Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Colorado Springs Forward has wide reach

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:35 AM

Steve Bach, mayor from 2011 to 2015, and his dysfunctional relationship with City Council inspired the formation of Colorado Springs Forward. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Steve Bach, mayor from 2011 to 2015, and his dysfunctional relationship with City Council inspired the formation of Colorado Springs Forward.
In this week's Independent, we report extensively on Colorado Springs Forward, a business nonprofit formed in 2014 to engage in local politics after some leaders became disenchanted with then-Mayor Steve Bach.

In addition to the main story in which we delve into the group's purpose and detractors' opinions, the package also includes information about CSF's political donations, the rules of the organization and its diversity, or lack thereof.

Taken together, the information demonstrates the network of people of influence that's at work via CSF.

In addition to all that, it's worth noting that CSF was the only funder of the "vote yes" committee formed to support ballot measure 2D last year, which sought and won voter approval to spend excess revenue on trails. The "vote yes" effort was run from the Trails and Open Space Coalition's headquarters, according to campaign finance records. TOSC earlier this year endorsed the city's land swap with The Broadmoor in which the city traded away 189-acre Strawberry Fields open space to the resort, which plans to build a stable and picnic pavilion there, while opening the balance of the land to citizens.

The Broadmoor's chairman Steve Bartolin is a member of the CSF board, which also vigorously urged support of the land swap.

The swap is being challenged in court by Save Cheyenne on two fronts — whether it was legal in the first place after voters approved the purchase of the open space in 1885 but weren't allowed to vote on the trade, and whether the city's Title Review Board lawfully omitted a provision in a proposed ballot measure mounted by Save Cheyenne that would have required voter approval of all trades or sales of park land, including Strawberry Fields.


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