Children play under the Uncle Wilber Fountain Acacia Park during the Rocky Mountain Fun Fest held to celebrate Uncle Wilber's opening Saturday, June 7, 2014. Photo by Julia Moss, The Gazette

The Colorado Springs City Council this week voted down adding two measures to the November ballot that would have created added steps to approve sales or trades of parkland.

Under one, voter approval would have been required for park deals. The other would have required a six-member council supermajority to approve such a transaction. Both measures were referred to the ballot in a preliminary vote two weeks ago but failed to gain majority support on final approval Tuesday.

The first option died on a 4-4 tie. Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, who is out of the country, had supported it on the preliminary vote.

Kent Obee of Protect our Parks said afterward he was frustrated neither proposal will be on the ballot.

The four council members who voted against it — David Geislinger, Don Knight, Andy Pico and Wayne Williams — wanted to clarify which parks would be covered by the measure before placing it on the ballot.

City Council President Richard Skorman said he was optimistic it would eventually be approved.

“It will be good to have all the details worked out, so maybe more council members will be more comfortable giving it to voters,” Skorman said.

Williams effectively killed the supermajority option by moving to table a vote indefinitely, which was approved unanimously.

Williams cited similar reasons for tabling the second measure as he did for opposing the first.

“I think many members of the council believe [or] think that there needs to be a better public process before this is put on the ballot,” Williams said.

The council has placed two measures on the November ballot:

• Extending a 2015 sales tax increase for road improvements

• Giving the city permission to keep $7 million in excess tax revenue for parks, rather than refunding it as required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

636-0210 @evanochsner



Evan is a 2019 intern at The Gazette. He is a Colorado Springs native who is currently a student at Northwestern University.

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