Insights at Large: Joe Woyte


Joe Woyte wants to empower citizens if he's elected to a Colorado Springs at-large City Council seat - by listening to them, holding council meetings at night to accommodate them and by letting them vote on key issues.

"Ask people what they think about things instead of shoving it down their throats," Woyte said. "I'm tired of seeing the City Council meeting at 1 p.m. when everyone is working."

Woyte, 40, is an Air Force Academy graduate and subcontracts administrator for Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc, which he says is perfect training for helping run the city.

"I want to apply 18 years in financial management, public and private," he said. "I've dealt with big dollars before and I can manage money."

His quest for accountability has been demonstrated through volunteer work for the city's Investment Advisory Committee and Academy School District 20's Accountability Committee.

On the council, he'd like spending to be prioritized. "The city does have money," he said. "One thing we don't need to spend money on is millions of dollars on a (City for Champions) sports arena the city can't afford and the people don't want."

He cites deteriorating local roads and bridges as the top priority, but isn't pushing for a new tax to finance the fixes.

"We're constantly rated one of the top cities to live in. The people have constantly said we have enough taxes here. Let's make do with what we have," he said.

Woyte wants the state personal property tax on businesses to be eliminated and foreign trade in Colorado Springs to be advertised in order to keep and increase economic growth.

"Government just needs to get out of the way," he said.

The city also should highlight its Foreign Trade Zone, which exempts manufacturers from import duties on foreign parts used in products sold abroad, he said.

Woyte, who said there's "not enough evidence to say for certain that there is global warming and it's man-caused," also wants the council to continue managing Colorado Springs Utilities and using Martin Drake Power Plant.

"As technology improvements continue to bring down the cost of renewable energies like solar and wind power, Colorado Springs will transition toward producing more of its electrical power needs from sustainable resources, However, for the time being, the Drake Power Plant continues to serve our city with inexpensive energy that attracts business investment ..." he said in an email to The Gazette.