Eagle Town Board won’t consider Florida trip expenses until January
Abrika Development has not yet submitted its invoice so the Eagle Town Board’s Dec. 9 meeting will not include discussion regarding reimbursement of costs from last month’s Florida trip made by Mayor Yuri Kostick and town board member Doug Seabury.
When contacted this week, town staff members said they anticipate the reimbursement request will be part of the January bill schedule presented to the town board.
Kostick and Seabury, together with local real estate agent and newly appointed Haymeadow local representative Scott Schlosser, participated in a Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 trip to Florida to meet with Haymeadow owner Alan Cohen of Abrika Development. The Haymeadow is a 837-unit residential development proposed at the 660-acre parcel located just south of the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink property. The development application was approved by the town board earlier this year.
The pair did not inform other town board members or town staff that they were headed to Florida to meet with Cohen prior to the trip. After news of the trip became public knowledge, the Eagle Town Board released a written statement on Nov. 17 addressing the issue, particularly because the $2,380 airfare cost represents a violation of Amendment 41. Amendment 41 prohits town officials or staff from accepting gifts, including travel costs, in excess of $50.
“Total expenses for the trip were approximately $2,380, which will be approved for payment in December in connection with the November bill pay schedule,” the Nov. 17 statement said.
“The town board is pleased to have established an open and more direct relationship with Haymeadow’s principals and is confident that the expense of the trip will enable it to budget for 2015 expenses more effectively and ultimately, to help ensure the success of the project,” noted the board’s Nov. 17 statement.
The statement also said that Eagle has several infrastructure projects that are dependent upon Haymeadow timing.
“At its budget work session on Oct. 28, 2014, the board discussed its desire for more information on the projected development schedule of Haymeadow so that the town appropriately budgets for capital expenditures in the 2015 budget. Following that work session Mayor Kostick and Trustee Seabury met with representatives of Abrika in Florida on Oct. 29 through Nov. 1”
Although they left town the day after that referenced work session, Kostick and Seabury did not tell town board members or staff about the planned trip until they returned.
After they returned from Florida, Kostick and Seabury reached out to other members of the town board to schedule meetings to update them about what they learned during the trip. As a result, a meeting was held with Kostick, Seabury and Jessen and another meeting was held with Kostick, Seabury and member Kevin Brubeck.
Those gatherings represent a violation of Colorado’s Sunshine Law which states “All meetings of a quorum or three or more members of a body, which ever is fewer, at which any public business is discussed or at which any formal action may be taken must be open to the public unless an exception applies. § 24-6-402(2)(b).”