Several members of Restore Our Roads have been using the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to obtain city employee emails regarding road narrowing. There is a lot of information and it is taking us quite some time to sift through it all, but today an email exchange came to our attention that we believe is particularly important.
You can read our full explanation and see all the relevant emails below, but here’s the point: when Krager was warned that the public was upset about road narrowing and cautioned to get more public input, she instead turned to Colorado College to ask what they wanted her to do.
Background: In 2016, Kathleen Krager tried to push road narrowing on Cascade through Colorado College. Many residents were opposed to this idea and reached out to City officials. Among them was Dr. Stephen Marsh, who on April 21, 2016 sent an email asking for meetings with every City Council member to discuss road narrowing. In his email, Dr. Marsh particularly objected to the fact that Krager was trying to push road narrowing through without allowing enough time for public input. Here is a portion of his email:
The City Council administrative assistant forwarded Dr. Marsh’s email to City Council. City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler emailed the rest of Council (though not Dr. Marsh) and suggested Dr. Marsh was incorrect and that there would be plenty of opportunity for public input.
Then-City Councilwoman Helen Collins disagreed. She responded to Gaebler and the rest of City Council pushing back.
Here’s the important part. Jill Gaebler forwarded this email chain (containing both Dr. Marsh’s objections and Collins’ description that she was hearing a lot of public outcry) to Kathleen Krager and cautioned Krager to make sure to gather enough public input. See here:
At this point there’s no doubt that Krager knows the public at least appears to be against this change and that even the most pro-bike lanes person on City Council, Jill Gaebler, recommends proceeding with caution. So how does the City Transportation Manager respond?
Krager forwards this information to the Colorado College Dean of Students, Mike Edmonds, and asks what he wants her to do. And Edmonds tells her they should just press ahead anyway.
This email exchange perfectly exemplifies what we’ve been saying all along:
- This is a years-long fight. Colorado College has openly talked about wanting to close Cascade as far back as 2007. Citizens have been actively opposing this effort for a long time only to have the City continually ignore and railroad us.
- Road narrowing, especially on Cascade, is not simply an innocent attempt to upgrade the City based on the desires of most citizens. It is a forced process in spite of and in direct defiance of public input.
- Krager doesn’t care about what citizens think. If really pressured, she might halfheartedly go through the motions of acting as if she’s gathering public input, but as she’s shown time and again, she’s just trying to figure out how to force her ideas on everyone one way or another.
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