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~ Teller County Board of Review ~
November 7, 2001 at 2PM

The Teller County Board of Review finally held the long awaited hearing on NorthStar's Contractors License. The meeting began on time at 2PM. After taking about an hour to dispose of other business, the Board recessed for 10 minutes before taking up License Reviews. At about 3:15 PM, the hearing began. Some two hours later the results were in: the Board voted 3 to 1 in favor of a 90-day suspension for NorthStar's license.

Attending the meeting for Teller County were Chris Brandt, the County Attorney, Ric Radeke, the Building Official, Janet Lloyd, recording secretary, Dave Dernbach, Board Chair, Kurt Riggle, Sonny Strobl, Bert West, and Jim Heenan, members of the Board.

Attending the meeting to testify, give witness, and to offer overall support were Ted & Linda Dura, Ken Garrison, Sherry Beeler, Rick Thomas & Alex Narado, Rui Haagen and Pat Gowland, John & Ann Hart, Marianne Oswalt & Bob Butler, and Karen Dudnikov & Mike Meadors. A total of fourteen in all.

Attending the meeting for NorthStar were Doug Robbins, Barbara Robbins, and their wisp of an attorney, M James Zendejas. Babs dressed much better for this affair, looking natty in jeans and a tan blazer. Jimbo was the only one there wearing a coat and tie besides the attorney for Teller County.

Board Chair Dave Dernbach seemed to immediately recognize that the larger than usual crowd was there for NorthStar. Early on he broached the subject about limiting discussion so they could get the meeting over at a decent time. When the NorthStar portion of the meeting began, Sonny Strobl excused himself as to avoid any potential conflict. He had done septic work on the Hart's home. That left four members to hear the complaints.

Board Chair Dave Dernbach announced that public comments would be welcomed but cautioned the crowd that they were there to hear complaints about building code violations and the other articles under Section 107B. He cautioned the paticipants to limit their comments to code issues and he further set a 10 minute limit on the speakers.

John Hart started the complaints. He went thru his and Ann's sequence of events. He went over why they went with NorthStar; the promises made, and broken; the commitments NorthStar refused to make; their stay in a motel room; changes to plans; concrete poured on frozen ground.

The board asked several questions after the Chair pointed out that much of what was said was a civil matter and not under their juridiction. Dave Dernbach commented that he felt the charges of changes to plans without permission lacked evidence and Bert West disagreed with him.

Rui Haagen was next. She handed out copies of her complaint and tried to summerize her situation and stay within the guidelines set by the Chair. She also had a picture board of Polaroids to further support her position. She went over the extra monies she was required to pay because of NorthStar's dragging their feet; the changes to construction plans; the lack of completion of parts of her home; the gas being cut off; holes and trenches in the yard; also reminding M James Zendejas that Barbara still has her TV & VCR.

The board asked several questions after the Chair pointed out that much of what was said was a civil matter and not under their jurisdiction. Kurt Riggle seemed particularly interested in the electrical connections and the mysterious electrical box that appeared after Rui had received a final on her electrical. Rui was emphasizing NorthStar was in violation of the abandonment clause and changing construction plans.

Ted Dura then spoke. Ted admitted that much of his complaint did not fall within the guidelines set by the Chair. But, he said, his story was relevant and should be considered. Ted also emphasized that the Teller County Board of Review should place more importance on the business activities and ethics of the contractors than they do during the hearing. He also pointed out he saw no porti-potty on site and had concluded that the local deer must be using toilet paper as he had found it in the bushes in his yard.

At about 4:07Pm, it was Barbara's turn. Her mouthpiece, M James Zendejas began by speaking for her. He began by going over an earlier conversation with the county's attorney, Chris Brandt, about the charges. He then suggested that instead of Barbara attempting to reply to the rambling accusations of the parties, that perhaps the board should summarize what particular items they were actually interested in and she could save them time by addressing those specifics. He then rambled a bit himself by dragging up possible pending litigation by Rui Haagen and how Barbara wanted to limit her replies as to not provide the litigants present with useful information. Since Barbara was only going to lie, what difference would it really make what the hell she said?

Dave Dernbach listed what he felt were concerns:

  1. The pouring of concrete on frozen ground (Harts)
  2. The septic problems of the Harts
  3. The Hart's home was not secured
  4. Whether a Porti-Potty was on site (Harts, Haagen)
  5. The electrical situation at Rui's house
Bert West added that he felt the departure from approved plans was an issue and that NorthStar using an unlicensed subcontractor was another issue to be answered.

Barbara's responses:

  1. They did not pour concrete on frozen ground. In fact, they raked the ground before pouring.
  2. The septic problem was the fault of the Hart's because they did not want to do an engineered system (which they deny).
  3. She told them the home wasn't secured when she walked off the job. She said it was in the list she provided of what hadn't been done. She also blamed errors concerning the house on the factory.
  4. She didn't remember if there was a porti-potty at the Harts, but there certainly was at Rui's, but not for long, as the crew wasn't there long. As for a porti-potty at Ted Dura's, she couldn't remember if it was before the regulation requiring them.
  5. Babs said Teller Park Electric did Rui's house and that the inspection was good. She also mentioned that perhaps Rui should have provided more current photographs to better portray the conditions for the Board.
  6. She did not address the plan changes. We're sure that this was nothing more then a mistake on her part. yea, sure.
  7. As far as using an unlicensed subcontractor, in this case it was White Water Drilling, she stated that White Water has a state license and she didn't know that it wasn't good in Teller County and that WWD was filing for a county permit.

The Board then discussed Barbara's replies. Ric Radeke blew off some of the complaints by stating the county has no jurisdiction with manufactured homes. If that's the case Ric, they why does the county even bother to inspect them? Why does the county bother to issue permits for them? Or, perhaps, you don't want to be held publically accountable for what you and your department did, or failed to do? Dave Dernbach felt that the allegations of using an unlicensed sub wasn't supported by evidence. Bert West disagreed with him. Kurt Riggle again expressed his interest in Rui's electrical problems.

Karen Dudnikov then presented her information. Article 5 of Section 107B deals with truthfulness on the application for contractor. One of the questions asked is whether the applicant, or the company they represent, has even had a court suit for collection entered against them. She answered no on her application dated February, 1998. In December 19, 1997, the Teller County Courts entered a Notice of Commencement of Judicial Foreclosure against Barbara Ann Wells (now Robbins) and Donald Wells (her ex). The property was sold by the sheriff in June, 1998. She deliberately lied on her application by omitting this information. She also received her Contractor's License under the corporate name of Winstar Ventures. Later, she cahnged the company name to NorthStar Design & Construction, LLC. She also carried insurance under the name of NorthStar Design & Construction, LLC. The company was misrepresented because it did not become an LLC until April of 2001. Additionally, they frequently use the name NorthStar Construction, LLC, a corporate identity that does not, and has never, belonged to Barbara Robbins.

M James Zendejas then attempted to deflect the attention of the board. He claimed that Barbara did not consider the Notice of Commencement of Judicial Foreclosure to include her since she had filed a quit claim on the property, making it the responsibility of her ex-husband, Donald. As for the corporate names, Zendejas leaned on the good ol' boy routine by saying "As Chris knows", etc. Zendejas claimed the use of the names, including the LLC designation, was simply a standard tradename usage in Colorado and that there was no attempt at fraud or misrepresentation, and that in fact, the whole thing was trivial.

Mike Meadors then responded by pointing out that using LLC was not a valid tradename use but really misrepresentation. And, if the whole issue was trivial, then why did NorthStar, after the LLC issue was exposed in a judicial proceeding, immediately go out and get registered as an LLC? Their actions show this was not a trivial matter.

At about 4:55 PM, the Board decided on a 10 minute recess so they could discuss the situation with their attorney.

Dave Dernbach began the last session. He closed comments and began the Board discussion. He said there were several items that concerned him while he felt there wasn't enough evidence on some other items. In particular, item #3, following Teller County Building Codes. Bert West felt there were several items that were problems. he agreed that item #3 was an issue and was also concerned about item #5, lying on the application form. Bert then specifically requested Chris Brandt, the County Attorney, for clarification. Chris replied that the court action was begun in 1997, served in 1997, with a forced sale ordered in May 1998. Barbara submitted her application in February 1998. The court action was existing at the time she filled out the application and should have been on the application. Bert then said he had concerns that Barbara had violated Teller County Building Codes and some action should be taken. Kurt Riggle first said he felt item #3 was a concern. He also felt item #1, abandonment of a contract, was also a problem. He then said he wasn't sure about item #3. He felt more input was needed. Chris Brandt gently reminded him that there would not be any more input and that he, Kurt, and the others, would have to render their decision on the information presented to them at this hearing. Jim Heenan agreed with Bert West, stating that he felt some sort of action was required.

Dave Dernbach then called for a motion. Bert West made a motion that NorthStar's license be suspended for a period of 60 days. Jim Heenan seconded. During the discussion, Jim Heenan said he didn't feel 60 days was enough of a suspension. Bert West felt it was. M James Zendejas interrupted, wanting the board to specify exactly what items were being used in their determination so he could better preapre the appellate papers. Dave Dernbach pointed out to Zendejas that he was out of order, public discussion had been ended, and he also told him they, the Board, did not have to provide him, or anyone else, with specifics. The vote was 2 to 2. The motion did not carry.

Dave Dernbach then called for another motion. Jim Heenan made a motion that NorthStar be suspended for 90 days. Bert West seconded. The vote was 3 to 1. The motion carried.

NorthStar was informed they had 10 days in which to appeal the decision to the Teller County Commissioners. Next case.

More details as they become available. We will there when Babs tries to convince the County Commissioners she was mistreated.

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