I only try to clear up the misconceptions created by your assertions. I am proud of that change and my part in it. I believe it has and will reap benefits for the City.
Not that "overwhelming" given the nearly $1 million spent by the prime beneficiary (benefit-reaping continues every day) of the change convincing the public in not so honest terms. That's almost $3 per registered voter spent to get a 59-41 vote with 54% turnout. For that amount of money along with frustration that streetlights got turned off and park grass died, it should have been a landslide. Jill Stein could be the next president if she had $3 per registered voter to spend.
Discussion of the Strong Mayor issue always seems to strike a nerve with you, Kevin. Look, I know you're very interested in clearing your culpability for being the facilitator, if not the architect, of a change that has ushered a heretofore unseen level of cronyism in Colorado Springs, but in the end, it doesn't matter. This is what we have until somebody has as much money to: 1) pay a guy like you to facilitate its undoing as you were paid and 2) spend a million more to expose the reality of what has happened to the electorate. Probably not going to happen, especially considering the direct impact to the bottom line of the beneficiary of the current system. I suspect every dollar spent to undo it would be matched 3 to one. Even with that massive expenditure, keeping the current system would still be a good investment for those who pushed the change.
Regarding the Title Board...the hierarchy was MUCH different in 2010. It would have taken a City Manager firing the members of the Title Board and HIS job was under the scrutiny of nine elected officials--not all of whom were elected with hundreds of thousands by the same proponent and beneficiary of the change.
Also--I'm sure you remember, Kevin--the City manager had resigned in March of 2010 and was replaced by interim, Steve Cox. The Strong Mayor issue was submitted to the Title Board in May and two of the three members (not like the three out of three in the current system) were under Cox. This is the same Cox who would later serve in a large city-paid salary position, in addition to drawing his full retirement salary and severance, as one of the first strong mayor's Chiefs of Staff. It sounds like the twisted tales of the Clinton Foundation.
The case now, under the change you orchestrated, is that there are absolutely no checks and balances whatsoever. One mayor--elected with half a million of the same sources of money--who need only say the word and all three members of the Title Board could be terminated. The only additional setup required--also deliberately orchestrated--was to intentionally spend the additional cash to get a hothead in as the first strong mayor. He then clearly illustrated to anyone who doubted how it would work--that firings of anyone except the auditor and the Utilities CEO can take place without any oversight or scrutiny whatsoever. [Your boss from back then is still trying to change the utilities part.]
Mr. Miller, At the time it was proposed, the Council Mayor proposal had to face the same scrutiny by the Title Board constituted with the same ex officio membership as it is today. The Title Board members were appointed by the City Council and they were hardly friends of the proposal; a majority were against the proposal in the end. The then City Attorney and City Clerk reported to the City Manager who was going to lose their job if the measure was passed so it was hardly a friendly gauntlet to run. We prepared for the possibility that it would be turned down. It was deemed sufficiently single subject - the executive of the City was changed from the City Manager to a popularly elected Mayor. That simple idea did necessitate numerous places in the charter for written changes but still a single subject. And in the end, it was the voters who overwhelmingly supported the change.
SD 20's ballot item is NOT a mill levy INCREASE! It is a debt increase, but the mill levy rate STAYS THE SAME.
Nospincs get your facts straight !!!! I'm fact section 8 recipients have to go through stringent background and criminal checks. Not everyone on section 8 are bad people. Like under any circumstances there are good and bad people everywhere. It is not because they have a section 8 voucher you moron.
A great book on this subject can be found here: https://amzn.com/0998088005
Jim - The time is now to begin discussions to close the Incline and Barr Trail because of people like you. Perhaps a trail fee of $10 per person per day or more would maybe cover most of the millions it costs. This so called trade is the worst real estate deal ever for the citizens! It provides zero money for the millions it costs. Even if the trade goes through, without a trail fee, the Incline is doomed. We can call it the Jim Davies fee. What is your solution Jim other than freeloading off the citizens?
And saying "It's not about Strawberry Fields" is naive at best, dishonest at worst. Dropping the retroactivity would get the measure on the ballot, but it's all about Strawberry Fields, so that won't happen. Why May 1st? Because it's all about Strawberry Fields.
Calling this process "secret" is laughable. There were over 20 public meetings over a period of four months before the council voted.
You know it's been 9 years since this took place. AND I'll still stand here and defend A.J. to my last breath. it was out of character for him to do this. It was a bullshit thing to do and he ruined several peoples life's with his actions but that's not who A.J. was. I grew up in abusive household and I would go to school with black eyes and one time with a broken nose crying and on the verge of killing myself to get out of that situation. A.J. saw that he held me close and I cried in his shoulder he proceded to skip class to make sure I didn't go and do anything stupid. that's just one example of how A.J. WAS a big brother type to spine of us. I will never stand up for what he did that day. But this article is infuriating. I can't believe you wold stoOP so low in your journalistic endeavors as to insult a teenager who was clearly going through some very twisted shit. Also to anyone trying to paint Michael Fischer and JeRemy as saints you should see the messages thru were sending A.J. about how they were going to "gangbang his bitch" and other such nonsense that further egged on the situation.
The presentation to council on the ballot initiative has now been moved to Monday, November 21, 1pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.
So one wonders if taking the Title Board rejection to the court will raise the question above and/or out-of-reach of the corruption .... or not?
Need Justin back on drugs..new album blows
Dear chas - who thinks quotes from a person's reflection is poor writing;
The fact that the council is mostly old and almost always white is correct which means it is not ageism or racism. Something tells me that you are some where right now complaining about a PC culture ruining 'Merica.
It would be nice to see some of our younger small business owners get on council.
The G also doesn't the word disclosure.
As in the G should disclose their relationship with the people paid to run the Trump and Darryl Glenn's campaign.
Have you read the 'Strong Mayor" Charter-change ballot measure? It had about 20 subjects. When members of the Colorado Springs Cabal want something on the ballot and prepare to spend hundreds of thousands to get people to vote for it, like the strong mayor issue that Nor'wood leadership spent $800k+ to get passed, the title board will ALWAYS approve it. If the same cabal doesn't want it, it won't pass, like the charter change to require a vote for public money spent on a stadium.
Furthermore, it is an inherent conflict of interest that all three members of the Title Board report to the same individual, thanks to the "strong mayor" Charter change. The "strong mayor" can fire all three of them without cause and without concurrence of City Council. In this case, the mayor made personal phone calls to each member of Council urging them to vote for the swap, making it clear that he wanted this deal done and each member of the Title Board was certainly aware of that fact.
It is unsettled law whether or not the Title Board is even allowed to serve as an additional wicket to an initiated ballot measure, but we all go along with it. If the mayor, elected with a huge influx of money from the same special interests who want or don't want something to happen in Colorado Springs, the appearance certainly exists that the right to petition your government is infringed because of the conflict of interest in him/her being able to fire the Title Board.
Here is a run-down of a few ballot measures that passed/failed the title board:
--PASSED. Requiring a vote of citizens before public money could be spent to even consider a convention center. Of course, the back story on that is that the Broadmoor DID NOT WANT competition from the public sector for business that might otherwise use their facility, so they pushed for this effort. A backroom deal was struck between the Broadmoor side of this issue and the Nor'wood side of the issue and both agreed not to spend huge money fighting/or promoting. In the unintentional balance struck by this deal, citizens actually voted on the issue as they saw it on the ballot--not based on lies and deception broadcast with huge sums of cash.
--FAILED. Requiring a vote of the citizens before public money could be spent to even consider a stadium. On the first go-around, Anita Miller used the exact same language and it failed 2-1. On reconsideration, she hired an attorney and had to make changes that the Board passed, but only after realizing their bluff would be called. Of course that cost money (that we didn't really have). [Unfortunately we had no money to pay circulators to get the onerous number of required signatures. (that's another story--about how the number is determined). The delay took away a valuable signature-gathering time before the deadline.] So, who didn't want such a limitation on their stadium? Nor'wood who owned the land, will be in charge of the development and squandered city resources trying to ram it down our own throats (and is still trying to do so). Even the Broadmoor backs the stadium, possibly because the Broadmoor's parent owner also owns "AEG" who does stadiums.
--PASSED. "Council-Mayor" government in the City Charter. This involved extensive and multiple changes. Somehow the Title Board saw to place title on it as "single subject." Who wanted it? Who paid LOTS of money to get it passed?
It's unfortunate, but true...citizens have little to NO control of their own government from the local level all the way up. That could change if only the large majority of voting citizens would have some skepticism of what they read in the newspaper (owned by the same company that owns the Broadmoor and AEG). I certainly don't argue that the First Amendment guarantees the right of anyone to own a newspaper and publish what they want--it would just be nice if people had a way to see through the deception and advertising published in all sections of the Gazette and see the truth...and took the time to do so.
Longinos Gonzalez is the much better candidate in Commissioner District 4 race. He is an AF veteran, teacher, and also a successful small businessman. He would bring much needed diversity to local leadership that we keep asking for, has been involved locally and spoken on behalf of poor neighborhoods, at-risk kids, and on veterans issues. And he is a political outsider, having pulled off a surprise, upset victory in his primary.
As a volunteer Coach and Mentor in my third year at The First Tee of the Pikes Peak Region, I have had the pleasure of seeing a metamorphosis (if you will) in the attitudes and critical thing of our kids as they embrace the Core Values. I am honored to be a part of this adventure in cultivating our youth.
Did I say tomorrow? ... I meant Monday.
It cannot be said any better than was stated by Clara McKenna just yesterday in the comment section of the Indy article entitled "Battle over Strawberry Fields continues in court and, maybe, at the ballot box."
"It's not about Strawberry Fields, if it ever was. It's about a perceived attempt at an end run around the public interest."
The land in question belongs to the citizens of Colorado Springs.The city forfeited any right it ever had to act in our stead the moment the Parks Department commenced dealing IN SECRET with the Broadmoor. Had transparency been applied from the outset we would not be standing in council chambers tomorrow hoping to avert a $300,000 expense for our citizens. City Council missed the boat the first time. With any luck they will not make the same mistake twice. Now is the time for Colorado Springs government to catch on to the concept which first and irrevocably entered the minds and hearts of all Americans more than 150 years ago ....
"Of the people, by the people and for the people."
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