Question has now been answered
I read in The Gazette recently where some 83 percent of Springs residents polled voted "No support of utility rate increases." Yet some 78 percent of our City Council voted in support of those increases; giving Springs Utilities a 16 and 1 record for the past 17 rate increase proposals. It seems easier for council to point the finger at EPA requirements, than to require CSU to find more operational and staff efficiencies to avoid pricing increases - just as much of private industry regularly does, for the sake of their customers.
During the Nov. 12 public rate increase hearings, a woman asked City Council: "Are you here representing us (citizen ratepayers) to them (Colorado Springs Utilities) - or them to us?" It appears that her question has now been answered. Another some $10/month rate boost is granted for an organization that lost ratepayers some $250,000 on gas contracts, and overbid property values by millions of dollars for SDS reservoir construction!
The Utility CEO and his employees gain bonuses and pay increases while the "citizen owners" once again ante up the dough - despite our objections voiced to our City Council/Utility Board. And Colorado Springs utility rates remain among the highest along the I-25 corridor.
My thanks to council members Keith King and Helen Collins for not kowtowing to CSU on the rate increase vote. Our District 2 councilman on the other hand, has lost my confidence. Period.
Rich Bouhl, Colorado Springs
Washington knew who to thank
Columnists Barry Noreen and Bill Radford wrote columns about Thanksgiving. Neither chose to include to whom thanks should be given. Thank God that George Washington knew. His Thanksgiving proclamation of 1789 stated, in part: "Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor - and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
John DeFrancesco, Monument
Denser material takes a sharper cut
Enjoyed Kathleen Parker's witty and valuable article, "Comparisons that have gone completely off the track" (Nov. 21). She says that writers need to apply the brakes to their runaway train like impulse to make inapt similes. Hope I don't offend her with my comparison of a railroad engineer to a legislator for the rich.
A railroad engineer knows that it is unwise to cut a bank too steeply. When heavy rains come, that bank will collapse across the track and cause havoc. Of course, the denser the soil (imagine granite), the steeper a bank can be cut.
A wise legislator who acts for the rich knows that they should not stack up wealth in the top percentile too steeply. History shows that wealth piled too steeply comes crashing down in revolution.
But that legislator also knows that the denser (or more ignorant) the populace, the steeper can the rich stack up their wealth before fearing revolt. Thus during slavery it was illegal to educate a slave. Thus today the U.S. ranks well back in the pack in education . but second only to Denmark in economic disequity.
Reading The Gazette article, "Drivers may pay tolls for open roads" (Nov. 16), I realized that this is another effort to shift the expense of government onto the backs of the poor. Colorado's lawmakers (put in office and kept there by the rich and their corporations) have decided that the state's progressive income tax should no longer be burdened with expenses for many new freeways.
Instead they've decided to load that burden (or more than 99 percent of it) onto the backs of the working class and poor with toll roads.
These legislative engineers know that the vast majority of Colorado's adults have never been educated about "progressive" or "regressive" taxes.
Thus they feel it is safe to stack even more of the expense of government onto the backs of the ignorant poor. My greatest fear is that those legislators are correct. I fear that most Coloradans are too dense to notice this sharp new cut.
Joseph Mitchener, Black Forest
No money saved by closing Wasson
I am responding to your headline "D-11 plan coming to fruition." I would take great exception to the plan actually doing what was stated.
Yes the utilization is up however at what cost? Did closing Wasson actually save the $1.3 million per year as was touted in the Optimization study? No way. Early colleges at Wasson was highlighted as a success. The budget for Early College was earlier reported as $1 million There are currently 71 students enrolled. The cost per pupil for Early Colleges alone is $14,000.
This is approximately $7,000 more than traditional high school students. This means Early Colleges at Wasson is costing the district nearly $500,000 more than it brings in via state funding. There was no money saved by closing Wasson, only over crowded classrooms at Doherty and Palmer as highlighted in the article.
Let's do an in-depth study of the actual success before listening to District 11 personnel toot their own horn. Investigate, then report.
Al Thomson, Colorado Springs