Sunday, April 13, 2014

Firefighters won't take stand on C4C

Posted By on Sun, Apr 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

click to enlarge Firefighters: We'll skip the City for Champions debate. - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Firefighters: We'll skip the City for Champions debate.
Firefighters are one of the most influential voting blocs in Colorado Springs. They helped elect Sallie Clark to City Council, for example, in 2000 after she took up the cause to stop the closure of Station 5 Station 3 on the city's west side.

But you won't see the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 5 taking a stance on City for Champions.

After city economic vitality official Bob Cope presented the $250-million tourism project to firefighters, the membership voted this week not to endorse it or oppose it.

"Our membership chose to not get involved with the City for Champions proposal," writes Local 5 President Jeremy Kroto in an e-mail response to an Indy question. "In considering the issue, our Executive Board did invite Mayor [Steve] Bach to present the issue. Mayor Bach sent Bob Cope as his delegate to make the presentation 2 weeks ago. That said, our members chose to prioritize our focus on issues directly impacting firefighters."

Kroto goes on to say:
Our organization has long history of involvement with politics at a local, state and federal level. However, despite several requests, I can't think of a time in my 11 years on the eBoard where membership chose to get involved in an issue not directly involving firefighters or any issue outside of our jurisdiction. We believe it a sound practice to gather information and make informed recommendations to our members, and consideration regarding City for Champions fits within that practice. In short, weighing an issue getting this much attention is business as usual, with the outcome being equally consistent with our normal practice.
City for Champions is a venture that proposes to build four tourist venues with $120.5 million in state sales tax rebates, donations, program revenue and local tax money. The venues are a downtown sports stadium, downtown Olympic museum and hall of fame, sports medicine center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a new visitors center at the Air Force Academy.

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