Sunday, September 8, 2013
|Hentzell Park Natural Area – photo by Ray Ehrenstein|
thinks there’s nothing she can do about her suppression of a
popular vote on giving away nine acres of Hentzell Park Natural Area.
Hancock’s latest “Cabinet in the Community” at Teller School
Saturday morning. About 15 members of Friends of Denver Parks
attended the meeting in a continuing protest over Hancock’s
decision to give the park land to the school district.
when one of the Friends told her she should be ashamed of rejecting
petitions to put the measure on the ballot. Her response implicitly
refers to an opinion from the City Attorney’s office saying the
park decision cannot be put on the ballot by petition.
should have sought independent legal counsel instead of relying on
the opinion of the Mayor’s bought-and-paid-for City Attorney!”
Tersely, Johnson responded: “That’s how the system works,” and
Although the Clerk’s office is officially nonpartisan, Johnson is a
nominal Democrat. Former City Councilwoman Cathy Donohue has
repeatedly reminded city officials that the city attorney only
represents the interests of the mayor.
Friends’ signature green T-shirts, lined the back wall of the
auditorium and vigorously waved their protest signs during the hour
and a half program, while the Hancock and his appointees warily eyed
the protesters from the main table.
signs read: “LET THE PEOPLE VOTE ON WHETHER THE CITY SHOULD
DESTROY HENTZELL PARK NATURAL AREA;” “PARKS ARE NOT FOR SALE OR
TRADE—SAVE HENTZELL PARK NATURAL AREA;” and “MAYOR HANCOCK:
THIS IS NOT ‘BLIGHT’—THIS IS NATURE!”
Schomp also stood in solidarity with the Friends group. By
contrast, most City officials, including all of Hancock’s
appointees, studiously avoided acknowledging or speaking with the
Board at the beginning of the program, Hancock did not acknowledge
Schomp. She stepped forward, raised her voice and said, “Excuse
me, I am Meg Schomp and I am a candidate for School Board from
and other city officials sat at tables lining the school’s hallway
to meet and greet citizens and answer questions. Many citizens
stopped to chat with the park supporters, and overwhelmingly offered
support for the Friends’ position.
from people who were curious about the green t-shirts
and signs,” says Friends President Renee Lewis, a resident of
the area also known as Hampden Heights North Park. “We were
able to do education on many fronts. (Deputy Parks Manager) Scott
Gilmore again gleefully informed me that he will be killing the
prairie dog colony.”
Lewis also spoke directly to
Hancock. “The mayor told me that ‘we (city government) have
the correct legal position.’ I told him that this situation could
very well show up at the ballot box. He did seem to hear what I
said. It is surprising how some people will hold tightly onto
an anchor rope even when they are told that the ship is
a resident of the Hampden Heights North Park area, is representing the
Friends of Denver Parks pro bono. In a case scheduled for
court next May, Case challenges the city decision to destroy the
natural area which should have been designated as a park decades ago,
as well as Johnson’s refusal to accept petitions.
at 8:46 AM
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