Does Mayor Steve Bach want to appoint the LART committee or not?
The mayor’s office appears to be putting out contradictory information.
Here’s the background:
Members of the mayor’s team have been meeting with City Council President Pro Tem Jan Martin and council Administrator Aimee Cox on how to streamline the work of the Lodging and Automobile Rental Tax advisory committee.
Under the existing structure, the city could end up with three different recommendations on how revenues collected from hotel room and rental car taxes are spent. The convention and visitors bureau typically gets about 2/3 of the money, and the rest goes to special events, such as the annual balloon festival and the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.
The council-appointed committee makes a recommendation. City staff also makes a recommendation. Both recommendations go to the mayor, who could propose something completely different.
On Thursday, Donna Nelson, the mayor’s economic vitality specialist, said the “whole purpose” of the discussions with council “was to have a new committee that would be appointed by the mayor.”
Nelson and the city’s events coordinator have been representing Bach in meetings with Martin and Cox.
On Saturday, Bach spokeswoman Cindy Aubrey contacted The Gazette, saying the administration wanted to make a “point of clarification” regarding the LART committee.
The mayor’s office sought to clarify the mayor’s position after a “Question of the Day” about the LART funds appeared in the editorial pages of Saturday’s Gazette.
The question followed a Friday story about Bach’s proposal, which explicitly states that a resolution outlining the makeup of the LART committee would be amended “to provide the Mayor with appointment authority over a reorganized LART committee.”
But Aubrey offered a different stance Saturday.
“I have been meeting with Councilwoman Jan Martin about LART for several months. I have proposed solutions to try and simplify the process and things seemed to be moving forward. My understanding from Jan was that she approved of our direction – but that she needed to confer with the rest of Council. I think this was a simple misunderstanding. Mayor Bach recognizes this is in Council’s purview and will defer to them,” Nelson said in an email.