What I remember about Bob Markley is that he showed great leadership as Mayor of Greeley. Specifically, in 1986, Greeley’s high mountain reservoirs were at risk of being sold to Thornton. Thornton had been secretly buying up farmland in Larimer and Weld Counties for the water rights.
In the midst of this activity, the Water Director and Water Board recommended the sale of our high mountain reservoirs, including Barnes Meadow, Peterson, Hourglass, Twin Lakes and Comanche, to Thornton. The reservoirs needed some maintenance and the Water Board thought it better to sell them than fix them. The citizens got wind of this plan and protested. They brought forth a Charter Change Amendment to require voter approval to sell Greeley’s water. The citizens obtained over 2,600 signatures which were sufficient to bring this issue to a vote. The City Attorney claimed the citizens actions were not legal since they had not included an ordinance with the Charter Change Amendment. The City Attorney’s claim turned out to be inaccurate.
However, Mayor Markley saved the day when he respected the citizens’ wishes and broke a tie vote of the City Council to deny the sale to Thornton. We still enjoy that water today. In fact, we drink water from Barnes Meadow all winter.
I am forever grateful for the leadership that Mayor Markley exhibited and the respect he showed the citizens.
And the citizens were not wrong! The maintenance was done on the reservoirs, and they are a tremendous asset to Greeley to this day. Depending on how it is valued, that water is worth between $293 million and $691 million today.
I also want to thank the Markley Family for signing our Charter Change Amendment Petitions along the Independence Day Parade route this summer.
God Bless Mayor Markley!