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Hey, #Boulder. Feeling a little subdued as we head into tonight's city council meeting. Two things on the agenda: police oversight/reform and a financial update.
Nor are they unrelated. Many calls to reduce the police budget and invest in the community instead. City Manager Jane Brautigam said yesterday that would not happen in changes to the 2020 budget.
Could happen for 2021 budget planning, which takes place this year. Or it could happen *next year* for the 2021 budget. It wasn't clear to me what she meant. Hopefully more context will be revealed tonight.
Here's her quote from yesterday: The "focus of financial update is ... impacts (to) our budget for 2020 and also 2021. Discussing cuts we’re making to budget in 2020. Defund police is primarily focused on police reform. ...
"... If we were to ... that would happen over time and more in 2021. Right now we’re in position of trying to balance our budget so we have a balanced budget this year. Trying to change police budget is in the midst of that is not something that we could do."
For more, read Sam Lounsberry's story from yesterday:…
I'd also suggest my stories on budget cuts…
Interesting numbers in there that highlight what some are asking for. Notably: Police dept is second-largest by staff. The two departments with the largest reduction in employees (by %) were housing/human services and the library, followed by parks.
That is an example of what people say are misplaced priorities, since HHS, library and parks serve low-income (HHS) and/or the entire community (parks and library).
Getting started. We may start or end the meeting with 8 min and 46 sec of silence for George Floyd.
Councilwoman Nagle wasn't sure what 8:46 signified. Yates explained since it wasn't on the agenda. He sent an email but council has had so many emails — 2,800 in the last 5 days, he said — that it must have gone overlooked.
Oh, totally forgot we're going to get an update on legislation being considered at the state level RE: police reform
And a vote to call-up (review) concept plans for the Celestial Seasonings apartment complex.
That 8:46 of silence will happen at the end.

Councilwoman Friend: The end makes sense bc we'll have discussed reform and "made meaningful commitments" rather than doing something performative.

Yates, Brockett agree
Brockett suggests taking off the first reading of something that was delayed from February over community concerns: changing the law around obstruction of a peace officer:…
City Attorney Tom Carr has argued that it makes it HARDER to charge obstruction, but NAACP thinks it gives officers more discretion, bc it removes a clear 8-ft mandate (how far you have to be away from cops) with just: Don't obstruct official business
"We're just adopting the state law," Carr says.
Second reading (and public hearing) for that is next week. Still waiting for @ACLUofColorado to call me back and weigh in.
Brockett wants to move it to the larger discussion of police reform instead of as a separate item.
Friend and Yates concur.
"I'm a little worried about the optics here," Yates says. "I would like to defer it to later."
Yates throwing some shade at the Daily Camera.
"I get that we're trying to align with state law. I just don't think now is the time to be making these types of changes," Yates says.
Wallach wants to go ahead and vote on first reading to move it to second reading, when actual discussion and a vote would happen.

"I'd like to get the ball rolling on this."
OK, so council is NOT advancing changes to obstructing a police officer.
5-4 vote after some confusion. Brockett, Yates, Friend, Swetlik, Joseph in the majority
We're doing the call-up vote for Celestial Seasonings development. Nagle gets us started: She wants to call it up.
Council almost always wants to vote on larger developments. I've never seen them pass one up.
Young to Nagle: What outcomes are you looking for from a concept review?

Reminder: It's not a yes/no process. It just allows council to weigh in on the design.
Nagle listing her issues: Carrying capacity of Gunbarrel, reduced bus lines, density/mass concerns, segregation of affordable housing, wildlife, open space surrounding the development, nearby vacant apartments, neighborhood opposition, etc.
Yates: "I'm not opposed to having a discussion about all the things (Nagle) suggested. ... That's a great discussion to have. ... I'm a little bit worried about time" bc planning board's public hearing was LONG.
"We're going to lose the equivalent of a full council meeting" if we have a long public hearing, Yates says. Suggests discussing stuff but no public hearing, to save time.

Which seems problematic.
Brockett: "I propose that each of us could give a few sentences about what we think about the project and any changes we recommend or ask for and do that this evening" and NOT call it up.
Since Planning Board already had a robust hearing.
Friend agrees: "We're in a couple of crises" and would rather spend time on those.
Weaver: We should always review big developments. It's almost 10 acres (9.6). "I want to have a robust discussion on police oversight. I don't think this is an either/or."
Last week we heard "opining" from council members that we need to pay more attention to Gunbarrel, Weaver says.

Call-up at concept plan is better than at site review, he says (a step later in the process).
Nagle: "These are taxpaying citizens" who deserve "their day in court." The thought of dismissing this "is appalling to me."
Especially if we're talking about inclusion and democracy, she says.
Swetlik suggests an extra meeting. Concept review and police oversight are both for the community.

"If we've gotta do more work, then we've got to do more work."
Wallach: "If we're going to be serious about providing for community input, we ought to be doing this and ID'ing issues that surround the project and give feedback to developer b4 they go and spend $$."
Yates: More than 200 ppl attending Planning Board meeting.
He likes the suggestion of a special meeting for this, bc things will inevitably get bumped.
Young asks Nagle to work with Gunbarrel residents to "coordinate their testimony so that each of them is bringing forward different points" to save time.
"I don't think 100 ppl saying the same thing is very helpful," Young says.
Young: "This is not something we are going to deny. The property owners have their right to develop that property."
I totally get council's time concerns. I def don't want an extra meeting. I also find the comments about public participation concerning.
Nagle: "Them showing up in masse is trying to get your guys' attention that this is a project they don't want in their neighborhood... I don't think they feel they have any other way to get your attention."
5-4 vote will call this up. Weaver, Young, Swetlik, Nagle, Wallach in favor
I think that's a wrap on this thread. @threadreaderapp please unroll. Thank you.
Actually, one more tweet: 2.5 hrs has already been set aside for July 21 meeting.
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