The Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District in Falcon, northeast of Colorado Springs, is one of those planned communities where residents get all sorts of amenities.
The 2,400 homeowners get to enjoy 63 acres of open space, miles of trails, two recreation centers with indoor and outdoor pools, exercise facilities, playgrounds, meeting rooms and more. Here’s a map of the district’s trails and recreational facilities.
The district also provides water, sewer and streetlight services to the community. And it employs a staff of about 15 to maintain the community, which is protected by covenants.
In addition to the staff, the district has a five-member board to oversee the district. They are homeowners are elected by the neighborhood.
As with any homeowners association or neighborhood board, there is conflict.
About a year ago, the board found itself in conflict with Ron Pace, a 45-year-old disabled veteran who moved to Woodmen Hills in 2006.
Pace heard stories about over-paid staff and got upset when water rates started going up. He started asking questions about the budget and salaries and covenant enforcement. Board members and staff didn’t like the way he asked his questions. They found him threatening. In fact, they accused him of threatening to “blow people away” with an AK-47.
Things distintigrated. Here’s a story The Gazette wrote in June 2009 about the conflict. Residents took sides. There were dualing Web sites created to argue the issues. Pace had one site and an ally built another.
Pace admits he gets on peoples’ nerves. He is from the East Coast and he comes across more loud, profane and abrasive than folks in the West may be used to, he says. But he says he never threatened anyone and would never hurt anyone.
El Paso County Magistrate Robin Chittum believes him.
She found him loud, often inappropriate and annoying. But, as she said, welcome to public service. If you don’t want to deal with people like Pace, don’t run for office.
In fact, after what may be the longest trial in Colorado history regarding civil protection orders, Chittum dismissed the complaints against Pace, giving him freedom to again go anywhere in the district, attend board meetings, view records, approach staff and board members.
Here’s how pace-press-release described the magistrate’s decision.
And this is a news release from the Woodmen Hills Metro District responding to it: Read the rest of this entry »