<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Sun, 26 Apr 2015 23:50:27 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Urban renewal at heart of dueling bills in Colorado Statehouse]]> By MEGAN SCHRADER megan.schrader@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/urban-renewal-at-heart-of-dueling-bills-in-colorado-statehouse/article/1550416?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/urban-renewal-at-heart-of-dueling-bills-in-colorado-statehouse/article/1550416?custom_click=rss

Colorado counties are again trying to get a say in how and when property tax dollars are pledged to urban renewal projects.

Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill in 2014 that attempted to do just that, but state lawmakers are trying again this year.

In an interesting twist, however, counties are lobbying for a version of the bill in the Democrat-controlled House, and cities are lobbying for a similar law the GOP-held Senate.

Competing bills that address the same issue have been a common theme during this session with a divided legislature.

"House Bill 1348 gives us the ability to negotiate what percentage of your future tax revenue is used ...



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Colorado counties are again trying to get a say in how and when property tax dollars are pledged to urban renewal projects.

Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill in 2014 that attempted to do just that, but state lawmakers are trying again this year.

In an interesting twist, however, counties are lobbying for a version of the bill in the Democrat-controlled House, and cities are lobbying for a similar law the GOP-held Senate.

Competing bills that address the same issue have been a common theme during this session with a divided legislature.

"House Bill 1348 gives us the ability to negotiate what percentage of your future tax revenue is used ...

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Sun, 26 Apr 2015 21:14:33 -0600
<![CDATA[5 things To Know at the Colorado statehouse]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/5-things-to-know-at-the-colorado-statehouse/article/1550413?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/5-things-to-know-at-the-colorado-statehouse/article/1550413?custom_click=rss DENVER — With less than two weeks to go, lawmakers are scrambling like they do every year to finish all their work before the legislative session ends May 6. Some of the highlights from the coming week:

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FETAL HOMICIDE

In what's expected to be one of the most emotionally charged debates of the session, senators this week will consider a Republican measure to make the killing of a fetus a homicide in certain cases. The bill is a response to the attack in Longmont last month on an expectant mother, who had her belly cut open by someone who wanted to steal her child. The woman survived, but the child died. However, prosecutors said they couldn't file murder charges under current state law.



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DENVER — With less than two weeks to go, lawmakers are scrambling like they do every year to finish all their work before the legislative session ends May 6. Some of the highlights from the coming week:

___

FETAL HOMICIDE

In what's expected to be one of the most emotionally charged debates of the session, senators this week will consider a Republican measure to make the killing of a fetus a homicide in certain cases. The bill is a response to the attack in Longmont last month on an expectant mother, who had her belly cut open by someone who wanted to steal her child. The woman survived, but the child died. However, prosecutors said they couldn't file murder charges under current state law.

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Sun, 26 Apr 2015 18:16:00 -0600
<![CDATA[City Council vote will pave the way for next step in long-running Colorado Springs road project]]> By STEPHEN HOBBS stephen.hobbs@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/city-council-vote-will-pave-the-way-for-next-step-in-long-running-colorado-springs-road-project/article/1550410?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/city-council-vote-will-pave-the-way-for-next-step-in-long-running-colorado-springs-road-project/article/1550410?custom_click=rss

The second phase of construction on a major east-west Colorado Springs road is expected to get one step closer to starting after a City Council vote this week.

Officials are acquiring about 160 pieces of land, including full parcels and temporary easements, a necessary step before the latest work on the Woodmen Road corridor expansion can begin, said project manager Mike Chaves.

The latest phase of the project includes the widening of Woodmen between Stinson Road and Lexington Drive and the construction of two streets to help separate residential traffic from the arterial roadway.

Council members Tuesday will vote on whether to approve the acquisition of six parcels for $510,155 to help clear the way for the project.

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]]> The second phase of construction on a major east-west Colorado Springs road is expected to get one step closer to starting after a City Council vote this week.

Officials are acquiring about 160 pieces of land, including full parcels and temporary easements, a necessary step before the latest work on the Woodmen Road corridor expansion can begin, said project manager Mike Chaves.

The latest phase of the project includes the widening of Woodmen between Stinson Road and Lexington Drive and the construction of two streets to help separate residential traffic from the arterial roadway.

Council members Tuesday will vote on whether to approve the acquisition of six parcels for $510,155 to help clear the way for the project.]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 17:54:25 -0600 <![CDATA[Events in and around Colorado Springs this week]]> By name newspaper - http://gazette.com/events-in-and-around-colorado-springs-this-week/article/1550411?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/events-in-and-around-colorado-springs-this-week/article/1550411?custom_click=rss Ballots for the May 19 Colorado Springs mayoral runoff election are being mailed out citywide. The election features former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and former Mayor and City Councilwoman Mary Lou Makepeace.

Colorado Springs mayoral candidates John Suthers and Mary Lou Makepeace will meet Monday in a debate sponsored by The Gazette and KKTV ahead of the May 19 runoff election. Beginning at 6:29 p.m., the half-hour debate will be shown live on KKTV and streamed live on gazette.com and kktv.com. KKTV anchor Don Ward will moderate.

Mayoral candidates Mary Lou Makepeace and John Suthers will discuss city issues in a forum at 7:30 p.m. Monday sponsored by the Trails and Open Space Coalition and other

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]]> Ballots for the May 19 Colorado Springs mayoral runoff election are being mailed out citywide. The election features former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and former Mayor and City Councilwoman Mary Lou Makepeace.

Colorado Springs mayoral candidates John Suthers and Mary Lou Makepeace will meet Monday in a debate sponsored by The Gazette and KKTV ahead of the May 19 runoff election. Beginning at 6:29 p.m., the half-hour debate will be shown live on KKTV and streamed live on gazette.com and kktv.com. KKTV anchor Don Ward will moderate.

Mayoral candidates Mary Lou Makepeace and John Suthers will discuss city issues in a forum at 7:30 p.m. Monday sponsored by the Trails and Open Space Coalition and other]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 17:30:02 -0600 <![CDATA[Gazette, KKTV mayoral runoff debate televised live on Monday, streamed online at Gazette.com]]> The Gazette - http://gazette.com/gazette-kktv-mayoral-runoff-debate-televised-live-on-monday-streamed-online-at-gazette.com/article/1550350?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gazette-kktv-mayoral-runoff-debate-televised-live-on-monday-streamed-online-at-gazette.com/article/1550350?custom_click=rss

As ballots go out to Colorado Springs voters, the first debate for the mayoral runoff election will be televised live Monday evening.

The Gazette and KKTV will host the half-hour debate between Mary Lou Makepeace and John Suthers. It will be televised live on KKTV beginning at 6:29 p.m. It also will be streamed live on gazette.com and kktv.com.

Suthers and Makepeace led a field of six candidates for mayor in the April 7 municipal election, but neither garnered more than 50 percent of the vote. So as the top two vote-getters, they will face off in a May 19 runoff election.

It will be a mail-in only election and ballots will be sent to registered, active voters beginning Monday, the Colorado Springs City Clerk's Office



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As ballots go out to Colorado Springs voters, the first debate for the mayoral runoff election will be televised live Monday evening.

The Gazette and KKTV will host the half-hour debate between Mary Lou Makepeace and John Suthers. It will be televised live on KKTV beginning at 6:29 p.m. It also will be streamed live on gazette.com and kktv.com.

Suthers and Makepeace led a field of six candidates for mayor in the April 7 municipal election, but neither garnered more than 50 percent of the vote. So as the top two vote-getters, they will face off in a May 19 runoff election.

It will be a mail-in only election and ballots will be sent to registered, active voters beginning Monday, the Colorado Springs City Clerk's Office

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Sun, 26 Apr 2015 08:48:28 -0600
<![CDATA[The truest GOP believers? Mormons]]> Salt Lake Tribune - http://gazette.com/the-truest-gop-believers-mormons/article/1550393?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/the-truest-gop-believers-mormons/article/1550393?custom_click=rss

Mormons lean more heavily toward the Republican Party than any other major demographic group - whether clustered by race, age, gender, educational attainment or religion.

So says a study released this month by the Pew Research Center, based on more than 25,000 survey interviews conducted nationwide in 2014. The survey shows that 70 percent of Mormons lean Republican, compared with only 22 percent who tilt Democratic. That 48-point gap is greater for the GOP than margins provided by any other single group.

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]]> Mormons lean more heavily toward the Republican Party than any other major demographic group - whether clustered by race, age, gender, educational attainment or religion.

So says a study released this month by the Pew Research Center, based on more than 25,000 survey interviews conducted nationwide in 2014. The survey shows that 70 percent of Mormons lean Republican, compared with only 22 percent who tilt Democratic. That 48-point gap is greater for the GOP than margins provided by any other single group.]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 04:40:02 -0600 <![CDATA[Average voter in April 7 Colorado Springs election: A 60-year-old Republican woman]]> By Maria St. louis-sanchez maria.sanchez@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/average-voter-in-april-7-colorado-springs-election-a-60-year-old-republican-woman/article/1550354?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/average-voter-in-april-7-colorado-springs-election-a-60-year-old-republican-woman/article/1550354?custom_click=rss

To get a bigger voice in local politics, young people may need to overcome a big obstacle: They must vote.

In the April 7 Colorado Springs municipal election, young voters hardly showed up, according to a Gazette analysis of voting records from the Colorado Springs city clerk and the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office. Just 7.5 percent of the voters in the election were younger than 40. That demographic makes up 32 percent of the city's population.

"That's pretty abysmal," said Jariah Walker, 37, who lost a bid for an at-large City Council seat to three older men. "That is awful, man. I knew it was bad, but I didn't think it was that bad.

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]]> To get a bigger voice in local politics, young people may need to overcome a big obstacle: They must vote.

In the April 7 Colorado Springs municipal election, young voters hardly showed up, according to a Gazette analysis of voting records from the Colorado Springs city clerk and the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office. Just 7.5 percent of the voters in the election were younger than 40. That demographic makes up 32 percent of the city's population.

"That's pretty abysmal," said Jariah Walker, 37, who lost a bid for an at-large City Council seat to three older men. "That is awful, man. I knew it was bad, but I didn't think it was that bad.]]> Sun, 26 Apr 2015 04:30:40 -0600 <![CDATA[Rancher gets $4.6 million judgment vs. Colorado Springs Utilities]]> Chris Woodka, The Pueblo Chieftain http://gazette.com/rancher-gets-4.6-million-judgment-vs.-colorado-springs-utilities/article/1550361?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/rancher-gets-4.6-million-judgment-vs.-colorado-springs-utilities/article/1550361?custom_click=rss

A Pueblo jury late Thursday awarded rancher Gary Walker a $4.6 million judgment against Colorado Springs Utilities for the Southern Delivery System pipeline crossing Walker Ranches in Northern Pueblo County.

Walker contends the amount is far short of what the pipeline has cost him. During the trial, he contended that the conditions of the SDS easement have jeopardized a $25 million conservation easement he was negotiating with the Nature Conservation for $1,680 an acre on 15,000 acres.

Walker said the conditions of the utility easement through his property allow for access that negates the value of the conservation easement, and that soils from offsite that were used as fill are contaminated with seeds from invasive



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A Pueblo jury late Thursday awarded rancher Gary Walker a $4.6 million judgment against Colorado Springs Utilities for the Southern Delivery System pipeline crossing Walker Ranches in Northern Pueblo County.

Walker contends the amount is far short of what the pipeline has cost him. During the trial, he contended that the conditions of the SDS easement have jeopardized a $25 million conservation easement he was negotiating with the Nature Conservation for $1,680 an acre on 15,000 acres.

Walker said the conditions of the utility easement through his property allow for access that negates the value of the conservation easement, and that soils from offsite that were used as fill are contaminated with seeds from invasive

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Sat, 25 Apr 2015 20:30:15 -0600
<![CDATA[As theater shooting trial opens, gun debate dwindles]]> NICHOLAS RICCARDI, Associated Press http://gazette.com/as-theater-shooting-trial-opens-gun-debate-dwindles/article/1550341?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/as-theater-shooting-trial-opens-gun-debate-dwindles/article/1550341?custom_click=rss

DENVER (AP) — When a gunman opened fire inside a packed movie theater in July 2012, killing 12 and injuring 70, it did more than spread fear and heartbreak across the Denver suburbs. It helped revive the national debate over gun control.

That argument gained intensity in the state five months later when a gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults at Newtown Elementary School in Connecticut.

Democrats in the state legislature in 2013 muscled through new laws requiring universal background checks and banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

Gun control advocates boasted that they had found the formula to enact their policies in a libertarian swing state. Then furious gun rights supporters recalled two state



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DENVER (AP) — When a gunman opened fire inside a packed movie theater in July 2012, killing 12 and injuring 70, it did more than spread fear and heartbreak across the Denver suburbs. It helped revive the national debate over gun control.

That argument gained intensity in the state five months later when a gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults at Newtown Elementary School in Connecticut.

Democrats in the state legislature in 2013 muscled through new laws requiring universal background checks and banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

Gun control advocates boasted that they had found the formula to enact their policies in a libertarian swing state. Then furious gun rights supporters recalled two state

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Sat, 25 Apr 2015 10:12:45 -0600
<![CDATA[Governor praises cooperation as he signs off on Colorado budget]]> By MEGAN SCHRADER megan.schrader@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/governor-praises-cooperation-as-he-signs-off-on-colorado-budget/article/1550320?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/governor-praises-cooperation-as-he-signs-off-on-colorado-budget/article/1550320?custom_click=rss

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday signed the state's $25 billion budget that increases funding for K-12 education and higher education and invests millions for the first time in eight years in transportation needs.

"In a lot of states the partisanship is so divisive, and here there are still very deep differences in values and priorities, the ability of these individuals to work together really does help define Colorado," Hickenlooper said, a nod to the six members of the Joint Budget Committee who hashed out a balanced budget despite being split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Bill 234, known affectionately as the Long Bill, appropriates most of the state's revenue with the exception of K-12 funding, which

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]]> Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday signed the state's $25 billion budget that increases funding for K-12 education and higher education and invests millions for the first time in eight years in transportation needs.

"In a lot of states the partisanship is so divisive, and here there are still very deep differences in values and priorities, the ability of these individuals to work together really does help define Colorado," Hickenlooper said, a nod to the six members of the Joint Budget Committee who hashed out a balanced budget despite being split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Bill 234, known affectionately as the Long Bill, appropriates most of the state's revenue with the exception of K-12 funding, which]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 04:10:13 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado House, Senate divided over ninth-grade math, reading tests]]> By MEGAN SCHRADER megan.schrader@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/colorado-house-senate-divided-over-ninth-grade-math-reading-tests/article/1550318?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-house-senate-divided-over-ninth-grade-math-reading-tests/article/1550318?custom_click=rss

DENVER - The assessment debate is likely to come down to the much-debated ninth-grade math and reading tests.

The House passed its version of the state's testing reduction effort Friday on second reading with broad bipartisan support, and it included mandatory reading and math exams in a student's freshmen year.

The Senate passed its version on second reading Thursday, without those two assessments.

It's a key difference.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said on the issue this week that it doesn't make sense not to test in ninth grade, a benchmark year for measuring student growth.

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]]> DENVER - The assessment debate is likely to come down to the much-debated ninth-grade math and reading tests.

The House passed its version of the state's testing reduction effort Friday on second reading with broad bipartisan support, and it included mandatory reading and math exams in a student's freshmen year.

The Senate passed its version on second reading Thursday, without those two assessments.

It's a key difference.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said on the issue this week that it doesn't make sense not to test in ninth grade, a benchmark year for measuring student growth.]]> Sat, 25 Apr 2015 04:10:10 -0600 <![CDATA[VA officials thrashed during Congressional committee hearing in Aurora]]> By Tom Roeder tom.roeder@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/va-officials-thrashed-during-congressional-committee-hearing-in-aurora/article/1550314?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/va-officials-thrashed-during-congressional-committee-hearing-in-aurora/article/1550314?custom_click=rss

AURORA - Despite breathtaking cost overruns, Congress remains committed to building the $1.73 billion Veterans Affairs hospital here.

During a rare field hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, lawmakers took over Aurora's city hall and used the chamber to lambaste senior VA officials, while pledging they'll come up with the $830 million needed to finish the troubled and delayed project on Colfax Avenue.

The loudest critic was Aurora's Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who accused senior VA officials of perjury in their earlier congressional testimony.

"We were lied to. Again and again and again," Coffman barked at VA deputy secretary Sloan Gibson.

At the hearing, witnesses recounted the long and



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AURORA - Despite breathtaking cost overruns, Congress remains committed to building the $1.73 billion Veterans Affairs hospital here.

During a rare field hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, lawmakers took over Aurora's city hall and used the chamber to lambaste senior VA officials, while pledging they'll come up with the $830 million needed to finish the troubled and delayed project on Colfax Avenue.

The loudest critic was Aurora's Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who accused senior VA officials of perjury in their earlier congressional testimony.

"We were lied to. Again and again and again," Coffman barked at VA deputy secretary Sloan Gibson.

At the hearing, witnesses recounted the long and

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Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:55:25 -0600
<![CDATA[North Dakota, Colorado allowed to join Wyoming lawsuit against fracking rules]]> The Associated Press http://gazette.com/north-dakota-colorado-allowed-to-join-wyoming-lawsuit-against-fracking-rules/article/1550304?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/north-dakota-colorado-allowed-to-join-wyoming-lawsuit-against-fracking-rules/article/1550304?custom_click=rss

BISMARCK, N.D. — A federal court has allowed North Dakota and Colorado to intervene with Wyoming in a lawsuit challenging new rules for oil and gas drilling on federal land.

The Obama administration announced in March that it will require companies that drill on federal lands to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The rule takes effect in June.

The three states assert the move is unlawful in part because it interferes with their own regulations that address the process.

Wyoming filed its lawsuit last month. A federal judge this week granted permission for both North Dakota and Colorado to intervene alongside Wyoming.



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BISMARCK, N.D. — A federal court has allowed North Dakota and Colorado to intervene with Wyoming in a lawsuit challenging new rules for oil and gas drilling on federal land.

The Obama administration announced in March that it will require companies that drill on federal lands to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The rule takes effect in June.

The three states assert the move is unlawful in part because it interferes with their own regulations that address the process.

Wyoming filed its lawsuit last month. A federal judge this week granted permission for both North Dakota and Colorado to intervene alongside Wyoming.

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Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:23:27 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado lawmakers advance ban on red-light, speed cameras]]> Associated Press http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-advance-ban-on-red-light-speed-cameras/article/1550285?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-lawmakers-advance-ban-on-red-light-speed-cameras/article/1550285?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A push to ban speeding and red-light cameras in Colorado advanced out of a key House committee but time is running out for the bill as the session nears its end.

State legislators have tried for years to ban red-light and speeding cameras, which supporters say are used as revenue generators. But their attempts have been met with staunch opposition from law enforcement officials who insist the cameras are needed to deter accidents at busy intersections. Municipalities also oppose the bill, saying it should be left to them to decide whether to use the cameras.



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DENVER — A push to ban speeding and red-light cameras in Colorado advanced out of a key House committee but time is running out for the bill as the session nears its end.

State legislators have tried for years to ban red-light and speeding cameras, which supporters say are used as revenue generators. But their attempts have been met with staunch opposition from law enforcement officials who insist the cameras are needed to deter accidents at busy intersections. Municipalities also oppose the bill, saying it should be left to them to decide whether to use the cameras.

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Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:50:32 -0600
<![CDATA[Future growth of Colorado Springs addressed at infill workshop]]> BY BILLIE STANTON ANLEU billie.stantonanleu@gazette.com - http://gazette.com/future-growth-of-colorado-springs-addressed-at-infill-workshop/article/1550244?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/future-growth-of-colorado-springs-addressed-at-infill-workshop/article/1550244?custom_click=rss

The city of Colorado Springs was 90 percent smaller in 1950 than it is today.

How the city will continue to evolve, though, was the question for about 70 citizens who showed up Thursday for an infill and redevelopment workshop gauging public opinion.

Why should we care? Because of fiscal effects on the city, most participants said.

Over the past year, the issue has been studied by the Infill Steering Committee, with City Council members Jill Gaebler and Andres Pico, three Planning Commission members and eight residents.

They have considered utilities, zoning, code enforcement and other subissues, Gaebler said.

Carl Schueler introduced himself cheerfully as "the city's only comprehensive planner -



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The city of Colorado Springs was 90 percent smaller in 1950 than it is today.

How the city will continue to evolve, though, was the question for about 70 citizens who showed up Thursday for an infill and redevelopment workshop gauging public opinion.

Why should we care? Because of fiscal effects on the city, most participants said.

Over the past year, the issue has been studied by the Infill Steering Committee, with City Council members Jill Gaebler and Andres Pico, three Planning Commission members and eight residents.

They have considered utilities, zoning, code enforcement and other subissues, Gaebler said.

Carl Schueler introduced himself cheerfully as "the city's only comprehensive planner -

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Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:35:15 -0600