City Council Workshop

Staff is preparing for an all day workshop for city council to be held on April 28th to discuss council priorities.  The meeting will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott, 3056 W County Line Road, from 8am to 5pm.  The meeting is open to the public.
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Do You Hate Those Robo Calls?

phone-ringing
 

We don’t know who likes to stop what they are doing to run and answer the phone only to find out it is a robo call.  And during campaign season you can almost bet that the call is a robo call but what if it is a dear friend that needs your help?  So, you drop what you are doing and run to pick up.  But enough is enough!  There is a way to end those robo calls from interrupting your day and it is fairly simple and it works!  We have experience with Comcast Xfinity but the service is available for other providers.  If you have Comcast for your land line then go to:  http://customer.xfinity.com/help-and-support/phone/nomorobo/If you have another provider then go to http://www.nomorobo.com and see if it will work with your service provider.

We have tried this and it works.  The phone rings and if there is not a second ring it was a robo call that ended!  We have conditioned ourselves now – we don’t even flinch until we hear a second ring.  Try it; life without those annoying robo calls is so much better!

Give Your Input in the Selection of Littleton’s Next City Manager

From the City of Littleton: As Littleton recruits for its next City Manager, we would like your input on what type of individual would best fill the role of City Manager. The City Manager is appointed by the City Council and is responsible for implementing the policies and directives of the City Council and planning, organizing, and directing the programs and initiatives of the City staff. As candidates for the City Manager are evaluated, your input will be utilized in conjunction with the recruitment profile during the selection phase.

Should Government Give to Charities?

Do you have a favorite charity you enjoy giving to? There are many wonderful organizations to donate your money. According to Giving USA https://givingusa.org/giving-usa-2016/ in 2015 Americans donated about $373.25 billion, a record year for contributions. Private individuals and companies make the choice to spend their hard earned money to provide a helpful hand to a charity, but what about when a government entity does? The difference being, government uses tax dollars, not like private people spending their own money. During the budget process this last week, Littleton City Council  budgeted $88,000 for charities in 2017.  Throughout the budgeting process the city staff continuously noted that while Littleton’s revenues are growing, its expenditures are growing quicker. Within a couple of years, money for things like roads will be difficult to come by. Over the past few months there have been serious conversations on tax increases. While donating to charities is the backbone of private folks, is it fiscally responsible for government to force tax payers to do so especially with  looming budget constraints and talk of raising taxes? Is this fair to those struggling to make ends meet already?

Wildlife

Littleton Wildlife Officer Terry Carr spoke with the monthly citizens’ group Community Conversations on August 11.  He addressed concerns about increases and decreases in wildlife numbers.  We don’t see many foxes or coyotes these days.  And rabbits are everywhere!
Carr’s overall message is one of reassurance—that population cycles in wildlife are normal.
Yes, Carr says, there has been a decrease in foxes and coyotes.  The primary reason is mange, a disease that is fatal for these animals, but isn’t a threat for humans.
Related to the decline of these predators is an increase in voles and rabbits.  When asked about the disease that makes rabbits sick, he said that another animal can be infected only by eating an affected rabbit, and that dogs can be vaccinated, or treated if they become ill.
As for reports of the appearance of rats, Carr explains that they have been driven out of their natural habitat by new construction.  Particular locations that have recently been bulldozed are the former Marathon property at S. Broadway and Dry Creek, and at Southpark on Mineral Ave. west of Broadway.
Carr was pleasantly clear that it is every person’s responsibility to manage wildlife.  Here are things we can do:

  • Protect gardens with battery-powered low-voltage electric fencing
  • Never leave any food outdoors overnight, including pet food and chicken feed.  The health department lists this as the primary method for managing rats
  • Always put your trash in containers with tight lids.  Don’t leave trash out overnight
  • If you trap, use a trap that kills instantly
  • Don’t use poison because it subjects wildlife to a slow painful death, and endangers pets

An Unwise Use of Sharebacks

In May of 2013 city council approved an economic development plan. The plan provides for incentive agreements to attract desirable businesses to Littleton. One month after the plan was approved by council, the recently fired city manager, Michael Penny, went before council asking for the approval of a $300,000 incentive package for the already approved Breckenridge Brewery (March 2013.)

The deal was made, the brewery was sold and now Anheuser Busch is the recipient of a sales tax share back agreement. I guess they needed the money more than the City of Littleton even though council is considering asking the taxpayers for more tax dollars in order to maintain our infrastructure.

At the time councilwoman Brinkman said, “This $300,000 investment is not money out of our pockets.  Quite honestly, this is money that hasn’t even come to our pockets.”  She could not be more wrong.  The sales tax shareback is indeed money that belongs to the City.  The City will collect the sales tax and then write a check back to the brewery for their portion of the shareback agreement.

Arapahoe County Prevails in Agricultural Land Dispute with Littleton

Tuesday, June 7th a ruling was issued by Judge Pratt declaring the disputed agricultural land in the Santa Fe Urban Renewal Plan was not legally included and sided with Arapahoe County’s exclusion of the disputed land from the Santa Fe Urban Renewal plan.  (Go to www.littletonviews.com to read the ruling.) What does this mean?  There’s good news and bad news.  First the good news!

  1. The Ensor property and the property where Breckenridge Brewery is located makes up the majority of the ag land in dispute.The exclusion also means that there will be no tax increment financing (TIF) collected for the next 25 years from these properties – property and sales tax increment.That is good news for the taxpayers of Littleton.
  2. A development on the Ensor property will have to be done without the use of TIF.  Again, good news for the taxpayers of Littleton.
  3. Arapahoe County, Littleton Public Schools, South Suburban, Urban Drainage and the City of Littleton will all receive the taxes that would have been diverted to LIFT (Littleton’s Urban Renewal Authority) for 25 years.
  4. Since Michael Penny, the late city manager has stated that he really was only interested in developing the Santa Fe Urban Renewal Area and the “cash cow” of the Santa Fe Area is no longer part of the plan it might be easier for the council to abolish the entire urban renewal authority in Littleton.(Brinkman is also on record as saying she did not think there would be any development through the use of urban renewal so it should be easy for her to repeal all four plans.)

The bad news:

  1. Littleton taxpayers picked up the legal tab for this legal dispute.We will try to ascertain just how many thousands of dollars this cost the taxpayers.
  2. LIFT could appeal the case. If they do it will cost the taxpayers once again as they still have no money except the money the taxpayers have loaned them.
  3. The Ensor property could develop under the current zoning and a metro district could be formed to cover the costs that TIF would have covered.