Tag: local scut

Anonymous letter sent to local media alleges wrongdoing by members of School District 51’s senior administration

Letter about D-51 senior Administrators, Pg. 1

Anonymous letter about D-51 administrators, Pg. 2

This letter was sent to local media outlets recently by an anonymous author who seems very familiar with, and frustrated by District 51’s senior administrative leadership. There was no return address on the envelope. The writer is deeply concerned, among other things, that inappropriate expenditures by members of senior administration have contributed to the financial necessity of closing traditional public schools. Interestingly, while the writer expresses concern about the three Board of Education members who have been at the heart of so much turmoil in the District lately, s/he focuses attention on D51’s senior leadership as being even more harmful than the three controversial board members.

While parts of the letter seem petty, the writer also makes serious allegations of unethical behavior by D-51’s senior administrators.

While it’s difficult for someone outside of D-51 to confirm the allegations in the letter, investigation into the claims reveals many of them could at least be plausible, based on information like property ownership records, records of the addresses of some of the people mentioned in the letter, investigation into where people mentioned in the letter were working and playing football and when, verification of what constitutes a “bona fide move” according to the bylaws of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHASSA) (pdf, at Pg 61-62), verification of the bankruptcy of Marsh Trucking, verification that District 51 in fact does have office space on Compass Drive, and other information. Much of that info tracks with what the writer alleges.

The positions of people mentioned in the letter, and the meaning of some of the abbreviations the writer uses as follows:

  • Melanie Trujillo – District 51 Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Tammy Eret – District 51 Legal Counsel
  • Nikki Jost – D-51 Executive Director of Human Resources
  • Patty Virdin – D-51 Executive Director of Student Services and Support
  • Jacki Anderson – D-51 Curriculum Director
  • Jennifer Marsh – D-51 Executive Director of Curriculum and Learning Design
  • Shawn Marsh – Jennifer Marsh’s husband, who coached football at Central High School and then took a job as head coach of the Eagle Crest High School football team in Aurora, CO (2019-2021)
  • Cheri Taylor – Director of College and Career Readiness (as of 12/8/22)
  • Dan Bunnell — current Director of Site Leadership, Emerson Building
  • Cathy Ebel – former Director of Social and Emotional Learning (video), who spent 35 years with District 51
  • Melanie Trujillo’s husband, Donald Trujillo, — all that was publicly known at the time was that he was put on leave as Principal of R-5 for a “personnel matter” in January, 2022
  • BOE – Board of Education
  • BFF – Best Friends Forever
  • CAO- Chief Academic Officer
  • CMU – Colorado Mesa University
  • Resource: District 51’s list of Senior Leadership

Other media outlets are unlikely to release the letter, but since District 51 is a taxpayer-funded institution and it is difficult for taxpayers to see its inner workings, the letter could indicate areas in District administration that need attention.

An incredible Red Rock dealership story from a 21 year old

Got a crazy Red Rock dealership ripoff story? Send it to anne@annelandmanblog.com. If we use it, we’ll keep you anonymous if you prefer.

I got an email yesterday from yet another Red Rock Hyundai customer who had a story that was so incredible, I had to share it. It includes yet another charge of forgery, as well as the addition of thousands of dollars in extras to the contract without the customer’s knowledge or approval. I spoke to this person on the phone to verify that they were a real person, get more details about their story and clarify some of the terms they used in the email.

The person who wrote this is 21 years old and came from out of town to purchase the vehicle. The name is redacted to keep the sender anonymous, upon their request:

7th Street Deli threatened with eviction

You’ve seen it…you drive by it all the time. After 15 years in this location, the much-loved 7th Street Deli, a woman-owned and operated family business that makes home-made food, has been threatened with eviction.

The 7th Street Deli just south of St. Mary’s Hospital may soon be forced to close its doors.

The restaurant has been there for 15 years, and has been owned and operated by Debbie Allen and her daughter for the last 8 years. It is woman-owned business and the only restaurant close to the hospital. Their food is damn good and now they might have to close.

On January 5th, the landlord who owns the Medical Arts complex where the deli is located threatened Debbie and her family with eviction by the end of the month for non-payment of rent. The eviction notice comes after the restaurant was faced with a long series of unfortunate events starting in 2018. It has been struggling to come back, and just as business is finally starting to improve again, now this.

How did they get into this position after having so much success for so long?

Grand Junction’s political landscape continues to trend more blue

A New York Times’ map of 2020 election results across the country shows more of our area trending blue than ever before.

A November, 2018 analysis of Mesa County’s political landscape found that based on the race for Governor, Mesa County was no longer a “hard-core red” county, and that our area was starting to trend bluer, towards Democrats. At that time, Grand Junction’s older downtown area had turned solidly blue, but was still surrounded by a sea of red, with few to no area races being competitive.

Getting bluer

An analysis of the 2020 election results shows the trend towards area voters leaning Democratic continuing, and accelerating.

Report about Mesa County Clerk Elections Office praises employees, pans the Clerk

Eagle County Treasurer and Public Trustee Teak Simonton (pdf) produced a report to the Colorado Secretary of State (pdf) on August 7 reviewing and making recommendations to improve the operations of the Mesa County Clerk’s Elections Office. The Colorado Department of State hired Simonton as a consultant to observe the Elections Division during the June 30th primary and make recommendations for improvement. Simonton, who has 14 years of experience in administering elections, concluded that while there is a lack of experience among the staff, numerous problems that need fixing and best practices that are not being employed, the Mesa County Clerk’s Elections staff as a whole is a dedicated and capable group of employees.

Her review of the Mesa County Clerk herself, though, was not good.

Columbine Liquors in Palisade temporarily closes; former owner said to have “obtained the business illegally”

Columbine Liquors at 210 W. Third in Palisade was recently seized from former owner Bill Carlson, and as of April 27, 2020, the store is under new ownership by Thomas Lewis Goerke.

A liquor store employee answered a call to the store and when asked about the store’s closure, said Bill Carlson “got the company seized from him” because he had “obtained the business illegally.” The employee didn’t know how Carlson had obtained the business. The store will reopen after the new owner obtains a liquor license. An application for the new license has been submitted.

Bill Carlson (from PeachTownNews.com)

Bill Carlson won a seat on Palisade’s town Board of Trustees in the April 7, 2020 election. Palisade Town Administrator Janet Hawkinson said Carlson so far has not resigned from the seat.