Frisco Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen’s written statement
I am saddened by the need to respond to (the circulated letter), as it is obviously a frantic attempt by someone, not big enough to put their name on it, to undermine and distract me from the good work being done by our town council, as well as our citizens. Over the past few weeks, I have received numerous positive citizen comments on the manner in which we are conducting the process of involving our citizens in the current issues facing the town. However, I promised you open honest government, and along with the good, there is apparently going to be some bad and ugly. So I will be just as open and honest about that, as well. Since the attached memo from Councilmember Rick Amico is addressed to “all,” I assume that everyone will receive it eventually. I have decided to get it out, address it, and get back to doing the job for which you elected me. Point No. 1 implies that the mayor made a deal with Osprey Adventures in return for election support.Point No. 2 implies that the mayor made a deal with Backcountry Brewery in exchange for election support. Point No. 3 implies that the mayor made a deal with the Frisco Historical Society in exchange for support. Factual response to the three points above: The mayor has not, does not and will not make any deals with anybody outside of a public council meeting with full council participation and citizen input. During my campaign, I promised everyone open honest government, representation for all citizens, business owners and property owners, conduct of town business in accordance with our town charter, and the pursuit of economic development, provided that such development maintains and enhances our small mountain town character and is a healthy compliment to our existing businesses. I said the same thing to everyone I talked to and made no promises other than as stated in the previous sentence. If anyone has questions in this regard, please feel free to call the people involved in the statements in points No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 above. In addition, I received no financial support for my campaign, other than my personal checking account, and am beholden only to the citizens, business and property owners as a community complete entity. The people who gave their time to make phone calls to support me did so because they believed I was the best candidate. They did not ask for anything in return, and I did not offer anything in return. Point No. 4 implies that Councilmember Deb Helton, along with the blessing of the mayor to be and another councilperson called for a meeting with the town’s auditor about alleged mishandling of town petty cash. According to Councilmember Helton, “I was approached by several town employees, who expressed concern about this issue. I called Mike Jenkins, the town auditor, and we traded phone messages, however I never did speak with him. I did mention these conversations to Bernie and former Councilmember Jon Zdechlik. Bernie took no action, as he preferred to wait and hear the auditors report. Zdechlik made a call to the town treasurer to inquire about the matter. The conclusion was a recommendation from the auditor that policies regarding petty cash be established.” Point No. 5 implies that the town is dipping into its reserves at the rate of $500,000 per year, and asks what will we do when they are gone. I understand that the town budgeted to lose up to $1.5 million in 2003, but implemented major cost cutting strategies that ultimately resulted in a small gain in reserves for 2003. The budget for 2004 does show an approximate loss of less than $400,000 in reserves, but the town is continuing cost cutting programs while pursuing potential revenue increases. I hope the town breaks even or perhaps realizes a net gain for 2004. As your mayor, I am committed to open honest government, representation for all the citizens, businesses and property owners and an ongoing collaborative process with citizens. I will diligently expose nonfactual whisper and smear campaigns that are designed to undermine the efforts of the council and our citizens. I am outraged by this, and you should be, too.
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