Imbalances in our justice system

Following outrageous racist events in Georgia and Central Park in recent weeks, a video surfaced from Minneapolis of the slow choking death of an African American man named George Floyd after he had already been handcuffed.

The officer who perpetrated this act has yet to be charged with a crime. The riots that have emerged are horrific but would likely have been prevented with quick action for justice.

Meanwhile, white people in Michigan donned their guns and threatened state legislators and staff without the threat of punishment while ironically claiming to be fighting against the “slavery” of the lockdown.

Many white people I have talked to about these issues are more concerned with Colin Kaepernick’s knee on the ground than this officer’s knee choking the life out of George Floyd. Certainly all people have a part to play in improving our society, but we cannot improve race relations in this country until white people recognize the imbalances in our justice system and act to create justice.

Todd Nelson

Colorado Springs

City continues to ignore feedback

I read with dismay the recent Gazette article “Colorado Springs City Council embracing revised plan to allow ‘granny flats’”, and I now reiterate my adamant opposition to a change in zoning that would permit ADUs in single family zones.

While I have minimal objection to the addition of a small living space to accommodate a ‘granny’ as implied by the commonly used term ‘granny flat’, the current proposal would allow far more. The city would allow members of what it calls a ‘family’ to live in a home with an ADU. Because the city’s definition of ‘family’ includes up to five unrelated people, a ‘family’ could include a group of people who are not family at all, based on the usual meaning of the term. We should expect that some owners of properties with ADUs will become defacto landlords of rental suites, while arguing that their tenants are part of their ‘family’ and that rent payments are contributions to the ‘family’ expenses. For the life of me, I can’t understand how the city expects to enforce against this. The result will be two family zoning, with only lip service paid to the zoning maps that say ‘single family’.

I also object strenuously to the verbiage that would allow conversion of a home in a single family zone to allow two families. As I understand it, approval would include a public review process, in addition to planning commission approval. I have seen enough ‘public review’ processes to know that ‘public review’ does not mean ‘public approval’. There is no requirement that the public, meaning the affected neighbors, have any real voice in whether a project is approved. It could be that 100% of an affected neighborhood vocally opposes a conversion of a single family home to house two families, and yet the project gets approval from the city anyway. The public review process is toothless and therefore meaningless, unless the public is asked what it wants, and unless the public’s response is in some way binding.

I understand that Richard Skorman voiced hope that the most recent ADU plan won’t receive as much push back as before. Please consider my words continued push back, with newly added irritation that the city continues press forward while ignoring much of the prior push back.

ADUs do not have to be approved, and should not be approved, by City Council.

Charles Rollman

Colorado Springs

City forgets those outside downtownRe: “Everything at taxpayer’s expense” in the May 26 Letters. My husband and I have lived on Bluestem Drive for 43 years. This street has never been milled and repaved since the house was new. We voted for the 2C tax both times but still this street, Oro Blanco and Austin Bluffs from Academy Boulevard to Barnes are all a disgrace.

In 2017, the small streets adjoining Bluestem Drive had new curbing and water pipes under the street replaced and then were repaved. The trucks required for the job all used Bluestem Drive as an access road. The City Council always approves all the mayor’s pet downtown projects but forget about our streets. Bluestem Drive is not on the list of streets due for overlay through 2025. Bluestem Drive will be 50 years old in three years with no immediate replacement plan even though we are all paying the additional sales tax for the replacement.

And now you want to keep the TABOR money? Voters continually vote that idea down but the city keeps requesting it. Where did the taxpayer money go for all he streets and curbs since 1973? If you drive Oro Blanco, this street is a bunch of patched bumps with holes on each side of the patches. The city forgets there are people actually living in other areas besides downtown and the new north and east developments.

Lynda Ertel

Colorado Springs

This is not why we served

Our Colorado governor has totally mishandled the COVID-19 situation in this state. And one of the main reasons was so that he could get his hands on federal money, a true politician.

This state has 64 counties in it but only about 7 or 8 had any serious issues, the vast majority of our counties had zero issues or very minor ones. Yet Gov. Jared Polis had to shut everything down.

What about towns like Trinidad, Florence, Westcliffe, Cañon City, Durango, Rocky Ford Burlington? I could name so many more. Towns devastated by illogical overreaching and unfounded panic. Typical reaction of our out of touch politicians, always seeking to exert their will on our freedom.

On Friday I went to a new car dealership thinking about buying a new car. The place was locked up, a sign posted “by order of the Health Department”. A big empty showroom with plenty of space for distancing but no chance for a walk-in. These Gestapo tactics are being carried out by the governor’s ordered troops called (Health Dept). Ask any closed business and they will tell yon that they are being coerced by the Health Dept. I am a veteran, my father was a veterant of WWII. This is not what we served for.

We must protest to get our freedom back and have our constitutional rights preserved.

Never trust any politician!

Walt Pleimann

Colorado Springs

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