February 9, 2022
By Sherry Simmons
The City Council met Tuesday night and spoke about the community concerns, as leaked information to social media has become viral. The social media post was from a son of a Cortez Refuge employee. The post stating his dad would be loosing his job spread quickly in a short amount of time.
The Cortez City manager Drew Sanders addressed this at the City Council Meeting. Although he was firm in his statement that there was a lot of mis-information out there he back tracked with conflicting statements.
He was asked if this change in service would cost the citizens more money he said no. Drew stated "No rise in cost only they will notice different trucks and cans". But in a few sentences later he stated:" We will have to raise garbage rates significantly to the point of easily doubled"
City Manager Drew was asked by the council will the city absorb the employees through these changes he answered yes then again back tracked , "no guarantee to absorb employees back in"
The question was asked of Mr Sanders if these changes will change the Recycling Program. Mr. Sanders said "No it will not, it will be retained." Further investigation needs to be done to look into this revenue as well. Perhaps some dedicated citizen will request the financial records and contract....
(below from the city of Cortez recycle page)
(The City contracts with the Montezuma County Landfill to bale the cardboard. The landfill then sells the material to recycling brokerage companies, who in turn sells the raw material on the open market. The aluminum, tin, and steel cans are taken to local scrap yards for processing. The trees and bushes that are pruned by city employees are chipped and used at the golf course and in the parks as mulch.)
The community outrage seems to be focused on the families who will lose their jobs. City manager makes no guarantee that the employees would be placed in other city positions. Drew stated 7 people (Families) are involved not including the shop and office staff.
Drew spoke callously that the bottom line being the revenues generated by the current trash service. He said last year the cost exceeded the revenues by the refuge fund. $169,361.27. He went on to add the city was in need of at least 2 new trucks ranging from $250,000. to $450.000. He also tried to put rumors to rest that he has been in contract negotiations with Waste Management.
Before discussing the trash service the council voted in favor of an amendment to the City Managers contract, The amendment is to insure Drew Sanders to get cost of living increase in his salary. So to note the city manager, Drew Sanders is concerned about his paycheck but the city refuge workers well not so much.
Drew Sanders also stated that any community members who are concerned should address him personally and not the council members.
Drew Sanders City Manager Title: City Manager Phone: 970-564-4005
123 Roger Smith Ave Cortez, CO 81326
Drew Sanders firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Open Records Act gives all citizens the right to view official records (emails, reports etc.). Anyone can email the City clerk who is the custodian of records...Linda Smith. Just ask for a CORA open records request form.
More of this story to follow as many are investigating, and looking into .. follow the money....
Being involved with our city council in order to demand transparency is crucial. The more eyes that are on them the less corruption they get away with. Get Involved!
Second and fourth Tuesday of each month
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Cortez City Hall 123 Roger Smith Avenue Cortez, CO 81321
Below City Budget report from 2021... something does not add up to the comments of Tuesday's City Council meeting
UPDATE February 10,2022
Please see relating stories Including:
City Financial Records, Take a Look, You decide
City Refuge - A note From City Manager