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Editor's note: The Courier recognizes that letters to the editor are statements of opinion. Following the publication of this letter it was brought to my attention that it contained some falsehoods. Contrary to Mr. Carlsen's assertions, the timing of Darrin Tangeman's ethic's complaint "was before any filing of intent or submit an application to become a city council member (which occurred May 15). No one had even called to inquire about an application/letter of intent. There was zero indication or evidence that any of the three named in the ethics complaint would file to be appointed to City Council," stated Tangeman in an emailed response. Additionally, there is no evidence that there was any "coercion in this process or with the $15,000 that Main Street received from the City this year. I do not have the power of the budget, which is why the first reason why I have no power to withhold funding from Main Street. That authority rests solely in the City Council’s decision. ... The letter that Main Street released to the public/press clearly demonstrates their decision was independent and was not coerced," Tangeman continued. 

Re: June 24 article “Woodland Park City Manager cites members of Main Street board in ethics complaint

At the 4 May Main Street Board meeting, the matter of the Downtown Development Authority’s request to the Main Street Board to support their resolution regarding the Sales Tax Vendor Fee and Business Tax was discussed extensively by the Board with five of the six City Council members and two candidates for County Commissioner in attendance. Paying businesses for their efforts to collect sales taxes, which was instituted by Colorado in 1935, but rejected by the Woodland Park City Council, as an interim measure in 1994, would result in about $300,000 going to our small businesses.

At the end of that meeting I made the motion for the Board to support the DDA resolution. However, I withdrew that motion when the chairperson, Laurie Glauth, promised to add the topic to the 11 May agenda, if there was sufficient time to discuss the matter.

No agenda was published for the May 11 meeting as it was subsequently determined during the May 11 meeting that it was considered a workshop with no votes to be taken. There was not a quorum at the beginning, but part way through Stephanie Alfieri joined the Zoom call. With her presence, those in favor of supporting the DDA were in a 3-2 majority. Despite the meeting being considered as a workshop, the Board voted to approve funds for marketing, and with the precedent set that a vote could be taken and with sufficient time left I made the motion to approve our support of the DDA resolution. Glauth made the statement that by passing this motion, Main Street stood to lose the City contribution of $15,000. Jan, Stephanie and I were not caving into this coercion. My motion passed 3-2.

Indeed, by pushing the motion, we found out that City Manager Darrin Tangeman:

• Was coercing the Board to vote against that support by threatening to withhold the City’s $15,000 contribution to Main Street.

• Failing to block the vote, he then wrote an official complaint accusing Stephanie, Jan, and I of unethical conduct and violation of the Main Street Bylaws, which were false. The motion was properly made. The City Manager’s intervention, using taxpayer funded resources to include the City Attorney, to interfere with a 501©3 organization not under the City’s authority, was highly improper.

• Sought to influence the Council’s selection of a candidate more to his liking by providing the results of the Main Street Board Executive meeting to Council members Hillary LaBarre and Kellie Case at the next Council meeting to try to disqualify Stephanie as a candidate. How did they know about the accusation against Stephanie unless they had the minutes of a supposedly confidential executive Board meeting?

Despite our numerous requests, the Board has refused to provide Jan, Stephanie and myself with the Zoom record of the 18 May executive session of the Board where all three of us either resigned or were expelled. At a minimum, the three of us who were falsely accused should have the same access as we were the ones supposedly protected by that confidentiality. That record will clearly show that the Main Street Board acted improperly.

We have asked the Colorado Secretary of State to investigate this matter.

Bob Carlsen

Woodland Park

Letters to the editor are published on a space-available basis, first-come, first-served in The Courier. Send letters to michelle.karas@pikespeaknewspapers.com. Priority goes to letters 250 words or fewer. Letters should have the author's full name, address and phone number for verification purposes. The Courier reserves the right to edit submissions. No more than one letter per person will be published per month.

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