Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Waste against the citizens' wishes; Spark for downtown revitalization

Letters Published: September 18, 2013

Waste against the citizens' wishes

I keep hearing that the county doesn't have the funds to fix all the damaged bridges and roads . well, duh! If the county didn't insist on making a 16 lane intersection at Black Forest and Burgess Road in Black Forest - against the citizens' wishes - it is such a waste of funds, when there are so many other road needs. Government waste.

Sue Gorden, Colorado Springs

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Taxpayers' dimes contribute

Re: Trevor Dierdorff's Guest Opinion, Sept. 15. Speaking about Councilman Joel Miller, Dierdorff states, "While I absolutely appreciate your service to our country, you've spent most of your career on the taxpayers' dime." To equate Miller's military service with living on the taxpayers' dime is a slap in the face to every veteran and active-duty service member living in and around the Colorado Springs community. This from someone who evidently never spent a single day in uniform, let alone experienced the family hardships caused by frequent moves and deployments that service members and their families are subject to during their careers.

I have to wonder what Dierdorff thinks about the billions of dollars in military spending the taxpayers' dimes contribute to the Colorado Springs economy every year. He fails to mention whether his company has benefited from the taxpayers' dimes that are the cornerstone of our economy. He also fails to mention that the $82 million tourism grant he refers to as "found" is also on Colorado taxpayers' dime.

John Reilly, Colorado Springs

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Miller's plan to transform the city?

An open letter to Councilman Joel Miller:

Dear Councilman Miller: I understand you are opposed to the City of/for Champions proposal the mayor's office submitted to the State Office of Economic Development. I have one question for you: What is your plan to transform the city into a world class destination?

I look forward to reading it.

Don Addy, Colorado Springs

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Spark for downtown revitalization

Thank you to all of our elected officials who have shown their support of the City for Champions proposal. As a young professional working in downtown Colorado Springs, I believe that these projects will be a spark for the revitalization of our downtown and a wonderful investment in the future of our entire region.

Michael Suggs, Colorado Springs

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Will not take the risk on your own

Trevor Dierdorff wants support for the City for Champions proposal because it would be apathetic and visionless to do otherwise. Besides, $82 million (tax) dollars are available to help the project along. "Who could possibly oppose this?" Dierdorff asks. Well, Mr. Dierdorff, if it is your risk and your risk alone, then jump in feet first. But since you will not take the risk on your own, and it is clear that the developers need an $82 million taxpayer boost, let's take a good look at what should happen downtown and make deliberate and informed decisions that will address some very challenging questions.

A few legitimate questions include: Why is downtown being favored, why can't the projects and their sponsors come up with their own funding, will the revenue increase benefit all of the city or just the downtown businesses, and how can you be sure that the changes you may want to make to the projects would not be rejected by the Economic Development Commission? It is clear, Mr. Dierdorff, that you are willing to risk much if you are not accountable in any tangible way.

I looked at all the City for Champions Web pages that I could find and I do not find answers to any of the numerous practical questions and there was no hard data. The theme in the Web pages, however, is easily recognized as corporate welfare. Could you get with the principles for this project and supply some qualified answers to some significant questions?

I will pout patiently until you can shower us again with your insights and data.

John Vucasovich, Colorado Springs

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Unreasonable to expect 'Kumbayah'

Nothing in Councilman Joel Miller's observations about the City for Champions proposal merits the over-the-top term "sabotage" in a Gazette editorial (Sept. 12).

A four-unit tourist hub envisioned by a coterie of influential citizens and endorsed by Mayor Steve Bach is fair game for public comment. The project had not been vetted in any public forum and had not formally been presented to council. It would be totally unreasonable to expect the community to break into a chorus of "Kumbayah" based on the prestigious source of the proposal and without asking questions.

The powers that be sometimes underestimate the intelligence of the citizenry and try to control public reaction in matters which concern them. Remember the USOC deal? At the very time the national and local economy were entering the Great Recession, a previous City Council gave approval to a $63 million taxpayer obligation without allowing a vote of the people or even public forums to discuss it or give details. The coup de gras for taxpayers was the mortgaging of a police operations center and a fire house.

Mother Nature can intrude in a big way without warning. Here we are in mid-September with four days of heavy rains, flooding and property devastation.

Once again storm water damage and infrastructure are issues front and center in our consciousness.

Perhaps these urgent needs should claim first priority while dreams for downtown are put on hold.

John A. Daly, Colorado Springs

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