Monday, August 7, 2023

Public Comment Appeals For City Council Aug Meeting

CC: Manager, Council 
August 1, 2023

August 2023, City Of Trinidad Council Meeting, Public Comment Period

Please include, and post in the public comments section on our new website.

Mike Morgan
Former City Councilman 
Intended Candidate, November 5, 2024

City Appeals Processes 

If we can, shouldn’t we do better?

There should be a section dedicated to appeals on our website. At each stage of governance, residents have an absolute right to due process, including the right to fair and impartial appeals. Morals and values matter, most. Right versus wrong, good versus bad, all logic should proceed from morality. Aggrieved persons should have easy access to publicly stated procedures, forms and requirements. Every decision from Planning through City Resolutions and Ordinances should include clear, concise information on the appeals process.

Political Transparency & Accountability

I’ll first mention that I intend to run for City Council in next year’s election. Why mention this now? The two expiring councilmember terms are currently occupied by corrupt and ethically challenged individuals who sued me and my business, and I may end up running against them.

How does this relate to City Appeals? Had a forthright, easily accessible and legally required appeals process been in place, there likely would have been no unprecedented lawsuits with their abusive waste of time, tax payer money and goodwill. The corrupt City Manager and City Lawyer, both whom I’m shocked are still employed and retained by this new City Council, would have not blown up our annual legal budget over $100,000, after years at $5,000. Also likely with a better appeals process —including more timely and complete notifications and less plotting behind closed door sessions— our lodging businesses would not have been as hurt by 6 months of income lost from two egregiously deficient City Short Term Rental, STR Moratorium closures.

Planning Appeal - Council Appeal

My prompting issue concerns appealing City Planning decisions to the City Council. This seems relatively straightforward, so why do I now expand my request to include our City Council appeals process? Quite simply, concurrently addressing both processes would preempt another fiasco. The City already spent unprecedented time and money with its lawfare against me. In addition to 6 months of lost income from STR taxes, it also risked losses from counter lawsuits related to its poorly written and misused 2020 STR Moratorium Urgency Zoning Ordinance. I’ll provide accompanying information and documentation relating to my negative experiences at our next meeting. That “taste” will show the crazy amount of time we all wasted fighting City mistakes and corruption.

Lawfare and adversarial City actions should and can be easily avoided. A clear set of appeal procedures and requirements and up front notifications are required. Emotionally driven City actions are inevitable and will inevitably create problems. A better appeals process will preempt some of these problems.

We can, and should, do better.

There should be a section dedicated to all City Of Trinidad Appeals on our website.