Randy Tuck says he’s running for the Colorado Springs City Council because he wants to ensure a bright future for the city he literally helped build.
Over more than 30 years in construction, Tuck helped erect several downtown landmarks, including the Alamo Building and the Plaza of the Rockies. He said he worked his way up the totem pole, from a concrete layer to a building superintendent.
Tuck, 61, said he wants to use his management experience to find new ways to raise money for the city and spur economic growth.
“We can all dream. But if we don’t have the money we need to to get us there, that’s all we’re ever going to do, is dream,” he said. “Colorado Springs is at a really critical point. We have such a bright future. We just have to make sure we take advantage of every opportunity to bring in new business, new revenues, new ideas, and then a real positive direction.”
Recreational marijuana sales could bolster the city’s coffers, said Tuck, who’s emerged as one of the most vocal proponents of such sales among the 11 candidates.
While millions of dollars in recreational cannabis revenue is going to Manitou Springs, Denver or Pueblo, he said, “that’s actually revenues Colorado Springs should be benefiting from. That’s one thing I have a hard time watching happen.”
Tuck was quoted in 2015 as the manager and operator of the Kind Therapeutics medical marijuana dispensary by a Fox21 News report and a Colorado Springs Business Journal article. He told The Gazette that the dispensary, which since closed, was owned by his son, not him.
Kind Therapeutics was registered in Randy Tuck’s name in June 2010, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Kind Therapeutics Inc. was formed that same month with Jeremy Tuck as the registered agent, and Randy Tuck’s corporation was voluntarily dissolved in 2011, records show.
Tuck did not respond to a follow-up email and call Monday seeking to have him elaborate on his role at the business.
Although a previous City Council voted to ban recreational pot sales in Colorado Springs, Tuck said residents are using it anyway. They’re simply buying it elsewhere. The tax windfall from recreational pot sales could fund marijuana-related education and enforcement, and any leftover revenues could go to overdue park maintenance and issues related to homelessness, he said.
He said he also likely would support a tax increase to support city parks and recreation.
To add affordable housing, Tuck said, city officials should “get creative” by exploring ways to help builders save on engineering, materials, labor and other costs. “It’s a very competitive market, and we need to use that competitiveness to our advantage.”
City officials also need to determine the scale of homelessness and how many people are content living on the streets, Tuck said. He’s suggested limiting the growth of homeless encampments, which the city has banned, and having law enforcement divert homeless people to social services and other resources.
He said he doesn’t think it’s feasible to shut downtown’s coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant by 2023, the earliest that Colorado Springs Utilities staff has said would be possible. The city must first identify and test an affordable energy alternative, he said.
“I think it’s going to be more like 10 years. I say that from the construction point of view,” he said.