Solving a puzzle

Connect the dots.

Former City Councilwoman Margaret Radford "championed the Southern Delivery System" (SDS) on City Council, said a March 4 Gazette article. Her husband works at the Gazette.

On March 2, a Gazette editorial called the views of anyone who opposes SDS "insane." It mentioned Douglas Bruce and the Reform Team by name as SDS opponents with "insane" views. Douglas Bruce defeated Margaret Radford for county commissioner in 2004.

Margaret Radford took a job March 1 with MWH, a company with a $10 million SDS contract to provide "construction management services." Margaret Radford knows zero about construction management.

MWH says Margaret Radford will assemble "mailers, door hangers, and signage" for over $80,000 a year in SDS money. That's $26,000 more than her previous government job.

The picture is complete. Its messages are: 1. It pays to "carry water" for the Establishment. 2. SDS stinks. 3. We must vote for the Reform Team to end SDS. See reformcityhall.com.

— Andy Colon

Colorado Springs

Who's copying whom?

In your endorsements (cover story, March 10), you make the statement that I use Brian Bahr's positions and platform. Neither Bahr or his managers, the Fisk brothers, have ever produced an original thought between them. Except now we have a cartoon character running for mayor. How much more immature do you want to see?

Only a rank amateur will buy an election; we don't need an amateur in city hall. We have a rank amateur in the White House, and look where that has got us. The truth is, my platform has been specific and light years ahead of any of the candidates. I address an issue and I provide a real solution. This is something Bahr would not have the courage to do. He is more interested in using buzzwords such as managed competition. He does not have a clue in regard to the real outcome of so-called managed competition. Maybe in the future, when he gets some knowledge and experience under his belt, he could qualify for mayor.

You state that I do not have a chance. I think you need to do a little more research. The concern about my health is commendable. However, my health is fine and is not an issue — having pneumonia and having oxygen for a while during the campaign is a non-issue to people with common sense.

Steve Bach and I were the first to make the statement that the city did not have a "revenue problem, it had a spending problem." Others picked up on the statement, then finally Bahr comes out with it. Another example: I had stated that the "mayor or Council could not create a tax-generating job, only tax-consuming jobs." Bahr finally picks that up.

I do not use any phrase or statement that Bahr utters! Never have — never will!

— Mitch Christiansen

Colorado Springs

Munger's the answer

Since I moved to Colorado Springs, two attitudes have been consistent: First, developers, homebuilders and real-estate interests have influenced and controlled the elected officials and policies of Colorado Springs. Second, City Council has been ineffective, controllable (by the above-mentioned), and lacking leadership in making hard decisions.

Now we're electing a strong mayor, and isn't it amazing that the top three big-dollar candidates are a builder, real-estate broker and a past City Councilman? The homebuilder has loaned himself $200,000 (where did that come from?). Some groups want the real-estate broker, with The Broadmoor and El Pomar, representing the elite interests, voting with their questionable contributions. Note: Dave Munger entered the race before the strong mayor model was approved, with no special agenda.

Developers put in $778,000 to get strong mayor passed. Now we have two "developer buddies" with endless pots of money. Are they interested in what they can do for Colorado Springs, or what Colorado Springs can do for them and their big-dollar donors? Note: Munger is committed to what he can do for Colorado Springs!

The same goes for City Council retreads. They did not enter the race until it became a $100,000-a-year job. What are the money candidates going to do with their present jobs, investments, and financial interests? What kind of IOUs will be in their back pockets? Who has the time, knowledge, desire and forward-looking concepts required to take an infant concept and mature it over the next four years? Munger has the time, desire and the background to do that.

Why do you want the development community or Council retreads establishing policy and precedents? We need new! Have you asked yourself: What about Munger? This voter has asked himself these questions, and Munger is where I'm putting my vote.

— Rick Hoover

Colorado Springs

Up close and personal

I was quite disappointed regarding the Indy's assessment of District 3 City Council candidate Lisa Czelatdko. Obviously, you didn't do your homework and got it completely wrong.

Lisa C. is an energetic, intelligent, competent individual who truly has a love and passion for this city. She has worked tirelessly to become knowledgeable regarding the various aspects/workings of this city. She does have a vision to make this great city even better. If she is "myopic" as you have labeled her, it is because she is focusing on her home district and the needs of those citizens.

I'm not surprised the Indy endorsed Mike Merrifield. The Indy traditionally has had a reputation as a fairly liberal publication. Granted, Merrifield does have much more political experience, but does this city need a representative, who in my opinion, just wants a position to serve as a mooring point for their next political endeavor? Or do we want a candidate with a vested interest who genuinely cares about this city?

Lisa Czelatdko is a fresh candidate who is accessible, smart, motivated, and can certainly cut through bureaucracy to get the job done. To quote the Indy, "Council needs experience, but there's room for such a refreshing newcomer." It would be a shame if Colorado Springs passes up Lisa Czelatdko, because currently, she is just what this city needs.

— Tom Czelatdko

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The quote at the end of that letter about "room for a refreshing newcomer" was in the context of our endorsing at-large Council candidate Brandy Williams.

Right connections

Voters in District 3 would be wise to support Michael Merrifield for City Council. He comes with experience, leadership, and vision, given his track record as a state legislator. His knowledge of how government operates would be a huge advantage.

Michael is a collaborator who can bring disparate groups of people together to find solutions to community problems. He has an open-door policy, which gives citizens access to him on any issues. Because of his years in the Legislature, he has connections that will provide opportunities for Colorado Springs city government to pursue new avenues in moving our city forward into the future.

— Mary Ellen McNally

Colorado Springs

Experience counts

As a 53-year resident of Skyway and a former City Council member, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Michael Merrifield for the District 3 seat. With the new "strong mayor" form of government, it is more important than ever that Council members be totally prepared and completely familiar with the legislative process and complexities of municipal governance. Merrifield is uniquely experienced in all those regards, having served four terms in the Colorado Legislature, where he was an innovative and effective leader. His background will be a significant resource for fellow Council members and the new mayor.

District 3 is home to citizens of various political persuasions and points of view. I know that Michael will listen to all and ultimately make the decisions that will best serve our district and the city as a whole. My husband Dick and I urge our friends and neighbors to vote for Merrifield for District 3.

— Judy Noyes

Colorado Springs

Outdoors insider

Council District 3 candidate Michael Merrifield is a proven leader with distinct plans for the breadth of issues facing Colorado Springs. I especially admire his succinct vision for our natural resources, our trails and open space, and cultural activities. Vibrant parks and recreational and cultural activities build community by bringing families together, enhancing our quality of life and attracting economic development, all essential to sustain the city's vitality.

I've spoken repeatedly to the Council and county commissioners on the value of parks and recreation and cultural activities, begging them to build my neighborhood park and water it, maintain fountains, keep community centers and pools open for children, and urging them not to sell county parkland, such as Bear Creek Park. Merrifield recognizes and protects the beauty of our region and values its sustainability.

He is an avid outdoor enthusiast and serves on the board of the Trails and Open Space Coalition. As a state legislator, he sponsored legislation that gave local governments and communities the first opportunity to purchase public lands from the state government. This new law allowed Colorado Springs to purchase and preserve Section 16. As District 3 Council member, Michael has a plan to "capitalize on our outdoor resources to attract investment and be known as a place for culture, for livability, for sustainability and for adventure."

I urge you to visit michaelmerrifield.org, which outlines his entire vision for Colorado Springs, and attend forums. You will undoubtedly see the unparalleled level of commitment he has already proven in our community.

— Kristen R. Downs

Colorado Springs

Perfect timing

You gotta love the Independent! The local publication provides a feature article on Van Jones ("Energy star," cover story, Feb. 24) before speaking to our citizens. Not only could you go and listen to a former "green jobs" adviser — you could buy some "weed" to absorb the full force of the message.

Only in America. Go Independent!

— Gary L. Collins

Colorado Springs

Live and let live

A recent letter from Paul Songy ("Sex offenses," March 3) took an opportunity to slam President Obama, Bill Clinton and homosexuals, all under the pretext of protecting our Constitution.

I'm continually baffled by the perception that the gay community poses such a terrible threat to the rest of us.

Perhaps the writer would like to return to the days when a black individual comprised three-fifths of a person and could not vote.

Hotly debated is whether homosexuality is biologically dictated or a behavioral choice. But the larger point is, why does it matter? I'm quite sure that the thousands (millions?) of people you don't know, who freely choose a partner of their own gender, won't have even the most negligible impact on your life.

You have a right to pursue your own life, complete with a home, a picket fence, a dog, and your 21/2 children. Everyone else's decisions are none of your business.

— Dan Wiencek

Colorado Springs

Romney's problem

I am led to believe that Mitt Romney is building a drive to run for president of the United States. If I am not mistaken, this is the same guy who wants to tell me on many levels what I can and cannot do with my own body.

Back in the day, we would allude to these people as those who could produce a diamond from a lump of coal inserted into their rectum.

What my country doesn't need is another tight-ass.

— Jeff Adams

Colorado Springs

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