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El Paso County GOP brings gives business leaders time with local mayors

November 24, 2015 Updated: November 24, 2015 at 9:00 pm
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Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers hinted at major business deals brewing behind the scenes for the airport and in the cybersecurity field Tuesday at an El Paso County Republican Party event for area business leaders.

Suthers was one of four mayors on a panel who took questions and listened to the comments and concerns of business leaders.

Mayors Gabriel Ortega from Fountain, Lorrie Worthey from Green Mountain Falls and Rafael Dominguez from Monument all gave their thoughts on the business climates in their communities and what municipalities could do to help business.

Suthers said a new cybersecurity company is looking at Colorado Springs, and he hopes the city can capitalize on its military presence to build on the thriving cybersecurity industry in the region.

All four mayors said they work together whenever possible and emphasized it's important to collaborate because they operate in the same space.

"We're close and yet far apart," Dominguez said. "We do compete for the same employers."

He joked that Ortega was able to steal a Walmart from Colorado Springs and land it in Fountain.

"Just to be clear, we didn't steal Walmart ... We stole Sam's (Club)," Ortega responded.

Suthers said he tries not to get caught up with boundaries.

"Tourists don't come to Colorado Springs, they come to the Pikes Peak Region," he said. "Three lanes from Monument to Denver, we'd all benefit from that."

Worthey said the reality is that most of her residents are commuters employed outside of the small community of Green Mountain Falls.

"I think the Waldo Canyon fire showed that we are all a community together," she said.

The mayors addressed everything from marijuana policy, water law, a proposed methadone clinic in Monument and business personal property taxes.

Business owners, when given the chance, expressed frustration over municipal licensing and permitting processes and the complicated city sales tax payment process.

The meeting was one of the new Very Important Business series started by the El Paso County Republican Party. The intent is to get business owners time with elected officials to help improve the economy.

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Contact Megan Schrader: 286-0644

Twitter @CapitolSchrader

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