Darryl Glenn sees no problem with being the only elected official to vote twice on Copper Ridge at Northgate.
He first voted, as a City Councilor in May 2010, to make it an urban renewal area so its developer could use tax money to extend Powers Boulevard. On Feb. 17, Glenn is expected to vote again, this time as a new El Paso County commissioner, on a Copper Ridge request for additional tax money.
Glenn officially steps down Friday from Council, so when commissioners vote, he won't have both titles. But the Republican has attended at least one executive session of commissioners about Copper Ridge while serving both the city and county.
"I had [the commission vote] purposely delayed [to Feb. 17], because the last thing I wanted to do is recuse myself from voting, because I had taken a public position on this," Glenn says in an interview. "So it wouldn't be appropriate to vote on it, wearing two hats. If it came up, and I was wearing two hats, then I would recuse myself."
Glenn's dual role has raised eyebrows. County Attorney Bill Louis says the city and county's interests in Copper Ridge "do differ." And six-year Commissioner Sallie Clark says Glenn's actions "could be a perception of a conflict."
"I think it's really difficult to sever yourself from one [role] or the other," Clark says. "Each individual commissioner has to make a decision whether it's a conflict or not. You'll have to talk to Darryl about how he can represent both interests."
Commissioner Dennis Hisey says Glenn's situation is "no problem," since he's leaving his city seat before the county vote. Commissioners Amy Lathen and Peggy Littleton didn't respond to e-mails seeking comment within the Indy deadline.
Louis says even if Glenn voted on Copper Ridge while serving in a dual capacity, he wouldn't have violated any law. "He owes a duty to the county as a county elected official," Louis says. "I see nothing where he's breached that duty. If he owes a duty to the city as a city elected official, it's not my job to protect the city."
City Attorney Pat Kelly says Glenn never sought her advice regarding Copper Ridge, but did ask if he could hold both offices simultaneously. "I could not find any law that would prohibit it," Kelly says.
Copper Ridge developers have pumped considerable sums into Glenn's campaigns. Copper Ridge owner Gary Erickson gave Glenn $5,000 in his unopposed 2009 Council candidacy. A business belonging to Erickson's partner, Hawkins Development, donated $1,000. After Glenn entered the commissioner race, facing a novice Democrat in a Republican-dominated district, Erickson gave Glenn $3,500. His wife, Donna Erickson, also gave Littleton $2,500 in her successful run against Michael Merrifield.
Glenn dismisses the connection, saying by e-mail, "It takes 5 votes to issue council direction. This is the only project in the foreseeable future that supports our regional goals with the extension of Powers [Boulevard]."