No council override on mayor veto of OCCHS allocation
The Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) will not get a windfall $10,000 from city government's general fund.
City Councilmember Lisa Czelatdko, whose District 3 includes the older Westside, had proposed the plan. A few weeks ago, she had gotten a five-vote council majority to add the allocation to the budget prepared by Mayor Steve Bach. But after Bach vetoed the line item last week, the first-year councilmember was alone in her motion for an override.
“I'm very sorry and am extremely appreciative for all that the
Old Colorado City Historical Society does and has done for historic preservation, education and economic development for our entire City,” Czelatdko said afterward in an e-mail that was addressed to OCCHS co-founder Dave Hughes, the Westside Pioneer and others. In a later e-mail, she added, “I truly believe a terrible mistake was made and we'll remember.”
Geared primarily to the Westside but with some materials from elsewhere in the area, the OCCHS is an all-volunteer nonprofit that owns and operates the Old Colorado City History Center, a bookstore, museum and meeting/presentation venue in a restored church at 1 S. 24th St.
Czelatdko had not discussed her allocation idea in advance with OCCHS leaders, who have never sought or received money from the general fund in the society's 30-plus years of existence.
Bach noted this lack of a society request in his veto, adding that while he values the group's work it falls short of an “essential service,” such as police or fire.
This statement was criticized by Hughes, who had warmed to the idea of a city stipend after first hearing about it two weeks ago from the Westside Pioneer. He pointed out this week that the downtown Pioneers Museum, which also focuses on historical matters (although its focus is meant to be citywide) receives annual city funding, part of it for paid employees, and this year it is budgeted for nearly $1 million. “Perhaps things that are not 'essential' west of I-25, are 'essential' east of it,” Hughes observed in an e-mail response to Czelatdko.
If the city money had come in for OCCHS, Hughes had devised a plan of using it to contract with Tim Scanlon - a former city planner who had been assigned to historical issues before being laid off in the 2010 budget cutbacks. The idea was for Scanlon, who's now a private consultant, to finish establishing a long- sought historic overlay that would include making tax incentives available to Westsiders when they fix up their older homes in an approved historical manner.
Westside Pioneer article