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Council: Allow the Work of the Trust Commission to Benefit Loveland

LETTER TO THE EDITOR


By Sara Mayer

December 19, 2023


Sara Mayer served as a member of the Community Trust Commission from 2021-2022, and as Chair of the Commission in 2022. The CTC was created by a majority vote of City Council to address a lack of trust between Loveland residents, the City, and the Police Department following the assault on Karen Garner.


Dear Members of the Loveland City Council,


I trust this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. As the former Chair of the Community Trust Commission, I write to you reflecting on our collective dedication and expressing concerns about the treatment received during our service September 2021 to September 2022.


During those twelve months, the Trust Commission worked tirelessly with a shared commitment to bettering our community. Residents from various backgrounds and walks of life joined forces, contributing their time and expertise for the benefit of Loveland. Personally, I sacrificed numerous personal commitments, including my entire softball season, because I believed in the potential for positive change.


As the Chair, I witnessed firsthand the united cause that bound Trust Commission members together. Their individual efforts, each unique and valuable, were aimed at making a difference in our city. It is disheartening to realize that the fruits of our labor, dedicated to the well-being of Loveland's residents, may not be fully recognized.


While the focus has been on the final report, I want to emphasize the countless hours and collective dedication invested by Trust Commission members throughout the entire process. The recommendations presented in the report were the result of comprehensive research, thoughtful discussions, and a genuine desire to contribute positively to the community.


One of the most challenging aspects was the perceived lack of recognition and support from the Council during our final presentation. Commissioners, as residents committed to the betterment of Loveland, felt undervalued, creating a sense of frustration that led to my absence from the meeting.


As the City Council revisits the Trust Commission's work in tonight's agenda, I implore you to consider the broader perspective—the dedication of residents who sought to make meaningful contributions to our city. The work we undertook was not solely for the benefit of the Trust Commission; it was for the residents of Loveland, who, unfortunately, might not fully experience the positive impacts due to various challenges faced.

Additionally, I would like to provide additional context on the challenges we faced in communication and the need for clearer guidance during our tenure.


One of the primary difficulties encountered by the Trust Commission was the inconsistency in communication channels and the lack of clear guidance on where our recommendations should be directed. We often received information from the city manager that contradicted other sources, leading to confusion about the appropriate avenues for presenting our findings—whether to the city manager or directly to the council.

This communication ambiguity added an additional layer of complexity to our work, making it challenging to navigate the process effectively and ensure our recommendations reached the appropriate decision-making bodies. Clarity in communication is fundamental for the success of any commission, and the Trust Commission unfortunately struggled in this aspect during our term.


Furthermore, the Trust Commission operated with limited direction beyond the initial ordinance, which had various interpretations. This lack of specificity created a situation where commission members had to navigate a complex landscape without a clear roadmap, making it challenging to fully understand the expectations and parameters of our role.


As the City Council reviews the Trust Commission's work on tonight's agenda, I encourage you to consider both the dedication demonstrated by the Commission and the challenges we encountered. While we take pride in the positive contributions made to Loveland, the difficulties we faced highlight areas for improvement in communication and guidance for future commissions.


I appreciate your attention to these matters and hope that the Council will consider them earnestly for the benefit of both current and future commissions, as well as the residents of Loveland.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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Editor’s Note: This is a lightly edited version of an email that Chair Mayer sent to Loveland City Council on December 19th, 2023.


Disclosure: Jessica Schneider (TLV Editor) also served on the Community Trust Commission (CTC) from September 2021- June 2022, when she (Schneider) resigned in protest. Schneider is currently conducting interviews with former Commissioners and City leaders to better understand policy and practice regarding Boards and Commissions in Loveland, Colorado.

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