"... and does not receive any public funds. It is funded by the fees and charges it collects from building permits, inspections, etc"
Kevin--these ARE public funds. When I need a new hot water heater, I can't put it in without RBD's signoff. If I want to finish my basement, I cannot exercise that property right without paying the government a "fee" for approving the design, signing off on electrical, mechanical and plumbing work. For you to say that is not public funds is laughable. We now also have a statewide "bridge fee" that upped vehicle registrations hundreds of millions in public money. The State House tried to say "hospital fees" charged to the sick public wasn't public money during the last legislative session. A stormwater "fee" charged to every property owner would also be "public funds." Funds charged by the government to do government work is government public funds. If we later call the court system an "enterprise" and have to pay a "fee" when arrested for sitting down on a downtown sidewalk, is that not public money either? Heck let's create a legislative enterprise and charge a "fee" to all people who live under Colorado Laws passed by the State Assembly! Dollars charged to the public for things they must pay is public money.
In a related question: How did that RBD government public money somehow get transferred to your ad hoc PR firm for electioneering on the stormwater issue? And for the subject of this blog post, how can those government-mandated public funds even be contemplated for use in formalized collusion with one of the biggest seekers of RBD approvals? It is beyond fathomable. This whole thing stinks to high heaven.
Prodigal's the Father's arms are open wide...come home. Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Time to pray, trust God and rebuild the walls - as Nehamiah did. And then open up the gates so that the King of glory can come in...Who is this King? The Lord God Almighty battle...come home!
John, Not the City. Regional Building is an enterprise made up of the City, County and the other jurisdictions in El Paso County and does not receive any public funds. It is funded by the fees and charges it collects from building permits, inspections, etc.
Staci6 - I would think that recall petitions would be pulled. Owen, that member is not up for election, interestingly.
The G addressed the stormwater fee question yesterday. At least one council member is ready to move on this issue...now.
After the election, what will be the public response to a likely re-introduction of the stormwater enterprise fee and finding $12-$15 added each month to their utility bill?
"Doesn't seem likely though with elections around the corner."
Reference by local elected officials to the fact that an "issue will not be dealt with until after the election" - - or "Some council members may not want to act on this as elections are coming up" related to different issues.
What is the primary goal:
A) Being in office, or
B) Taking care of the public business while IN office, every year?
Critical needs and decisions need to be made four years out of four. Not three.
IE: the matter of addressing how stormwater will be funded.
Water does not run downhill on election years?
Or funding for adequate numbers of police officers:
"But, Suthers said, "I would be shocked if the City Council had the appetite to do it before the election, and I wouldn't blame 'em."
- - - John, maybe you should!
Rick, a 5 year moratorium can be a 5 minute moratorium if they want it to be. Doesn't seem likely though with elections around the corner. Thankfully Joel, all of these take a vote and while I know you are cynical about the election process, it is still the law of the land. My guess is that an initiated referendum is not likely.
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.
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.
Make it beer. I'm coming! Not a 'Banana Meeting' - chili pepper meeting.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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?
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