Colorado Springs is headed in the wrong direction, and when it comes to solving community problems, it’s religious organizations that local residents trust to come up with solutions, according to results from the 2010 Community Survey, released Thursday.
“The community has grown, but our sophistication in managing public business has not grown as equally,” Chuck Fowler said in a panel discussion after the survey results were announced during a luncheon at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Fowler is chairman of the new City Committee, a local volunteer group studying how to apply business principles to city operations.
The survey results were compiled from the responses of 500 El Paso County residents who participated in a March phone survey. The margin of error is 4 percent.
The survey found:
• 88 percent rated the community’s quality of life as good or excellent. That’s down slightly from another survey in 2006.
• 40 percent said the community is headed in the wrong direction. That compares to 25 percent in 2006 and 21 percent in 2002.
• Economic problems and jobs are the community’s most important issues, according to 31 percent of respondents. In 2006, the top issue was uncontrolled growth.
• When asked whom they trust to address community issues, 27 percent of respondents cited religious organizations.
• 43 percent said they have a somewhat or very unfavorable impression of the Colorado Springs City Council. Of the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, 26 percent had such an impression.
In the panel discussion, Fowler noted that Colorado Springs has grown from a “charming, small, wonderful community” to a large metropolitan area with complex issues.
Another panelist, Randy Scott, described local churches and religious organizations as a community asset.
He noted that church members have provided support to Fort Carson spouses during deployments, helped homeless people find jobs and housing and are running a local community center that was threatened with closure because of city budget cuts.
Scott is director of Front Range Executive Service Corps, which provides consulting services to local nonprofit organizations.
The first Community Survey was completed in 2002, with additional surveys in 2004 and 2006. The 2010 survey was a joint project of Cheyenne Mountain Civic Solutions and Leadership Pikes Peak, funded by the Woodford Community Leadership Fund.