Making visiting downtown onerous

Recently, my wife and I spent the weekend in Fort Collins visiting our daughter. While there, we spent a pleasant afternoon and evening in their downtown business district, “Old Town.” Very similar to our downtown surrounding Acacia Park, it’s a lively mixture of shops, restaurants and bars. The place was packed — families, singles, groups of students and friends, couples like my wife and me enjoying the scene and the opportunity to be out and about on a lovely weekend day. Oh, and did I mention that street parking is free?

Yup, you got it, there are no parking meters in downtown Fort Collins. Street parking and all city-owned surface lots are free, all day, every day. You pay a nominal fee to park in city-owned garages, but otherwise, the downtown experience costs not a dime. There are time limits similar to those in Colorado Springs, and finding a spot was no more difficult than it is here. And did I mention the whole neighborhood was packed — which it is every time we visit, no matter the season or the weather.

Few support big changes to downtown parking | David Ramsey

I love using our downtown in the same way we enjoy Old Town in Fort Collins. Downtown Colorado Springs is a lovely place to linger, walk about, shop, have a cup of coffee or a nice meal. And I didn’t object to the old parking fees — not free, but reasonable. Not anymore. Doubling the fees for surface parking just feels like a slap, and I am much less likely to go downtown now or to linger when I do go. I can go to Goat Patch or Cerberus brew pubs instead of Oskar Blues and not pay for parking. I can go to the Wobbly Olive instead of Four by Luck and not pay for parking. The women who run Ladyfinger’s Press, and the small consignment store next door will see less of me, as will the new owners of Terra Verde, and the staff at the Spice Shop. I feel especially bad for the folks who run the Kimball Theater, where the cost and convenience to attend a movie just became problematic.

I understand this is about money and our city parking staff’s wish to upgrade and install fancy, new meters.

I’m not sure where the new issue with deferred maintenance in parking garages comes from, but the City Council should have thought about that years ago when they were built. I’m especially steamed with Councilman Richard Skorman, who should know clearly the potential negative impact this will have on his fellow business people, and with my council representative, Jill Gabler, who again has shown a lack leadership for her constituents.

In a world of pressing issues, this is a very small one indeed. However, making it more onerous for people to do something you want them to do, in this case to visit downtown, makes little sense. Just because we can do something — like increasing parking fees — doesn’t mean we should.

Kelley McCready

Colorado Springs

Blatant case of double taxation

Upon looking at the new real estate tax bill, I am charged about $280 for the Black Forest fire district. We were annexed by and covered by Colorado Springs. This is a blatant case of double taxation as Black Forest does not cover us.

Why does the county allow this to continue to go on?

This practice should be stopped immediately, and the money should be returned to the taxpayers.

How was this ever allowed in the first place?

Verlyn Hammerstrom

Colorado Springs

Laws that can be broken

On Sunday, Jan. 26, the Gazette’s Editorial Board article highlighted how Denver city officials are ignoring federal subpoenas regarding information on illegals facing deportation, that are being sought by ICE. This sanctuary city and the elected officials that govern it are obviously harboring people that have broken the law. Yes, it is not a violent crime, but nonetheless these fugitives did not follow our laws regarding legal immigration. I grow tired of hearing of governors, mayors and City Council members declaring their state or community as a “sanctuary city or state.”

This remind me of the well-known saying: “Rules were meant to be broken.” We all have heard this and for the most part it is basically not taken seriously. But are laws just meant to be broken? We have federal laws that outline procedures for dealing with those who enter our country illegally. So, when is our federal government going to get really serious about prosecuting those elected, or appointed, officials that break our laws? This also relates to those that serve in the law enforcement field that will not cooperate with ICE when it comes to illegal immigrants. These immigrant sympathizers should be prosecuted and no proclamation, law or resolution protecting illegal immigrants should be taken seriously. If I offered shelter and protection to a criminal in my community and did not work with or inform our local law enforcement people, I would be looking at extensive jail time.

While listening to the President Donald Trump impeachment hearings, I often hear the term “no one is above the law.” Well, apparently that needs to be communicated to all our elected officials and if laws are broken, people need to be held accountable. Why do we inform our children or grandchildren that America is supposed to be a nation of laws when we don’t see them enforced today. What kind of message does this send to them and what happens when they become adults? I guess I should tell my granddaughter that laws are meant to be broken.

Mike Garner

Colorado Springs

Fanning the impeachment flames

This whole impeachment never would have happened had it not been for the three-year Russian-Moeller debacle. The Democrat-media coalition relentlessly pushed this charge, keeping the “lie” in front of the casually informed electorate, apprehensive and confused, and won the House. The Dems are applying the same tactics for the 2020 election by fanning these impeachment flames. The media should know better. When did they convert to socialism? Sad...

Will Pelz

Colorado Springs

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