City Hall critic and anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce announced Wednesday he’s running for an at-large seat on the Colorado Springs City Council in April.

Bruce, 61, said the city has been operating under an “atmosphere of retaliation” and that he wants to restore an “atmosphere of public service and efficiency” in government.

“I am running because I think if you’re going to be a critic of government, you have a responsibility to provide alternatives, and that’s what I want to do,” he said during a news conference at the City Administration Building after he filed a declaration of candidacy.

(Would you vote for Douglas Bruce for City Council? Vote in poll.)

Bruce, who urged other “fiscal conservatives” to consider running for council to form a majority, said he is vehemently opposed to the 62-mile Southern Delivery System water pipeline.

The billion-dollar-plus pipeline, which has been years in the making, will require the future City Council to approve a series of water rate increases to help pay for it.

“The biggest and most egregious example (of wasteful spending) is the Southern Delivery System,” he said.

“We need to stop the Southern Delivery System, reverse the water rate increases that are going to pay for it,” he said.

Bruce also said he wants to find a way to “undo” the agreement between the city and the U.S. Olympic Committee for a downtown headquarters building and other incentives.

“People are still fuming in the city about the $53 million giveaway to the Olympics Committee to buy their staying here in Colorado Springs. We don’t need to bribe anybody to stay in Colorado Springs,” he said.

“I want to make it a beautiful, attractive, economically vibrant place for people to live and not rely upon government payoffs to certain insiders to beg them to stay here,” he said.

Bruce, who authored a local and statewide Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, is a former El Paso County commissioner and state legislator.

Bruce said the current council doesn’t have “anybody right now who really cares about wasteful city spending,” and he vowed to be the city’s budgetary watchdog if elected.

“I’ve disagreed with practically every financial decision they’ve made in the past decade,” he said of the current City Council.

“I know the city budget. I think I know it better than the current members of the City Council, and I’m not interested in being a rubber stamp for more of the same,” he said. “I think we should cut spending. We can then cut taxes.”

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