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Boulder City Council Special Meeting: Board and Commission Appointments


The City of Boulder has 19 boards and commissions (18 of which had openings this year), each with specific responsibilities as detailed in the Boulder City Charter and/or the Boulder Revised Code.

City of Boulder boards and commissions are established for the purpose of acquiring and studying information in specific areas and to make recommendations to the City Council on issues within the board’s area of expertise.  Some boards are quasi-judicial and have decision-making powers. Decisions made by quasi-judicial boards are appealable to the City Council or the Courts.  The appointment procedures and a list of applicants for the various boards and commissions can be found here.

The following appointments were made at the March 31, 2010 City Council Special Meeting:

Arts Commission, two positions: 5-year and 3-year terms, one must be male.

Seven applicants.  There were two rounds of voting, one for each position.  Crystal Gray nominated Richard Turbiak, Ken Wilson nominated Anna Salim, and George Karakehian nominated Valerie Mitchell.  Anna Salim was appointed to the 5-year term on an 8-1 vote with George Karakehian voting for Valerie Mitchell.

Mr. Turbiak, being the only male applicant, received unanimous approval for the 3-year term.

Beverages Licensing Authority, one 5-year position.

Three applicants.  Lisa Morzel nominated Timothy McMurray and Susan Osborne nominated Linda Haertling.  McMurray’s nomination was approved with 8 votes; Susan Osborne voted for Linda Haertling.

Board of Zoning Adjustment, one 5-year position.

Two applicants.  Council unanimously decided in favor of reopening the nominations on a motion by Matt Appelbaum, seconded by Ken Wilson.

Boulder Urban Renewal Authority.  Mayoral appointment to 5-year term, must be female.

There was only one applicant to this position and that person did not show up for the interview, so Lisa Morzel moved, seconded by George Karakehian, to reopen the nominations.  Following discussion of the possibility of appointing a Councilmember to BURA, the motion was withdrawn and the issue will be taken up by Council under Matters at a future meeting, possibly April 20.

Colorado Chautauqua Association, two positions:  3-year and 2-year terms.

Five applicants.  Crystal Gray nominated Nancy Kornblum and George Karakehian nominated Thomas Thorpe.  Nancy Kornblum was appointed to the 3-year term with 7 votes, with Suzy Ageton and George Karakehian voting for Thomas Thorpe.

For the 2-year term, Matt Appelbaum nominated Thomas Thorpe, Crystal Gray nominated Gretchen King, and Macon Cowles nominated Virginia Zukowski.  Thomas Thorpe was appointed with 7 votes for the 2-year term, with Macon Cowles and Crystal Gray voting for their respective nominees.

Downtown Design Advisory Board, one 5-year term, must be a design professional.

Three applicants.  Susy Ageton nominated David Biek and Lisa Morzel nominated Barbara Bronk.  David Biek received 6 votes, with Lisa Morzel, Crystal Gray, and Susan Osborne voting for Barbara Bronk.

Downtown Management Commission, one 5-year position.

There was only one applicant, John Koval, who was nominated by Susan Osborne.  He was appointed unanimously.

Environmental Advisory Board, one 5-year position.

Five applicants.  Matt Appelbaum nominated Scot Woolley and Suzy Ageton nominated Dan Omasta, both CU students.  There was some Council discussion about the impressive list of well-qualified applicants.  They were particularly excited about the opportunity to appoint CU students, both of whom had excellent qualifications for this board.  Scot Woolley was appointed with 5 votes from Matt Appelbaum, Macon Cowles, Crystal Gray, KC Becker, and Lisa Morzel.  Ken Wilson, Suzy Ageton, George Karakehian and Susan Osborne voted for Dan Omasta.

Housing Authority, one Mayoral appointment to a 5-year term.

Four applicants.  KC Becker, Ken Wilson, Crystal Gray, Lisa Morzel, and Matt Appelbaum all advocated for Valerie Mitchell.  Matt Appelbaum, Susan Osborne, Suzy Ageton, and Lisa Morzel commented that Council needs to have some discussion about the role of board members on the Housing Authority and raised issues about Housing Authority appointments, particularly multiple reappointments.  Crystal Gray suggested that there should be a Study Session on the relationship between Council and the Housing Authority and Boulder Housing Partners.  Mayor Osborne decided on April 1 to appoint Valerie Mitchell.

Human Relations Commission, one 5-year position.

Six applicants.  Ken Wilson nominated Jo Ruder, Macon Cowles nominated John Paul Harris, and Lisa Morzel nominated Laurence Gendelman.  John Paul Harris was appointed with 5 votes from Matt Appelbaum, Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, Crystal Gray, and Macon Cowles.  George Karakehian, Suzy Ageton, Ken Wilson, and KC Becker voted for Jo Ruder.

Landmarks Board, one 5-year position, must be an architect/planner.

Three applicants.  Crystal Gray nominated Leonard May and Ken Wilson nominated Mark Gerwing.  Leonard May received 4 votes from Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, Crystal Gray, and Macon Cowles.  Mark Gerwing was appointed with 5 votes from Matt Appelbaum, George Karakehian, Suzy Ageton, Ken Wilson, and KC Becker.

NOTE: Later in the meeting, Tim Plass, current chair of the Landmarks Board, was appointed to Planning Board, opening a one year position on Landmarks.  Matt Appelbaum moved that the position be re-opened because it would no longer be restricted to professional architects and planners.  The motion to re-open passed 6-3 with Matt Appelbaum, George Karakehian, Suzy Ageton, Ken Wilson, Crystal Gray, and KC Becker in support.

Library Commission, one 5-year position.

Nine applicants.  Lisa Morzel nominated Anne Sawyer, Ken Wilson nominated Celeste Landry, Crystal Gray nominated Judith Reid, and Macon Cowles nominated Virginia Zukowski.  After two rounds of voting, Anne Sawyer was appointed with 5 votes from Matt Appelbaum, Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, KC Becker, and Macon Cowles.

Open Space Board of Trustees, one 5-year position.

Five applicants.  Suzy Ageton nominated Tom Isaacson and Lisa Morzel nominated Frances Hartogh.  Crystal Gray noted that some recent appointments to the board, who represent the broader community, have been excellent board members and she expressed concern that Tom Isaacson has been a leader of the highly political Outdoor Coalition.  Matt Appelbaum said that, even though he was more philosophically aligned with Frances Hartogh, he was going to vote for Tom Isaacson, hoping that he would be more broad-minded than simply representing the “so-called recreational community.”  He also expressed the desire that the Open Space Board of Trustees be expanded to seven members.  Susan Osborne said that Hartogh had a very good interview and Lisa Morzel said that Hartogh did a good job on the Parks Board, has a broad perspective, and is a daily recreational user of Open Space.  Macon Cowles commented that Isaacson has applied before, has a very broad world view, and that a vote for Frances would be equivalent to letting her “cut in line.”  KC Becker said that Isaacson is “smarter than smart.”  Tom Isaacson was appointed with 6 votes, with Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, and Crystal Gray voting for Frances Hartogh.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, two 5-year positions.

Nine applicants.  Crystal Gray nominated Myriah Sullivan Conroy, Suzy Ageton nominated Timothy Shea, Ken Wilson nominated Michelle Estrella Wolf, and George Karakehian nominated Mike Conroy.  Ken Wilson noted that there were many excellent candidates and argued that persons with budgetary experience, such as Michelle Estrella Wolf and Mike Conroy, would be helpful.  KC Becker said she was looking for candidates with a strong financial background and with children in the system.  Crystal Gray noted that the board only has one women left with Frances Hartogh’s departure. Myriah Conroy was appointed with 5 votes (Matt Applebaum, Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, Crystal Gray, and Macon Cowles) after two rounds of voting for the first position.

For the second position, Lisa Morzel nominated Michelle Estrella Wolf and Susan Osborne nominated Tim Shea.  Michelle Estrella Wolf was appointed with 6 votes from Matt Applebaum, Lisa Morzel, Ken Wilson, Crystal Gray, KC Becker, and Macon Cowles.

Planning Board, two positions: 5-year and 3-year terms.

Eight applicants.  Crystal Gray nominated Tim Plass and Ken Wilson nominated Danica Powell.  Tim Plass was appointed with 5 votes for the 5-year term with support from Matt Applebaum, Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, Crystal Gray, and Macon Cowles.

Lisa Morzel nominated Anne Parker and Ken Wilson nominated Danica Powell for the 3-year term.  During discussion, Crystal Gray spoke for Anne Parker as bringing a unique perspective as a resident of the dense housing in the Orchard Grove Mobile Home Park and a Naropa Environmental Studies professor.  Suzy Ageton said that Danica Powell was extremely knowledgeable and gave an impressive interview and doesn’t appear to be tied to any of the traditional groups in the community.  KC Becker said that Danica Powell had designed her own degree in Urban Sustainability and that the Planning Board needs professionals with planning background and experience.  Macon Cowles countered that the Planning Board works better as a layperson board and is better for the community that way.  Danica Powell was appointed with 5 votes for the 3-year term from Matt Appelbaum, George Karakehian, Suzy Ageton, Ken Wilson, and KC Becker.

Transportation Advisory Board, one 5-year position, must be female.

One applicant.  Ken Wilson moved, seconded by Lisa Morzel, to reopen the nominations for this board.  The motion passed unanimously.

University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission, two positions:  5-year and 1-year terms.

Three applicants.  Macon Cowles nominated Hillary Griffith for the 5 year term.  There being no other nominations, she was appointed by acclamation.

Macon Cowles nominated Jyotsna Raj for the 1-year term.  Ken Wilson moved to reopen the nominations, seconded by Suzy Ageton.  Macon Cowles objected that the motion was out of order given that he had nominated Raj.  The City Attorney recommended that the Council vote on Wilson’s motion.  Lisa Morzel and Crystal Gray spoke in favor of Jyotsna Raj as a leader on The Hill and in establishing the 14th St Historic District, and therefore they did not favor reopening the applications.  KC Becker commented that Jyotsna could reapply if the position was reopened to get more applicants with a particular expertise and added that a couple of the applicants didn’t even know what the board did and Jyotsna was one of those.  The motion to reopen the nominations failed, 4-5, with Cowles, Gray, Osborne, Morzel and Appelbaum opposed.  Jyotsna Raj was appointed with 5 votes from Matt Applebaum, Lisa Morzel, Susan Osborne, Crystal Gray, and Macon Cowles for the 1-year position.

Water Resources Advisory Board, one 5-year position.

Four applicants.  Lisa Morzel nominated Kate Ryan and spoke to the high quality of the applicants and Kate Ryan’s valuable experience as a water attorney.  There being no other nominations, she received the position by acclamation.

With nominations concluded, Councilmember Cowles moved, Morzel seconded, to accept the entire slate of applicants.

Public Hearing: [Public comments are taken only after all the nominations are completed, but before the final approval of the slate of appointments.]  One member of the public, Dylan Williams, addressed the Council.  He said that it has been his experience that Planning Board is a very closed group that welcomes comments from design professionals and is hostile to input from mere citizens.  He noted that he is very pleased that Council is discussing the tenor and composition of the Planning Board and expressed his extreme frustration with that board.  He also spoke in support of Tim Plass, who adds fairness, experience, balance, and openness.

The motion passed unanimously with no further discussion.

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