March 13, 2023
Headlines — March 13, 2023 Stacie Johnson
Boulder To Begin Drafting Ordinance That Increases Occupancy Limits
Boulder City Council instructed staff Thursday to draft an ordinance that would allow more unrelated people to live together. The increase would go from the current occupancy law limit of three to as many as five unrelated people in a single family residence. After city officials gather public input on the proposed change, council members could vote on a new occupancy law as early as August.
According to the Boulder Reporting Lab, the directive by the city council is part of a broader agenda to increase access to housing and to reduce costs. Council members are also considering changing the amount of accessory dwelling units that property owners can build in a neighborhood.
Colorado Republicans Chooses Election Denier As State Party Chair
Election denier and former State Representative, Dave Williams, has been elected as the newest Colorado Republican party chairperson. The Colorado G-O-P’s central committee picked the pro-Trump election denier Dave Williams over six other candidates Saturday to take the helm of the state Republican party. Williams, a former state representative, unsuccessfully ran in the republican party primary this past year.
Williams’ platform includes denying the results of the 2020 presidential election and promising to be a, “wartime leader” for his party after his appointment as State Party Chairman. His selection comes, in part, through an endorsement by competitor and indicted former Mesa County Clerk, Tina Peters. Dave Williams has touted through his campaign that Colorado’s Republican Party has only performed poorly due to not being aggressive enough. This would be in opposition to most polling data that suggests Colorado Republicans have a record low in registration and voter turn-out.
Nationally, election-deniers have been selected for State party chair positions three other times this year in Kansas, Idaho, and Michigan.
Colorado AG Asking For Public Comments On UCHealth Acquisition of Pueblo’s Parkview Medical
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Friday his office is collecting public comments on the proposed acquisition of Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo by UCHealth. Weiser’s office said in a press release, the Attorney General will review the transaction, as required by law, to make sure there is no change in charitable purposes, that assets do not leave the state, and there are no reductions in the availability or accessibility of health care services. The Attorney General will also review the proposed acquisition under the Colorado Antitrust Act to make sure it does not create less competition or a monopoly.
The public can submit comments or concerns to the Attorney General by March 31st or share feedback at a listening session in Pueblo on March 22nd.
Forest Service Announces $1Million To Support Tribal Forest Protection Act
The Forest Service will invest more than a million dollars to support indigenous-based forest restoration and resiliency projects. The one million dollar of federal money comes as part of a 2004 Tribal Forest Protection Act. The act looks for ways to include indigenous communities with forest restoration and resiliency projects through the reduction of dangerous fuels, and reforestation of traditional plants, damaged prairie, and habitats.
According to a Forest Service announcement, the collaboration will expand on cooperative work in many areas including grassland bird and pronghorn research, wildfire management, livestock grazing, fish habitat enhancement, site restoration for wildlife benefit, a cooperative conservation work crew, and noxious weed control.
At least three Lakota Tribes will take part in the initiative.
Dacano Councilmembers Canvas Door To Door Against Recall With Conduct Under Scrutiny
Security cameras from a Dacono neighborhood show city council members Jackie Thomas, Jim Turini, Danny Long, and Kathryn Wittman conversing and going door to door, and possibly urging residents not to sign a recall petition against Thomas and Turini. Organizers launched the recall after the four city council members abruptly voted to fire Dacono City Manager A.J. Euckert last month without a reason. Organizers say they could not pull a recall petition for Long and Whittman since Long has served less than six months and Wittman’s term expires in November.
The Times-Call reports Dacano residents and fellow council members have raised questions as to how the four went about firing Euckert since the action was not on the city council agenda. The group’s canvas activities are also under scrutiny for open meeting law violations as any meeting of a quorum or three or more members of any local public body must be open to the public at all times.
Dacono Chief of Police Matthew Skaggs said he has received instructions from Mayor Adam Morehead to conduct an investigation into possible procedural violations by the council members and has referred the request to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation who has agreed to move forward with the request.
Neguse To Co-Chair Bipartisan Fentanyl Prevention Caucus
A group of federal lawmakers have formed a caucus aimed to develop policy and solutions to combat the surge in fentanyl overdoses. U.S. Representative Joe Neguse is co-chairing a Bipartisan Fentanyl Prevention Caucus along with Democrat Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Republicans Darrell Issa and Ken Calvert of California.
Fentanyl contributed to 912 overdose deaths in Colorado in 2021, the most recent year with complete data according to Colorado Newsline. In 2020, 540 Coloradoans died from the illicit drug.
The caucus will prioritize education and working with awareness groups to help the public better understand dangers of fentanyl.
Besides the co-chairs, 24 other congressional lawmakers are also part of the group, including Rep. Doug Lamborn from Colorado Springs.
Headlines — March 13, 2023 Stacie Johnson