Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mayor's mouthpiece hired by Lamborn, and other news

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Bach: wants the public involved.
  • Bach: wants the public involved.
City spokesman Jarred Rego is leaving the city to work for U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, but he's not going far. He'll stay in Colorado Springs to handle the duties of director of communications, a slot being vacated by Catherine Mortensen, which we report in more detail in tomorrow's edition.

Rego didn't know if he'll also take on press secretary duties for the Lamborn campaign, as did Mortensen, while also serving as communications director.

In other city media news, John Martin, former reporter for the FOX-affiliated KXRM-TV, had microphone in hand during today's regular monthly mayor's news conference, but he wasn't there representing the TV station. Rather, he was moving about the room to amplify questions being asked by media after Mayor Steve Bach and others made formal remarks about a range of subjects.

Martin used to interview Bach monthly for FOX 21. He tells us he left the station a few months ago. It wasn't a layoff, and Martin was coy about why he departed. In any event, he'll probably be applying for the full-time PR job, he says, that city Director of Communications Cindy Aubrey says will be posted tomorrow. For now, Martin is working for the city under a temporary arrangement through Add Staff.

During the news briefing, Bach promised a "thorough" community conversation about his City for Champions proposal that seeks $120.5 million in state sales tax rebates. (The total package tops $200 million for an Air Force Academy visitors center, UCCS sports medicine center, downtown Olympic museum and downtown events center.)

"Once we receive the state grant, we have up to five years to begin construction on these projects," Bach said, adding that means the city has plenty of time to get feedback from citizens and craft a package about which everyone can be enthusiastic.
Martin: Temping at the city. - COURTESY FOX21
  • Courtesy Fox21
  • Martin: Temping at the city.

Bach also, once again, pledged not to use general fund money for debt incurred for the projects without voter approval. Note he said "general fund." The Southwest Urban Renewal Authority, though, could borrow money and repay it without using general fund money. Rather the authority would be paid with sales and property taxes collected in the vicinity in question, namely the area southwest of Cascade and Colorado avenues where a good portion of the property is owned by Nor'wood (i.e., David Jenkins and his son Chris, who financed the mayor-council governance change in 2010, which brought Bach to office).

Bach also hinted that the "governance" for the City for Champions venues be similar to the non-profit, appointed board that governs the foundation created to dole out proceeds from the lease of Memorial Hospital. Members, who are not paid, are nominated by the mayor and appointed appointed by a majority vote of City Council.

Bach said he plans to meet in December with El Paso County Commission Chair Dennis Hisey, Council President Keith King and mayors of surrounding towns to discuss how to launch an outreach to the public.

Chief of Staff Laura Neumann gave an update on the city's spending of $21 million this year on stormwater projects, which includes city-owned Colorado Springs Utilities, and gave a sales pitch for the opening of ice skating at Acacia Park. Here's the city's release on that:
click to enlarge Join the fun with ice skating in Acacia Park starting Friday. - MICHAEL STEVENS
  • Michael Stevens
  • Join the fun with ice skating in Acacia Park starting Friday.

Downtown Colorado Springs is pleased to announce the return of ice skating to Acacia Park for the holiday season. 

A 4,675 square-foot, real-ice rink will be located along the west side of Acacia Park, and will be open 7 days a week from November 23, 2013 to January 5, 2014. The rink is a collaborative effort between the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Services and Downtown Colorado Springs. A VIP event will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 22 to officially kick off the Skate in the Park season.

“We’re so pleased to bring ice skating back to downtown,” said Karen Palus, Director of Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Services for the City of Colorado Springs. “This year we have built a much larger rink with REAL ICE so you can enjoy our fabulous views and weather. Downtown is the place to be with your family and friends this holiday season.”

Our Holiday Tree Lighting is back on Saturday, November 30, coinciding with Small Business Saturday to encourage the support of the many small, locally-owned downtown businesses. The event will include:

• 1:00 - 5:30 p.m. - Live music performances by Andy Clifton & Co., the Children's Chorale, and the Original Dickens Carolers
• 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. - Pictures with Santa
• 5:30 p.m. - Tree Lighting
• Food trucks and beverage vendors
• Specials at numerous downtown stores and restaurants
• FREE meter parking all day

Live music, food vendors and Santa are scheduled throughout the skating season. Military Mondays, sponsored by Classic Homes, and College Tuesdays provide discounts on admission with a valid military or student ID. Other fun promotions including costume skate sessions and a date night are also scheduled. The rink is also available for corporate skating events.

“So many people have memories of ice skating during the holidays,” said Susan Edmondson, President of Downtown Partnership. “Ice skating, music, hot chocolate, shopping, and Santa - it’s a great way to spend an afternoon with the family and create new holiday traditions!”

Admission is $5 per skater Monday–Thursday, and $6 per skater Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Skaters may bring their own skates, or rent stakes for $3. Children 4 and under are FREE with a paid admission.

For a full schedule of hours, musical performances, visits from Santa and more, please visit www.DowntownCS.com/skate.


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