2 council members criticize taxpayer-funded PR campaign

July 11, 2011

A taxpayer-funded campaign to promote Colorado Springs as the home of the U.S. Olympic Committee generated harsh criticism Monday from two City Council members.

“I think this exactly exemplifies why people do not trust the government,” said Councilwoman Angela Dougan, the only council member to oppose spending up to $33,000 on a temporary mural and signs touting the city’s relationship with the USOC.

Dougan raised a long list of concerns, including why the city hired greeters to hold signs near the U.S. Women’s Open or the Vladimir Jones advertising and marketing agency to oversee an artist who is painting the mural on the roof of a downtown bulding.

The mural, which was to be finished before the U.S. Women’s Open, has been delayed because of the weather and other complications. In addition, some of the letters in the mural appear out of proportion to each other.

“This little fiasco of the $21,000 for the mural has shown exactly what happens when government isn’t looking at the fiscal dollar,” Dougan said.

Councilwoman Lisa Czelatdko voiced concerns about the appearance of the temporary signs.

She said two billboards donated by Lamar Advertising were “very nicely done” but the temporary signs held by greeters and installed near the entryway signs along Interstate 25 on either side of the city were unsatisfactory.

“With this type of work, I don’t think I want it associated with council, and I definitely don’t want it associated with me,” said Czelatdko, who had advocated for the temporary signs about two months ago. “I don’t want anything coming as an afterthought or poorly done or beneath the caliber that it should be.”

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