Mayor Karspeck discusses current issues in Berthoud
By Rudy Hemmann
Berthoud Mayor Will Karspeck recently sat for an interview and spoke to a number of issues facing the town at this time.
He began by stating the process of developing an evaluation for Town Administrator Chris Kirk was moving forward. Kirk has been in the administrator position for approximately a year. Karspeck and Trustee Jeff Hindman are working on methods to conduct a fair and thorough evaluation of the town administrator’s position.
Karspeck reported Hindman had contacted the Colorado Municipal League to gain information regarding a fair and thorough evaluation of Kirk, and that he had contacted the firm Turning the Corner, with which he has had previous experience. To date he and Hindman have held one meeting to discuss their findings.
“I think Chris has done a great job,” Karspeck said, “It’s a tough role. He brings new energy to the position. It is also great to have someone who lives in the community at that job.”
On the issue of the town board recently discussing the Farmstead development in an executive session instead of in an open (public) meeting Karspeck said he was not certain why it was handled that way.
The mayor stated traffic from the Farmstead project through Mary’s Farm would be an issue that warrants further review. He noted the streets in Mary’s Farm are narrow to begin with, and residents living there often park their vehicles on the street in front of their homes. This practice results in the streets being relegated to only one vehicle at a time passing through when there are two vehicles parked on opposite sides of the street.
Karspeck confided that the “Code of Conduct” which had been drawn up by three or four of the trustees, and that is on the agenda for the Jan. 22 meeting, was basically a “gag order” meant to keep trustees who are in the minority from speaking out about an issue. “I would not make any attempt at all to try to control someone’s speech,” said Karspeck.
He also stated Town Attorney Greg Bell would probably have input in discussion of the issue.
In reference to the recreation center, the mayor stated he was not a no-tax person. However, he expressed frustration with the decision regarding whether the town should move forward with construction of a recreation center at this time. Karspeck indicated he had received hostile correspondence from other trustees regarding his positions in opposition to a recreation center. He stated he and Tomassi tried to point out the financial pitfalls to the funding mechanism (Certificate of Participation) chosen by the board after having the town residents vote to not allow the town to go into bonded indebtedness to fund the center. They also had issues with the financial “estimates” brought forward by the proponents of the recreation center in order to make such a facility appear feasible for the town.
“There seemed to be an urgency by three or four of the trustees to get this issue on last November’s ballot,” stated Karspeck, “I think it would have been better to wait a year or two, put it on a ballot then, and see what the voters think.”
He noted some board members openly and actively lobbied for a center. “There are times when, no matter how much you may want something, it is better to walk away and let people judge for themselves,” said Karspeck.
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