Tag Archives: Mayor Wellington Webb

Judge Stern enters judgment for Defendants

Dear Friends,

On Friday May 2 Judge Stern granted judgment for the Defendants City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools.  A copy of Judge Stern’s Order is attached. 

There will be no jury trial on May 19.  All witnesses are released from their subpoenas. DPS will continue to build the new school in what used to be Hampden Heights North Park.

First, I want to thank everyone who supported the effort to save this beautiful open space park.  Hundreds of people contributed their time, talent, and treasure, and there is not space to personally thank everyone.  I want to specially acknowledge the plaintiffs Steve Waldstein, Zelda Hawkins, and the board members of Friends of Denver Parks, Inc., Renee Lewis, David Hill, Shawn Smith, and Judy Case, who never gave up; Maggie Price, who created and manages the Friends Website; KC Keefer, who donated the film “Hampden Heist;” witnesses Wellington Webb, Susan Barnes-Gelt, John Bennett, Neil Sperandeo, Susan Baird, Jim Kellner, Amy Laugesen, Dave Longbrake, Dawn Mayo, Dave Norden, Joan Biggs, Sandy Dennehy, Charlie Gallagher, Willis Carpenter, and Tom Noel,; my law partners and faithful staff at Benson & Case; Bob and Nancy Stocker, Kathleen Wells, Dave Felice, Brad Cameron, Joe Halpern, Mary Ewing, and all the volunteers who gathered signatures for the referendum petitions that the city refused to count; Larry Ambrose and the dedicated members of INC who supported and honored our efforts; Wendy Warner and Ed Hall, chairpersons of the Denver Republican and Democratic parties, who passed resolutions condemning the city’s actions; Chuck Bonniwell, who provided expert testimony about Denver’s acquisition of land for recreation along Cherry Creek in the 1930’s, and gave our effort media coverage in the Cherry Creek Chronicle; Jennifer Doran and Pam Quigley, who researched and copied newspaper articles about the flood of 1933 and the city’s acquisition of parcels of land along Cherry Creek at the Denver Public Library and Colorado History Museum; Joe Marisco, who spent six days at the clerk and recorder and assessor’s offices in Arapahoe county, copying deeds to parcels of land along Cherry Creek that the city acquired in the 1930’s; Richard Hentzell, Bill Stanfill, Dick Laugesen, Laura and Linda Gravina, and all of the financial donors who so generously provided funds for petitions and court costs.

Second, I am pleased to announce that Friends of Denver Parks will appeal Judge Stern’s decision, because we believe it is an injustice that the people of Denver were not allowed to vote before their park land was taken.  We will post news of the appeal on the website.

Third, in the near future Friends of Denver Parks will launch a ballot initiative to protect all remaining Denver parks from sale. We want to make sure that what happened here does not happen again.

Thanks again to all of you for your generous help and support.

John Case


Court Document can be found here


Mayor Hancock Begins His Assault On Parks Advocates


February 2014 Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle


Former Councilwoman Thrown Out of Key-Park Meeting
City Boards Cleansed of Pro Park Members

See PDF provided by Dave Felice

By Keith Thompson

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has been bedeviled by citizens who are protesting his administration’s commercialization and giveaway of Denver Parks and open space, including protesters who have shown up at public appearances of the mayor and members of his cabinet. Moreover, there has been increasing media coverage of his actions regarding parks and open space to his administrations ire. Westwords front page story for its December 31 edition was Titled “Parks and Wreck – In Mayor Hancock/s world-class city, everyone matters – except park lovers,” written by Allen Pendergast. The story blasts Hancocks commercialization of the city’s parks and the giving away for development of a portion of Hentzell Park.

Former Mayor Contributes

Park advocates are also gaining important allies in their fight against the powerful Denver mayor. Wellington Webb, the popular former mayor of Denver, and his wife Wilma recently joined Friends of Denver parks, the group that is fighting for Hentzell Park, and is the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the City. Reportedly the couple also made a generous financial contribution to the no-profit group. Webb wrote to the group, “I believe in the protection of Denver parks within the city and in the mountains. I do not support the use of park space for development.” He added, “I believe we should maintain what we have and acquire additional park space for future generations.” the fact that Webb, who was Denver’s first African American mayor, supports Hancock’s opponents in the Hentzell Park fight was a serious blow to Hancock’s pride and his standing in the African American community, according to insiders.

Hancock Publicity Campaign

In response Hancock has gone on a public relations campaign to bolster his deteriorating public image while privately retaliating against any and all parks advocates that hold positions on boards and commissions within the City and County of Denver. In December the mayor’s office announc­ed that Hancock was forming a new group to be titled “Mayors for Parks” with Fort Worth’s Mayor Betsey Price to purported­ly advocate for more federal funding for municipal parks. He wrote in an article in the Denver Business Journal: “Preserving and expanding our green, open spaces in Denver is not only smart, it is critical to the future success of our city.” Parks advocates in Denver found the mayor’s transparent public relations at­tempt to be somewhat disingenuous if not dishonest. Jamie Johnson ruefully noted, “He is nothing more than a world class hypocrite. While forming groups for con­cepts he apparently doesn’t believe in, why doesn’t he get together with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and start ‘May­ors for Marital Fidelity.’ It is not what you say in public it is what you do behind clos­ed doors that counts. ” Parks advocate Dave Felice was equal­ly blunt, “Frankly, I think this mayor is intent on destroying the parks.”

Hardball Or Dirty Politics?

While the mayor is publicly trying to soften his anti-park public image, his ad­ministration is purging all boards and com­mission of any and all parks advocates ac­cording to insiders. Continue reading

Message From John Case 12-20-2013

Dear Friends,

 Attached is the Renewed Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal that we filed today in the Colorado Court of Appeals.  Our purpose is to  stop the construction already under way in Hampden Heights North Park.  The city and DPS are not willing to stop until a court tells them to stop. 

Go Here For Renewed Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal

 Also attached are color photos taken of the construction site 12/19/2013.


 As most of you are already aware, former Mayor Wellington Webb and his wife Wilma made a very generous donation to Friends of Denver Parks.  We are proud to have Mr. and Mrs. Webb as supporters.  Below is Mr. Webb’s statement to our secretary/treasurer:

 “I believe in the protection of Denver parks within the city and in the mountains. I do not support the use of park space for development. I believe we should maintain what we have and acquire additional park space for future generations.”


 John Case