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Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Citizens have responded often their preference would be an 'Independent Board" But would not the voters turn down a measure creating an 'Independent Board' if the appointments were to be made by the mayor and or a combination of the mayor and council?

If I am not mistaken, the 'five year moratorium' on further council discussion on the matter can be shelved by the next council - - driving special interest group desire to 'stack council' in the next election.

Working to totally block Colorado Springs Forward candidates from getting elected might be the most effective means to hopefully gains four years with a stable council focused on overall community needs.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rick Wehner on 09/16/2016 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Council can't stop the effort. Having a referred measure may have been stopped, but initiated measure effort is still available and will likely be used. The investment in getting a governance change will likely reap great benefits for whoever purchases the change.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joel C. Miller on 09/16/2016 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Make it beer. I'm coming! Not a 'Banana Meeting' - chili pepper meeting.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Rick Wehner on 09/16/2016 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Mr. Miller, Council has, as I understand it, stopped efforts on governance changes at CSU. I do not and have not ever worked for CSF and am not working on any changes at CSU. Out of that business, though still a concerned citizen like you. If you want to get a cup of coffee and catch up, happy to sit down some time.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Walker on 09/16/2016 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

The buck stops...absolutely right, Kevin. No accountability. Contracting solely at the strong mayor's discretion with no oversight, city attorney completely as an instrument of the strong mayor, a powerless and impotent City Council only acting at the request of the Mayor's staff and the Mayor's financiers. The buck does definitely stop. The only thing you didn't get in 2011 was Utilities, but I'm sure you and CSF are working that one hard right now....even as Utilities will fund the philanthropic and altruistic projects of your clients. At that point we ought to just put a name change for the City on the ballot as well.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joel C. Miller on 09/16/2016 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Everyone sees these things through their own lens and filters. I did get paid, a lot less than my regular job paid. So take that as you may. The money spent for PR is a fraction of what I have personally seen that company give to more easily identified local philanthropic efforts. But I understand why some see less than altruistic motivations; I did not then nor do I see them now. And now we have a Mayor where the "buck stops" and we will be better off for it. That's why I invested my time and energy.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Walker on 09/16/2016 at 1:11 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Regional Building takes second look at questionable deal

Cockroaches scurrying...

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Joel C. Miller on 09/16/2016 at 1:04 PM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Kevin Walker...I'm sure that $800K spent on PR (and your consulting services)had nothing to do with those 75K votes. Who spent that money and who is benefiting manyfold?

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joel C. Miller on 09/16/2016 at 12:41 PM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Joel, I know what my motivation was. So straight face it is. There were 75,000 yes votes so I can't vouch for all of them.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Walker on 09/16/2016 at 10:50 AM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Gary, Sign me up for your . As you apparently don't know or want to forget, there is a single purpose rule for most elections, certainly for citizen initiatives. That means changes to the Charter that involved more than just the Manager to Mayor, such as adjusting Council duties and changing Utility Governance, etc., were not allowed. We made this well known and said that more changes are needed so bring them on!

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Walker on 09/16/2016 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Jenkins wants more from Utilities

The city does not have the power advantage. The land in question is being used for a pipeline that will deliver the water that Mr. Jenkins needs to develop Lewis Banning ranch, it mainly benefits him, though we all paid for it, tax payers paid 825 million for a pipeline to serve Mr. Jenkins property, and somehow he feels wronged! Lewis Banning Ranch is in a flood plain and will require around a billion dollars in infrastructure to make it safe for development, this is why it has not been developed yet. The Colorado courts recently ruled that Mr. Jenkins is responsible for paying those costs, unless city council changes its incorporation status, in which case the tax payers will pay the billion dollars instead. Any guess how that's going to go down? The developer cartels own the mayor and city council; so,its not the city with the power advantage. The land was likely not worth 2 million, but,
$320,000 in attorneys goes along way to getting your way.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by hippyhelper on 09/16/2016 at 9:05 AM

Re: “Case file paints picture of a "neighborhood watchman" killing in self-defense

The moment Jesse leaned in through the window of Rogers vehicle and (presumably) tried to grab Rogers gun he made it a self defense act on Rogers part. Rogers is not legally obligated to leave an area just because someone he is in conflict with is there. Why didn't Jesse leave when he saw the gun? Maybe Jack Rogers is getting away with murder, but Jesse Garcia made it easy for him.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Richard M. Shirley on 09/16/2016 at 7:19 AM

Re: “Why City Council might have snubbed the Open Meetings Law

Kevin: The reason for the "strong mayor" was power not necessarily holding elected officials accountable.
What happened with the change from manager to elected mayor was a complete bastardization of the city charter, our constitution.
How did this happen? Simple. When a group of individuals, not familiar with the nuances of city charters, decided to change the charter they forgot that the charter is intertwined. Pulling out the manager portion and replacing it with the mayor's portion did not change the charter's effect in the rest of the sections.
In other words, were the council's duties changed to reflect the change? No they weren't. Council's duties remain the same with the same authority as before the mayor portion was added.
How do we know this? Per the charter, each change made to the charter must be voted on by the citizens of the community. There was only one change voted on-manager to mayor and nothing else. If the appropriate changes to the charter were made there would have been at least 3-5 changes requiring a vote.
As for the segment of the population that wants to sell CSU, the charter changes required will need to be made before a sale can be completed which will relieve the city and council of their responsibilities. Notice, I didn't say mayor because the mayor does not have oversight of CSU. The charter was never changed.
As of now, the city charter, our constitution, is not worth the paper it's printed on. It will take 2-3 years to clean it up and the most difficult task will be educating the public. Staffing a charter review committee with members of CSF, the RBA, HBA, will only make matters worse. We need citizens from all sectors of the community to take 2-3 years out of their lives to do the grunt work required to make the city charter whole. Do we have any volunteers?

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gary Casimir on 09/15/2016 at 8:52 PM

Re: “Two ways Strawberry Fields swap has been forgotten already

Here is the text of the Wall Street Journal article. I've omitted the accompanying photos.
We are indebted to Mr. Carlton and the Wall Street Journal for recognizing the importance of The Broadmoor Land Swap/Strawberry Fields in the context of rapidly mounting nationwide concern over the privatization of public lands. This issue will not go away.

"COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—A new conservation battleground is emerging in crowded cities, where proposals to convert municipal parkland to other uses have provoked public furor.
Here at the base of the Rocky Mountains, a citizens group in August filed a suit to overturn a deal approved by the city in May to trade 190 acres of historic North Cheyenne Cañon Park to a private resort controlled by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz. As part of the deal, the city gets access to land in more remote terrain.
“This should not become a theme park for the rich,” Sue Spengler, a nearby resident, said as she surveyed a pine-fringed meadow in the park known as Strawberry Hill.

Officials of the The Broadmoor resort said the park is used by few people, and said the opposition was motivated by neighbors who largely want to keep Strawberry Hill for their own use, such as for walking dogs. “The group that is opposed to this is small in number but loud in voice,” said Jack Damioli, president and chief executive officer.
Municipal parks have long faced threats from new roads and other infrastructure development, but conservationists say cities are under added pressure to sell or trade them because of population growth on limited land.
Of 54 cities responding to a survey earlier this year by the Trust for Public Land, a conservation advocacy group, 14, including Dallas, Phoenix and Detroit, reported they were facing the loss of parkland; 18 said they had lost a total of 688 acres over the past five years.
Officials of the Trust for Public Land said there has also been an increase in organized opposition to park transfers fueled by social media.
“In the past, you would have one park defender with one voice,” said Adrian Benepe, former New York City parks commissioner and a director of Trust for Public Land. “Now because of the internet that defender potentially has a huge voice.”
In Memphis, Tenn., a grass-roots movement sprang up in 2014 to oppose a decades-old practice of the city allowing the Memphis Zoo to use a stretch of grass in Overton Park as a parking lot.
The group organized protests over Facebook , including a standoff last March when some lovers of the 110-year-old park held their arms out to police to be arrested. In July, the city council voted to restrict parking there, prompting cheers from residents packed into the meeting.
In Tulsa, Okla., residents are trying to overturn a sale by a city public trust of nine acres of 67-acre Helmerich Park to a real-estate developer. That part of the park, on a bank of the Arkansas River, is slated for a shopping center and was sold by the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority trust for $1.5 million in August last year.
Officials of the authority said that part of the park, which was first acquired in 1991, was never developed for recreation. But former Mayor Terry Young and a group of other residents who filed suit in state district court in July 2015 to invalidate the deal said the park is held in trust for the public and can’t be sold. The trust countersued in November, asking that a judge affirm its sale.
With the cases pending, opponents of the deal have held protest rallies and peppered local elected officials with emails and calls asking them to reconsider.
“Once you lose open space, you don’t get it back,” said Mr. Young, now 68.
The Colorado Springs issue started in 2014 when city officials approached The Broadmoor over gaining easements to use portions of the resort’s 5,000-acre property to help connect a popular hiking trail that the resort bisects. The resort turned its attention to adjoining Strawberry Hill, after discovering the city might one day open it to downhill bicycle racing and disrupt the solitude for guests, said Mr. Damioli, the resort president.
“We want to keep the land as pristine as possible,” he said.
The two sides agreed to a swap: Strawberry Hill for the resort, in exchange for access to about 500 acres of forest land for the city. The resort agreed to continue allowing public access on all but a nine-acre meadow of Strawberry Hill, where it plans to host barbecues and horseback riding for guests.
“It’s an absolute no-brainer for the city of Colorado Springs,” Mayor John Suthers said in an interview.
Some conservationists support the exchange. “At the end of the day, we end up with more acres of park, open space and more miles of trail,” said Susan Davies, executive director of Trails and Open Space Coalition, a local conservation group.
But some residents reacted with outrage when the city council approved the exchange, saying Strawberry Hill is part of a city park residents in 1885 voted to preserve.
“You’re going to have the wealthy elite having lavish parties in the center, with the plebes looking in from the perimeter,” said Dana Duggan, a media consultant who helped organize opposition to the deal.
Among other concerns by the residents is that much of the property being traded by the resort is far less accessible than Strawberry Hill.
“The bottom line is we get a bunch of junk and we trade a valuable piece of property,” said Michael Chaussee, a local resident and real-estate investor.
City officials declined to comment on the litigation."

Write to Jim Carlton at

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by doonya on 09/15/2016 at 5:49 PM

Re: “Big Johnson open space inquiry ordered

If taxpayers are going to fund anything for the reservoir then it should be made for public access. There is not a lake in this area and it would be great for nearby communities to have one close by.

Posted by Paula Beth Ortega Quattlebaum on 09/15/2016 at 5:36 PM

Re: “Big Johnson open space inquiry ordered

Why is the reservoir water level going down so rapidly.

Posted by Paula Beth Ortega Quattlebaum on 09/15/2016 at 5:32 PM

Re: “Jenkins wants more from Utilities

I don't know anything about Mr Jenkins but an offer of just over one hundred thousand for a property found to be worth 2 million shows that the city first tried to use their power advantage to steal this land.

2 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Larry Burke on 09/15/2016 at 2:37 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Regional Building takes second look at questionable deal

So in essence the city would be financing the land portion of the project developed by Norwood and then either co-own the development with Norwood or sell it outright to them. Lots of room for conflict of interest in that arrangement...

14 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Duprey on 09/15/2016 at 2:19 PM

Re: “Panhandling in traffic, congestion in Manitou, mountain bikes in the wilderness, and more

Your opinion does not create truth, and has little connection with reality.
Democrats are largely responsible for passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, (the FIRST bill Obama signed as President)
Democrats have supported the Paycheck Fairness Act. (repeatedly blocked by Republicans)
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, (some call it “Obamacare”) insurance companies can no-longer discriminate against women on account of their gender.
The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has provided over 47 million women with guaranteed access to free preventive services, such as cancer screenings.
Going back to 1994, then Senator Biden shepherded through Congress the Violence Against Women Act…reauthorized with Democratic support in 2013.
A Democratic Administration ended discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for federal contractors.
Democrats urged ratification of the “Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women”, and Obama issued an Executive order: “United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security”.
The current Democratic Candidate has a long, established history of promoting women’s and families’ best interests, going back to 1993 and the
“Family Medical Leave Act”. (and before as first lady of Arkansas)
If there is a political party in America with a better history of promoting the interests of women, you’ll have to show it to me.
I’m of the notion that “Emerge Colorado” is a great idea, as there are far too few women in elected office.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by asawatcher on 09/15/2016 at 11:29 AM

Re: “Two ways Strawberry Fields swap has been forgotten already

Jill Gaebler will have my full support for reelection in April since she was one of three Councilors who had the guts to oppose the illegal land grab of 2016.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jim Bensberg on 09/15/2016 at 9:32 AM

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