Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, November 16, to review changes to the city’s Municipal Code as it pertains to public safety.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, City Councilors met online along with city staff via the Zoom platform. This is the first fully virtual meeting to be held since the council returned to in-person meetings on July 20. The public was also invited to attend via the Zoom platform. Councilors Roy Anderson, Dave Bowman, Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, and Doug Glaspell met for about 42 minutes along with staff and the city’s legal team. The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
REVISIONS TO TITLE 6 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE
City Public Safety Attorney Matt Magliaro, along with Assistant City Attorney
Rachel Allen delivered a presentation to councilors, identifying potential updates to the city’s Municipal Code. The updates pertain to miscellaneous offenses related to open burning within the city limits, unlawful entry and or trespassing on private property, window peeping, indecent conduct, and new terms related to identifying a person with various mental states.
Both Magliaro and Allen answered a variety of questions from the council. City Attorney Stephen Alcorn said many of the changes come from recent cases before the city’s Municipal Court. Alcorn said making these changes will better clarify the city’s code as it pertains to citizens who could be cited with city offenses while giving the court itself more thorough definitions of offenses in the city’s code.
Councilors asked about the growing use of drones to peer into personal property and if these devices violate personal privacy. Magliaro said the federal government regulates drones, yet if it were proven that people were using drones with nefarious intentions there could be avenues to prosecute offenders. Magliaro said he expects more language regarding drones and privacy to be released by the federal government in the future.
The council will vote to approve or deny the changes at a future City Council regular meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Doug Glaspell said he enjoyed volunteering recently at a local food bank alongside Mayor Barbara Bynum.
Police Chief Blaine Hall delivered an update, stating his officers have been very busy lately dealing with all sorts of criminal activity. He said officers have been in “very close contact” with the public due to a string of fights, including one where an officer was punched in the side of the head. Hall said the officer did recover from the incident. He said the use of newly purchased body-worn cameras is proving valuable in aiding criminal prosecution in these incidents. He also said the cameras have become good training and teaching tools.
Hall said the department’s detective division has been very busy investigating recent complaints and sexual assaults.
City Manager Bill Bell said that, due to the “changing COVID climate” around the region, the city will move back to virtual meetings to limit personal contact and potential exposure. This adjustment will pertain to all City Council meetings, city committee and commission meetings, and all city staff meetings.
Bell said this new policy would be in effect throughout the holiday season until January 2021, adding that the public can still come in person to City Hall and the Montrose Police Department, but they will be interacting with staff behind protective glass.
All City Council meetings are recorded and made available online via on the city’s website and cable channels 191 for Charter subscribers and 970 for Elevate subscribers. Replays of council meetings are also broadcast at 6 p.m. on the same channels on days that the council is not in session.
In addition, each regular meeting is archived on the City of Montrose’s YouTube channel.
Residents can watch all regular City Council meetings and work sessions live through the city’s website at CityOfMontrose.org/Video.
For more city news visit www.CityOfMontrose.org.