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LETTERS: Supporting Black Forest fire chief; city council's decision

By: Letters
February 27, 2014 Updated: February 27, 2014 at 8:50 am
photo - The trees surrounding a detached garage are engulfed with flames in the Black Forest area.  (Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette)
The trees surrounding a detached garage are engulfed with flames in the Black Forest area. (Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette) 

A pretty good result considering

In the past months it seems a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks have crawled out of these woods. They would have fought the 2013 Black Forest fire differently than the professionals did - being the largest fire they've ever fought was in the BBQ - but hey, it's Monday morning and they're the experts.

So now there is a move afoot to replace three fire board members with radicals that will fire the chief and destroy the department.

They're angry. I understand their anger, but that anger is misdirected.

That anger should be directed towards those up wind who did not mitigate their property. Those who allowed "ladder" fuels on their property. Those who said "I am not going to clean up my property or cut my trees." And quite possibility they should blame the face in the mirror.

I support Chief Bob Harvey. Why? Because the firefighters who work for him and those who were on the front line support him. Those who know how to fight fires, support him. Those who haven't got a clue how to fight a fire want him removed. We should not be questioning the chief. It's the sheriff that should be questioned. Two years after the Waldo fire - dead silence. Nine months after the Black Forest fire and all Terry Maketa has done is attack Harvey. Investigation? What investigation? So the BFFD had to do it's own investigation at a considerable expense to us, which has been turned over to the district attorney. Do you expect to hear anything? I don't.

According to the sheriff's original list there are 4,191 homes in Black Forest. Four hundred eighty-eight burned, that means 3,703 didn't. To me that's a pretty good result considering the flames were 200 feet high.

I would like other like minded people to join me to form a group that will support rational candidates for the Black Forest Fire Board. You may contact me at

Chuck Lidderdale, Black Forest


Elections can't come soon enough

Here we go again. It is bad (and sad) enough that our City Council has been focused on everything over the past year but the No. 1 concern of its constituencies - the economy and job creation. Now they feel the need to further increase the burden on all of us with unscheduled rate increases and a proposed remarkable salary increase for the CEO of the Colorado Springs Utilities (and yes this is not a tax increase so we don't get the right to vote on it). At least they took the time (and spent the money) to do a study on this "potential problem." A "potential problem" that myself and most voters probably didn't realize existed! And now of course since they did the study they feel a need to implement its findings.

Is it just me or are others also starting to realize that the next City Council elections cannot come soon enough!

Dick Kalletta, Colorado Springs


Council made sensible solutions

Huzzah! Common sense prevailed at Tuesday's meeting of the Colorado Springs City Council. The council made several decisions that affect all residents of our great city. The first not increasing the CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities salary; and secondly, respecting the will of Colorado Springs voters and not banning simple possession of medical marijuana in buildings owned by the city of Colorado Springs.

As it relates to a temporary utility increase, I believe the decision to be prudent. The Obama administration's EPA, in this strict constructionist's estimation has saddled coal producing and consuming states with an unconstitutional mandate requiring compliance to Clean Air standards that were never intended by the Congress. It is up to us, as Americans, to vote for a sensible president in 2016 that respects the Constitution of the United States of America and those elected to represent us in Congress.

First and foremost, Jerry Forte is a good man and quite the competent executive. This is high praise, coming from me. However, I believe that the processes used by compensation studies are inherently flawed and result in an ever increasing pay to executives. This is an inherent disservice to shareholders in public for-profit companies and public companies where we the people are the stakeholders.

To elaborate my position further, I believe it is important to disclose that I am a staunch conservative that believes in individual liberty, personal responsibility and limited government. First and foremost, elected officials must respect the will of the people and their elected constituencies. I believe that the council collectively listened to their constituents on Tuesday. I strongly support the vision for Colorado Springs advocated by the dissenting minority. They want Colorado Springs to thrive, as do I. All of the councilmembers want a stronger and economically vibrant Colorado Springs. The current council, while controversial at times, cares deeply about the future of our city. Additionally, they largely agree that we must be more business friendly and attractive to young professionals.

As a young professional, I find the council's attitude and common sense approach to governance to be quite refreshing. Collectively, we should be more supportive of our council and when we dissent make them aware. It is only through active engagement that the process can work effectively. These opinions are mine and mine alone.

Rory Carlin, Colorado Springs


Using the Colorado Springs airport

Just curious as to whether you could have one of your reporters ask Mayor Steve Bach why he is insistent on Colorado Springs taxpayers paying for a new AFA visitors center when this past weekend at DIA, my family saw the Air Force Academy volleyball team flying out of/flying into DIA rather than using the Colorado Springs airport. It would seem to me since Bach is so pro-Colorado Springs airport, he'd ask the AFA to actually use it when trying to do this whole "City for Champions" thing. You see the hypocrisy I'm trying to get across?

Ryan Bauermeister, Colorado Springs

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