On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Trinidad City Council and staff gathered for the regular council meeting and after hearing comments from the public, delved into approving an ordinance amending the definition of “applicant” to align the requirement for vetting applicants with those of the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) pursuant to HB19-1090.
Les Downs explained that this gets the local law in compliance with state laws and makes it so that there can be publicly traded and small ownership interest in cannabis concerns. Downs also stated this would make it so that people are only vetted when they have an ownership interest of over ten percent.
Councilmember Erin Ogletree said that she took time to look over HB19-1090 and compared it to the city’s amended cannabis ordinance and expressed that it made sense to her. Following the second reading, the board moved to accept the amendment to the ordinance.
Regular approval of Bills for $40,779.87 and approval of payroll for January 25 through February 7 for $376,516.59 were read and passed.
Also at the meeting, Amanda Littrell, Camilla Campbell, and Scott Zeches were appointed to the City of Trinidad Tourism Board. Joyce Miller was appointed to the Arts and Culture Advisory Commission. Miller was also appointed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission along with Linda Lamden.
During council reports, Councilmember Rusty Goodall shared about their recent trip to Action 22, a non-partisan membership organization shaping the future of southern Colorado. Of the things he spoke to regarding the trip, Goodall stressed the importance of the upcoming census and what it means for the area.
“One of the things I attended was regarding the census coming up,” said Goodall. “The numbers that I heard were alarming to how few of people participate. The highest county in Colorado with non-participation was 71 percent. Las Animas County had 45 percent that did not respond to the census. The amount of money this relates to is staggering. I’m hoping the word can get out and we can have better participation this year. It’s critical for funding for our schools and everything. “
Goodall also shared that there were possibilities he learned of at Action 22 that he was pursuing with TPD Chief Glorioso to make it more affordable to train peace officers thanks to available state funding.
“We met with Heidi Williams that’s leading the opioid task force and they have legislation going through now for scholarships for peace officers that will be state funded for rural Colorado,” said Goodall.
During the city manager’s report, Interium City Manager Mike Valentine said they would be having a work session on Monday, Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss public safety concerns.
Finishing up with the City Attorney report, Les Downs asked council to consider the possibility of doing away with council and city staff reports.
“It feels sometimes like participation is a little compulsory,” said Downs. “There’s a sense of obligation to have news to report on. It is time consuming and difficult for staff. Everything that is said during council reports has to be memorialized by staff and then becomes part of the minutes and is just kind of resource intensive. The benefit that is realized may be outweighed by the time it takes.”
Several members on council expressed that they felt it was useful for transparency and to allow citizens to some of the things council has been doing. Councilmembers did agree to Downs’ point regarding the time it sometimes takes and the extra work it puts on staff to record reports.
After several minutes of discussion, council agreed to consider moving council reports to regularly scheduled work sessions, also open to the public, which wouldn’t require as much time or resources in order to make regular council meetings more efficient.