Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content LETTERS: Gazette's grades for city government

Letters Published: February 21, 2014

We didn't question, we believed

Keith King is the consummate curmudgeon.

I am embarrassed to have voted for him, but like The Gazette, I felt his experience and support of Mayor Bach and the strong mayor form of government would serve him well. What an about-face. Now if Mayor Bach says green, King says red. He has mired the council in a power struggle that has left us without direction. His obsession with internal process has negated movement forward for our city in critical areas. City for Champions is a case in point. When you put together a group of visionaries such as Jenkins, Price, Celeste, and Cope to name only a few, when funding is available from public and private sectors and the county favors moving forward but King puts on the brakes, it simply breaks the hearts of those of us that for years have labored to enhance the vibrancy of our wonderful city. If you build it they will come, was the theme for my husband Bill Tutt and a group of civic leaders who in 1977 went off to Wisconsin and a USOC meeting to virtually steal the USOC headquarters and the accompanying NGB's for Colorado Springs. With private funds and local volunteerism, we opened the first Olympic Training Center, hosted three National Sports Festivals and welcomed countless national athletic events to our city. The City Council wholeheartedly supported those efforts, we managed to pass an act of Congress - we didn't question, we believed and in believing put our city on the map - dateline Colorado Springs appears worldwide. Its value is immeasurable.

In the 1950s, Thayer Tutt and a group of Colorado leaders convinced the powers that be to build the Air Force Academy on the city's far north boundary. With pride, we host the state's most visited venue. With pride we could be moving forward on similar projects were it not for a City Council more concerned with internal fighting than having the vision to embrace and champion a future that state and county leaders endorse. Shame on you, Keith King and council members; listen to your constituency, look back and see how we managed to be the home of the USOC, the Air Force Academy and a growing state university system; have the faith and tenacity to take risks that involve major rewards.

Frankie Tutt, Colorado Springs

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It's all about the power

The Gazette gave Mayor Steve Bach an A for doing all he could to circumvent the will of the voters and restricting adult access to legal marijuana. Of course, as long as it's "for the good of the children" that makes it all OK right? Meanwhile, you can't drive two blocks without seeing a liquor store, and they rarely are without a slew of customers.

It's time the voters woke up and realized that both the political left and the right are doing all they can to grab and hold power, and that is all that matters.

James West, Widefield

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Report card guesses weren't far off

My guess was: Bach A, King C, Miller F. And I wasn't far off.

And I don't know any of these people. But I do know the right-leaning bias of The Gazette and its support of absurd proposals such as moving the Sky Sox Stadium or a new AFA visitors center Like improving and renovating downtown, holding merchants responsible for cleaning their dirty storefronts and sidewalks, for more parking and less begging.

Very little is being written or said about these issues or the idea of a new summit house atop Pikes Peak in lieu of a new AFA visitors center. We already have one, it's big, beautiful, and exactly where it ought to be. What if we wouldn't have a City Council that listens to the people - that hears the people and bucks the mayor, downtown interests, and The Gazette? We would have wool pulled over our eyes every day. Thank God for Keith King, Joel Miller, Andy Pico, and the others. My rating: Bach D, City Council A. And The Gazette - largely smear.

Will Klaus, Monument

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Stop trying to compete with Denver

After I read the article on the "what if's" on the City for Champions proposed project and did a bit of homework, it seems to me that Colorado Springs has a lot more in common with Fresno and Reno, which had similar projects fizzle on them, than with the success-story cities of Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha. Denver and Oklahoma City are large state capitals surrounded by good-sized metro areas; Omaha shares a metro area with Council Bluffs, Iowa, and hence has a good-sized population base to draw on. Fresno, on the other hand, is about 25 percent larger than the Springs but is surrounded by small farming communities. Its main draw is being the northern gateway to Sequoia National Park. And Reno shares a suburban area with Carson City but has no real metro area; it has neighboring Lake Tahoe to bring in outside visitors, but not much else. Both cities, like us, have Mountain West Conference college football teams but no major-league baseball or other big-draw pro sports. We have a city population of about 400,000-plus, a few small suburban communities, and then the expanse of a prairie devoted to ranching and the rugged mountains to the west. Neither of these environments is capable of contributing much of a population base that would support this sort of project. And our local airport is hardly an attraction for tourists who might come in from outside; they're more likely to fly into Denver and stay in Denver, with a possible side trip down here to see Pikes Peak or the Air Force Academy.

My take on all this is that we should stop trying to compete with Denver and concentrate on being what we are: a pleasant mid-size city with a nice climate and strikingly beautiful surroundings. We need to do all we can to attract stable businesses that will bring in good, year-round jobs; and we also need to use the resources that we have to repair and maintain our infrastructure, which is crumbling in some of the residential areas of the city, including in some developments that are less than 30 years old.

Depending on tourist dollars, notoriously unreliable in a slow economy, isn't our best option for making the necessary improvements. Let's set aside the grandiose ideas and be the best that we can be within our limitations.

Doris Stanford, Colorado Springs

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