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Letter to the editor

Letter: Federal Heights council ‘doing the right thing’

Posted

In the Jan. 19 Westminster Window, Nate Hill wrote an editorial about the recall of the mayor and mayor pro-tem of Federal Heights. He failed to mention that the recall is primarily financed by his family, which owns and operates James C. Hill Real Estate in Thornton. They own 14 rental properties and manage many more in the area. They are the primary voice and backers of Renters Have Rights Too (RHR2), and have a significant financial interest in dismantling the Federal Heights Residential Rental Property Inspection Program, designed to protect renters from unsafe homes.

When the program was created, in 2013, there were families actually renting and living in a converted chicken coop and horse stable. Families from across the city were calling, asking for help to improve their rental living conditions, fearing they would be evicted or have their rent raised if they complained and/or forced their landlords to make basic health and safety repairs. Government has the responsibility of ensuring public safety, in all businesses, including housing. Safety/health inspections are part of that responsibility.

Many signatures for the recall petition were obtained by telling lies. Some citizens were told the purpose of the petition was to keep their elected officials in office; many were told the program is unconstitutional (the opponents have taken it to the state Supreme Court twice, and were rejected each time). Once they learned the truth, City Hall was filled with citizens wanting their signatures removed from those petitions, but it was too late, once the petitions were submitted to the city clerk.       

Because of the Federal Heights Residential Rental Property Inspection Program, 1,978 inspections were completed. Only seven refused entry and required the City of Federal Heights to obtain a court order to comply with the ordinance. Serious defects have been discovered. Homes will be re-inspected every four years for health and safety, preferably when vacant.

Only eight Federal Heights residents have spoken against the program. It is not city residents driving this recall, it is people from outside the city trying to impose their will and pressure on city council.

The Hills have spoken to council numerous times, in council meetings and privately. Additionally, I spent 1 1/2 hours in a private meeting with them; however, they continue to claim that I and anyone not agreeing with them "would not listen."

Vote No Recall and stop greedy landlords from wasting the time and resources of our cities. If RHR2 wins this one, neighboring cities will surely be targeted next... Your elected officials should not have to face recall for simply doing the right thing for their citizens.

Daniel Dick

Mayor of Federal Heights

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