Short term rentals

Members of the Colorado Springs Short-Term Rental Alliance filled City Council Chambers last fall to support a short-term rental ordinance that requires rental property owners to apply for permits, pay taxes and comply with existing city laws.

How public loses faith in government

The City Council is not acting in good faith on short-term rentals.

On Nov. 5, Sam Friedman, the council constituent response specialist, sent out a letter to all short-term rental permit holders that stated:

“The City Council has decided to delay consideration of owner occupancy definitions or density restrictions related to Short Term Rentals. There is no agenda Item for Short term rentals on the November 12 meeting, therefore no Council discussion or vote of these proposals will be taken.”

However, at this very meeting they not only did they discuss short-term rentals, they introduced the strictest regulations to date. They are proposing a ban in R1 zones where 70% of the rentals reside.

Colorado Springs Short-term Rental Alliance has shown up routinely to the meetings to ask questions and oppose additional regulation, which is being presented without data to support it.

Now, we are being intentionally removed from the equation because our involvement and demands for transparency has become inconvenient.

After holding this meeting and doing what they told us they wouldn’t do, they have now scheduled a vote on Nov. 26, two days before Thanksgiving while many residents will be busy or out of town. They would have voted on it right then if council members Jill Gaebler and Andy Pico hadn’t objected. Absolutely unacceptable.

This is how the public loses faith in their local government. When you circumvent the process and ignore your constituents, you should expect to be held accountable for it.

Ryan Spradlin

Colorado Springs

Getting a veteran ID card

This is in regard to Joyce Hahn’s letter in the Nov. 14 issue about not having a veteran ID card.

The El Paso County Veterans Office at 5850 Championship View is a great place for information.

I took my DD214 with me, and I was given a veteran ID card. This is a free service.

They can answer lots of questions and when I went there the employee was helpful and polite.

Pam Devereux

Colorado Springs

Another historic election similarity

Eric Sondermann, in his Nov. 13 op-ed, points out probable similarities between the upcoming 2020 election and the elections of 1972, ’80, and ’88. 1984 belongs on that list.

Walter Mondale was an unapologetic liberal ex-senator and ex-vice president (like Joe Biden). His campaign was an unrelenting rant against Ronald Reagan’s successful conservatism. Mondale begged us all to go back to high taxes, more spending, more class warfare, more regulation. He hammered at Reagan’s swashbuckling, cowboy persona. Regarding the booming economy that came in the wake of Reagan’s tax cuts and ending of energy price regulation, Mondale insisted it was all a phony, temporary phenomenon.

People did as Reagan suggested. They looked around, saw that they were indeed better off than they were four years ago, and handed Reagan 49 states.

Eric Nickerson

Colorado Springs

Barr just protecting the president

When I first read the article ‘DOJ rolls out new program to combat gun violence,’ I initially credited U.S. Attorney Bill Barr for his about-face in doing something good for the country as opposed to mostly acting as the personal savior of our president.

It was only when reading Barr’s comments made during a news conference held on the first day of the public impeachment hearings, “discussions about any new legislation tied to the project have been sidetracked due to the impeachment process on Capitol Hill,” that I saw the writing on the wall. This new program is not about enacting stricter gun legislation.

Bipartisan gun legislation has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk for almost a year now, despite our president’s vow to “take action” after the Dayton and El Paso shootings.

This new program is clearly an effort on Barr’s part to dangle something desirable in front of the 60% of Americans who favor stricter gun control legislation while claiming it is unattainable because of the impeachment. Once again Barr shows his true colors; protecting the president is his one and only concern.

Kathleen Eichinger

Colorado Springs

M

aybe Obama should sit this one out

Our Democratic presidential candidates are anxious to hear who will be the recipient of President Barack Obama’s 2020 endorsement. But given how well his 2018 nominees fared, Obama’s blessing might not be the boon many think.

In the 2018 election, President Obama disregarded the example of previous ex-presidents to avoid getting enmeshed in the political affairs of the day. Instead, he chose to risk his political capital by personally campaigning long and hard for several prominent Democratic nominees.

The result? Bill Nelson, Andrew Gillum, and Stacey Abrams lost in high-profile races in Florida and Georgia where Obama campaigned the hardest. Elsewhere, despite his unprecedented activism, Democrats gained back far fewer House seats (+41) in 2018 than they lost under President Obama in 2010 (-63) and for the first time in midterm history, the party out of power managed to win back the House while losing seats in the Senate. All this while indirectly campaigning against Donald Trump, the most reviled president in modern history.

There are good reasons why past presidents choose to be discreet and for a man keenly interested in his legacy, ignoring those reasons in the 2018 midterms certainly did Obama no favors.

We’ll have to see what his 2020 endorsements achieve, but he might be wiser to sit this one out and save his remaining political capital for 2024.

Phil Millis

Monument

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