Indian Hills Water District board meeting recap

Mount Falcon Park near Indian Hills, Colorado.

From The Columbine Courier:

In a special board meeting Aug. 2, the board of directors elected officers and fired Tom Young as the district’s legal counsel.

The meeting initially was called to discuss the firing of Carl Frank, the district’s part-time superintendent. Frank was fired on July 20 after board members weren’t pleased with his performance and worried about a lack of response to employee concerns.

Despite the meeting’s purpose, it quickly grew contentious and strayed from the agenda.

Nelson Goodreau, the board president at the time, grew frustrated, adjourned the meeting and left early. Young and Frank were in attendance but also left when Goodreau adjourned the meeting.

The board’s remaining members — Steve Hosie, Jay Rosenfield, Jon Brady and Angie Oliver-Reed — maintained the meeting really hadn’t adjourned and continued with the meeting.

Since the special meeting

Since the meeting, Oliver-Reed resigned from her position, leaving a vacancy. Several community members are interested, and a decision will likely be made at the board’s September meeting. The person selected would be on the board until May 2018, when all positions are up for election.

Some board members argue that the decisions made at the special meeting are valid. Goodreau, however, said his adjournment was legitimate since the board doesn’t operate under bylaws. He also said the items discussed after his departure weren’t on the agenda. Sean Paris, the district’s temporary legal counsel, agrees with Goodreau.

“For a special meeting, I do believe that only those items that were noticed should be addressed,” he said.

Paris later added: “Therefore if at a special meeting a new issue comes up, I would suggest that the proper way of going about that is to either schedule a new meeting or reserve that issue for the next regular meeting.”

Because of this, the board decided to hold another officer election vote at last week’s meeting. Jon Brady was named president; Hosie was elected treasurer; and Jay Rosenfield is now secretary.

The board also chose to keep Paris on as temporary legal counsel. A team of community members, including Kevin Rees, Cheryl Touryan and Marc Rosenberg, will research potential lawyers — Paris included — and bring several choices before the board for consideration.

Rosenfield, Rosenberg and Randy Evans, the district’s longtime operator, will search for a new operator so Evans can begin the retirement process.

What’s next

To help avoid some of the past controversy, the Indian Hills Water District is looking to fashion bylaws.

A committee made of several board members and community members was formed to discuss the bylaws. Paris said he could provide a bylaws template and offered guidance based on the needs of the district.

He also advised caution.

“It’s very easy to get too creative writing bylaws,” he said. “It’s fun to have power when you have power. But it’s not fun to be the subject of onerous rules when you’re not (in power). You can’t give too much power to any one person,” Paris said. “The district’s work is done by the board as a whole.”

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