Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bruce misses deadline for his 'strong mayor' issue

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 3:00 PM

douglas-bruce.jpeg
Apparently, voters will not be deciding any petition-driven issues on April's city ballot.

Jan. 5 — yesterday — was the deadline to turn in charter amendments presented by petition to the city clerk's office. The office confirmed this morning that none had been received.

That may come as a surprise to those who expected anti-tax activist and Taxpayers Bill of Rights author Douglas Bruce to turn in a petition to have his own "strong mayor" issue put on the ballot.

Back in June we wrote this about Bruce's promised ballot issue:

... the mayor would replace the "city manager, assistant city manager, chief financial officer, economic development director and manager, community development director, and the public communications division."

Bruce's proposal also would grant mayors the power to veto ordinances, resolutions and appointments made by City Council, as well as spending and budget line items. The mayor could also pay off debts and claims, impound funds, refund charges, and lower taxes and fees; excuse code violators and penalties; and direct enterprises and authorities.

Which means that the mayor could basically do whatever he wanted except raise taxes or fees.

The mayor could, for instance, all but eliminate city sales and property tax. He could take over the running of Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs Utilities, the Parking Enterprise, and even the golf courses. The mayor could decide to eliminate all funding for the parks department, or the police department for that matter, even if Council didn't agree.

"It's going to save over $2 million in administrative costs of overpaid bureaucrats, and that's very appealing," Bruce says of his proposal. "It's going to give the mayor the veto power to stop wasteful spending."

Now, it should, of course, be noted that Bruce is not exactly known to follow the election calendars set by the city clerk. So, it's possible that we haven't heard the last of that ballot issue. And there's also the possibility — long rumored — that Bruce might decide to run for mayor or city councilor.

We tried calling Bruce for this blog, but got only a busy signal.

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