I can see both sides but I'm leaning towards no strong mayor. Politics can be corrupt. A city manager should be hired based on capabilities, not political affiliation. If C Springs was a big company that I had invested in, I would pick a CEO to run it rather than the most popular person.
Ending the TANF emergency contingency fund, potentially losing the expanded EITC and expanded Child Tax credit, child care assistance waiting lists,combined with slow job growth that is likely to reabsorb only those recently unemployed....challenges compound.
I understand some of Jan and Scott’s concerns with #300 but here are a few points in their letter that I feel were improperly communicated or left out.
1. Initiative #300 does not eliminate City Council. City Council will still have the authority to approve measures that are submitted by the mayor’s office. I feel that the letter makes the reader feel that Initiative #300 proposes some type of coup.
2. Having a strong mayor will not solve any specific challenges initially. For me, it’s all about the bigger picture and finally linking the cities strategy with the budget. For the past ten years the city has tried to launch many strategic initiatives, ie. Dream City 2020 and Operation 6035, yet has had very little success. The Mayor Project is about creating a strong and accountable foundation for Colorado Springs to grow on.
With a strong mayor, the big money dudes only have to buy one person; the strong mayor item is designed to make it easier for developers to get whatever they want. Don't fall for the rhetoric these usual suspects are putting forth, this is NOT in our best interests. Until we get rid of TABOR our problems will never go away.
The complete lack of Full-Time leadership from Council has lead to this Propsal. The comments that nothing can be done about "For example, whether discussing retirement benefits, changing suppliers, or continuing certain operations, many national, state and local laws tie our hands and greatly inhibit our ability to do things that we routinely and easily do in the private sector. This would not change with a strong-mayor government." is wrong, programs can be changed and bought out or we honor commitments up to today and change the programs for the future.
Jan Martin wanted to raise property taxes to just stop the bleeding last year and the Citizens said no! This City has had 5 City Managers with two assistants (500,000.00 in salaries) in the last ten years, ask yourself why? Was it because Councils direction of their emloyee (the City Manager) was less than adequate or was it the Golden Parachutes that we the taxpayers supplied in their employment contract areed to by COUNCIL!
Don't be afraid of change to the City Charter, we need a full time responsible individual that is capable of leading us into the future!
The thought of someone like Lionel Rivera having all that power terrifies me.
"They told us if we worked hard in school, got into a good college and graduated, the world would be our oyster."
I don't know of anyone that ever made that claim. It should have been more along the lines of if you "worked hard in school, got into a good college and graduated", you would increase your opportunities to be able to make something of your life.
The geezerette's editorials have been nothing more than shock journalism aimed at getting as many "hits" as possible. this helps their online advertisers, i suppose, but make the newspaper resemble a rag found at supermarket counters. eye catching headlines and ideas based on shallow, although locally popular, thinking is not appropriate for a daily paper for a "city" that has grown as large as ours.
This picture just cracks me up. Is he hoping for a mysterious, dangerous, and (dare I say?) glamorous look? It looks more like he went to "Glamour Shots" to have it taken!
Nice piece, Pam.
Strong Mayer? A Visionary? Code for liberals and people who pick up a city paycheck and want a bigger one, they will march a series of these little socialists through the office, each doing a little more damage than the last one, until we all have to "pay up" for the "hope and change" they want to inflict upon us.
Lou Smit was always professional and true to himself. He always did what he believed was right and never was concerned about what was popular. He was a rock for so many victims' families and never gave up on a case. He believed that when he entered the great beyond and encountered a victim he represented, the greatest honor would be for them to say, "Well done, friend, well done."
I knew Lou and he was quite the man. Great sense of humor, tenacity, and empathy for his victims. A wonderful husband, father, and grandpa. And most of all...a wonderful human being. Rest in peace, my friend.
That was an excellent article on Lou Smit. Lou was my cousin, partner and best friend. He was a man of integrity. For the person who thinks he was off on the Ramsey and unprofessional I can tell you this. He was absolutely right about the Ramsey case and because he was professional he would not continue to pursue an innocent man. Kenneth Bayens CSPD Commander Ret.
He really blew it on the Ramsey case. Very unprofessional. But my sympathy to his family.
Wonderful piece on Smit!!! Thank you for taking the time to share more about this wonderful, brilliant man.
The new Tobacco Prohibition
I would like to take the time to tell the entire community about a falsehood so big that everyone who believes in freedom should be appauled.
This falsehood is so big it resonates from historical fact forward to this day. This falsehood is so big billions of dollars have been spent to make it believable to those of us who dont take the time to look up the facts.
We all remember reading about alcohol prohibition,but did you know there was also tobacco prohibition going on before alcohol became such a target of the last nanny staters.
Our great grandparents lived thru prohibition and the great depression,they also lived thru tobacco prohibition.
Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.
1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. "Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10).
1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.
1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer says.
1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do."
1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.
1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.This one you can google.
Now onto the falsehood......
We have been told for years by smoke free advocates that second hand smoke is the cause of everything from johnnys ear ache to cousin ED'S lung cancer. But wheres the proof!!!
Remember they claim 50,000 deaths a year yet,there are no bodys not even mass graves of the dead to second hand smoke.We await the names of these victims.
A simple stroll down historys road say 10 years or so and we start to get at the truth......
A federal Judge by the name of osteen got a case dropped in his lap in North Carolina,the case was that of EPA'S study on second hand smoke/environmental tobacco smoke.The judge an anti-tobbaco judge by reputation spent 4 years going thru the study and interviewing scientists at EPA and came to the conclusion :
''EPA's 1992 conclusions are not supported by reliable scientific evidence. The report has been largely discredited and, in 1998, was legally vacated by a federal judge.Before its 1992 report, EPA had always used epidemiology's gold standard CI of 95 percent to measure statistical significance. But because the U.S. studies chosen[cherry picked] for the report were not statistically significant within a 95 percent CI, for the first time in its history EPA changed the rules and used a 90 percent CI, which doubled the chance of being wrong.
This allowed it to report a statistically significant 19 percent increase [a 1.19rr] of lung cancer cases in the nonsmoking spouses of smokers over those cases found in nonsmoking spouses of nonsmokers. Even though the RR was only 1.19--an amount far short of what is normally required to demonstrate correlation or causality--the agency concluded this was proof SHS increased the risk of U.S. nonsmokers developing lung cancer by 19 percent.''
The EPA fought to have Osteen's decision overturned on technical grounds, ignoring the multitude of facts in the decision. They succeeded in 2002 on the narrowest of technicalities. The fourth circuit court of appeals ruled that because the report was not an official policy document Osteen's court did not have jurisdiction. In their appeal the EPA did not answer a single criticism in the 92 page report, nor challenge a single fact put forth by Judge Osteen. Not one.
Although the anti-smoker movement was already established, this report was used, and continues to be used, to bolster their claim that SHS is a killer.
So here we find that second hand smoke was made a political scapegoat by EPA.Lets not forget how EPA has reworked the global warming studys just this last summer. Where its top scientists paper was rebuked because it didnt carry the EPA'S stand that global warming was real.
The political shenanigans surrounding SHS/ETS go deep not only with the government and its health agencies but also to the big pharmaceutical companies and non-profit orginizations aka ACS,ALA,AHA and a meriad of others. All lobbying for smoking bans and their weapon of choise Propaganda paid for by big pharma and tax dollars. Studys made to order that second hand smoke is deadly. Take a memory note here too,over 250 studys on shs/ets have found it safe.
Yet a simple look at the chemistry shows us that its:
About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it qickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.
4 % is carbon monoxide.
6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms......
(1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).
Now, how odd that when we search the smoke free activists sites not one of them mentions that water vapor and air are the main components of second hand smoke. Is this just a fluke or an outright omission to further their political healthscare against the general public.
The last informative tid bit I have for you is what does OSHA have to say about all this secondhand smoke stuff.
Here is where it gets interesting,it seems John Banzhaf, founder and president of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) decided to sue OSHA to make a rule on shs/ets not that OSHA didnt want to play ball with him,its just that the scientific facts didnt back up a rule to start with.
Now for a rule to happen Osha has to send out for comments for a period of time and boy did the comments fly in, over 40,000 of them....Osha has whats called PEL'S and limits for an 8 hour period of exposure to chemicals in indoor environments...[epa is in charge of outdoor air]some smoke free groups have tried to use 30 minute air samples using epa monitoring to create a air borne healthscare.
The actual standard to use is OSHA'S
The EPA standard is to be used for OUTSIDE ambient air quality and it is the average over a period of 3 years.
The proper standard to compare to is the OSHA standard for indoor air quality for respirable particulate (not otherwise specified) for nuisance dusts and smoke. That standard is 5000 ug/m3 on a time-weighted average (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) and is intended to be protective of health over an average working life of 30 years!
This is where second hand smoke really becomes a joke,remember its nearly 90% water vapor and air.....now lets get to the facts of toxicology and dose makes the poison:
According to independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke........
They did the figures for what it takes to meet all of OSHA'S minimum PEL'S on shs/ets.......Did it ever set the debate on fire.
They concluded that:
All this is in a small sealed room 9x20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.
For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes
"For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes
"Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.
Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.
"For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes
For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time
The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.
So,OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :
Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded." -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997
WHAT! DILUTED BELOW PERMISSABLE LEVELS
By the way ASH dropped their lawsuit because OSHA was going to make a rule and that rule would have been weak and been the law of the land,meaning no smoking bans would ever have been enacted anywhere,simply because an open window or a ventilation system would have covered the rule.
Let me also tell you that the relative risk for shs/ets by the SG report of 2006 was a 1.19 ''EPA study is whats used to call it a carcinogen''......milks is a 2.43 and that glass of chlorinated water your about to drink is a 1.25 yet these things aren't determined to be a carcinogen....The gold standard in epidemiology is a 3.0....Now had the SURGEON GENERAL included 2 other shs/ets studys the relative risk for disease from shs/ets would have been nearer a.60-.70 meaning it would have a protective effect against ever getting disease.
But,what each of us has is years and years of exposure and the knowledge that our kids all grew up around shs and generations of others,yet we are here alive not dead from a lousy 30 minute exposure to shs as stanton glantz tries to claim.....thats another story and its just as crazy as all the rest of smokefree's claim about shs/ets.
Oh! have you heard the one about ''laugh'' thirdhand smoke or third hand drinking.
Like I said their claims border beyond that of any reasonable persons commomsence.
The next time you see a healthscare claim
consider the source.Especially if it comes from a government or non profit agency!
I appreciate your response. It is thoughtful. While metaphor is useful in an intellectual dialogue it is not useful as a vulgarity used to describe a person or a group of people. As we know even facts are sometimes fluid, but as a society and a culture we need to come to some agreement on a set of facts and values that are a framework for a dialogue. If we don't do this we will not have a society but a multicultural environment. But even a multicultural environment is feasible if we accept that we don't use metaphor (or slander) as a legitimate means of public discourse.
My concern with "fact" is in fact the same as yours, however, if one chooses to use the term in a letter as a statement, as in "it's a fact that Obama isn't a citizen", then it no longer becomes an editorial comment it is a statement. We agree that there is proper usage of letters and punctuation in order to communicate. Random letters and spaces are not communication and as a corellary random metaphors and facts are not thoughts. If the issue were freedom of expression then those letters that assert fiction as fact should be in the Arts and Entertainment section of the paper. Just as a painting that depicts an event isn't used as news coverage. I know the analogy isn't perfect but I don't believe we need to have perfection to have civil dialogue.
Ignorance is not a right. It is however a fact of life, silencing truely ignorant people is no more a problem than training a dog to stop barking. Noise is simply meaningless sound.
I contend still, that editors are correcting and formatting letters for organization and comprehension. If I had sent in a letter with random words and spaces it would not have been published. The moderator of these discussions need to use prudence and intelligence to ensure that the dialogue in this valued public forum does not degenerate to name calling and fact creation.
The Department of Justice (you know, Eric Holder...the guy that floats a boat to sue the state of Arizona for enforcing laws the department of justice will not) can rot in hell.
The leaders of strong mayor movements are typically the money power brokers that will gain financially with the change. They can raise a considerable amount of money that the every-day citizen cannot raise. Stand up for quality government.
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