VOTE NO and STOP THE RECALL of Mayor Steve

Grand Lake is being lied to.

A group of angry, entitled individuals are lying to voters in order to execute their personal agendas at the expense of our community. This group has initiated a recall election to remove Mayor Steve with a recall that has a price tag of $100,000 while citing concerns of financial decisions made by the Town Board during Mayor Steve’s term. This group is formed by past leaders that were not re-elected by the voters. Past leaders that made poor decisions that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and left half finished projects and broken promises. Mayor Steve and the town trustees are working together to help Grand Lake thrive. One thing is clear - this recall isn’t about the betterment of Grand Lake. It’s about the disgruntled “old regime” that are angry at voters for making a change to move forward to a better Grand Lake.

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Judy Burke Letter Rebuttal PDF

Download and READ the Rebuttal Letter in PDF Format

It's time to clear up the lies:

Swipe (mobile) OR click on right or left side to view all slides.

Lie #1

They say:

“Improper Leadership - Dismissed overwhelming community opposition to Stanley purchase and eroded trust in local government.”

The Truth:

This “overwhelming opposition” is based on a national online petition from the “Community and Environmental Defense Services.” This is NOT a local organization and the petition stated multiple implied purposes for the land purchase of which none were based on fact. There are no existing plans to develop the Stanley Property in the manner that is described in this petition. Rather, the town board made the mutual decision to hire a consultant to plan the use of this property in the future - a process that will include many public meetings in order to hear the public’s thoughts. The petition allowed for signatures of people not only outside of Grand Lake, but potentially outside the State of Colorado.

The petition results were never shared with the Mayor or the Town Board. Support for the purchase was evidenced on January 25, 2021, during the vote call when multiple Trustees referred to their conversations with community members when making their decision for the vote. This is on file as video minutes on YouTube at Grand Lake Town Board Meeting January 25, 2021.

The Stanley property purchase was voted on by a board majority, and had been for sale and advertised as a development opportunity that could hold over 180 homes - something that would greatly impact the existing neighborhoods. By the Town purchasing this property the public will actually get the opportunity to shape the use - an opportunity that would not be reality if the Stanley property was purchased by a for profit developer.

Lie #2

They say:

“Misused his position of power to pursue his agenda of relocating the Town Public Works Facility within a remote high density residential area.”

The Truth:

No plans have been made to relocate the Public Works Facility. In fact, the current Public Works Facility is located in a high density residential area now and is barred by deed restrictions for any future development to maintain or grow the yard - something that is sorely needed and was neglected many years under previous leadership. Any plans to relocate the facility will be discussed with a land consultant, planning commission and town leadership - a decision that is made by more than Mayor Steve alone.

Lie #3

They say:

“Refused to listen to community by not allowing questions during public meetings.”

The Truth:

It is standing policy that during all Town Board meetings there is time allotted for public comment, as is evidenced on all video minutes available via YouTube at Grand Lake Town Board Meetings. Members of this old leadership feel upset and angry that they are no longer allowed to interject with commentary outside of the public comment time - old habits that made meetings under previous leadership long, contentious and non-productive.

Per Town Board policy the public is encouraged to give their input at every Board Meeting during the Open Forum portion of the meeting. These forums are recorded and available on YouTube under Grand Lake Town Board Meetings. A Public Meeting was held regarding the Stanley Property purchase on January 19, 2021, as mentioned by Trustee Southway during the January 25, 2021, Town Board meeting, demonstrates this. Her acknowledgement of the public meeting was 2:26:31 on the video minutes recording of that meeting.

Lie #4

They say:

Gave inadequate guidance given to Town Trustees and Town Staff prior to important decisions.”

The Truth:

This is the opinion of a group that is driven by anger and resentment, not reality. There is no substantiation or evidence to support this statement that town trustees and staff are not educated regarding the issues they discuss.

Town Board Members are given Workshop and Board Meeting packets by the Town Clerk, along with the upcoming agendas prior to every Town Board Meeting. These packets are available to the public also on the Town of Grand Lake Web page. The Town Manager gives guidance to the Town Board Trustees and manages the Town Staff.

Lie #5

They say:

Mayor Steve is Fiscally Irresponsible. Donation of Town owned property without public hearing or input from community (Space to Create).”

The Truth:

The Town has not “donated” property to Space to Create, which is in fact an initiative to create attainable workforce housing that began before Mayor Steve was elected as Mayor. If the Town Board chooses to move forward with the project then a Land Lease Agreement will be made with Space to Create where the entire property will be returned in full ownership to the Town. At no time will the land be “donated.”

Lie #6

They say:

"he Purchased property outside of town without public hearing or input from the community.”

The Truth:

Mayor Steve can not purchase property or enter agreements to purchase property for the Town on his own. Any purchases of property by the town are discussed in public at Town Board Meetings and are voted on by the board. Since this does not specify a particular purchase, it is difficult to respond specifically.

Using the Stanley Property purchase as an example, at the January 25, 2021, Town Board Meeting it was stated by Trustee Southway that she appreciated the public’s input at the January 19, 2021, Public Forum as part of the Board Meeting. Again, this is available on the video minutes of that meeting on YouTube at a time stamp of 2:26:31. The purchase of the Stanley Property was purchased after public discussion, research by town staff and consideration by all of the Town Trustees.


Lie #7

They say:

he Committed Town Taxpayers to annual payments of $129,000+ through 2035”

The Truth:

The sales tax funds received by the Town of Grand Lake are record breaking over 2019, 2020 and 2021. The Town is financially healthy and is able to finally finish projects started by past leadership and can invest in land to help shape the future of our growing Town.

Unfortunately 15 years ago previous town leadership made an agreement that committed taxpayers to a land lease at the tune of $22,000 a year for the Thomasson property - an expense that cost the town of $330,000 of interest only - with no payment lowering the principal payment. This is a public record. The annual payments allow the town acquisition of not only 21 acres of property, but also the acquisition of the Thomasson property - a financially wise arrangement that will finally stop the town from throwing away $22,000 a year.

The continued lease will be offset by the purchase, so the actual annual payment increase will be $107,000 per year. The Town Board determined, with input from Town Staff, that the current tax revenue situation would mitigate the overall impact of the increase in the existing payment, while obtaining actual assets for the town.

Lie #8

They say:

he Committed Town Taxpayers to annual payments of $129,000+ through 2035”

The Truth:

The sales tax funds received by the Town of Grand Lake are record breaking over 2019, 2020 and 2021. The Town is financially healthy and is able to finally finish projects started by past leadership and can invest in land to help shape the future of our growing Town.

Unfortunately 15 years ago previous town leadership made an agreement that committed taxpayers to a land lease at the tune of $22,000 a year for the Thomasson property - an expense that cost the town of $330,000 of interest only - with no payment lowering the principal payment. This is a public record. The annual payments allow the town acquisition of not only 21 acres of property, but also the acquisition of the Thomasson property - a financially wise arrangement that will finally stop the town from throwing away $22,000 a year.

The continued lease will be offset by the purchase, so the actual annual payment increase will be $107,000 per year. The Town Board determined, with input from Town Staff, that the current tax revenue situation would mitigate the overall impact of the increase in the existing payment, while obtaining actual assets for the town.

Lie #9

They say:

Grand Lake Center was used as collateral for the Stanley Property purchase."

The Truth:

Just like the EGSD School Board put up Fraser Elementary (an active Elementary school) as collateral for their COP to cover their match of the BEST Grant, the Town Board voted to put the Grand Lake Center (a closed school) forward as collateral for the Stanley purchase.

It is common practice for a municipality to put up collateral against purchases, and there is nothing illegal or unethical in this practice. The cost of the Grand Lake Center purchase was $10. The current Town Board wisely used a $10 investment as collateral against a $1.5M loan.

Lie #10

They say:

he violated the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) and Open Meeting Laws - Failed to inform the public about purchase of the Stanley Property prior to executive meetings."

The Truth:

Fact – This is pure falsehood. An executive meeting was held by the Town Board to discuss a purchase of land as specified in state statutes in September of 2020. This is common practice used for this purpose, as specified in state statute.

A public meeting dedicated solely to the Stanley Property purchase was held on January 19, 2021, before the Town Board voted on the purchase at the Town Board meeting held on January 25, 2021. This meeting was referred to by Trustee Southway at the vote, at time stamp 2:26:31 on the video. The video minutes are available on YouTube at Grand Lake Town Board Meeting January 25, 2021, as evidence.

Lie #11

They say:

there was a lack of open community meetings prior to decisions."

The Truth:

Community meetings were publicized and held prior to all items going to a vote. Agendas and supporting documents are made available publicly and to trustees before meetings. Public comment is available at the beginning of every meeting, as is evidenced on all video minutes available via YouTube at Grand Lake Town Board Meetings.

Community meetings were held for both the Space to Create Initiative on July 22, 2020, and August 4, 2020, at the Grand Lake Center, as well as a Public Forum via Zoom (due to COVID restrictions), for the Stanley property on January 19, 2021.  At these public forums both Kathy and Tom Weydart spoke.  Again, this last meeting was referred to at the Town Board Meeting of January 25, 2021, by Trustee Southway during the vote.  The time stamp for her statement acknowledging the meeting was at 2:26:31 on the video.

Lie #12

They say:

There are no financial or comprehensive plans for the development of the Stanley Property."

The Truth:

The Town Board identified multiple long-term needs for the town. In order to address these needs they initiated a Land Banking approach that would give them the flexibility and assets to meet these needs sometime in the future. Land Banking is a common practice by municipalities where land is purchased as an asset that can be used in a number of ways. It can be developed, sold, or traded by the Town.

Purchasing the Stanley property has protected the land from being purchased by a for profit developer that could place over 180 homes on 20 acres - a suggestion published by the listing agent as indicated by a sign at the entrance of the property. This purchase is also addressing needs identified in the comprehensive plan of 2020.

Lie #13

They say:

he botched the Streetscape Project for Park Avenue"

The Truth:

The Streetscape Project was developed during Mayor Judy Burke’s tenure in 2015, as proven in the Town Board minutes of February 23, 2015. The Town Board at that time was responsible for the hiring of the engineering and construction firms that caused many of the delays experienced.

Under Mayor Peterson, new engineering and construction firms were hired to complete the project. Under Mayor Peterson, Mayor Kudron was one of 6 trustees serving on the Town Board that made this change. The Streetscape project was an inherited issue that is finally being resolved properly.

Lie #14

They say:

he Initiated reduced parking fees for new development."

The Truth:

Mayor Kudron was not on the Town Board at the time this decision was made. According to the Town Board minutes of April 11, 2016, the reduction of parking fees for new development was during Mayor Burke’s tenure. While Mayor Burke and Trustee Lewis voted against it, trustees Sabo, Gasner, and Lazi voted for it. Therefore, the ordinance passed.

Lie #15

They say:

he used the Grand Lake Center purchase to enrich himself"

The Truth:

According to the Town Board minutes of February 9, 2015, the negotiations for the purchase of the Grand Lake Center took place under Mayor Burke’s administration. The purchase was completed on May 18, 2015. Mayor Kudron was not on the Town Board at the time.

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Read the Colorado Sun Article

Grand Lake, still reeling from East Troublesome fire, is being shaken again by mayoral recall over housing

Steve Kudron Talking About Recall

Watch the full town meeting here under the 2021 minutes video and audio section about halfway down the page.

Full Town Meeting YouTube Video

Video from above starts at 3:28:37.

Click here to watch on Youtube Starting at 3:28:37