According to the Times-Call on Tuesday, Firestone has offered to put a park and a trail corridor on its disputed border with Longmont.
Mayor Bryan Baum said in response, “I don’t have any comment, because I really can’t comment. I think it’s very improper to talk about private conversations with regard to negotiations, especially when we’re under the veil of lawsuits.”
At the Council Comment portion of Tuesday’s city council meeting, Councilmember Sean McCoy thanked Mayor Baum for his negotiating efforts with Firestone. He went on to say that this demonstrated that Longmont was negotiating in good faith with Firestone but the same could not be said of Mayor Chad Auer and Firestone.
Matters discussed in executive session, whether in Longmont or in Firestone, are to remain private. Surely Mayor Auer knows that. It begs the question, what does Firestone hope to gain by making a public “offer” before any agreement has been reached? Was this arrogant, stupid, or a negotiating maneuver to force a compromise not in Longmont’s best interest?
LifeBridge withdrew its Longmont annexation application in December 2007 when it faced a special election loss following an historic referendum that gathered over 6,000 signatures in response to the Pirnack council’s approval of the application. LifeBridge then peddled its project to communities in the Tri-Town area. Only Firestone had an interest in the project.
Firestone’s demonstrated hostility towards Longmont dates back to the days when Mike Simone was its mayor. The Simone Board of Trustees hurried through an expansion of its comprehensive planning area to enable annexation of the Fairview/Firelight project and the LifeBridge project. It then sought to use State Highway 119 as a flagpole to annex the two projects. Responding to a defensive action by the City of Longmont, the Simone Board passed under so-called “emergency” conditions an alternate annexation avenue for the LifeBridge development using County Road 26
These annexation attempts resulted in two lawsuits. Firestone lost the lawsuit over the annexation attempt using County Road 26 with the court ruling that it had no standing. The lawsuit over the flagpole annexation along State Highway 119 remains on appeal.