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City of Loveland Ad Hoc Community Trust Commission 09/12/2022

Name of Observer

Kevin Stearns

Members Present

Kathryn Barrett

Erin Black

Katherine Bullard

Jauna Drake

Gary Dreith

Tara Hildebrand-Schell

Sara Mayer, Chair (virtually)

Mike Scholl

Patricia Swiger

Shain Vick, Vice-Chair, Captain Paramedic with Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services

Members Absent

Lori Hvizda Ward

Others Present (e.g., media, public, agency)

Steve Adams, Loveland City Manager

Moses Garcia, Loveland City Attorney

Lindsay Van Wyk, Loveland Assistant City Clerk

Jeffrey Range, CDR Associates (virtually), Senior Program Manager

Patrick Teese, CDR Associates (virtually), Program Associate

Read and search the transcript of meeting at this link, or scroll below. To keyword search all content on this page hit the "control" or "command" button and "F"

Meeting Notes

The Scene

The Community Trust Commission (CTC) was established by Ordinance No. 6473 on June 1, 2021 primarily to “limit the damage to the community’s trust and confidence in its local government, to mitigate the economic damage related to the perception of such an event”. In accordance with the ordinance, it would be dissolved on September 30, 2022.

Goals and Outcomes

The agenda had four main components:

  1. City Survey Results

  2. Subcommittee Updates (This was not discussed in this meeting)

  3. Heart and Sol Event

  4. Presentation of CTC Final Report

A detailed account on the following debate and discussion can be found in the Minutes Package.

City Survey Results

Erin Black states "treating residents with respect", "being honest", "overall confidence in Loveland government", "open and transparent to the public", that "all of those are on the lower end". "Police services", "rate how safe you feel" is "much lower". "Taking care of our vulnerable residents" was "really low". She notes that these results back up what the city survey also reported, and Shain Vick confirms this a little later.

Commissioner Hildebrand-Schell adds that online responses were a little more negative than mailed in responses.

Commissioner Swiger said, "As a community member, I want to know that my city, my police department, my elected officials realize that there's a lot of us that maybe don't have a great deal of trust in them," and "I want the police and the city and our elected officials to know that they still have work to do."

Commissioner Dreith expressed concern that the city would take credit for or "water down" or "overlook" the results of their survey.

The survey results can be found in the CTC's Final Report.

Heart and Sol Event

The discussion focused on what the talking points should be for the speakers at the event and requests for transparency during the whole process to ensure that the celebration is not used for political reasons. Concern centered over how to go about giving out bullet points for the speeches without telling the speakers exactly what to say.

Commissioner Mayer summarized the intent of the commission with, "The important thing to me is that we are a group of people speaking together. We chose to do this as a group. It's not something that should be highly politicized. It's not an opportunity for anyone, in my opinion, to make this into a way to get more votes or a way to get anything. We are honoring a person who did a good thing..."

The vote to create a list of talking points along with a formal invitation to speakers was passed unanimously.

Presentation of CTC Final Report to City Council

The discussion of the final report centered around small modifications to the recommendations the commission was making to the city council. The specific changes can be found in the minutes package above.

The central theme of the report and its recommendations concerned the CTC's proposed Code of Ethics. Commissioner Barrett stated that the Code of Ethics is a direct response to the specific things identified as the cause of the breach of trust among the public supported by the CTC survey and the City Council needs to support (and agree to follow) the proposed Code of Ethics to regain that trust. It was clear that the code of ethics in their final report was the heart of the report.

All modifications made to the report during this discussion were agreed upon unanimously.

Events Following the Meeting

Though the commission was uncertain about Mendoza's willingness to speak at the Heart and Sol event, he did make a statement saying, “... If you see something that is not right, you have the right to speak. That can change someone else’a life.

Commissioner Hildebrand-Schell was concerned about rumors of a possible protest at the Heart and Sol celebration, but no such protest occurred.

The CTC submitted their final report and list of recommendations to the city council, who rejected the recommendations and questioned the results of the survey.

Loveland continues to struggle with a lack of community trust, according to Tim Doran, the city's new police chief (and Assistant Police Chief for Fort Collins since 2019 in addition to 22 years with the FBI). He said, "The community wants transparency and accountability. They want to know that I'm holding the department to a high standard and that our vision is excellence."

The Lingering Question

Why did the City Council pass an ordinance to create a commission to rebuild trust in the city and the police only to disregard the data that commission collected and reject all the recommendations they submitted?

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