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BY PEYTON GARCIA + PAUL KAROLYI
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2021

When it comes to parks, hanging out in the shade is normally a good thing. But now Denver’s Parks and Recreation Department is being accused of a different kind of shady behavior.

“Shady… favoritism… cronyism”: That’s how councilperson Amanda Sawyer described the department’s latest personnel shuffling in a recent interview with CBS4.

She was referring to the recent reclassification of deputy managers Scott Gilmore and John Martinez from mayoral appointees to “career service authority” (or CSA) positions. The change affords them A LOT more job security and raises their salaries from $132,000 to $170,000.

This kind of move is apparently legal, but it’s… not cool. “It hamstrings the next mayor with employees that maybe they would prefer to not be the people running the department,” Sawyer told CBS4. “Now, they can’t do that because those spots are career service and they’re taken.” And removing someone from a CSA position is incredibly difficult.

In response to CBS4’s reporting, Denver Parks and Recreation Executive Director Allegra “Happy” Haynes told CBS4 that the reclassification was important to “maintain progress on key game plan initiatives” and “ensure continuity.”

Denver’s next mayoral election is set for 2023, and we’ll be on the lookout for any more creative reclassifications as Mayor Michael Hancock wraps up his final term in office.
[CBS4]

🍂 A perfect fall day — sunny, clear, and 65. (Well, that’s my ideal fall weather anyways…).

📰 IN OTHER NEWS

🧳 Planning to fly soon? Listen up.
Denver International Airport was ranked the third busiest airport in the world during the first half of this year, according to data collected by the Airports Council International. From January to June, the airport recorded 24.7 million passengers passing through, topped only by Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth (two airports that always top the list). In 2018, Denver ranked 20th, and in 2019, before the pandemic, it ranked 16th. [Denver Post]
👉 What you can do: DIA is encouraging people to arrive two hours before their boarding times — not departure times — to get through security in time.


🌮 The fight over Casa Bonita’s future continues
Save Casa Bonita, the superfan group led by Andrew Novick that’s been trying all year to, well, save Casa Bonita, is making a last-ditch effort to buy the iconic Denver restaurant. The group has filed an objection to the restaurant’s pending sale to South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Novick’s group is prepared to pay $3.5 million — $400,000 more than what Stone and Parker put on the table. But it’s still unknown how much the South Park guys offered for the potentially lucrative Casa Bonita intellectual property, so the two offers are difficult to compare. [Westword]

🚫 Two Denver schools vandalized with hate messages
Denver police are investigating vandalism and property damage that occured at two local schools over the weekend. Staff at George Washington High School discovered racist, homophobic, and hate-driven graffiti on several buildings and structures Monday morning. Just a few blocks away, someone smashed a window and cut the power at the Denver Academy of Torah. Investigators have not yet confirmed if the two incidents are connected. [CO Sun]
👉 What you can do: If you have any information about the crimes, you can (anonymously) contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or online

🎙 TODAY'S PODCAST

What is Dark Money? And How is it Impacting Our Election? 
18 mins
Defend Colorado is a “dark money” group that’s poured $540,000 into several different measures on the November ballot. So what exactly is dark money? And how does it shape the issues facing our city? Host Bree Davies sits down with Westword reporter Conor McCormick-Cavanagh, who’s been reporting on Defend Colorado, to sort it all out.

🎁 Want City Cast Swag? 

Refer your friends to the City Cast Denver newsletter because it’s awesome and you love it — aaand because you can earn super sweet City Cast swag while doing it! Use your unique referral link to start referring now! 

🗓️ MARK YOUR CAL

+ TONIGHT: Full Moon Evening
Celebrate the full moon with a 40-minute yoga flow and meditation, then stick around for aura readings and a DIY bath salt bar.

+ TONIGHT: Nichos Workshop
Learn how to make your own nicho (or memorial diorama) at Raíces Brewing Co. to display for Día de los Muertos.

+ THURSDAY Supper Club
Denver chefs Oscar Padilla and Tajahi Cooke join forces at Toro for a special dinner event spotlighting flavors from Latin America and Jamaica. 

🥐 MADE IN DENVER
Credit: Eboni Bonée Coleman / EB Pix

The weather’s getting colder and farmers market season is coming to an end, but your easy access to fresh, local baked goods isn’t going anywhere. Bread Club is a new subscription delivery service from Denver’s beloved Rebel Bread company that keeps local bakers front of mind by bringing their artisan pastries right to your doorstep. Bread Club has enlisted delicious rotating menu items from five beloved community bakeries — Rebel Bread, Moon Racoon Baking Co., Sugar Bakeshop, Pandemic Donuts, and Mile High Pie Co. — to meet all your pie, donut, and fresh bread needs. 

Hey, Katy Mayo! Thanks for telling the people in your life about City Cast Denver. You’re helping us grow! And we really appreciate your support.

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Got an idea for us? Email us at denver@citycast.fm.
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