Zollars named municipal judge, Schroeder resigns


MONTE VISTA—The Monte Vista City Council met in its last regular session of the year on Thursday, Dec. 7. There are several items of action to know, including the appointment of a new municipal judge and the resignation of Mayor Pro Tem Carol Schroeder.

New police corporal

The city council welcomed new Monte Vista Police Department Corporal Tristan Van Zalinge who was administered the oath of office by Chief of Police John Rosecrans. “Tristan comes to us with eight years of experience. He has been a deputy in Saguache and Rio Grande counties,” said Rosecrans. The chief and city council stated they were glad to have Van Zalinge on duty for the city.

New municipal judge

Barbara Zollars was appointed by a vote of 4-1 as the new municipal judge for the city of Monte Vista. Jason Lorenz voted “nay” with all other councilors voting “aye” for her selection.

Zollars is a Rio Grande County Court judge. She is a partner at The San Luis Valley Law Firm. She specializes in criminal defense and some of her practice consists of civil matters such as civil protection orders, civil litigation, landlord-tenant and administrative hearings. Previously, Zollars was the office head for the Colorado State Public Defender regional offices in Alamosa (2002-2008), Fort Collins (1996-2002), and Silverthorne (1993-1996) and was a deputy Colorado state public defender in the regional offices of Greeley (1990-1993) and La Junta (1988-1990). Zollars also worked as an assistant county attorney for Boulder County from 1987 to 1988. Prior to moving to Colorado, Zollars was the founder and director of the Legal Action Center at the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle (1980-1986) and was an employment rights commissioner for the City of Seattle (1982-1985). Zollars earned her undergraduate degree from Seattle University and her Juris Doctor from the Seattle University School of Law.

Three Guys Farms liquor transfer

Alex Notov from Three Guys Farms presented the council with information stating the Monte Villa’s liquor license would be transferred to Three Guys Farms and the newly named “Three Guys Pubs.” Notov presented a safety plan as requested by council. Notov also said the model was to make the pub a family-friendly atmosphere. Mayor Debbie Garcia and Councilor Matthew Martinez expressed admiration for the business Three Guys Farms has been conducting and for their support and contributions to the community.

Waste Management

The council denied a request from Anthony Howard, public sector solutions manager for Waste Management, for a rate increase of 2.5 percent beginning in January 2018. Howard explained the request was based on a 12-month average of Consumer Price Indexes published by the US Department of Labor-Bureau Statistics. The council asked about Waste Management’s ability to provide recycling services to consumers. The council stated that recycling was something that has been discussed for a few years with Waste Management on original contracts.

Schroeder resigns

During councilor reports Mayor Pro Tem Carol Schroeder announced she was resigning from the city council effective Dec. 31. “I would like to thank Debbie for her leadership and the other members of council for all coming together to try to do what’s best for the community. It’s been a struggle sometimes but hopefully people will come to know we had the very best interests of this community at heart. Six years ago the residents of Monte Vista elected me to represent them. It’s been a learning experience filled with ups and downs. I have enjoyed every minute that I have served. It’s time to step aside and let the new members have that same experience. I will fulfill my duties that still remain for this month,” said Schroeder.

Schroeder’s resignation creates a vacancy on the city council; the process of filling that vacancy will be determined at a later the date.

Caption: Van Zalinge receives the oath of office from Chief of Police John Rosecrans./Photo by Anthony Guerrero