By Susan Barnes-Gelt, The Denver Post May 9, 2014
Early this month, following more than a year of political shenanigans, civic and media consternation, lawsuits and failed appeals, Denver District Court Judge Herbert Stern affirmed the legality of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s decision to transfer 11 acres of open space in southeast Denver to Denver Public Schools for a new elementary school.
In exchange for the acreage and $710,000, the city got an obsolete DPS building in the Golden Triangle that will house a domestic violence center for women.
No one disputes the value of a new elementary school or a domestic violence center. At issue is how the city administration managed the deal. To recap:
In late 2012, Lauri Dannemiller, manager of Parks and Recreation, asked her 18-member advisory board to approve the swap and de-designate 9 acres of Hentzell Park as open space and the adjacent 2½ acres as a parking lot. The board opposed the measure, 11-6. The board, charged with oversight and stewardship of Denver’s treasured parks and open space, was chagrined when Dannemiller overruled the majority opinion.
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