Commissioners doing other things
I thought the Colorado Springs City Council was an arrogant bunch, but the story about El Paso County Commissioners is right there, too. Who are they to take away a right that the sheriff has. I think if the county commissioners were in charge during the Black Forest fire there is a good chance it would still be burning.
The commissioners can't or won't take care of business along U.S. 24. Look at what the locals have to deal with from Manitou Springs all the way up to the county line. Every heavy rain, the residents have to depend on their neighbors for help. The county commissioners are doing other things rather than help our residents by providing means of rerouting water or holding back the floodwaters. And at Black Forest after the fire, harder codes were put in place that made it hard for the residents to rebuild. We need a new group of county commissioners and council members. Both want to be in charge without doing anything but raise our taxes and place harder living conditions on us.
A response to letter on Obama
I have been looking for a response to Phil Kenny's recent letter to the editor in the paper but have seen only one and it didn't address all of Phil's points. Here's how Phil got it wrong:
- Phil points to President G. W. Bush as the culprit for the bad economy, but it was the bursting housing bubble that drove the economy down in the last year of his presidency. The housing bubble was caused by legislation requiring banks and lending institutions to lend more money to people who had shaky credit. If anyone cares, they can look up the "red lining" contretemps that instigated the banking bill.
- "Is it Iraq and" Afghanistan? Afghanistan, Phil, not "Afghan." We're leaving because we got tired. And that's President Barack Obama's mistake. "It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired - you quit when the gorilla is tired. - Robert Strauss" As for Iraq, we left too soon. It wasn't stable enough.
- "Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious" contain no "beef?" Really? Multiple requests from Ambassador Chris Stevens for more security were ignored by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, and no attempt was made to respond to the attack, so he plus three others died as a result. There's the "beef."
- The IRS debacle has no "beef?" Singling out conservative organizations applying for 'tax-free' status is not 'equal protection under the law.'
- "Fast and Furious" contains no "beef?" President Obama and Eric Holder apparently didn't see the need to manage their program to apprehend the gun traffickers. As long as they can identify those guns when they are used to kill an American, so that government lackeys can caterwaul about lax American gun laws, it is apparently a small price to pay.
- "Obamacare?" Are you kidding? "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your insurance plan."
- "So, is it immigration? Nope. You can find that in the tea party's throne room." You're right, Phil. It isn't immigration. It's illegal immigration. How the tea party is responsible I simply cannot fathom. It's the president's job to protect his, and our, country, and he's doing worse than nothing. He is instigating it.
Our president may be hated by some, but mostly he is considered simply wrong about almost everything he's done. His color doesn't matter. What matters is our president is taking our country in the wrong direction. We say it's because he's wrong. You say it's because he's black. Calling people who disagree with President Obama racist is just a cheap shot!
Ray Van Horn
Governing Colorado Springs Utilities
Re: "City Council's governance role scrutinized" - Gazette article Sept. 18.
Colorado Springs Forward and its representatives Ralph Braden and John Cassiani, should be commended for their effort to confront City Council about the need for establishing a better governance model for Colorado Springs Utilities. After all, this is not about fixing something that is broken, but rather this is about making our community asset an even more efficient "treasured community asset." After all, what is wrong with finding better ways to improve on what you have today while preparing for a changing future landscape. Councilmen Andy Pico and Val Snider are just missing the point completely.
The perspective of "not broken" in the council's mind is simply because they think the Utilities is doing well due to good bond ratings and reliability. Well, the fact that the Utilities has a good bond rating is because of council's willingness to always raise the rates every time more revenue is needed to support expenses.
Even on the issue of reliability, when Drake Power Plant went down, the council allowed Utilities to immediately go to a more expensive source of power and transferred that expense to the ratepayers with an electric fuel cost adjustment.
Utilities business is complicated and complex, and needs people who understand utilities. That is what this council lacks. The board is basically citizens with a sense of civic duty trying to do good for the community and wear two hats - City Council & Utility Board. They are dissimilar "businesses" and require different sets of knowledge to properly perform the function of boards. The council is inundated with too many issues to take the time to consistently and methodically focus on Utilities. It is time for a separate board.
Five separate studies have pointed to the need of an independent board, yet the council chooses not to pay attention to them. Wake up folks! A lot of great minds have come together with the same conclusion. You as council owe it to the public to consider this recommendation. You as council owe it to the public to place this on an upcoming ballot. After all, this is a community owned utility. Let the public have a say!