We are very concerned about the platform these City Council members ran on for elected office and now the agenda's that they are presenting. Not one of them in office presented an agenda to CHANGE THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT PREVIOUSLY VOTED FOR AND APPROVED BY THE CITIZIEN'S OF THIS CITY! We heard to pro's and con's prior to making our decisions and voting, we did not walk blindly into this governmental change!
Prior to the change we the Citizens could not vote out or recall a City Manager it took a 5-4 vote to fire the City Manager from City Council and that never happened! We now have the right to perform those options if the Mayor and his Staff are out of line with the publics desire. We do not need the City Council to protect us from the Executive branch we can and will take care of that on our own! City Council needs to legislate not mandate!
Colorado Springs Utilities committed to mitigation of floodwater on Fountain Creek in 2009 as part of its conditions when it obtained a 1041 land-use permit from Pueblo County for Southern Delivery System. - See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/special/water/195…
Colorado Commits to Kids claims that funds raised from Amendment 66, also known as the billion dollar tax increase, would not go to backfilling PERA’s 23.5 billion black hole. Too bad for them that supporter Gov. John Hickenlooper has put that notion to rest. The truth is that once the billion dollar tax increase funds hit school districts, the money is fungible.
WatchDogWire exclusively reported Hick’s comments. Listen below for yourself. You know, just in case you needed another reason to vote against Amendment 66.
Gov. Hickenlooper: Anything else? What else?
Sharf: OK, so a question about the PERA. So, you had said that it can’t be used to backfill PERA, which is certainly true at the state level.
Gov. Hickenlooper: Yep
Sharf: Well, once the money gets to the districts…now, under SB1, which was supposed to be the fix for PERA, the districts were supposed to split – there was a lot more money going into PERA, there was some increases, some supplemental payments, that were going to go into PERA.
Gov. Hickenlooper: Right
Sharf: And, the districts were supposed to split that increase with the employees, with the unions.
Gov. Hickenlooper: Yep
Sharf: But with the exception maybe of Adams, they haven’t really. Overwhelmingly…
Gov. Hickenlooper: I’m not sure that that’s right -
Sharf: Well, Greg Smith -
Gov. Hickenlooper: They have not split it, they’ve just swallowed it.
Sharf: Right, that’s what I mean, is that they’ve basically just swallowed it.
Gov. Hickenlooper: Well, if you want to fix that, if that’s what’s happening, then we can’t legislate that. There’s a certain amount of money that goes into the districts, and that is the way our education system is structured. If you want to fix that, put it up on our website, how much of that money the district is spending on PERA. And I guarantee PERA will go down.
Mayor Bach’s 10/16/13 Gazette Editorial: There’s a more sensible approach to stormwater
In response to the Sunday, October 13, op-ed “Stormwater discussions moving to the forefront” by Keith King and Dennis Hisey:
City Council President King and County Commission Chair Hisey suggested that a new tax or fee may be necessary for stormwater control. You should count on them telling us later that is the only choice. They will also likely grow the size of government, and force our city to abdicate its authority over our 73 percent share of the region’s needs.
A prior City Council imposed a Stormwater Enterprise fee on city property owners. Subsequently, voters required the city to disband the enterprise and discontinue the fee. Now, just three years later, it looks like the council and County Commissioners want to raise your taxes. We should not make the same mistake twice. We must get stormwater right this time.
Stormwater is just one of the urgent capital improvements needed in Colorado Springs. We must also invest in deteriorating roads and bridges, fire and police infrastructure and parks. The PPRTA (Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority), PSST (Public Safety Sales Tax) and TOPS (Trails and Open Space) sales taxes help, but not enough. Too many city councils have ignored the mounting backlog of all our capital improvement needs. I cannot, and will not, ignore these urgent needs.
The council and the commissioners have hosted the Regional Stormwater Task Force, which estimated the city’s obligation to be a whopping $500 million — later increased to $687 million. In 2009, experts said we had about $88 million in high priority needs. This disconnect led me to call for a second opinion from an outside expert. CH2M Hill, a global engineering firm with extensive stormwater experience was chosen, and reported just last week that our total stormwater backlog is $152 million less than the latest estimate by the task force.
A more sensible approach to solving the stormwater issue is simply this:
• Form a new regional authority with no staff, to include the city, county and other interested municipalities, enabling the participants to coordinate and collaborate sequencing of projects and joint construction, where possible, for cost savings and symmetry.
• The authority will be overseen by an unpaid board of directors representing the participants with proportional voting based on their share of the county’s population.
• Each participant will bring its own funding and spend it in its jurisdiction. Colorado Springs will continue to help others with “in kind” equipment and staff support, and pay our fair share of projects outside our city where we have some joint responsibility.
• The city’s executive branch will administer the authority as an “in kind” contribution to our neighbors with the city absorbing the cost. This will enable other participants to focus their spending on actual improvements, and not overhead.
• Projects design, construction and maintenance will be outsourced to the private sector with local vendors receiving preference where practical. This will create much-needed new jobs and help jump-start our sluggish economy.
Colorado Springs can fund its priority capital improvements over at least the next half decade — without asking our fellow citizens for a new tax or fee. Here’s how:
• Repurpose $7.9 million in current expense for “SCIP” (Springs Community Improvements Program) bonds soon to be paid off. Add $7 million from internal efficiencies we are achieving. Sell new bonds — without raising taxes and subject to voter approval — providing $175 million available for capital projects.
• Spend $35 million per year ($20M stormwater, $11.5M roads and bridges, $2.5M public safety and $1.0M parks). Separately, dedicate general fund line items for ongoing maintenance.
• The city will detail its improvements to be completed each year in each capital expenditure category, and report quarterly to the community on its progress toward measurable goals.
• Our current debt (excluding leases) is approximately $83 million, and will be reduced to $50 million once the SCIP bonds are retired. New bonding of $190 million will then bring our total encumbrance to $240 million – well below the $400 million Charter debt limit.
• Our outside investment counsel and finance experts advise we can readily amortize the new bonding with payments of $14.9 million per year within a $246 million general fund budget.
After the next half decade, if a growing economy and sales tax plus our continuous efficiency initiatives are not sufficient to provide adequate funding, we can then ask our fellow citizens to dig deeper into their pockets — but not until we have exhausted all reasonable efforts to deploy existing cash flows.
As your mayor, and as your city government, we owe that to you.
City Council yesterday you effectively drove a stake into the heart of the City Attorney's office! Council members when you have two attorney's rendering an opinion (one to Council and one to the Executive branch) do we then have to sue each other in Court for a decision on that opinion from the Judge, what will that cost the taxpayers, just asking?
Carla you are right we are soul's not sole, blame modern technology for checking our spelling as we are writing and my not proof reading before sending!
Germany's aggressive and reckless expansion of wind and solar power has come with a hefty price tag for consumers, and the costs often fall disproportionately on the poor. Government advisors are calling for a completely new start.
Please read this latest article
You can download the complete article over the Internet at the following
Not a sole is against solar, what they are against is subsidized solar! For over thirty years we have subsidized the solar programs from the Federal level on down and YES that is our money from the FEDS! If you want solar, then pay for it in full as an investor, place it on your house, business or buy it from a solar garden and reap the benefits from the investment that you made if there is one from KW not purchased from the local Not-for-Profit Citizen owned utility. Everyone points to the AFA and their new solar array that is saving them from PURCHASING KW from CSU, we are not rebating them money from our local utility for installing and maintaining this array, big difference! If the solar gardens (as a business) want to sell the KW produced then do it at the local cost to produce a KW hour from our local power plants using coal or natural gas. The cost of solar is going down daily and we challenge the industry to as true entrepreneurs, make your product competitive, find the private investors/banks borrow the money and build your business and the industry, the Future is Calling!
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