Spot on. Great story. I was born and raised in this city and could recognize and agree with every single point. It's time this city council got some balls. Let's hope for the best with this new set up.
I think an interesting graphic would be that which you've described...
"Imagine how the city center would look if the regional headquarter buildings on the Interstate 25 corridor north of town had been built downtown; or, if the Colorado Springs World Arena and Sky Sox Stadium were downtown, instead of the south edge or halfway to Kansas."
I think citizens would be shocked to see what it would look like. I might just make that a homework assignment (fun with Photoshop).
I also had to chuckle at the bit about Palmer. If only he knew that one of the city's most historically-significant intersections (Platte and Nevada where his iconic statue stands), there exists as dilapidated gas station and the prestigious Carl's Jr. (home of the $6.00 burger). If only those who designed the statue would have had Palmer pointing at the Carl's Jr, talk about a crystal ball. Oh and only if Palmer knew that the third hotel of his they would build (the Antlers) would completely turn its back on his park and train station and instead, embrace a surface parking lot. Oh and only if Palmer knew that... I can go on, and on and on.
I think the heart of the issue is the perception of downtown and (whether we like it or not) "building things" or revitalization tends to be a catalyst for change. And yes, the city should be tasked to do this, in particular the leader of the city, lack of vision has gotten us this far.
Wow you nailed it John, I agree with everything you said 100%! I grew up in Greenville S.C. and you are right, the slum of a downtown that city used to have has been completely erased with a vibrant and attractive city center. It took around 20 years, but it happened and Greenville really is a good template for COS. You can bet that we live in a neglected city and it will take solid leadership and vision to make it the best it can be. I would be tickled to see the same outcome in Greenville for COS. Here are some of the ideas I would like to see: Bring the SkySox to Downtown! Kill Banning Lewis and the boondoggle that is SDS! Increase support for Trails and Open Space! No more sprawl (did you know the city limits of COS is larger than the City of Los Angeles?)! Make incentives for business to move back to the city center!
Seems to be all about building things. I would question whether construction is really the answer. And do we really think the City of Colorado Springs should be tasked so?
GrowthBusters & SaveTheSprings
I think most of the voters of Colorado Springs would agree with you John. These concerns have been voiced to the Mayor and city council . . . but have fallen on deaf ears.
Our next Mayor has be to an exceptional Leader!
He has to have vision, passion, be a great decision maker, a good team builder and most important be a man of character.
Just to clarify..the "Beltway" is a geographic area that comprises all the land inside I-495. To say that we're all having big parties at taxpayer expense is pretty comical. Perhaps you should get your rhetoric in order. My guess is what you are really talking about is Federal elected officials?? I live in PG county and we have a high unemployment rate and a serious foreclosure problem. There are similar situations throughout the "beltway" to varying degrees, especially in historically black neighborhoods. While it's true that many have found employment in the DC area, the majority of those folks have college degrees. In fact, we have a very high rate of advanced degrees per capita "inside the beltway". If you look at national statistics, people with college or advanced degrees aren't suffering nearly as much as those with high school or lower education. My guess is you are one of those with a Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D. I'm also guessing that you're doing alright yourself in that you have enough time and disposable income to start a Website with no apparent revenue stream (Pot meet Kettle). Perhaps I'm wrong and you are one of the millions of unfortunate people (like myself), that are unemployed, but the tone of your piece makes me think that you really just want to capitalize on the anger so many have with their representatives in DC. By the way..where did you come up with your figure on average "compensation and benefits" (redundant) for Federal workers of $123,049? You don't site a source. Off hand I can think of about 25 people I know whom work for the Feds (admittedly a small sample size). Not single one is even close to 6 figures. Oh, and one more thing about actual residents of the District of Columbia, they pay federal taxes, just like everyone else (-Guam and Puerto Rico), but unlike everyone else, they have no representation in Congress. There is one Delegate to the House, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was just stripped of her vote on the committee of the whole by the incoming Republican leadership.
Great article and on a topic that most don't think about when considering growth. A resource for you or others who read this at: http://www.strongtowns.org/
The blog section is extremely useful.
I was born in this hospital as were two of my children. This is a wonderful organization that does great things for our community. Why? The reason why is because it is citizen owned. And because we own it we insist that this organization provide the best services possible. I do not want to leave our hospital services up to a board of directors and a CEO that are not directly representing us - the citizens. Sadly, non-profits have a reputation for abuse, for not being accountable, and for good old boy systems. Leave the hospital ownership alone and focus on making improvements as Mr. Barela suggests. His idea has some validity. By the way, healthcare aside, what experience does this current CEO and his staff have managing a non-profit? If the hospital is changed over to a non-profit we need to insist that seasoned non-profit executives are recruited for the senior staff positions.
“Quite often these public input/assessment processes are designed to feign an objective assessment with the true intent of pursuing preconceived intentions.” ON THE NOSE! CEO McEvoy and the rest of the council know very well what their intentions were and are just going through the motions. These officials pat us on the head, tell us what we think we want to hear, than act. Well, somebody with a little common sense has uncovered your true intentions. We will be paying attention!!
It is about time someone is using some creativity and common sense. Hopefully, the Commission and Council read this article. Our so called leaders are too lazy and lack the vision necessary to be able to implement this type of an approach. Keep this in mind when we vote in ou next strong Mayor.
Apparently, professor Duland hasn't had an original thought since he left the classroom. Comparing conservatives to Nazis...wow, can we bring the political debate into the 21st century? At least in Florida, politicians in the last election moved on to comparing conservatives to the Taliban.
That said, the comparision between 2010 America and 1930's Germany is a huge stretch. Germany was humiliated and traumatized by their loss in World War I, including 1.7 million killed and 4.2 million wounded (out of 11 million mobilized). Their economy was decimated. Germany was ripe to be taken advantage of by evil people.
On the other hand, the US is the world's leading economic, military and political power. We've recovered our national pride after the 9/11 attacks. Our economy is weakened, but we're not rolling wheelbarrows full of cash to Albertsons to buy bread. In an historic perspective, the US political scene has survived multiple conservative movements in Dr Durland's lifetime including those led by Eisenhaur, Nixon, Reagan, Gingrich, and G.W. Bush. None have resulted in an American Kristalnacht.
Can we have some fresh political viewpoints in the Indy, please?
On Thanksgiving 2001, I resided in Portland OR. Then Attorney General Ashcroft was requiring local jurisdictions employ ethnic profiling in the frantic hunt for terrorists. The City of Portland, however, had a law that prohibited use of discriminatory methods in its policing activities.
I remember very clearly how angry others at that Thanksgiving dinner were about the failure of Portland police to comply with John Ashcroft's orders. After all national security was at stake! Folks at the meal argued vehemently, if you have nothing to hide, such profiling shouldn't bother you.
Although I was a guest at this dinner, I felt compelled to speak up. I simply said that I would not be so quick to surrender my civil liberties. Naturally my concerns were shot down as inconsequential.
Not much since that Thanksgiving has altered my view that we as a nation are headed in a terrible direction.
Thank you for publishing this insightful piece.
I feel growth is good in case of economic development and urban growth. It helps people to live better and comfortable life.
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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.
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