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Trinidad City Council reconsiders council liaison positions

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — The Trinidad City Council took a look at the council liaison positions during their regular meeting Tuesday evening and began to consider dropping two of the organizations that city council members sit on.

The council liaison is a council member who sits on a committee that has been designated as a city committee, such as Main Street Trinidad or the Arts and Culture District. There are several different committees and commissions in the city that council members sit on as liaisons that Trinidad Mayor Phil Rico wants to cut back.

The commissions are: arts and culture, urban forestry, creative district, main street, the library district, tourism, historic preservation, the golf association, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Trinidad Las Animas Chamber of Commerce.

Tara Marshall, the development services director, spoke to the issue saying that historic preservation needed to be struck from the list, saying it would be inappropriate for the mayor to sit on a quasi-judicial board. She also noted the Trinidad Las Animas Chamber of Commerce reaches beyond the city, but that the city has traditionally had a council member sitting on the board.

The mayor also indicated that besides removing the historic preservation committee and the TLAC, that the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also needed to be removed, leaving six commissions or committees that the city needed to send a liaison to.

The city also took action on the first reading of an ordinance that would rezone a lot located at the corner of Desperado Drive and Moores Canyon Road. The ordinance would change it from a growth open to a growth residential estate. Francis C. Mincic and Carol A. Mincic will build a residence on the rezoned 1.52-acre lot. The first reading passed on a 5-0 vote, with council member Joe Bonato absent from the meeting and council member Rusty Goodall recusing himself from the hearing as he had been on the planning and zoning commission in 2017 when the issue first came up.

Discussion of the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office concerning the Jeff Sessions memo reinstating the federal government’s war on cannabis drew few comments from the city council. Rico restated the sentiment of Senator Cory Gardner (R) Colorado, that the issue was a state’s rights issue and not a federal issue as the people of Colorado voted to legalize the growing and use of cannabis.

The press release issued on Jan. 4, 2018 reads: “Today the Attorney General rescinded the Cole Memo on marijuana prosecutions, and directed that federal marijuana prosecution decisions be governed by the same principles that have long governed all of our prosecution decisions.  The United States Attorney’s Office in Colorado has already been guided by these principles in marijuana prosecutions — focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state.  We will, consistent with the Attorney General’s latest guidance, continue to take this approach in all of our work with our law enforcement partners throughout Colorado.”

The council meeting was adjourned at 7:13 pm.

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