Wednesday, September 12, 2012

UPDATE: Colorado Springs to get our 60 Minutes of fame

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 5:53 PM

City Council President Scott Hente says he too spoke with the folks from 60 Minutes.

According to Hente, the interview took place at his fire-damaged home in the Mountain Shadows area. While much of Hente's conversation with the producers focused on everyday budgetary issues, the Waldo Canyon fire came up, and the producers seemed very interested in what Hente had to say.

Hente notes in an e-mail to the Indy, "[A]t one point in the conversation, they looked at me and said, '[W]e’d like to focus on the fire and the City’s ability to fight it, given the current budget.'"

——- ORIGINAL POST, WEDNESDAY, 5:53 P.M. ——-

Jan Martin
  • Jan Martin
During the 1990s, Colorado Springs earned its fair share of headlines.

We were the evangelical Vatican, the seat of the "social issues" Republicans, and, to much the world, Wacko Crazy Town, U.S.A.

But we've come a long way, baby. And ever since the economy crashed, we've been back in the news — not because we're a bunch of religious nut jobs, but because we're a bunch of libertarian radicals.

According to national news, Colorado Springs is losing every basic service Americans take for granted, from roads to parks, and we're turning over anything we can to private businesses.

Is it true? Well, to a certain extent, maybe, though many news outlets have stretched the truth. Now, another one will likely be taking a shot at it. 60 Minutes sent producers to the Springs a couple weeks ago to scope our city's story, and it looks like they will return to finish what they started.

City Council President Pro Tem Jan Martin says the producers interviewed her. They seemed interested in the Springs because city coffers fell fast during the recession — due to the city depending largely on volatile sales tax revenues — and because the Springs has taken an interesting path to recovery. Namely, outsourcing and private-public partnerships.

Martin notes that the producers had already interviewed outsourcing-enthusiasts Chuck Fowler, Sean Paige and Mayor Steve Bach by the time they talked with her. Martin says she has a comparatively "measured approach." She notes that privatization and outsourcing often work well in the short-term, but can cost more in the long-term.

”[I] really want to try to portray the city in a good light, but also offer an alternative to what’s happening here," she says.

No word yet on when the 60 Minutes piece might air.

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