be moved to a second and larger location. At the first location, things were becoming hectic, and people were becoming agitated and

grumpy. The committee staff was working hard and in what may have been an unprecedented event, called to move the event to the high school to accommodate the large crowds. The committee was able to get things back in line, and the meeting started late. Unfortunately, I did not stay due to the strong odor of marijuana. Although I was wanting to become a precinct delegate, by leaving early I could not be chosen. Now I would be far off if I said I had not done partying in my past, but thankfully I have way outgrown those things and I

Continued on page 6

results of our WEBSITE POLL Feb. 24-March 8, 2016 If you had to pick a historic figure – not a Tabor – to represent Leadville, who would it be? Molly Brown J.J. Brown Doc Holliday Meyer Guggenheim David May

50% 5.1% 15.3% 7.1% 3.1%

Martin Duggan Texas Jack Molly May Other

Have your say at

w w w. l e a d v i l l e h e r a l d . c o m

* please note survey results are not scientific and are used for entertainment purposes only

5.1% 5.1% 1% 8.2%

Anita Mason is honored

Music fundraiser at Old Church Page 15

Page 8

Learn to build a snow shelter Page 23

Herald Democrat

Leadville, Colorado

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Vol. 137, No. 11 • 75 cents

Republicans nominate Glenn for commissioner by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer The Republican County Assembly, which elected local delegates to go the state convention, also added Mark Glenn as a Republican county commissioner candidate to the local ballot.

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Mark Glenn, who was nominated onto the ballot at the assembly for county commissioner, discusses his plans for Lake County.

Glenn, who will run in Pre-

cinct 3 against Bud Elliott and Tina Tekansik, said he wishes to make Lake County a more sustainable community by attracting more people to the area. “The more people we can get here, the more opportunities there can be for all of us,” Glenn said. Glenn said recreational activities especially should be encouraged. “Recreation of course is a huge thing here and hopefully that continues,” Glenn said. “This is God’s country.” Former State Senator Ken Chlouber said it’s about time Lake County has someone on the ballot with conservative values. “Mark Glenn shares your values,” Chlouber said to the assembly. “Thirty eight years ago, I did the same thing. I was the first Republican elected in this county in 35 years. Mark, you’re about to be the third elected.” Delegates who were elected to the state convention all expressed a diverse range of

By Ryan Fitzmaurice

Republican Senate candidate Charlie Ehler discusses his thoughts on Obamacare with the assembly.

preferences when it came to the candidate they would support at the convention. Victor Christian, who was elected as a delegate, said he

was voting for presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Republican Party has too long became a party of exclusion and not inclusion, Christian

said. His mother took offense when the Republicans brought evangelical preacher Billy Continued on page 3

‘New regime’ takes over Democratic Central Committee by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Upheaval in the Lake County Democratic Party, born out of a caucus many said was improperly run and undemocratic, has led to a fundamental shift in the political landscape of Lake County. Former Democratic party chair Brad Littlepage, Robin Littlepage and Ken Olsen all resigned from the Democratic Central Committee on the afternoon of March 8 following the Democratic caucus . The Democratic Central Committee confirmed Sarah Dallas as the new chair and Abby Long as the vice chair in that night’s meeting. “Due to the regime change in our party it is obviously time for me to give up my seat as the Chairman of the LCDCC,” Littlepage wrote in his resignation letter. Littlepage and Olsen both

started the election season running for county commissioner as Democrats. Littlepage first resigned as party chair, along with dropping out of the county commissioner race on Feb. 1, stating that he chose to “explore the world over public service.” Littlepage rescinded his

resignation and reclaimed the chair on Feb. 9 due to concerns over an ethics hearing on the Democratic Central Committee agenda concerning Ken Olsen’s candidacy. The resignation was never made official as it was never sent to the state chair. Littlepage’s current resignation letter was sent to the

state chair on March 8. Olsen, who was running for office out of his accounting firm, dropped out of the race during the Democratic Central Committee Meeting held on Feb. 9 before an ethics conversation could be held. Delegates challenged The fallout from the 2016

Lake County Democratic Caucus did not stop with a turnover of the leadership. Carl Schaefer of Precinct 5 challenged the delegates of his precinct because the delegates stated the local candidates Continued on page 7

Climax seeks confidentiality agreement with BOCC by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Climax Molybdenum has approached the county commissioners with the request to sign a confidentiality agreement with the county regarding the company’s taxes. The confidentiality agreement states that it applies to “all non-public information disclosed by Climax to Recipient in oral, written, visual, electronic, or other tangible form, whether before or after the date of this Agreement, that in any way relates or pertains to Climax and the issue

of taxes either due from, or due to, Climax.” Statements from all three commissioners in a special meeting Thursday morning on March 14 indicated they did not know what specifically the agreement pertained to except for taxes. “I don’t know what we could discuss that couldn’t be public. But there must be something, or else they wouldn’t give us this,” Hix said. County administrator Guy Patterson said even if the county signs the agreement, the county should shy away

from hiding anything from the public that should be available. “There’s going to be an action regarding their taxes that will be public. If there’s anything that’s egregious it will have to take part in front of this board,” Patterson said. “Do not expect to bend over backwards hiding stuff, that’s not how we operate. You’re going to have to allow us to have discussions in an open meeting, and if you can’t do that, I’m sorry, we’re limited.” Commissioner Dolores Semsack said she did not like the

possible implications of the agreement. The BOCC elected not to sign the agreement until it could approach Climax Molybdenum and see what specific information the company wishes to keep confidential. Since the board cannot meet with Climax Molybdenum as a board without it being a public meeting, it will instead form a delegation composed of one commissioner, one county staff-member, and one member of the county assessor’s office before its next meeting.

Herald Democrat — MARCH 17, 2016 — PAGE 7

Some steps at caucus apparently were not carried out Continued from page 1 they would likely vote for when nominated. The vote on whether to invalidate the delegates of Precinct 5 was taken by the Credentials Committee of the Democratic Committee, formerly composed of Littlepage, Olsen, Lily Vigil, and Jennifer Wadsworth. Because Olsen and Littlepage resigned from the committee, only Vigil and Wadsworth voted on the challenge. Both voted to keep the delegates. Schaefer wrote that a delegate expressing his preferences fundamentally violated statutes for the caucus due to the way it may influence other voters. “A declaration for one candidate is a direct non-declaration against another candidate and therefore violates the rule,” Schaefer said. “The time for voicing preference of

candidates is after delegates are selected and votes cast at the County Assembly, not beforehand.” Schaefer went on to say that if the delegates in Precinct 5 were thrown out, the majority of delegates in other precincts should also be thrown out. “Additionally I have been made aware that this practice was carried out in other precinct caucuses as well,” Schaefer said. “I urge the Credentials Committee to investigate this, and if it is found to be true, I further urge the committee to invalidate any delegates elected in this fashion.” County commissioner candidate Tina Tekansik agreed with Schaefer stating she has never seen a caucus where nominees state their preferences. “I thought the entire caucus was corrupt,” Tekansik said. Vigil also voiced her opinion that the way the caucus was run did violate the rules.

“That’s what we’re objecting to,” Vigil said. “They were trying to get like-minded people to vote for each other, and that is against the rules.” Former vice chair Bud Elliott stated that a Credentials Committee member should not have a preformed opinion. “If you’re objecting you can’t be on the Credential Committee,” Elliott challenged. Rohan Roy, who submitted a letter to the Democratic Committee, said if the delegate nominees didn’t state their preference, the caucus would not have been a democratic process. “Is this not the definition of democracy? With no idea where delegates stood wouldn’t the caucus just be a popularity contest?” Roy wrote. “By announcing I was a delegate who supported Bernie Sanders, who won the straw poll, I easily received the most votes as a delegate. Without announcing who I was supporting, there

could have easily been a complete travesty of democracy.” Malin Bengtsson, a member of Precinct 4, said she spent weeks educating herself and other people about the caucus process only to be disappointed by how it was run. “By the end, I came away feeling that this was a very undemocratic process. I felt disenfranchised as a voter. I had worked really hard, and with lots of other people; I’m getting upset. This is upsetting.” Bengtsson said “By the time I left I felt embarrassed that I invited anyone to the caucus.” Vigil attempted to bring the Credentials Committee into an executive session to decide on whether or not to invalidate the caucus. The decision was instead made in an open meeting after objections from members of the committee. Caucus rules not followed The Colorado rules for the running of a caucus were likely not followed during the cau-

cus held on March 1. A math work-sheet, according to the Colorado rules, was supposed to be filled out after a presidential candidate preference poll. That worksheet would later be used to form a preference group “Divide the caucus into their respective preference groups. Each group will elect the delegates and alternates allotted to that group b a s e d on the preference poll,” the caucus rules read. Neither of these steps was carried out consistently in every precinct, according to Democratic Vice Chair Abby Long. “If we had broken into these groups we would not have to state our preferences,” Long said. “This broke down far before the caucus was held.” The Democratic County Assembly will be held with all delegates intact 10 a.m. this Saturday.

Recycling, other skijoring issues to be reviewed by council by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Leadville City Council will be discussing several issues pertaining to this year’s skijoring event, including a failure to provide recycling at the event; a direct violation of their multi-year conditional use permit with the city. Greg Labbe, mayor of Leadville, said the council will discuss five issues related to skijoring in a meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday March 15. While one of those issues

has been confirmed to be the violation of skijoring’s CUP, Labbe would not share what the other subjects would be. The multi-year CUP granted by the city is the first multiyear CUP the city has approved, and lasts until 2018. The city is able to amend or revoke the CUP if any changes or violations occur. The conditional use permit explicitly states recycling be provided at the event. “That this event would be advertised as a dog-free event,

and that recycling be provided by the applicant,” the conditional use permit, enacted on Feb. 2, reads. Paul Copper, head organizer for the skijoring event said the event had canisters at the event for recycling, but said it was Barb Brink in charge of recycling and not himself. As of press-time, Brink was not available for comment. Copper also said the event made sure to recycle any branches on the course. Cloud City Conservation

said if skijoring did provide recycling it wasn’t through them, Executive Director of C4 Lynn Westerfield said. Brink did contact C4 the night before the event, but it was too short notice for C4 staff to be involved, Westerfield said. According to Westerfield, skijoring was told the recycling canisters were still available for skijoring to pick up free of charge. Westerfield said skijoring failed to pick up any canisters

for the event. “Not to my knowledge, no, skijoring did not pick up any canisters,” Westerfield said. “And they wouldn’t have taken them unless I had knowledge of it.” Labbe said the city should not have used skijoring to test out the idea of a multi-year CUP. “‘I’m going to chop this up to a rookie mistake,” Labbe said. “I had faith in an organization, and I didn’t really have the experience.”

Work on high school garners award for construction company Adolfson & Peterson Construction announced that its work on the Lake County High School addition and renovations in Leadville has earned the company a National Excellence in Construction Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) in the Institutional $10 to $25

million project category. Representatives from the company received the award March 2 during ABC’s 26th annual Excellence in Construction Awards celebration in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The renovations and addition to the existing Lake County High School

created a high-performing, 21st-century learning environment for students while reflecting Leadville’s natural environment and history. The entire school is now outfitted with new technology, security camera system, 65-inch LCD screens in each classroom, and new furniture.

Extensive planning was taken by the project team for the harsh seasonal conditions. The project was completed during a winter with so much snow the school district canceled school for a snow day for only the second time in 100 years. Working on a fully occupied campus also located across

from the hospital required coordinating steel erection with emergency helicopter flights. The school was open for both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. The project encompassed three separate additions that nearly doubled the size of the school.

What’s happening at your local business? Slifka Consulting Service Mine planning, reclamation & closure Environmental compliance: local, state & federal Land research, zoning & boundaries Water treatment, operation & maintenance Gary Slifka P.O. Box 586 • Leadville, CO 80461

Full-service Tire Shop • tires • brakes • oil & lube

(719) 293-3417

2504 N. Poplar St. (719) 486-1200

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8 - 5 • Sat. 8 - 3

Would you like to see your business featured here? Call Stephanie at the Herald, (719) 486-0641

City honors St. Patrick

Project Dream raises funds Page 15

Page 12

LCHS athletes are honored Page 26

Herald Democrat

Leadville, Colorado

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Vol. 137, No. 12 • 75 cents

Springtime in our Rockies

Photo by Kelly Sweeney

Kelly Sweeney, of Twin Lakes, celebrates the first day of spring, Sunday, at the Forebay where the water is as smooth as glass.

Assembly selects Mudge and Elliott as candidates by Ryan Fitzmaurice Herald Staff Writer Sarah Mudge and Bud Elliott will be on the primary ballot for county commissioner in June. Both were voted onto the ballot at the Democratic Party County Assembly last Saturday. Democratic county commissioner candidates Joe Swyers and Tina Tekansik both announced they would seek to get on the ballot through petition and not through the

assembly in statements submitted to the Lake County Democratic Central Committee. If both Swyers and Tekansik collect the required signatures, Elliott would run against Tekansik in the primary, with the winner vying for the District 3 commissioner seat against Republican candidate Mark Glenn in November. Mudge would run against Swyers in the primary election for District 2.

The assembly also elected seven delegates to the state convention on Monday. They elected four delegates for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, two delegates for Hillary Clinton, and one alternate. Both Mudge and Elliott spoke to the assembly on Saturday. Both leaned on their previous experience in public Continued on page 2

Can this John Doe be identified? by Marcia Martinek Herald Editor Two young men walking east from the summit of Independence Pass on June 19, 1970, discovered the decomposed body of a white male lying in a ditch on the north side of the road about 2 miles from the top of the pass. It was partially covered with rocks that had fallen from the slope above.

There was no identification on the body, and to this day, the Independence Pass John Doe remains nameless. Yet it is more likely now than ever before that his family might be found, thanks to DNA. According to a story in the June 22, 1970, Herald Democrat, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the body appeared to be that of a person in his early 20s, 5’7” to 5’8” in height. The entire left arm and rib cage of the body was missing. At the time the body was

found, the Herald was told that perhaps the man was one armed. Current Lake County Sheriff Rod Fenske said that his uncle, Don Hansen, was working for the sheriff’s department at that time and remembers finding the body. Hansen told Fenske that the officers at the time thought the arm and rib cage had been torn from the body by a snowplow. And Coroner Shannon Kent verified that Continued on page 4

Photo by Marcia Martinek

District Attorney Bruce Brown addresses the Democratic County Assembly Saturday as Sarah Dallas, party chair, looks on.

PAGE 2 — Herald Democrat — MARCH 24, 2016

Candidates describe experiences in public service Continued from page 1 service positions in Lake County. Mudge spoke of her experience in Leadville Planning and Zoning, her work at Lake County Build a Generation, and her previous role on the policy council for Head Start. “Whether it’s addressing a mandate from the Colorado Department of Transportation for the city to address funding for Harrison Avenue for planning and zoning, or coming to realize the community responsibility to bridge the gap between age groups with multi-generational activities

and more community relationships, I’ve really enjoyed the work of community service I’ve been able to do in the last few years,” Mudge said. “I hope to continue it as commissioner.” Elliott stressed his previous position as mayor of Leadville, citing several of his accomplishments, including starting the discussion on creating a historic preservation commission, his work with the county’s bus barn, and most importantly, creating the Mine Closure Fund. “We wanted to prepare the community for the day the mine will close,” Elliott said. “The only reason to open a

mine is to close it. To get all the ore out and leave. So the county does have a mine closure fund, and all counties with a mine have it now too.” Bruce Brown, who represents Lake County as the district attorney for the Fifth Judicial District and is running for re-election, said he’s kept some promises he’s made to his electorate and could do better on others. “Some of the promises I made are tough consequences for serious crimes; I’ve kept that promise,” Brown said. Continued on page 3

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Bud Elliott shares his biggest accomplishments as former Leadville mayor as he bids to become county commissioner.

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Scott Morrow tells the Bernie Sanders preference group why he supports Sanders, in an attempt to be voted on as a delegate.

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

County commissioner candidate Sarah Mudge addresses the Lake County Democratic Assembly, expressing enthusiasm for the city’s acquisition of the Tabor Opera House and the proposal for a new justice center.

Senior News...

Photo by Ryan Fitzmaurice

Steven Prestash votes for the county commissioner candidates to put on the primary ballot.

Photo by Marcia Martinek

State Rep. Millie Hamner announces this is her last term.

Leadville Senior Center 421 W. Sixth St., 486-1774

Senior Board: Volunteers needed to advocate for senior issues


Community meet and greet with the City of Leadville Police Chief nalists Tuesday, April 5 ★ 4:30 - 6 p.m. City Hall

The City of Leadville enthusiastically invites the entire community for a meet and greet with the nal candidates in our search for a new Leadville Chief of Police. Evaluation sheets will be available to the public at the door and utilized in our nal decision. Snacks and soft drinks will be provided. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Administrative Services Manager Sarah Dallas at (719) 486-2092,

AARP Potluck: Noon, second Thursday of the month Golden Age: Noon, first Thursday of the month Senior Bingo: After lunch Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday

Senior Meal

Please call for reservations before 9:30 a.m. on the day of the meal. Lunch rides to the Leadville Senior Center are available for in-town residents.

Meal Menu (All meals include milk; most served with whole-wheat bread and margarine.)

March 25: California veggie bake, spinach salad with egg and lite Italian dressing, fresh pear and citrus cup, oatmeal raisin cookie March 29: Chili con carne, whole-wheat crackers, cut broccoli, raisin nut cup, apple, cornbread March 30: Turkey tetrazzine, Italian green beans, strawberry applesauce, chocolate chip cookie Nutrition counseling is available for seniors

participating in center meals and home-delivered meals. •••••

Food commodities available for qualifying seniors. Proof of income, address and picture ID required. Contact the Leadville Senior Center for details.

Herald Democrat — MARCH 24, 2016 — PAGE 3

Delegates praised for their involvement Continued from page 2 “The other promise I made to you was that you’d see me, you’d know your district attorney. I don’t know if I’ve kept that promise. We’ve had a lot going on in our judicial district.” Brown praised Lake County’s Democratic committee for its increased participation in the democratic process this election season, and urged those present to stay involved. “This is a really terrific outpouring in the interest in the democratic process. And it’s not going to end today, and it’s not going to end after the primary,” Brown said. “If it happens that you’re chosen candidate is not on the ballot in November, this cannot end for you. Issues that we face from a local level and a national level are of critical importance.” State Rep. Millie Hamner, who represents Lake County in House District 61, said she

will focus on crucial issues important to smaller communities like Lake County. “This legislative session, I will focus on what to do with the rising cost of health care across our small communities on the Western Slope, the shortfalls in the way we fund our schools, and the ongoing mission to preserve the quality of our water and environment,” Hamner said. State Sen. Kerry Donovan was not able to attend, but did send in a statement which was read aloud. Donovan said despite a government divided among party lines, their is still important legislation being pursued. “(A divided government) has not prevented our caucus from working on meaningful legislation such as making it easier for us to pay off our student loans, increase government transparency and protecting and growing small business in our state,” the statement from Donovan read.

Class of 1966 plans reunion Lake County High School Class of 1966 will hold its 50th class reunion on July 30 at 6 p.m. at the Fox and Hound Smokehouse and

Tavern in Lone Tree. Contact Joe McGeehan at 970-460-0034 or jwmcgeejr@

Barb Brink was not in charge of recycling for skijoring.

Leadville Weather


The right care,

right around the corner. Same-day or next-day appointments available St. Vincent Leadville Medical Clinic Ambulance (call 911) E.R., Lab, Imaging, Physical Therapy and specialty clinics located on-site. SPECIALTY CLINICS



Photo by Marcia Martinek

Participating in collecting votes at the Democratic County Assembly are (from left) Shoshanah Beck and Julie Lundgren with MaryLee and Bruce Hix.

Low Precipitation





4.9" snow





5.8" snow





2.4" snow





1.0" snow





1.0" snow

Sat 3/19



Sun 3/20



Swan Mountain Women’s Center OBGYN clinics at St. Vincent Hospital Wednesdays twice per month Call (970) 423-8840 for an appointment in Leadville

822 W. 4th St., Leadville

St. Vincent Leadville Medical Clinic 825 W. 6th St., Leadville

Hospital: (719) 486-0230 Clinic: (719) 486-1264

Summit Cardiology - Dr. Peter Lemis Cardiology clinics at St. Vincent Hospital Mondays twice per month Call (970) 668-9772 for an appointment in Leadville

An affiliate of Centura Health, the region’s leading health network.


FOR LAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONER An effective county commissioner must have qualities of leadership, management and an ability to collaborate. Leadership - While mayor for 8 years, I led in numerous ways, but those that you can appreciate every day include: the prescription drug discount program; the warranty program that homeowners can purchase to cover their sewer and water lines; forcing Eagle County to build a bus barn which better reects Lake County values toward architecture; and beginning the process which culminated in the city foreclosing on the Tabor Grand rather than let a developer who owed the city money to keep the building and the money. I obtained grants which provided a free downtown wireless network (no longer necessary), an entrepreneurship program at CMC to help develop local business and, when the economy collapsed, food for all local food banks.

Weather data courtesy of Leadville's Charles Kuster

Management - Every day as mayor I supervised the city police, street and re departments; the animal shelter and administrative services. I red a re chief, hired 2 directors of the street department and helped select managers and develop policies for animal shelter. Collaboration - Every day as a leader or manager requires collaboration and for the mayor that meant working with agencies and programs that are outside of Lake County. I was appointed by Governor Ritter to serve on the Wildre Advisory Group and also served on the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum, El Pomar Mountain Region and numerous other regional and statewide organizations to benet our community.

RN on staff

735 Hwy. 24 South, Suite A LEADVILLE

Bud Elliott – a proven leader, skilled manager and able to bring folks together to collaborate to get things done. If you would like to support this campaign, please send checks to Elliott for Commissioner, PO Box 5, Leadville, CO 80461 Paid for by Elliott for Commissioner

PAGE 6 — Herald Democrat — MARCH 24, 2016

OPINION Editorial

Sit back and relax In this issue of the paper we have a story about the Independence Pass John Doe. It’s taken some time to update this story, considering that the Herald first wrote about it more than 45 years ago. But DNA now exists for this unidentified man, and this is an excellent time to try and identify him. Somewhere there is a family with a missing member. If John Doe was in his early 20s when he died, there’s some chance his parents could still be alive. Certainly there could be siblings or other family members. Some of the facts we know about this man don’t make sense. For example, why was he found with $7, a razor and no identification? We might never be able to answer that. The body was discovered in June, but it’s possible he died on the pass a month earlier or even more. We all know what Independence Pass is like in May. Usually CDOT is rushing to clear the road by Memorial Day. Speculation at the time that a snowplow struck the body and tore off the shoulder and arm could be pretty accurate. Again, we might not ever know. But we still have hope that he can be identified. We are running the story as a free story on our website so that we can link to it on our Facebook page. We are hoping our sister papers will do the same. Then we hope others will forward the information to their Facebook friends and the word can go as far as possible. Thanks in advance for your help. ••••• Congratulations to the newly configured Democratic Central Committee for putting on a very smoothly run county assembly on Saturday. After a series of what appeared to be contentious central committee meetings, not to mention the disputes over who was or wasn’t running for office, as well as who could or couldn’t run, it was nice to see things come together on Saturday. It appears that Joe Swyers and Tina Tekansik decided their chances were better to petition onto the ballot rather than go through the assembly process. Actually that makes some sense. If a candidate goes through the assembly, he has to get at least 10 percent of the vote to petition onto the ballot. With the “new regime” heading the assembly, the possibility always existed that the candidates wouldn’t make that 10 percent, so they wisely went directly to petitioning. Those petitions, incidentally, are due April 4, so after that time we will know who is actually on the primary ballot. And after the primary in June, we will also know whether the Democratic Central Committee and its delegates are an accurate representation of the Democrats in Lake County. There’s a quote: “80 percent of success in life is just showing up.” This quote came to mind Saturday morning at the assembly when we noticed which delegates were there and which ones failed to show. Marcia Martinek Herald Editor

Herald Democrat


01197) is published every Thursday and is the official

newspaper in Lake County, Colorado. The newspaper office is located at 717 Harrison Ave., Leadville, and is

open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except Wednesday. Telephone number: (719) 486-0641. FAX: (719) 486-0611. E-mail:

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POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Herald Democrat, P.O. Box 980, Leadville, CO 80461-0980. Herald ads, copy, maps, photos, and layout are

Editor Marcia Martinek Copy Editor Veronica Mohrmann Advertising Manager Stephanie Wagner Reporter Ryan Fitzmaurice Office Manager Kimberly Jackson Production Michell Thonoff Distribution Marge Hickman

copyrighted. Contents in this newspaper cannot be

reproduced without prior, written permission of

Art by Paul Irwin

Letter to the editor Mayor takes exception to editorial Having read the Herald Democrat’s editorial, guest editorial and political cartoon from this recent March 17, 2016, edition, I would like to state that, on behalf of the mayor, this city council and our city government, we take exception to the tone of your editorial content. The editorial seemed to suggest that the public should have reason to be suspicious of city council dealings. While I understand that the editorial may not have been intended to apply directly to this city council, this is the Leadville Herald Democrat and there is only one city council in Leadville, so it would be reasonable for anyone to infer that we stand

accused of inappropriate dealings. Further, the political cartoon, even though not by a local artist, additionally suggests political malfeasance on city council’s part. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our meetings are all posted in advance and are held in completely open settings. We send our agendas out to 95 people right now and anyone wishing to be added to that list need only notify our city clerk. Moreover, we often err on the side of public discourse in city council meetings when members of the public in attendance want to speak. We welcome input at our meetings and will continue to do so. As the Herald Democrat’s editorial comments apply to executive sessions it should be stated that the currently seated city council has not held any executive sessions.

There are good reasons that the law not only allows, but requires such sessions be held and we will hold such sessions when the law clearly states that we should. Especially in difficult and confidential human resources discussions when city council must be involved, the rights of employees cannot and will not be abrogated. As the mayor of the city of Leadville, I proudly state that we will continue to serve our community in an open and fair manner. Anyone who would like to discuss this or any other matter with me will find my door open. Wide open. Greg Labbe City of Leadville, Mayor

Your opinion counts with us

results of our WEBSITE POLL March 9-22, 2016

Do you consider yourself: Old Leadville? New Leadville? Somewhere in between?

35.4% 13.9% 5.1%

Former Leadville? 31.6% Someday to be Leadville? 6.3% Other 7.6%

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Democratic coup