Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Colorado Springs council endorses ballot measure investing in D-11

October 25, 2017 Updated: October 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm
0
Caption +
Colorado Springs School District 11 employee Jeff Palmer delivers yard signs in the Patty Jewett neighborhood Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, encouraging voters to pass the ballot issue 3E mill levy override in November. Palmer and other employees volunteered after school to deliver signs and visit voters door-to-door. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

A $42 million mill levy override for Colorado Springs School District 11 has one more group backing it.

The Colorado Springs City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution in support of the measure, which appears on El Paso County's Nov. 7 ballot as Issue 3E.

The issue would cost homeowners about $3.75 a month per $100,000 of property value and would pay for school maintenance, higher salaries and more employees, among other things. Councilman Bill Murray said he was proud to lead the supporting charge.

Issue 3E should be a considered an investment in the city's central school district, Murray said, and would help ensure the city's students are well-prepared and "taught by the best and brightest educators."

Councilwoman Yolanda Avila "wholeheartedly" chimed in with her support. D-11 is the city's most diverse district, where students of color are "often getting the last and worst of what's offered," she said.

Opponents of 3E, such as anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce, have called the issue a "blank check" for the district.

But Councilman Tom Strand, a former D-11 school board member, argues that the mill levy override is a far cry from a blank check. The district takes measures above and beyond what is required to ensure accountability in its spending, he said.

D-11 voters last approved a property tax increase in November 2000, the year many incoming high school seniors were born, campaign leaders point out.

The money would enable the district to reduce class size, upgrade safety and security, repair and renovate schools, increase pay for teachers and support staff, and add counselors, nurses and social workers.

Councilmen Don Knight and Andy Pico voted against the resolution in support of 3E. Pico said it was inappropriate for the council to weigh in on other political issues.

Also Tuesday, the council unanimously approved rate cuts for Colorado Springs Utilities customers. The lower rates begin Nov. 1 and will reduce the typical residences' electric bills by 1.1 percent and gas bills by 4.8 percent. Typical commercial properties will see a 1.6 percent cut in electric bills and a 6.5 percent decrease on gas each month. The typical industrial property will see a 2.9 percent decrease in electric bills and a 6.7 percent decrease for gas.

The savings might be short-lived, however. Next month. the council will vote on a set of rate increases that would take effect Jan. 1.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.