Looking back on 2017 in Monte Vista


The Monte Vista Police Department welcomed K-9 Officer Lena and her K-9 handler Michael Martinez. Lena and Martinez attended a thorough training in Texas. The team has helped crack down on drug issues within the city.

Previous City Attorney Gene Farish’s contract was unanimously not renewed by the city council after decades of service to the city. Multiple local attorneys came to his defense and took issue with the procedure used by the city council.

The first major snowstorm of the year hit. There were record low temperatures throughout the Valley. Businesses and schools closed down.

The first large economic summit was hosted by the city of Monte Vista and Upper Rio Grande Economic Development. It has triggered a ripple effect of local leaders coming together to find ideas to improve the local economy, find primary jobs and help fill empty storefronts.



A group of Monte Vista Middle School Students attended the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump.

The 3rd annual Walk of Love was held through downtown Monte Vista. Organizers hope to bring peace and unity to a divided world.



Councilor Joe Schlabach hosted Coffee with Council. He took the opportunity to meet community members and address their concerns.

The MVPD made five significant drug arrests. They stemmed from a routine traffic stop, warrants for failure to appear and execution of search warrants.

A family of three was charged for stealing from the Rio Grande County Department of Social Services.



The Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce held their annual Home and Garden, bringing hundreds of visitors to visit about 30 different vendors. The 2017 show was a huge step forward for the chamber and the event, following minor struggles in previous years with attracting vendors and moving the dates.

Monte Vista City Council held a special work session with acting Town Administrator Rob Vance, City Attorney Karen Lintott, City Clerk Unita Vance and Municipal Judge Daniel Powell to hear the perspectives of the various stakeholders who conduct the city court system and to iron out some differences between the departments.

The Monte Vista School Board held a forum to discuss possible changes to the “thoughts and concerns about the health education program of the district and especially how issues of human sexuality are taught as part of the curriculum.”



The Monte Vista Board of Education’s May meeting saw number of parents and student athletes in attendance to voice concerns about MVHS boys basketball coach Robert Siemering. The board voted to not renew his contract in June.

At the 18th Annual Rural Development Multi-Family Housing conference, the High Valley Manor in Monte Vista defeated more than 130 other multi-family complexes in the state to win several awards.

SLV Roller Derby hosted a large two-bout event at Ski-Hi, with all of the spectator spaces overflowing with fans. The appropriately spring-themed event drew roller derby competitors from several local organizations. One-third of the event’s proceeds were donated to the Veterans Center at Homelake.



The annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado spent Friday night, June 23 at Ski-Hi, with rows of tents housing 329 cyclists filling the baseball field. The City of Monte Vista and the Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored the Friday events and accommodations.

City Council met June 13 for a special work session with the City’s Finance Director, Heather Hixson and City Administrator Rob Vance to discuss problems with the 2017 budget. Hixson stated there was a discrepancy in how some funds were budgeted, stating they were budgeting considerably higher than what their revenue was for the 2016 fiscal year and there were several unexpected expenses that would create a major dent in the general fund budget by the end of 2017.

A mock point-of-dispensing (POD) site and pandemic illness drill was held at Ski-Hi Park June 18, in which volunteers, public health officials, medical professionals, behavioral health representatives and many others from the San Luis Valley Regional Emergency Operations Center (EOC) practiced dispensing medication in response to a fictional respiratory illness.

During the Sargent School Board’s meeting on June 26, four individuals spoke in reference to recent efforts to restart a wrestling program at Sargent schools.



Cary Kennedy who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor became the first gubernatorial candidate to visit Monte Vista. Joe Salazar who is seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general became the first for his race.

Sargent Schools celebrated their 100th Anniversary as a school district by hosting a reunion celebration July 1 attended by alumni from many different eras and generations.



The City of Monte Vista hosted a public forum at the Chamber of Commerce/Information Center on Aug. 16 for two finalists being considered for the Monte Vista Chief of Police position.

The Planning and Zoning Commission concluded their work on a marijuana ordinance on Aug. 10.



The Monte Vista City Council elections went into high gear as the “The Monte Movement” officially announced their candidacies. Marijuana retail sales and taxation questions on the ballot also played a significant role in the race.

The Monte Vista Band Program welcomed a new director, who only stayed a few months. The pride of the school district went through some hard times throughout the year. Due to two resignations of band directors the program held three different directors in one semester.

A construction crew in Pueblo caused a major network outage throughout the San Luis Valley. Cell phones and internet were down for two days. There were reports that 911 services were not working.

The Potato Festival held the first annual concert with country music star Brooke Eden.

A train collided with a potato truck on 5N.

The city of Monte Vista hired John Rosecrans as the new chief of police.

A bear was spotted in a tree in the alley of Jefferson Street and Third Avenue.

Dos Rios, a staple of Monte Vista, was saved from closing by a group of committed community members.



The Monte Vista School Board election was cancelled and new members were appointed by acclimation. Kurt Holland and Dr. Orlando DeHerrera were elected to the school board.

An ACLU report was released alleging that Monte Vista and Alamosa Municipal Judge Dan Powell had violated the constitutional rights of defendants and was holding an illegal “debtor’s court.” Powell resigned his position with the city of Monte Vista and “retired” from the city of Alamosa.

Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll held a meeting in the public library with local democratic leaders.

The Rio Grande County Democratic Party held its first major fundraising JFK Dinner in decades. The majority of statewide and U.S. congressional candidates seeking the democratic nomination addressed the well attended dinner.

CIRSA held a workshop with the Monte Vista City Council. Councilors were reminded of ethics and that their job is to govern not to manage.



Monte Vista High School built a restorative justice room known as the TIN (Teens In Need) room. It has been successful in resolving conflicts among students.

Robby Martinez was promoted to the position of sergeant for the Monte Vista Police Department.

The Monte Movement consisting of Mayor-elect Dale Becker and councilors elect Gary Johnson and Victor Sigala had an election day victory. Marijuana retail sales were soundly rejected by voters.

Monte Vista Middle School students held a mock protest as part of project based learning. The protest focused on the American Revolution.

The Sargent wrestling program was reinstated after several years and student activism.



Barbara Zollars was appointed as the new municipal judge for the city of Monte Vista. Zollars had conducted a review and investigation of the previous procedures of the court and found several flaws.

A new Sargent School Board took the oath of office. Michelle Peterson, Tyler Mitchell and Tyler Kyffin were elected.

The Monte Vista City Council held their final meeting. Mayor Pro Tem and long-term councilor Carol Schroeder announced her resignation.







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