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."
Jim Davies, think you started it: "How can Pam Zubeck still get the details of the exchange wrong? Incredible...", and then proceeded to make a case. The Incline is not mentioned on the petition as the opponents are opposed to commercializing historic parkland. If the City wants to take on that behemoth of a liability, they are free to do so. Clearly, the Bmoor is willing to unload it. Who wouldn't be, from a business cost/benefit analysis? It is undevelopable land which brings great liability risk with it and generates no income....actually, all the animals featured in the change.org petition are, in fact, in Strawberry Fields. Just saw a bear munching on tree ivy a few days ago. It is teeming with wildlife -- it is a corridor which abuts National forest and nearby water sources. Don't recall hearing Muscoco being covered in trash, but Strawberry is NOT as was asserted. The appraisals, which I think is what you call assessments, required 4 open records requests to get, and even the Mayor ended up publicly suggesting the Council focus on total acreage as opposed to value. What? Or, how about the fact that one cannot get a bank loan on Restricted Appraisals -- so much for soundness of that methodology. Let's move on and let the people decide. It is our land.
The homeless people take advantage of us taxpayers. All these panhandlers asking for money they need to get a job find a place and get off the streets I've seen it first-hand homeless man can get a job and get off the streets. That's what's wrong with our country now everybody wants to give stuff to poor people or people that didn't work for it. Why do these people think they're entitled if they didn't earn it or work for it. And no we don't need millennials AKA young people on City Council. This city would go hell in a handbag
A64 in CO removed NO CRIMINAL penalties for cannabis from our books and has actually ADDED 2 new class one felonies and some 1,200 PLUS PAGES of NEW POT PROHIBITIONS. Pot cops have a bigger budget (50-80 million) than alcohol enforcers (1.2 million) and the budget for all violent criminals.
All A64 did was change WHO you get your cannabis from--instead of your friend or neighbor finding you pesticide free buds and having a little in their pocket to pay for their pot or their housing, the state licensed monopoly sells you pesticide ridden weed and taxes you 25-45% dependent on where you purchase and the 1%er's profit/control. Your ID and your purchases are recorded and stored in the CBI CRIMINAL database, accessible to the feds and all NSA computers. ALL are STILL in harms way of loss of employment, occupational licenses, child custody, gun rights, housing, banking, ALL assets, insurance, ALL government aid, student loans, organ transplants, and FREEDOM from incarceration. Oh and now you are also in harms way of pesticide on the tree of life....
The same people who brought you 1937 prohibition, Big Business, Big Government and Mass Media, have merely RE-BRANDED reefer madness in 2012-2016 as 'legalization', 'legalization like alcohol', and 'adult use'.....And they WIN the WAR on we the people when people who only read headlines vote yes on this BS. 'Legalization' 2012-2016 is NOT based on science, sanity or compassion any more so than 1937 reefer madness.
There's no point in rehashing all of the dishonest statements that have been made by the opponents. Just as one example, look at the change.org petition: I would wager that every one of the "Strawberry Fields" wildlife pictures on that page could be found somewhere on the internet, and have nothing to do with this parcel. The word "Incline" doesn't appear on the petition, although "Anschutz" appears several times. There's a consistent pattern of overstating the conservation value of Strawberry Fields, and ignoring the totality of what's being swapped - typically, it's stated that it's being traded straight-up for the Muscoco parcel. Conservation easements are worthless, but trail easements on the Incline and Barr are worth their weight in gold. Muscoco is covered in trash, but Strawberry Fields is pristine. etc., etc., etc. And of course, the assessments must be wrong, because you don't like the result. The distortions never end. The ends justifies the means.
The city also asserts the land swap is of "purely local concern,"
..... with media coverage in both the Denver Post (circulation 626,875 daily print) which Mr. Anschutz has already made a bid for ... and was rebuffed .... this time, and the Wall Street Journal (national circulation of 2.3 million!)?
Really? That's laughable.
Jim Davies: The Independent did not erroneously insinuate that apparaisals had been completed by the City in the beginning of the Broadmoor Land Swap. In fact, they clarified that baffling issue which required 4 open records requests to get. The Independent did not take a poll which was taken down when it showed 85% of the city opposed the land swap. Regarding the Incline, the Independent DID question the wisdom of taking on a liability which has cost the City about $5 MILLION dollars over the last 3 years and which has no cost/benefit analysis not to mention an engineering report and which will be an ongoing liability in perpetuity due to the Laws of Physics and Mother Nature. The Independent DID report that the Barr Trail easement was already included in the Crag Land Exchange Act and the Land Swap both. Odd. Surely, you are not opposed to the people having a vote on the fate of their parkland? Denver has had this provision in their City Charter for 61 years...with much more restrictive, general language with no exceptions. Time for Colorado Springs to catch up. Let the people decide.
I'm on the other side of this and support the swap. I'm not writing about that though. I want to say the very idea of Pam Zubeck doing anything but seeking out true facts, and reporting them is unkind and untrue.
The same goes for Richard Skorman. I hope his side loses because I welcome the fire mitigation the swap provides, and the opening of the Chamberlin Trail. But I must attack any idea that claims he has not been open and forthright in stating his position and claims.
Jim Davies: It's one thing to disagree and it's OK to pick nits. My very limited experience with Pam Zubeck and Richard Skorman is that they are anything but dishonest. I also believe that if people feel strongly enough to ante up thousands of dollars to fight a corporation with millions of dollars, they deserve to be heard politely. It's not about Strawberry Fields, if it ever was. It's about a perceived attempt at an end run around the public interest.
I'd suggest if you have data of dishonesty that you make an appointment with Zubeck, Skorman and the Indy publisher and bring it to their attention. Who knows? You may furnish Ms. Zubeck with material for an important story. If they don't run the story, try The Gazette or the Denver Post. It would be newsworthy.
A poorly written, over simplification of a complex problem, racism, ageism and name calling. Well done.
I hope city council does the right thing and refers this for a citizens vote. Colorado Springs citizens voted to buy part of this land over 100 years ago and we should have the same right to vote on it today.
Robert, she describes the Barr Trail portion of the exchange as "trail easements", while it's a transfer of ownership. She also conveniently forgets to mention that the city would get ownership of over a third of the Incline as part of that parcel. I consider this to be deliberate dishonesty in reporting, and is consistent with the way supporters have acted throughout this process - dishonestly.
To bad city officials keep trying to give what makes Colorado Springs so special away! Still can't understand why in the world our mayor and city council would trade away a beautiful open meadow that has been in our park system and that the people of Colorado Springs vote in over 100 years ago. The Broadmoor gets a priceless open meadow and we get some useless land! Oh yea back door deals, our city officials are in the back pocket of a billionaire, and appraised land that doesn't value the land correctly! Now the citizens have to sue the city! More then 70% of the citizens of Colorado Springs are aging a the "land swap"! What a great city government we have here. For the people lol. Merica at its best here.
The City and Trader Mayor John (pronounced - Traitor) are in a mad dash to complete the task of their masters. This matter has shown the "Strong Mayor" to be a puppet of Anschutz. Like a Banana Republic dictatorship, the entire city staff is controlled by the whims of Saddam Suthers.
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