Published: February 26, 2014
Coincidentally in today's news
In today's news: The Colorado Springs City Council is proposing to give the CEO of the city-owned utilities company a $171,000 pay raise to put him at almost half a million dollars a year salary. This because he isn't making nearly the high salary that CEOs of similar utility companies are making across the nation (where the cost of living is five times what it is here in Colorado Springs) and that he might leave if we didn't pay him well.
In other news: Colorado Springs Utilities has asked the City Council to approve a 3 percent rate hike on all utilities customers because they are losing money. Hmmmmmm . .
Marion Tyler, Colorado Springs
Give City Council three nos
I think it's time for the taxpayers to stand up and tell the City Council no on shutting down the power plant in Colorado Springs, no to a rate hike and no to a Jerry Forte raise. Let us tell them if they do agree to either of the three issues above then we need to ask that council member to leave now. We need to get rid of Jan Martin and Jerry Forte. Leave now to all that vote to allow the power plant to be shut down or a rate hike on utilities and no raise to Forte and no more raises to Forte in the future.
Doug Evans, Colorado Springs
Waking up to a jarring picture
Driving home last night, I hit two really big potholes on Garden of the Gods that really jarred my car. Then I wake up this morning to read the city wants to raise the Utilities CEO's salary nearly $200,000! Maybe he can fix the potholes with that "extra" cash he didn't earn.
What is wrong with this picture? Need I say more?
Ellen Booth, Colorado Springs
Evaluate the costs of Forte leaving
The proposed raise for CEO Jerry Forte does not make any logical sense.
As reported in The Gazette, the raise is to keep Forte for two more years and avoid a possible CEO replacement cost of $600,000. Is he really retiring in just two years? And why would CSU look outside for a "hired gun" at $600,000?
If CSU needs to look outside for the next CEO, then Forte has failed at part of his job. Every CEO's mission should be to develop his/her replacement. If Forte has failed at this, he should not be rewarded with an extravagant raise and bonus.
Colorado Springs was known for the cheapest natural gas in the area, only Rock Springs, Wyo., had it for less. Similarly, our electrical costs were very low. In the 1980s, I installed $97,000 worth of high-pressure sodium lights in my greenhouses in Colorado Springs rather than in Lafayette, based on the lesser cost of power from Colorado Springs Utilities. That was $30,000 of off-peak power annually.
Our water costs have gone up with the Southern Delivery System, but the jury is out on whether the expansion is a good or bad; I'm predicting that it will turn out well.
If Forte is desirable, and I am not sure that he is, a good board of directors would evaluate the risk of him leaving prematurely versus the cost of a salary increase. If Forte has two to seven years of utility CEO career left, would he be willing to tear up his life and relocate for such a short time? Would another utility pay the premium to get him for such a short time? It is a risk worth taking.
Tim Haley, Colorado Springs
Sick and tired of high salaries
I would like to see a limit set for salaries of all city employees. Mayor Steve Bach has been an advocate of high salaries ever since he took office. The taxpayers should pass an act similar to the Doug Bruce proposal that put a limit on taxes. As a taxpayer, I am sick and tired of reading of the high salaries and bonuses paid to city workers in all areas. We need to fire Jerry Forte if he is not willing to stay on at his present salary, which is already too high. It is not what others pay. It is what someone else would be willing to take over the job for at a lesser salary. Please flood the mayor's office and City Council with your wishes to place a limit on city salaries. Doug Bruce, please come to our aid!
Donald G. Worley, Colorado Springs
Making an unselfish offer
I will be happy to do the job of CEO, Colorado Springs Utilities for only $200,000.
I believe my unselfish offer will save our city substantial funds. I await an answer. A 50 percent pay raise for our present CEO?
Has our City Council been sampling the recreational marijuana?
Mike Minnillo, Colorado Springs