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This is an excerpt from The Zephyr article, “What’s Past Is Prologue” which appeared in the Feb/Mar issue. A link to the article follows this excerpt. Also included below are the documents related to Davidson’s severance deal in 2011…JS


As this publication noted in its first article on the subject, controversy seems to follow Rebecca Davidson wherever she goes. In 2010, Davidson made state headlines, relating to her five year tenure of employment with The City of Timnath, Colorado.

In late December 2010, News 9, the NBC affiliate in Denver, reported that the Timnath Council would meet to “discuss suspended town manager,” Ms. Davidson. According to the report, “Davidson has been manager in Timnath since 2005, working on a contract basis until January, when she became a town employee. Separately, the town has also been paying her engineering firm, IB Engineering, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year…This summer, council members asked for an outside investigation into the town’s contracting and bidding processes. The report by a Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency investigator has not yet been made public.”

It also reported that Timnath’s mayor, Donna Benson, “with whom Davidson has clashed,” had also filed a law suit against the Timnath council, “over secret meetings to hear employee complaints about her. Davidson’s complaints about Benson’s interactions with town staff prompted the secret meetings.”

A week later, Davidson and Timnath were back in the Denver headlines when 9News announced Davidson had resigned. The “three-way deal” ended with Davidson’s resignation and the resolution of a $1 million law suit “brought by Loveland-based Gerrard Excavating Inc. against the 633-resident town and Davidson, who until last year was both town manager and the town engineer responsible for overseeing the Old Town sewer reconstruction project”

9News also reported that, “Davidson was suspended with pay last summer, several weeks after Town Council members received an audit of Timnath finances. Council members cited the need to ‘review invoicing, lack of documentation, fair treatment in the bidding process, town contracts and other processes’ in suspending Davidson but never offered any further specifics.”

The report noted that Timnath officials could not publicly discuss the matter and that, “both sides signed a non-disparagement clause and agreed to keep confidential a report about Davidson written by an outside investigator.”

In a June 19, 2011 “Coloradoan’ article by Trevor Hughes, titled “Timnath Learns Costly Lesson After Paying Millions for Projects,” Hughes offered a more detailed account. He wrote:

“In 2008, the small town of Timnath east of Fort Collins paid half of its $2 million municipal budget to its town manager and her engineering company. And while 2008 was a high point of money paid by the town to former manager Becky Davidson and her firm, IB Engineering, it was by no means the only time Timnath spent a significant portion of its money on her and her company. For several years, Davidson/IB received more than $600,000 annually from Timnath, according to an audit and town financial officials. But a deal struck between the town and Davidson as she left under pressure earlier this year means town officials refuse to answer all but the most basic questions about how town money was spent during her tenure. Town officials say a nondisparagement clause they signed in January means they can’t discuss how Davidson ran the town. “I’m going to let the past speak for the past,” new Timnath Mayor Jill Grossman-Belisle said. “We’re trying to use this as an opportunity to learn.”

In the Coloradoan, Hughes explained the city of Timnath’s dilemma. In part, he wrote:

“…court records show that the town was preparing to sue Davidson over design flaws and errors in the Old Town sewer project. In a court motion, Timnath’s lawyers said Davidson’s actions as the town engineer ‘fell below’ the standards expected of a professional engineer. “‘As part of the process of working with Gerrard to finish the project…the town has discovered that the IB defendants made errors in both the design and the administration of the project,’ attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Shreck LLP said in a Nov. 23, 2010 filing. ‘As part of its work on the project during the fall of 2010…the town discovered errors and omission in the plans and specifications prepared by IB defendants. The town has also discovered instances in which the IB defendants’ management of the project fell below the applicable standard of care…’”

(NOTE: Up until the 30th of January, as far as we know, the article was available for public viewing via The Coloradoan’s’ paid archives for $3.95. That’s how we were able to read it. On January 30th, however, we found the link was broken. The links above refer to a cached version of the page. As far as we can tell, the full version still exists in the paid archives. 9News printed a shorter version of the article by Hughes, which contains most of the relevant information. That article can be viewed for free.)

According to the article and court documents,  Davidson received a settlement that included nine months of paid salary.. Years later, as Moab’s city manager,  Davidson felt ten weeks of severance pay was sufficient for Olsen, who had been employed by Moab City for 25 years.


“What’s Past is Prologue.” Three Small Towns & Their Common Bond–City Manager Rebecca Davidson…by Jim Stiles



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