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FIXED: Group proposing to recall Woodland Park City Council member Jim Pfaff speaks at a meeting | Mail from Pikes Peak

Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Woodland Park City Council’s vote to approve a water capital fee increase was not unanimous. The vote was 5 to 1 to approve the fee increase, with Council Member Stephanie Alfieri voting “no”.

March 18 was not a good night for Woodland Park Councilman Jim Pfaff. Members of a group seeking to recall him spoke at the Woodland Park town council meeting in public comments and the council forced him to recuse himself for conflict of interest in a moratorium vote .

Tony Perry, chairman of Park State Bank & Trust in Woodland Park, asked Pfaff to meet with him to answer questions about the recall effort. The recall is based on allegations that Pfaff was not a qualified resident of the city when he ran for office last April. The questions were raised in an open letter from Perry to the community published in the Courier on March 17.

The city charter requires applicants to be city residents for at least 12 months before seeking a seat on the council, which means Pfaff should have been a city resident by April 7, 2019. The Recall Pfaff Group questions his residency, saying he did not move his RV to Bristlecone Lodge in Woodland Park until late May 2019.

Pfaff replied that a meeting with Perry was not necessary. “I had a clear response to your letter with legal support,” he said.

Councilman Robert Zuluaga came to Pfaff’s defense, saying the Colorado attorney general clarified residency issues.

“If the law has determined it (residence) is legal, why are you fussing about it?” asked Zuluaga.

Perry said the group had not seen any information from the state attorney general.

“We have to get rid of a bully,” Perry said. “He was not qualified to race and if he wants to avoid a recall he has to give us relevant information.”

Former City Council member Carrol Harvey posed a follow-up question to Pfaff. “Investigations have shown that you did not move into Bristlecone until after the eligibility date,” she said. “Where did you live before that?”

Pfaff said he was homeless and in transition to housing. “I am not responsible to you,” he said. “I lived at a friend’s house and paid Bristlecone some money for an RV space.”

The RecallPfaff.com The website also questions that Pfaff was “homeless” because records show Pfaff owns a home in Indiana. In December, he joined a Woodland Park City Council zoom meeting from this house.

It was also discussed that at the council meeting on March 4, the council discussed a 12 month moratorium on the application and enforcement of two definitions relating to short stays at RV parks. buses and campgrounds in the city. One such campground/RV park is Bristlecone Lodge.

Pfaff revealed that he lives there and that the moratorium will affect his residency. However, he said this does not constitute a conflict of interest because while the 180-day short-term residency requirement is upheld and enforced, his space is grandfathered. He refused to back out of the discussion and voted to approve the moratorium on the initial posting.

City Attorney Geoff Wilson said in most municipalities his statement would have been sufficient, but not in Woodland Park. The city charter requires the council to vote to accept or reject a council member’s refusal to recuse himself.

“I never thought it would be a problem,” Pfaff said. “…I have always maintained the highest level of integrity. I can live where I want; I don’t have to live in a campsite.

After some discussion, the board voted 3 to 2 to force Pfaff to recuse himself from that vote. Zuluaga and councilor Stéphanie Alfieri voted against. Pfaff was not allowed to vote on the matter.

The public hearing for the moratorium order, which council voted to approve, was the next item on the agenda. Several council members said the original ordinance, which no longer allows single-family projects in multi-family zones and defines various types of housing and zones, should be repealed. The planning commission and council could then divide this ordinance into several less inclusive but more targeted ordinances.

In other cases, Dr Muthanna Yacoub, of the Woodland Park Family Practice Clinic, came to council with a case of cadmium poisoning. Cadmium is a heavy metal that can cause cancer and kidney damage in patients with high levels.

He said his patient had cadmium levels four times higher than those allowed in a workplace.

“My patient had no occupational exposure and would have had to smoke five packs of cigarettes a day for years to see these levels,” he said. “Exposure to cadmium is most likely from atmospheric sources. It could be a public health issue, but I don’t know how to proceed.

A concrete facility located in Teller County near the patient’s home could be a possible source of the patient’s elevated cadmium levels. Council members suggested that Yacoub speak to acting city manager Michael Lawson and utility manager Kip Wiley for ideas.

In addition, Wiley introduced the Water Taps Management Plan Annual Reconciliation Resolution, which recommended a 5% increase in water and sewage plant capital charges for 2021. there will be no increase in water rates.

Although some purchases of water rights, bonds and loans have been repaid, resulting in lower annual expenses, the 5% increase will keep funds stable as the city considers construction costs for a 35-year-old reservoir and city update. water plant.

Wiley also reserves funds for future purchases of water shares at Twin Rocks Reservoir.

By a vote of 5 to 1, the Board approved the increase in water capital charges. Board member Stephanie Alfieri cast the dissenting vote. Wiley said Woodland Park’s water rates are at the bottom of the range when among 12 Colorado municipalities and its faucet charges are in the middle of the same band.

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