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LETTERS: Tough questions on city policies; promoting economic growth

By: Gazette readers
August 10, 2017 Updated: August 10, 2017 at 8:14 am

Tough questions on city policies

The Aug. 8 letter from Travis Easton, Director of Public Works, prompts me to write. It has become clear that curbs and gutters are an unshakable part of our city's road improvement efforts, and will always be defensible behind the Federal mandates he cites.

While at times onerous, I think it is appropriate to be respectful of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As tough as it may be, we will have to accept the requisite concrete component of road repaving and its limiting effect on what we really want - smooth asphalt roadways.

So, a potentially tougher question - how is it remotely acceptable that Transit Drive, a dead-end street of no more than 3/4 mile that was not in bad shape to start with, gets repaved before Pikes Peak Avenue in the greater Memorial Park vicinity? Or, pick any of a number of heavily used roadways where the road conditions combined with the traffic volume are indeed potentially dangerous and improvements to which would be more within the "spirit" of what we voted for, rather than continued questionable use of taxpayer dollars.

Speaking of which, stormwater:

That article a month or so ago, in which some city leader actually stated that the first thing they'd do is upgrade our city's "aging vehicle fleet" offered another prime example of why it is difficult to pass tax measures here.

That's what was done last time with stormwater funds. We need the stormwater system improvements, clearly, and we didn't need the 8 or 9-year hiatus in this effort. But we don't need new vehicles to fix drains and waterways.

What we do need is a commitment that stormwater funds will be used exclusively for stormwater system improvements.

After so many years of unforgivable neglect to our city's infrastructure, maybe now is the time we can finally count on our current city leaders to reverse that trend and do the right things on a consistent basis.

Kirk Skabo

Colorado Springs


What happened to code enforcement?

Ralph Clayton's letter Aug. 9, "Looking around Colorado Springs" struck a chord with me for sure. I have been living and walking in our village since the 1980s and have never seen it in such deplorable shape as it is now.

The weeds are taking over the city, and not just since it started raining so much - this has been a problem for years. In my neighborhood, it is no longer possible to walk on the sidewalks along Tenderfoot Hill Road; the north side has weeds waist-high and it is like walking through a field and looks like a third world country, although one can't see the litter so much because the weeds cover some of it.

The sidewalk looks in good shape underneath, but it is not possible to walk on it because of the weeds falling all over and also having to hunch down because the trees never get trimmed.

This is either city property or belongs to an office park, and one would think that if privately owned, the city could fine the owners and make some money along with charging them to clean it up. Whatever happened to code enforcement? And yes, I have reported it.

This area of town is pretty high-rent to look so shabby and disgraceful and civic pride is not visible here. Life is different on the other side of the street, though, since they are building a big hotel complex (money) and suddenly the weeds have been whacked!

Geraldine Russell

Colorado Springs


Columnist wearing liberal blinders

Never were liberal blinders more effective than when they produced this mean-spirited assessment of Mike Pence by Froma Harrop: "Some may see propriety in a man who asserts he won't dine alone with a woman not his wife. I see a man lacking basic self-control." ("Contemplating a possible Mike Pence presidency", Aug. 8)

Mike Pence? Lacks basic self-control? If ever a man carried a tape measure in his pocket everywhere he went, with which to carefully pre-measure his every spoken word, it's Pence.

If Froma Harrop can cite even one documented example of Pence exhibiting "lack of basic self-control," I'll vote for whatever liberal the Democrats spit up to run against Trump in 2020. Deal?

Eric Nickerson

Colorado Springs


Promoting economic growth

Robert Samuelson reinforces the establishment's smug economic assertion that 3 percent growth through lower taxes is simply not realistic ("Guesswork muddles great growth debate," Opinion, Aug. 7).

Samuelson asserts that major changes in productivity can't be predicted which belies the history of tax reform. His resolute acquiescence wasn't always the case in our history.

To wit, President John Kennedy's tax plan cut the top income tax rate from 91 percent to 70 percent, and the bottom rate was cut from 20 percent to 14 percent. The result was that the economy and tax revenue boomed throughout the rest of the decade.

In arguing for his reform plan Kennedy said the most effective way to promote economic growth "is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system - and this administration is pledged to an across-the-board reduction in personal and corporate income tax rates."

That inspired Jack Kemp to champion lower rates and regulations which President Ronald Reagan adopted with unprecedented job growth and economic expansion.

Economic agnostics such as Samuelson who have a curiously jaded view of what drives growth shouldn't stymie President Trump and Congressional leaders from taking strong action to lower marginal and corporate rates.

Contrary to Samuelson's statement that "There isn't enough money to satisfy all our demands," there is if you stop feeding the government beast and let the people keep more of their own money.

As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, "The American Republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

Despite his obvious eccentricities, Trump is rekindling faith in the common man's potential to achieve great things, and, as Kennedy demonstrated decades ago, tax reform is the most effective catalyst to achieve those dreams.

Philip Mella

Woodland Park

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