This is a myth.
These are the facts:
Hundreds of North Avenue businesses have been asked many times over many years if they support the change of North Avenue to University Boulevard. The answer has consistently been "NO."
For more than 6 years, since 2011, Mr. Lucero has been trying to get businesses on North Avenue to sign his petition to change the name. (See, Daily Sentinel, Amy Hamilton, August 30, 2017.) Many North Avenue businesses have watched during the past 6 years as Mr. Lucero was coming and going in and out of their businesses to get signatures on his petition. Mr. Lucero did not limit the petition signers to North Avenue business owners - he wanted anyone and everyone to sign his petition.
In June 2015, the City Planner told Mr. Lucero he needed 75% support from the North Avenue businesses if he wanted City Council to consider the name change. (See letter below.)
In July 2015, Mr. Lucero told City Council that he had contacted 848 North Avenue businesses and 78% of them supported the name change (See, The Daily Sentinel, Amy Hamilton, July 24, 2015.)
In May 2017, Mr. Lucero told City Council that there were 630 total businesses on North Avenue and that 76% of them signed his petition in support of the name change. (See Lucero Survey 1 below.)
City Council did not verify the actual number of businesses on North Avenue.
City Council did not verify the signatures on Mr. Lucero's Petition.
Nor did City Council keep a copy of Mr. Lucero's Petition for the public record, so now it is impossible for anyone to look at the Petition Mr. Lucero gave to City Council.
See the files below for copies of 2 of the 10 signature pages from the Save North Ave petition signed by more than 450 citizens and North Avenue businesses in opposition to the name change in 2015 - during the same time that Mr. Lucero was gathering his signatures. (See, The Daily Sentinel, Amy Hamilton, August 30, 2017.)
This is a myth.
These are the facts:
In 2012, a group of business and property owners on North Avenue joined forces to create the NAOA. The purpose was simple: Improve North Avenue! (See The Business Times, May 2012.) What went wrong?
From the beginning, NAOA struggled.
In April 2012, the 560 North Avenue business and property owners were sent letters inviting them to the initial meeting for the NAOA. (See the Letter below.) Approximately 40 people showed up for the first meeting in May 2012. (See The Daily Sentinel, Amy Hamilton, June 2, 2012.)
By the time the second meeting was held in June, less than half that number attended. Eventually, the group adopted Articles and Bylaws and became a legal non-profit business association (NAOA).
But, the attendance at meetings never improved, except for the seven people who were on the Board of Directors. At its peak in 2013-14, NAOA had approximately 40 members, most of whom paid dues of $50-$100 per year. (See the NAOA member list below.)
By 2016, NAOA had less than 20 members, one-third of which were the Board members, the majority of whom had been re-elected at least once because no one else wanted to volunteer.
The NAOA membership voted against changing the name of North Avenue whenever the issue came up.
When the President of the NAOA sent a letter to City Council in 2017 supporting the North Avenue name change (see letter below), the NAOA had virtually no members, virtually no one was paying dues, and the same Board members had been elected and re-elected a few times.
Obviously, the NAOA didn't represent the businesses on North Avenue.
The persons holding themselves out as Officers of the NAOA did not disclose to City Council that the NAOA was not a viable, active organization - NAOA was masquerading as a business association.
The NAOA had a duty to disclose to City Council that it represented less than 10% of the businesses on North Avenue. Instead, in July 2015, one of the NAOA board members told The Daily Sentinel that the NAOA supported Mr. Lucero's efforts. (See, The Daily Sentinel, Amy Hamilton, July 24, 2015.)
As of October 9th, the NAOA website was no longer available online. There is lots of evidence of the NAOA's misrepresentations on their website, and fortunately the entire NAOA website has been saved and it will be loaded to our website for your review.
On August 25th, the President of the Chamber of Commerce repeated both of these myths in an interview on KFQX-TV, Western Slope Now:
"One of the most talked about local stories this year, has been the name change of North Avenue to University Blvd. One of the main people behind the change, Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce stops by the KFQX studio to talk about it, answering many questions viewers left on social media. " See also, the transcript of part of the Chamber President's interview below.
City Council heard these same 2 myths at their meetings on July 17th and again on August 16th (see the files below). City Council has been asked to reconsider their decision to rename North Avenue. They relied on these myths and refused to reconsider their decision at their meeting on Wednesday, September 6th.
Earlier this summer, on July 24th, The Daily Sentinel relied on the myths and reported that "an overwhelming number of businesses on North Avenue like the sound of University Boulevard...."
In April 2012, 560 North Avenue businesses were identified
and contacted about joining the NAOA (see the Letter below).
In July 2015, Mr. Lucero told City Council that he had contacted 848 North Avenue businesses
in the previous 3 years to ask them to sign his petition (see The Daily Sentinel, July 2015).
In May 2017, Mr. Lucero said there were 630 total North Avenue businesses (see Mr. Lucero's Survey #1 below.)
According to The Daily Sentinel, Amy Hamilton, September 23, 2017, Mr. Lucero determined that there were 630 North Avenue businesses in 2013. Then he redid his survey of the businesses and found there were 702 businesses.
See below for the email from The City Tax Compliance Officer this month stating that there are
228 sales tax licenses for the North Avenue district. Also see the file below listing those businesses.
See below for the file from Mesa County showing 41 business properties on North Avenue.
If it is important to City Council that 75% of the North Avenue businesses support the name change,
is it important to know how many businesses there are on North Avenue?
At their meeting on July 17th, City Council was asked to consider renaming 12th Street to Maverick Way.
The City refused to do this until the Chamber of Commerce, the NAOA and CMU spoke to
all the businesses on 12th Street to get their thoughts on the idea.
Doesn't it make more sense to rename 12th Street to University Boulevard?
How will City Council verify that all the businesses on 12th Street have been contacted?
Why didn't The City verify that all the North Avenue businesses were contacted to get their
thoughts before the name of the street was changed?