Town Board Meeting: June 14, 20219 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Meeting, we discussed our landscaping contract with BrightView; heard a presentation from Commuting Solutions on a transportation demand management program for Downtown Superior; heard an update from Congressman Joe Neguse; conducted interviews for our citizen-led Advisory Committees; approved CAPS recommendations for Superior ARTery pilot art and for two small projects; discussed economic development activities; and appointed a new Town Treasurer and Town Clerk. Ready to find out more on what happened? As usual, you may read this post in written form, subscribe to the Laura for Superior podcast, or scroll to the bottom for a video recap.
Disclaimer: While I do my best to represent an honest and accurate portrayal of meetings and events, the following should be considered an editorial that represents one person’s interpretation. At the request of my fellow Board members, I am not attributing any points to them. For the most unbiased and complete information, I encourage residents to watch the meeting video and draw their own conclusions – visit the town website at SuperiorColorado.gov for the official meeting video and meeting minutes.
Item 2D – Board Reports
This was our first Board meeting with an in-person component in more than a year, and several Board members expressed appreciation to see each other in-person. Although it was nice to see my fellow Board members, I am thrilled that we passed a virtual meeting policy at our last meeting, which will allow meeting participants to join all meetings either in person or virtually. I am planning to attend the next meeting from my home, to ensure that we have worked out all the kinks for virtual participation and provide as much access as possible.
Item 2E – Public Comment
During public comment, resident (and former Mayor Pro Tem) Sandy Pennington expressed concerns about the poor condition of Wildflower Park this year due to poor maintenance. She was also concerned about ad hoc bike trails that have started emerging down the steep hillside, which allow riders to shoot out into the street without regard for traffic.
Resident Brad Walker spoke on a number of topics surrounding Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA), cautioning us that the airport noise roundtable’s approach to making a recommendation to the FAA may not be as effective as we might hope.
Item 2F1 – Presentation – Commuting Solutions
Audrey DeBarros of Commuting Solutions provided an overview of a transportation demand management (TDM) program about to launch for Downtown Superior, with a goal of reducing the number of vehicle trips associated with the new land uses and minimizing parking demand. Among other things, Commuting Solutions will explore the creation of a “bike library” as kind of a mini bike share program, which could later be expanded.
Item 2F2 – Presentation – BrightView
In October 2020, our Board approved a one year $1.06M landscaping contract with BrightView – a change from our long-time previous landscaping company, Vargas. The Town is responsible for over 630 acres of park land and approximately 30 miles of hard-surface and soft-surface trails; unfortunately, BrightView’s performance has received critical feedback from residents, Town Staff, and the Town Board. BrightView has struggled with multiple issues: a high-volume snowstorm, unusually high spring rainfall, a shortage of flower product from Colorado growers, and COVID19 restrictions around H2B workers limiting BrightView’s ability to bring in their typical experienced workers. Laura Maxey, account manager at BrightView, attended our meeting to hear concerns and answer questions.
With regard to Wildflower Park specifically, Ms. Maxey noted that when she first walked it in January, she had concerns about the type of grass, the lack of edging, the type of irrigation, and the well-established native grass choking out the wildflowers. As Ms. Maxey pointed out to us, Wildflower is a park that was designed to be native, but now has been redesigned to try to achieve a more manicured look – and that isn’t easy to make that shift. It should also be noted that our Town Board decided last year to switch from glyphosate (Roundup) to glufosinate aluminum (Ignite), which may be less toxic but is also less effective at killing weeds. Given the complaints, I think we need to decide whether we are truly willing to make that tradeoff.
Personally, I have seen dramatic improvement in BrightView’s work and service since we began discussing the issues with them several weeks ago. There are still many challenges with weeds, but I don’t expect those to be solved overnight – particularly since my own yard / garden has shown me the challenges of this year’s weather. I encouraged BrightView to keep in close touch with our Town Staff and pay attention to complaints and concerns, and to keep working to improve their service on the same trajectory they’ve been on for the past few weeks.
Item 2F3 – Presentation – Congressman Joe Neguse
Next, we heard an update from Congressman Joe Neguse, who joined us virtually from Washington DC. Again, I am so thrilled that we now have this hybrid model for participation! Congressman Neguse provided us with an update on some federal funding for local projects, and expressed his gratitude for the local leadership in Boulder County that has gotten us through the last year of the pandemic.
Item 3 – Committee Interviews
Next, our Board did additional interviews as part of our quarterly filling of vacancies on our citizen-led Advisory committees. We interviewed three applicants for two vacancies on our ACES committee (Melissa Cates, John Craven, and John Schallau); two applicants for two vacancies on our CAPS committee (Melissa Cates and Leslie Balarezo); two applicants for two vacancies on our PARC Committee (Andy Fortna and Tim Martin); and one applicant for three vacancies on our Planning Commission (Katharine Cummings).
Item 4 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the consent agenda – including meeting minutes, a proclamation for June Pride Month, and a resolution supporting state legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from residential and commercial buildings.
Item 4D, the inclusion of a mobile vendor permit fee on our town fee schedule, was pulled for discussion. The original proposed fee was $100 per year, which is well in line with neighboring communities; however, we discussed potentially waiving this for the first year, and waiting to see how much demand there is before setting a final fee schedule. It was pointed out that the fee would apply to the balance of 2021, and this year’s permit would not be for a full year. We decided unanimously to pass this item but set the fee for 2021 at $1, to help show food trucks that Superior is open for business.
Item 5 – CAPS Recommendations for Superior ARTery Pilot Art
The Superior ARTery is an art path that was contemplated as part of the Creative Placemaking Master Plan; at our April 12 Board meeting, we approved art type and budget amounts to place pilot art projects in seven locations. At Monday’s meeting, we considered a $2,000 interactive sculpture by Reven Swanson, titled “Dancing Art Sticks”, to be placed on the south side of Coalton Road on the grass owned by the Summit at Rock Creek HOA. This was approved unanimously.
Item 6 – CAPS Recommendations for 2021 Small Projects
The 2021 CAPS Work Plan identifies $5,000 for small projects, and CAPS recommended two projects for this line item: a Plein Air Day in Purple Park, and performances at the Community Center. To elaborate on the Plein Air Day – local artists would be invited to come paint art in various locations around Purple Park, and residents could walk around the park to observe the artists and perhaps even do some paintings on their own. (Please note that these are conceptual items and not yet fully planned, but our Board had asked to have them brought before us before moving forward.) Both small project concepts passed unanimously.
Item 7 – Discussion of Economic Development Activities
Our Economic Development Manager, Jill Mendoza, shared an update on May and June economic development opportunities. The first week of May was International Economic Development Week, which provided an opportunity to highlight the Town of Superior in daily posts to LinkedIn and Facebook – resulting in outreach from many professionals interested in exploring opportunities in Superior. Now, Ms. Mendoza is working to launch a standalone website that will highlight economic development opportunities in Superior.
We also discussed the results of the Sweet on Superior challenge, which had only 63 participants. When we initially conceived of this idea, it was a follow up to the successful Superior Cash program to stimulate spending; however, our Board gave direction to make this more of a scavenger hunt, in order to be inclusive. Personally, I think we tried to combine too many goals into one project – muddying the waters and diluting participation. Going forward, I would like to see us launch a true program aimed at driving spend at local businesses, as I detailed here.
Finally, we discussed potential economic development incentives for local businesses. Ms. Mendoza proposed a $5,000 grant as an incentive to retain Fearless Motion Dance Center, to help defray the $50,000 cost to build out a larger facility in the Superior Marketplace. She also proposed a $2,500 grant as an incentive to retain Cactus Wax, to defray the $2,500 cost of improvements and maintenance to enhance the existing space. These grants were approved unanimously.
Items 6 and 7 – Town Staff Appointments
Phyllis Hardin, has served as the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer for Superior for over the last 47 years; she is now retiring, and Monday was her last Town Board meeting (though she will continue to work over a transitional period).
After a lengthy recruitment process, Town Manager Matt Magley recommended the appointment of Patricia Leyva as our new Town Clerk. Patricia has ten years of experience as a former deputy city clerk with the City of Brighton. We approved Ms. Leyva’s appointment unanimously.
Ms. Hardin also filled the role of Town Treasurer because the Town did not have a Finance Director at the time of her initial appointment; now that we have Finance Director Paul Nilles, it is appropriate for him to fulfill the duties of Town Treasurer. We also approved this appointment unanimously.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read / listen to this recap – I hope it is helpful! Our Board is always open to hearing your comments, questions, and concerns – you may always email your feedback to email@example.com, or to me specifically at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a reminder, any messages sent to a government email are part of the public record and will have your name attached; if you feel the need to write in anonymously, you may always comment at the bottom of my blog post recaps.