Time to play Santa 

Between the Lines

Suddenly we've come to that time of year when people wonder what kind of presents might be coming their way.

In my previous life, it was an annual ritual to take advantage of my physical size, pretend to be Santa Claus, and pass out "gifts" to various recipients. It was all about sports in those days, but now we can include the rest of Colorado Springs. So let's see what Santa has in his bag for ...

Mayor Lionel Rivera: A good campaign manager, because he'll need it while running for county commissioner amid the ongoing legal battles of his former financial client Ray Marshall. And some Grecian Formula to keep the gray away.

Colorado Springs City Council: Nothing much, just a few months (OK, a few weeks ... or days) without so many damaging stories and headlines. And a large handful of capable, energized candidates to step in for the mass turnover that's coming in the next 18 months.

Sallie Clark, county commissioner with an eye on a bigger prize: The chance to become Republican Scott McInnis' running mate in the 2010 governor race. Then again, who's the lieutenant governor now?

John Owens, just retired as KKTV's sports guru: Happy trails away from the camera and the late nights, after nearly three decades. And hey, John, just send your Grecian Formula to the mayor, now that you won't need it anymore.

Tom Gallagher, city councilor and self-styled ornery person: A crystal ball to see what his next challenge should be. Perhaps the state Legislature? Replacing Rivera as mayor? But wait, what if Clark leaves as county commissioner? That's the best-paying gig, and Gallagher's already in the right district.

State Rep. Michael Merrifield: Best of luck in his final year with the Legislature, running concurrently with his quest to become El Paso County's first Democratic commissioner since ... when?

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn: An extreme makeover, especially the hair, and an unexpected challenger in the Republican primary. (Bentley Rayburn's still around, isn't he?)

Local bus riders: Some kind of compassion (I know, that's a dirty word in this town) and restoration of reasonable transit service for those who really do need the buses to live normal lives.

Douglas Bruce, community destroyer: A large lump of coal and a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

U.S. Olympic Committee: Plenty of medals at the Winter Olympics, a smooth move into the new Olympic House downtown, and a CEO who understands the need to mend fences with the people of Colorado Springs.

Pam Shockley-Zalabak, UCCS chancellor: A roadmap to negotiate the treacherous future of state funding, and a long-range plan for making men's and women's basketball more prominent in the new UCCS Events Center.

El Paso County Democrats: Perseverance, with a few more victories in 2010 and several strong-willed people to pursue spots on City Council.

El Paso County Republicans: An arbitrator to help the local party through its contested primary for those much-coveted, well-paid county offices, and new hope for the alienated Old Guard.

City Councilor Jan Martin: More opportunities to establish herself as a city leader, and a second chance with voters who never understood her honorable motive for proposing Measure 2C.

Pete Lee, aiming to replace Merrifield in the Legislature: A careful but aggressive strategy going into the November election, because he'll have a Republican opponent with a lot of backing.

State Rep. Dennis Apuan: A second term in the Legislature, and a thick skin to endure all the ridiculous attacks leveled against him by Republicans.

Ted Haggard, reborn evangelist: Perhaps another HBO documentary to show America how well he's doing in his comeback.

Senate Majority Leader John Morse: All he needs is a few brighter economic forecasts to lessen the need for more extreme state budget cuts.

Darryl Glenn, destined to become a county commissioner: Gee, Darryl, you're already getting everything you want, starting with no GOP opposition.

City Manager Penny Culbreth-Graft: A buyer for her home in California, and a year without having to lay off more city employees, or herself.

And finally, we can't forget our rival, the Gazette: New ownership that changes the personality and editorial stance, which would be a riot to watch.



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