Few changes to final maps
City Clerk Sarah Johnson released her final map for City Council districts Tuesday.
The maps — which create six Council districts, instead of four, to accommodate the recent change of city governance — show very few alterations from her preliminary map released in September. That's not likely to please groups who petitioned for greater changes, including the Black/Latino Coalition, the Colorado Springs Diversity Forum, and the Council of Neighbors and Organizations. All groups said Johnson's map unfairly break up neighborhoods and minority communities.
Otherwise, the biggest headline to come out of redistricting is that current Councilors Bernie Herpin and Brandy Williams, barring one of them moving, will have to square off against each other if both want to seek re-election in April.
The clerk's version of maps is not subject to change by City Council or the mayor. — JAS
Locals earn big posts
State lawmakers in the Pikes Peak region landed leadership positions last week, with Democrat John Morse of Colorado Springs being named Senate president. On the Republican side, Bill Cadman of Colorado Springs was named minority leader, while Kevin Grantham of Cañon City will serve as minority whip.
In the House, Republican Mark Waller of Colorado Springs was chosen to serve as minority leader. — PZ
Getting a jump on 2014
Just as one campaign season dies down, a new one begins. Bill Elder, a former El Paso County Sheriff's Office employee now serving as a contract employee for the city of Fountain, is already campaigning for sheriff in the 2014 race.
The position will be open once Sheriff Terry Maketa leaves office in January 2015, due to term limits.
Elder worked at the Sheriff's Office from 1978 to 1998, then went into real estate. In December 2010, he was hired by Fountain under an $80,000, one-year contract to serve as deputy police chief; the contract has been renewed twice since then, he says.
Elder, who filed for the office as a Republican on Oct. 29, already has unveiled a website and nabbed some endorsements, notably from his boss, Fountain Police Chief Todd Evans.
Undersheriff Paula Presley, who's been with the department more than 27 years, said last spring that she would consider running for sheriff, but she says via e-mail that it's premature to discuss her political future. — PZ
Peak ski plan endures
The Boulder Daily Camera is reporting that a plan to bring a ski resort to the west side of Pikes Peak is still alive, albeit barely.
After five years of effort, John C. Ball, a Boulder County telecommunications executive and founder of The Resort at Pikes Peak LLC, still wants to build the resort, but there are two main complications. The first is funding, since investors have been scarce in a bad economy. The second is related to the 2012 death of Harvey T. Carter, the climbing legend who agreed to see the resort built on his 320 acres on the west side of the peak.
In 2010, state securities regulators came after Ball, who hadn't kept up on payments on the land, and hadn't been as up-front with potential investors as the state deemed necessary. But more problems have followed Carter's death in March. Carter's son has sued Ball, saying that Carter was rendered incompetent by pain pills for his terminal cancer when he signed over the land. Add onto those woes Carter's unpaid lenders, who have sought foreclosure of the property; the LLC has declared bankruptcy to avoid losing the asset. — JAS
AFA dean to retire
A controversial Air Force Academy leader has announced she'll retire next summer.
Brig. Gen. Dana Born has served as dean of faculty since October 2004, when she was appointed amid the AFA's sexual assault scandal. Since then, Born has been a lightning rod for criticism. She helped sponsor an ad in the academy's newspaper promoting Christianity and was accused of ordering a faculty member to launch a "COIN," or counter-insurgency, against the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Born denied the latter.
In 2011, she was found negligent in an Inspector General's investigation for misrepresenting faculty credentials and violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice by failing to obey an order or regulation.
Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould has called Born's retirement "a tremendous loss" and credited her with, among other things, introducing educational programs on drones and cyber warfare. — PZ
Cycling bid: Friday night
The executive committee of the Pikes Peak Cycling Society wants another Stage 5 finish in next year's USA Pro Cycling Challenge, according to committee member Tom Osborne of The Sports Corp.
With the race running Monday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 25, that would be another Friday night event, ideal for surrounding festivities. Osborne says that in the RFP, due Nov. 16, he and fellow committee members will propose another circuit finish as well — meaning laps around the route's end leading up to the finish line. Colorado Springs was the only city to have a circuit finish last year, "and that created a great buzz," he notes. — MS
Compiled by Matthew Schniper, J. Adrian Stanley and Pam Zubeck.
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