Councilor looking into Regional Building Department, following give-aways

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Vehicles sustained severe damage on Aug. 6, killing two animals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and damaging thousands of vehicles in the area. - COLORADO SPRINGS FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Colorado Springs Fire Department
  • Vehicles sustained severe damage on Aug. 6, killing two animals at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and damaging thousands of vehicles in the area.
Back in October, we reported that the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department had been doling out money to charities, due in large part to an overflowing reserve fund caused mainly by a devastating July 2016 hail storm that triggered the issuance of more than 50,000 building permits to repair damage.

We report in this week's edition an update to where RBD stands in adopting a donations policy and how the recent damaging hail storms are likely to further pad the reserve fund, now at about 70 percent of the agency's annual budget.

But RBD also faces other issues. City Councilor Jill Gaebler has been looking into the agency.

She says she's been trying to get more information about the agency but adds, "I still don't think we're getting much feedback from Mr. [Tom] Strand," she says, referring to Council's representative on the three-member Regional Building Commission.

She suggests making the RBD board more robust by giving the city more seats, considering that a majority of permits issued by RBD involve work being done within the city. While there's been no official move in that direction, Gaebler says she thinks she's gained support for at least adding an alternate member. This would prevent the RBD Commission from postponing meetings because it doesn't have a quorum.

Gaebler also wants Regioinal Building Official Roger Lovell to provide reports to Council quarterly as specified in the intergovernmental agreement.

Meantime, the commission has started reviewing a draft proposal for giving donations. That document is being kept a secret. Regional Building attorney Virjinia V. Koultchitzka tells the Indy via email that the document, though it was discussed during an open meeting, is protected from disclosure:
With regard to the agenda items, which were discussed during work session(s), such are not available for disclosure and are subject to work product privilege(s). The subject documents are an internal work product in progress and not final product(s). They are intra- or inter-agency advisory or deliberative materials assembled for the benefit of the advisory and governing body(ies) of PPRBD, have not yet been placed on the public agenda, and do not yet express final decision(s). As a result, in accordance with CRS 24-72-202, et seq., PPRBD asserts any and all available privileges and exceptions, including, but not limited to work product privileges, in response to your request.
The Colorado Open Records Act contains numerous definitions for work product, including one that describes a work product as "Preliminary drafts and discussion copies of documents that express a decision by an elected official."

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