E-Mail: DonKnightForD1@comcast.net Website: www.DonKnightforD1.com Phone: 719-532-9369
1. Addressing our infrastructure needs without raising taxes. In my first term, we addressed roads with Issue 2C. I supported that tax increase. Now we must fund stormwater within our current budget or become another tax and spend City government. I do not support Council unilaterally adopting a stormwater fee without a vote of the people. With the potential of $12M in TABOR excess, I firmly believe we can fund our stormwater needs within our budget. 2. Retaining and attracting new businesses to grow our economy so we do not have to raise taxes. I explain below in Question 8.
While Council's current Town Hall practice is good, the best model is how the City handled the redesign of the 31st St Canal and development of the Renew North Nevada Ave Master Plan. A task force began with a clean sheet of paper then held multiple town halls to narrow the inputs to a single decision with the majority of the affected community, if not all, buying in. They accomplished this by making their town halls a true give and take; spending at least half of each meeting having the audience work on crafting and commenting different visions, plans, etc.
The City has 9 enterprises ranging from airport and utilities to golf courses and cemeteries. With respect to CSU specially, we must keep our utilities citizen-owned. Some have suggested in the past, and others will try again in the future, to sell the electric and gas portions. While the City would receive a one-time payment; it pales in comparison to the increased rates we would pay. In my first term, I made the motion to halt a study to sell. For this election, I support the ballot initiative to raise the minimum voter requirement for selling from 50% to 60%.
The proposed resolution did NOT oppose the relocation of refugees to Colorado Springs. It requested the federal government to fully vet them before relocating to Colorado. Anyone having deployed to Southwest Asia (myself, my daughter, her husband, and my son included) will affirm while there are people suffering in this region who could find a better life in Colorado, there are also people who want to do us harm. With the high visibility targets in our area (Air Force Academy, Cheyenne Mountain, Garden of the Gods, etc), it is only common sense to ensure we properly screen any refugees first.
Under our current form of Government, Council's role in assisting our homeless is minor. The City's lead, Ms Amy Cox, works for the Mayor. Council does support her by approving her budget and annual action plan. One example is we approved providing the Springs Rescue Mission with excess Community Development Block Grant funds so they can support homeless singles while the Marion House concentrates on families. Council also has a role in low income housing. I support Ms Cox's assessment that low income housing is defined as 30% of one's disability check; not just cheaper than the place next door.
Our public transit system needs are two-fold: expanded service areas and more frequent service in existing areas. Both of these require more funding. The Mayor's and Council's restoration of the maintenance of effort funding will allow improvement to one but not both. Additionally, the possibility for future substantial increase in funding is bleak given all the other priorities fighting for limited City dollars. Before my November 2014 Rolling Town Hall on various bus routes within District 1, I favored adding more routes. However, after talking to the people who use and count on transit; more frequent service is needed first.
Yes. The 1st Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof "(emphasis added). Are we not then being both hypocritical and against the law if we say one group has the right the exercise their religious freedoms, but then prohibit another? For example, while against its uniform standards, the military accommodates individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs including the wear beards or articles of clothing, or obtain tattoos or piercings. Why then should we force a baker to make a cake in a fashion against his or her religious believes.
In business development I learned to protect your base and focus your growth. Our base is the military. In my first term, I championed a Pentagon, local bases, and CSU partnership to strengthen us from any Base Realignment and Closures. For growth, I will focus on medicine, aerospace, and cyber. I voted for modifying the Memorial lease for a new Children's hospital bringing in high paying medical jobs. I supported creating a Commercial Aeronautical Zone (CAZ) around the airport which has already brought in over 2,000 jobs. In my second term, I want to make the entire City a CAZ.
Arts and Culture definitely provide value added to our community but is not the reason people live here. During our assignment in Los Angeles, my wife and I went to many plays including The King and I with Yul Brenner and Lena Horne's one-woman show. However, it is not a city we wanted to raise our family in. We are now season subscribers to the Fine Arts Center and Philharmonic, receiving just as much enjoyment. However, government funding of the Arts will never rank above Public Safety, Public Works or even our Parks. Well-funded requires strong private patronage to succeed.
Education: bachelor of Engineering and MS in Computer Science Occupation: Fulltime on City Council
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The top two issues facing Colorado Springs, are our underfunded and eroding infrastructure and our economy. We need to bring in new business and jobs by aggressively supporting our Mayor’s and the Chamber’s plan to ﬁnd and attract new companies to come to our great city. We start this by removing barriers that hinder that process- We make Colorado Springs a place people not only want to do business, but a place they want to bring their families. Companies move to places they want to live- good roads, schools, parks, safety records, and a high quality of life.
The council and the Mayor need to bring interested parties into the process earlier as this will result in a better ﬁnal outcome, less frustration for people in the surrounding area of large projects, lower cost, and better feel about the direction of our community. This needs to happen before the ﬁrst proposal is ﬁnalized, we tend to wait until we are wrapped up with our ideas and then let the other side reacted, this creates animosity and a lower quality ﬁnal output. Open forums and a great website will make it easier for people to interact.
We have locally controlled utilities here in Colorado Springs and this has several advantages when trying to attract new businesses. We are more adaptable when we can bring the leaders of the utilities to the table when power, water, or waste water are important to incoming businesses. We can also help to keep utilities more affordable by bring businesses in that have steady needs, making down times more proﬁtable and lowering overall rates. Both go hand in hand, a true win/win scenario.
Our federal government has failed to come up with a competent way to vet refugees, it would be wise to delay these decisions until they have.
! We need to aggressively address our homeless population, start this by separating the truly homeless- needing full time assistance- from those that need a little assistance and more importantly from those that our panhandlers. Make it easier to donate to great charities and put out a campaign to encourage people to stop handing out money on the streets. We need to visit cities that have successfully reduced their homeless populations and learn from how they did it and how they got around the ACLU.
Public transportation is an integral part of a healthy city and a necessary part in attracting and retaining our youth. There is a large portion of our population that relies on this service and can not remain productive without it. We can either improve our current system or spend even more money on assisting these same people when they can no longer sustain their jobs, get to places where they would otherwise be spending money.
The issue of a businesses right to refuse service based on religious beliefs is far out of the realm of what Council should be dealing with. Council gets wrapped up in issues that they do not control far too often and perhaps this is part of the reason they do not accomplish all they could have and should have accomplished. Smaller, less intrusive government is always a better route.
To improve and SUSTAIN economic develop we need to ﬁrst ﬁx our infrastructure, we can not continue to grow on top of eroding services, and then we aggressively go after new businesses. Our Mayor and Chamber have a vision and a plan for these issues and Council needs to support them and move quickly to put their plans into action. Trusting the city’s staff and being time sensitive to the need for us get projects started in our downtown area will be key to taking advantage of this opportunity that has opened up to us by a better economy.
Cities with vibrant downtowns and well funded arts and cultural sectors are attracting more people to their cities, more businesses, and more tourism. By funding these types of projects we will not only get a great return on our investments, but a higher quality of life for our citizens. Just look at the cities that are economically rising and they all share these qualities, this is no longer just a nice idea, it is a necessity to reach our goals of growing this economy.
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More important than any particular ‘issue’ is a candidate’s decision making process. Our City has made decisions over the last 20+ years reflecting a ‘small town’ identity capable of being governed by ‘small town’ politics. We are a large city, almost as big as Atlanta. We must think of ourselves as a Big City, and finance ourselves as such, so as to address the problems and potentials every big city has. This self-image and corresponding failure to fund ourselves are two longstanding issues I would raise directly with the voters.
This requires a strong relationship with the media as the ‘fourth estate’ reporting on matters of public interest. It is also encouraged by participation of the interested private groups and businesses which are invested in improving the City. This sort of public-private partnership is needed not only because the City lacks the resources to unilaterally address current needs given the lack of funding over the last 20-30 years, but because it will better reveal the true depth and breadth of diversity in our community, building trust between these organization and individual citizens that we can help one another.
Colorado Springs Utilities is a true asset to our community. Because it is owned by the city residential and business consumers consistently receive good service at prices that other communities, with privately owned utilities, cannot match. Additionally, because it is a city asset, it can work with private enterprises desiring to relocate to our community in ways other cities, with privately owned utilities, cannot. That said, both because of the time and expertise needed to operate utilities properly, the council should not be the primary manager, but should delegate oversight to a professional supervisor/board.
Our community never questioned accepting “migrants” forcibly displaced by the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires, as we recognized the moral imperative to do so. Any resolution barring all of Colorado Springs from accepting other migrants, displaced for other reasons, because of an unsubstantiated fear cannot be justified, because embracing those forced to migrate for any reason remains a moral imperative and we must never coercively institute a ban prohibiting the exercise of human compassion and the religious and moral precepts we profess to claim as our heritage.
Because of past funding decisions and current income, City resources must primarily address three areas; stormwater, infrastructure/roads and public safety. There are few resources available to directly assist the most vulnerable. However, we must be concerned that a single parent working full time still cannot afford a clean and safe apartment. While the city does not have resources to directly address this concern, it can work with the business and private communities to create incentives to expand safe and clean low-income housing. Similar public/private partnerships can assist our most vulnerable in other areas.
This builds on my previous answer. That single parent, spending over half the monthly paycheck on rent, will have at most $600 for groceries, medicine, school supplies and utilities among other expenses. It is unrealistic that (s)he will be able to afford a car payment, gasoline, insurance, etc. Supporting our low-income workers, and allowing them to accumulate wealth so as to join and strengthen a growing middle-class, will require public transportation so that they, and their families, can get to and from their jobs, school, etc. This will also attract businesses seeking to relocate.
No. As a pragmatic matter, such an effort would ultimately prove futile and costly, as the resolution of these sorts of issues is necessarily going to have to be determined pursuant to the free exercise clauses of the federal and state constitutions, and not by local city ordinance. On a personal level, such efforts have often appeared to me to be more concerned with ensuring active government support of one individual’s religious/social/moral beliefs by the simultaneous suppression of the religious/ social/moral beliefs held by another.
A City that refuses to invest in itself cannot expect a business to do so. In committing to our City businesses will be more inclined to partner with us. This requires embracing our community as it is; a city of over 400,000 people with political, ethical, social and ethnic identities that are not uniform or homogeneous. We need not be afraid to acknowledge this. If we are all interested in the City’s future, we can embrace those things that serve the common good. Compromise for the greater good is not a dirty concept.
Attracting new businesses and high-paying jobs – and, indeed, having a vital local economy - is but a part of ensuring a well-rounded quality of life in Colorado Springs. Arts and culture, to include our City’s ‘mountain and physical activities culture’, are indispensable. Tourists may come if we construct attractions, but businesses will relocate and new residents will arrive when we commit, through government investment and public-private partnership, to not only keeping what has made Colorado Springs so special all along, but to making it even better.
Education: BS Bus. Admin, J.D., Ordained Catholic Deacon Occupation: Current Hospital Chaplain, Former Attorney
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: RichardSkorman.com
The top two issues facing Colorado Springs are: 1 and 2. Finding more dedicated funding for Park Maintenance, Infrastructure, Stormwater, Fire Mitigation and Public Safety. We need to get stormwater funding out of the General Fund to free up money for City’s core services by putting forth a separate funding source for Stormwater and by detaborizing our City’s ratchet down effect and TABOR caps so we can keep money in good economic times. I would also like to see the creation of a Fire District mill levy for those who reside and do business in the Wildland Urban Interface.
Work better with neighborhood groups and community organizations to garner input and support early on as issues come up and be as transparent as possible from the dais, particularly from the Utility Board.
Utilities are the main City Enterprise that financially affects local residents. We need to place in front of voters an initiative to overturn Issue 300 so that the City and its Enterprises can work more cost effectively by sharing resources. We can significantly lower utility bills by temporarily selling surplus SDS water (which is all of it) to outside water districts that are desperate for water and we should be more proactive with Demand Side Management (conservation) opportunities for commercial and residential ratepayers to lower rates and demand.
I don’t support it. Colorado Springs has a long tradition of bringing in refugees and having them successfully assimilate into our city. Many of our City’s best small business owners and high tech employees have come from our past refugee community. Many more have served in our armed forces and been stationed in our region.
We need be more proactive in providing incentives for the construction of affordable housing. The homeless issue is mostly separate from affordable housing issue, as many of the population who lives on the streets are struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. We could benefit by providing a homeless camp with sanitation facilities and funding a mobile unit with a Social Worker and Nurse Practitioner to go to that population instead of the other way around would provide a benefit to make sure the needs of the homeless population are addressed so that they are able to be safe.
We will never have a big city’s public transportation system as we just don’t have the concentration of population to support, although of course, we should incent more infill development. But the Southeast parts of the city have the most demand. I would beef up that service there and would entertain advocating for a Jitney system like Portland currently has, that is not allowed through by State law. We are not a pedestrian friendly city so door to door public transportation makes the most sense.
I would not support. We are a diverse city with a population of lots of religious beliefs, lifestyle choices and sexual orientations. No one should ever feel that they can discriminate against a customer based on their own religious beliefs
We have a tremendous opportunity to attract Millennials and entrepreneurs from the increasingly congested and expensive North Front Range by growing our Downtown and Westside commercial districts, retiring and removing the Drake Power plant, connecting our trails and creating a system of greenways to increase bicycle transportation and access to outdoor recreation, and by renegotiating our Franchise agreement with Century Link and Comcast to increase our bandwidth and internet speeds. Promote our Cyber security infrastructure and industries and provide a place for Peterson to increase its missions. And continue to promote our culture of health/fitness and our Olympic Brand.
It plays a tremendous role and right now, we have a cache of local talent in all of the Arts. It’s success is certainly a local economic driver and would help attract Millennials as mentioned above. I am excited about CC taking over the Fine Arts Center, the Broadmoor investing in the World Arena, the new Performing Arts facilities at CC and UCCS. I hope when the Drake Power Plant is retired that a true Arts District can be create as originally envisioned in the Southwest part of Downtown.
Education: Bachelor of Arts and Honorary Doctorate from Colorado College Occupation: Co-owner Poor Richards/Little Richards/Ricos
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Meeting our legal commitment to Pueblo County and the Lower Ark regarding improving storm water facilities, a 20 year $M460 obligation. If we fail to meet this obligation, Pueblo could interfere with the use of our $M850 SDS pipeline. Funding the Police Department to meet target response times and police positions. Currently, the city is below national benchmarks in both of these categories, putting the citizens and private property at additional risk.
Historically, Colorado Springs has been a very open community regarding public policy and initiatives. Hundreds of people have volunteered for the SCIP initiative in the 90s, the Sustainability Committee in the early 2000s and Imagine and Experience Downtown among many others. Public hearing processes are open, both at the neighborhood level and in Council chambers. We can always improve opportunities to communicate through technology. Each Councilor needs to ensure opportunities for comment regarding initiatives and policies that affect their Districts.
We’re fortunate to have successful, city-owned enterprises that can financially stand on their own. They all pay their own way and add to the community in important ways. It’s unfortunate that surplus revenues from city-owned enterprises cannot be transferred to the city’s General Fund (though this does happen yearly between CSU and the GF). It’s ridiculous that water owned by the citizens can’t be priced at a favorable rate to water our parks and medians.
Because of the legal turmoil and chaos of America’s immigration policy at present, I don’t trust that the federal government can adequately protect the safety and security of its citizens from potential threats. Protecting citizens, their lives and properties, is a primary duty over humanitarian efforts.
Along with serving as the Board for CSU, municipal government should first and foremost focus on efficient, affordable public services as those duties are required in the city charter. Police and fire; street engineering and maintenance; storm water management; land use and community development and the personnel policies that regulate city staff should be the focus of our policymakers on city council. Faith-based communities and non-profits, both of which enjoy broad community financial and volunteer support should “assist” those most vulnerable in our community.
Circulating empty buses around town all day is not a sustainable plan. Public transit in its current form is expensive, under utilized and inefficient. Scare general fund dollars should be allocated to where the demand is greatest for public transit. I would like to see an outside study of the costs and benefits of the current system, versus an approach for on-demand rides using vouchers and private ride services such as Uber and Yellow Cab.
I believe in religious liberty and equality.
It’s not enough to offer a beautiful city. Business owners and managers fear uncertainty. Expanding and relocating businesses, the companies who drive the most beneficial and sustainable economic growth and jobs, want stability in government funding and service delivery. They need to rely on a dependable and sober work force. They look for cultural continuity and personal growth through high-performing schools and universities. Colorado Springs does all of these things well, but we must stay competitive with other communities who are looking for economic growth, too. City Council’s job is to ensure that our local government is not inhibiting economic growth with over regulation or burdensome policies.
Arts and culture are vital components of a healthy and thriving community. They bring different people together to both affirm our value systems but also challenge our creativity and attitudes. We are fortunate to have an arts culture in our community sufficient to meet our need to understand ourselves and our community better.
Education: BA, University of Colorado (Boulder) Occupation: Owner, HOAreports.com
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: yolanalavilaforcitycouncil.com Phone: 719-424-7142
The top issues are infrastructure and transportation. I prioritize these issues because they are important in and of themselves, but also because they impact so many other areas of life. It’s difficult to have a strong economy, or a healthy and safe environment if we have unsafe infrastructure and transportation that doesn’t work for everyone. We must build and repair stormwater infrastructure, sidewalks, and roads, while creating a network of transportation options that works for people of all ages and abilities. I will prioritize funding for these areas, as well as collaborate with citizens on innovative solutions to perennial problems.
Council should schedule events that encourage more reciprocal discussions and genuine dialogues. We need meetings that are more interactive and provide more opportunities for community building. These events should be scheduled with a diverse range of people in mind, people with different schedules, jobs, and roles in the community.
Citizen owners should always have a voice via elected officials and should be able to have a say, at least to some degree, about how enterprises are run. The City should allow enterprises enough freedom to be able to be profitable, while also regulating them closely enough to ensure fair treatment for all ratepayers and City residents.
I do not support the resolution. Refugees have already been extensively vetted before entering our country and this kind of ban does not represent who we are as a country, a state, or a city. Refugees have experienced unimaginable atrocities and are so grateful to be here and will contribute immensely to our community if given the opportunity.
Those who are most vulnerable are affected by many different issues and so our response needs to be holistic and multifaceted. We must address their vulnerability through affordable housing, healthcare clinics, access to healthy food, and organizations that provide temporary relief and assistance. We must encourage innovative solutions and support businesses and organizations that can help.
Our public transit system is crucial to the success of our city. We need to create a transit network that is connected, fast, and convenient so that everyone can participate equally in our City, whether or not they have the ability or desire to drive. I will prioritize funding for multimodal transportation. We need to expand hours, increase frequency, and create more routes for buses, as well as building walkable sidewalks and safe bike infrastructure.
I would not support such an effort. I am concerned about anything that may take us back to the days of discriminatory practices, and I believe such legislature has the potential to open that door.
We must always begin by investing in our people. They are our greatest resource and we need to create the ideal conditions for them to become entrepreneurs, business owners, and skilled workers. We should focus on making sure that citizens have access to a diverse array of training and education, whether it is skill-specific, college, vocational schools, entrepreneurship training, or business management. We must also carefully consider City regulations and policies to make sure that we are providing a welcoming climate for businesses and employers, while also protecting the public interest, our environment, and the rights and needs of citizens
Arts and culture are a vital component of our economy. When we invest in arts and cultural activities, that investment returns in the form of local jobs, tourism dollars, and the location and relocation of more businesses, retirees, and millennials. People have to want to work, live, and play in a city if that city is going to have a strong economy and a booming arts and culture sector is a big part of making Colorado Springs appealing to businesses and tourists alike.
Education: B.A. Political Economy Occupation: Retired Criminal Defense Investigator
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#1 Priority: Stormwater infrastructure I will support a legal avenue to deal with this overwhelming need for our community. This has been an ongoing conversation for years. Colorado Springs has a minimum of a Billion dollar stormwater problem. We have an obligation to our neighbors in Fountain and Pueblo and we are currently being sued by the EPA. #2 Priority: Public safety We need to make sure that the growth of our city does not leave us behind in having the appropriate number of police or fire firefighters to meet the needs of this city. These public servants need to be provided with the needed training and equipment to do their jobs safely for themselves and the residents of this community, especially in District 4.
City Council should hold regular Town Hall meetings in their various Districts and invite citizens to participate. These events should be set-up early and utilize all forms of communication to let citizens know when meetings will be held. Topics for discussion can be provided as developed, so citizens that attend the meetings of greatest interest to them
Ensure that each entity is managing itself within the guidelines of our charter, SOP’s and state constitution. Each entity plays a significant role and the citizens should be aware of how we interface with each other. That allows concerns and issues to be addressed in a fair and equitable way.
What I support is the review of how we provide for the citizens of this community and how we make sure that the adequate services and resources are available.
We have so many organizations working on this issue – I would bring these organizations and individuals together and support the efforts that are already underway. We need to have a broadbased conversation with an immediate action plan throughout the entire city and in every district. The city council, county commissioners and mayor’s office – needs to lead the conversations with a plan.
I believe it is one of the priorities of the City. Because it is a costly aspect of our budget, we need to determine alternative funding options based on usage and need. My District in particular could utilize more public transit options. Some Districts might benefit from alternative forms of transits and there should not be a one-size fits all solution. Transit and other modes of transportation have to be considered District by District and not one formula for all.
I would support the rights of individuals and companies. Many businesses have signs that say, we exercise our right to refuse service to anyone. Because the business owner is responsible for the vitality of their business and they are responsible for paying the taxes, hiring staff, promoting a service or product, why should we allow anyone to tell them who they can serve or not serve. I believe we need to stop trying to make everyone accept our beliefs. I am entitled to exercise my beliefs and I shouldn’t infringe on others rights to do the same. Let’s follow the constitution.
As you know City Council does not create jobs, we create regulations/policies/ ordinances that make our community a business friendly climate or not. We need to review our regulations and taxes to make sure businesses want to relocate, stay or start in Colorado Springs. The growth of any city is the small business population. How can we attract more as well as help more be successful? We’ve had enough studies – now we need to implement what has already been researched. We want all parts of our city to be attractive for business growth. No one area should receive all the attention, we should make sure future or prospective businesses or investors see the entire community as a viable relocation, expansion or start-up opportunity.
Colorado Springs is a tourist community and when visitors come to our city, we should have a downtown that is vibrant and the heartbeat of the city. To provide that element we need the arts, restaurants, cultural events, etc. that will allow visitors as well as residents to enjoy the city time and time again. We want a community that provides opportunities for all, the young, old, retired, different cultures and ethnicities. We all want a city where we can live, work and play. The more opportunities the more money will be invested in our city.
Education: 1983 - Howard University Occupation: Executive Director - Parent Challenge
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Unsustainable growth is the most urgent issue facing our community. We must ensure we are maintaining the roads and infrastructure we have, along with providing adequate public safety, before we continue to grow outward. The City’s stormwater infrastructure backlog is the second most crucial issue, and another great example of the importance of maintaining what we have and keeping our citizens safe before we build new infrastructure. The City must ask the voters to approve a permanent stormwater fee, similar to the fees charged by every other larger city in Colorado.
I want neighbors and neighborhoods to have a more powerful voice at City Hall, and have worked to get our Council Organization of Neighborhoods (CONO) involved earlier, and more often, on issues that impact our neighborhoods. I would like the City to continue promoting the use of social media and web-based methods to receive community input, and for Council members to host more town halls at different times, to encourage greater participation.
City enterprises produce their own revenue and cannot utilize city tax dollars. The ideal relationship with enterprises is one of partnership and autonomy. Colorado Springs Utilities is the City’s largest enterprise, with its own governance, that must partner with to City to keep rates low while also partnering with the city to provide them water and other utilities.
I was a council member during this discussion and was opposed to the anti-refugee resolution. This type of non-binding messaging only serves to degrade the reputation of our community as we appear unjust and even hateful to those who need our assistance the most.
I worked at local nonprofit, Greccio Housing, prior to my election to our City Council where I worked closely with our low-income and homeless community members. Because of this background, I understand that everyone needs a safe place to live, where they can begin to rebuild their lives. I would like to see our faith-based community engage at a deeper and more collaborate level to assist our most vulnerable citizens and will continue to support all efforts to support all community members toward leading stable and self-sufficient lives.
As a council member I have been very vocal about the importance of having a robust transit system in our community, as transit is a basic city service, and I have fought for transit funding increases. I have also brought attention to our many transit users by riding buses and hosting my office hours on a bus. The City needs to continue focusing on the transit needs of our lower-income community along with our young professionals and seniors, as many of them rely on transit or simply want to live a car-less lifestyle.
I would not support a local policy change to allow any business to deny service to someone based on religious belief.
The City's economy has been growing over the past four years, as witnessed by a year-over-year increase in sales tax revenue to the City. It is not government's job to bring business to our city, but it is our job to create a community where business wants to locate and a young, educated workforce wants to live and raise their families. I believe we do this by continuing to reduce regulations that prevent business from thriving and by continuing to support the downtown growth that is wanted by young professionals, who want to live, play, work, eat, and shop, all without getting in a car.
Arts and culture play an enormous role in creating a vibrant community, especially in our downtown, which is a certified creative district. I have worked to secure additional lodging and auto rental taxes for local arts nonprofits, which would enhance our many arts and cultural venues, and attract even more locals and tourists to our community.
Education: BS Management Information Systems, Univ. of Arizona Occupation: Council Member – City of Colorado Springs
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#1: We need to establish a business friendly Council. One that fosters the environment which then creates jobs, supports businesses (existing and new), and strengthens our economy. As an accomplished small-business owner, I have seen how the reduction of regulations directly led to more jobs and more money in our citizens’ pockets. #2: We need to strengthen the partnerships throughout the community to better serve our city. I want residents of all ages to stay, grow their families and retire in Colorado Springs. Pride for our City must be elevated, and is linked to the quality of opportunities found here.
My message is simple: this is about leadership that empowers people, not government. We live in a city of growing opportunity, and the primary role of government is to ensure that opportunities are accessible and attainable for residents, citizens and visitors alike. It is about customer service for our citizens that must focus on the speed and quality of services delivered, citizen input, and cost. We need to establish standards and benchmarks to cut red tape, improve processing times, transparency and predictability, so our citizens know exactly what to expect. Outcome-based ideas, not personalities or politics, will be the priority.
I believe we have an excellent Utilities Department with dedicated and hardworking employees. I believe maintaining it as a city owned asset— with only four services— keeps it accessible and affordable. We have two major advantages of being municipal- owned: 1) local governance, and 2) cost saving controls for our customers. With regards to oversight of CSU, the role of City Council is to hire the CEO, hold leadership accountable, and make proper informed decisions to expansion and rates. I will evaluate, and balance every decision, based on the cost of expansion versus the cost to the stakeholders.
The issue of whether our country, our state or our city allowing refugees is strictly within the purview of the executive branch of the federal government. I believe in the separation of powers enumerated by the U.S. Constitution; specifically between the legislative, executive and judicial powers. Colorado Springs’ City Council is the municipal’s legislative branch and should focus ONLY on the issues it controls (e.g., land use and CSU governance, for instance). I would have fought against this resolution and the discussion surrounding it, as a lack of focus from the business of this city and waste of time.
Our health as a city depends on ensuring that all members of the community can access the services they need. We need to break down barriers so those at-risk are as much a part of the city as everyone else. We need to understand their challenges, as well as their value. Current efforts have not produced enough affordable housing and discourages density/mixed-use development. Homelessness and supportive services—including mental health resources— for the most vulnerable are real issues we face on a daily basis. The solution involves a multi-pronged effort involving a collaborative effort involving all facets of our community.
I want to make Colorado Springs one of the “Most Livable Cities” with a world-class transit and a multi-modal system that drives economic growth, sustainable development and accessibility for all. Low density patterns and limited resources are a challenge for public transportation. Intra-city mobility must provide frequent service with an emphasis on transit corridors that connect all riders with multiple destination options. We should redesign bus operations to provide multiple stops throughout the city center, rather than at one fixed transit center, while focusing on routes that have the strongest ridership and have the best chance of attracting new riders.
In 2015, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals determined it was unlawful to discriminate based on religious beliefs, stating “religious liberty gives you the right to your beliefs but not the right to harm others.” Neither our state’s anti- discrimination law nor this ruling prevents a business owner from expressing their views on any issues they may have religious opposition to and they remain free to dissociate themselves from their customers’ viewpoints; however, state law currently prohibits public accommodations from refusing service based on factors such as race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.
We need to diversify our economic base and the City should act as the conduit to economic growth, not a roadblock. We need an economic gardening ecosystem that cultivates new businesses and supports existing ones through “retain, grow, and attract” strategies. Tourism is a major driver of the local economy with an average of 5M visitors/year, supporting 17,000 jobs while generating over $56M in tax revenue. As such, downtown is essential to strengthening the City’s epicenter of commerce, culture and government. It must grow to become a thriving, dense and connected neighborhood with living, restaurant and retail opportunities.
We should always ask how we can weave the arts into all of our activities and projects as it is an integral part of our community. We are blessed with a dynamic arts and cultural sector. In 2014, Downtown was certified a “Colorado Creative District,” among the first in the state to receive this recognition. The City must commit to maintain these sectors and work with partners – public and private— to ensure their long term viability, so that future generations can also enjoy. We must also work to attract new creative industry employers, entrepreneurs and cultural opportunities.
Education: Pueblo Community College, University of Southern Colorado Occupation: CEO
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.facebook.com/COS.District.6 Phone: 719-64-6352
The storm water and Martin Drake Power plant issues are the most pressing at the time of answering this. Both issues effect the environment of our city. When I get into office, I will be getting down and dirty in regards to resolving these issues. The storm water issue should have been handled long ago, and there never should have been lawsuits. Now the taxpayers will end up “footing the bill” in order to satisfy both the requirements of the storm water agreement, and resolving the lawsuit. As for the Drake Power-plant, an economical solution needs to replace the plant, after its been decommissioned and I feel strongly that the voters should be part of the decision.
Focus groups, however, the focus groups must have more diversity. So often, citizens feel groups like this are a waste of time, and their breath. We need to come up with a way to prove to our citizens that we hear them, we are as concerned as we are, and we will do everything possible to provide resolution. The city website is pretty good, but cumbersome. It needs to be a bit friendlier to everyone of all ages.
Quite often, the citizens or local businesses absorb cost breaks given to developers. Developers make money off city projects, which is fair, and fine. However, the practice of providing discounted rates for certain things, needs to be evaluated. When cost breaks are offered to one party, it must be absorbed somewhere.
I do not support this resolution. It is not right! We all come from a family of immigrants (unless you’re Native American). Our Bill of Rights promises “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to those seeking refuge here. I have been to the Syrian refugee camps in Germany, and I have met those seeking refuge. They are women, children, elderly, and only a small percentage are men as many of the men are either fighting still or have been killed. Many are professionals like you and I with families. And they are kind and grateful. Our vetting process is tough, trust it.
We need to do a better job of making sure those who need help, get help. We also need to recognize the mental health issues of some, and work towards getting them to accept help. So many of those vulnerable, served their country and need to be shown more compassion. I also feel standard guidelines need to be implemented in all shelters offering refuge from the streets. Some of the rules are very constringent and many are turned away, putting them right back out on the streets again.
The public transit in the downtown area is pretty good. However, in my district, its limited or non existent. The population is growing more and spreading eastward and north. More transportation needs to be put in place to serve the ever growing population that is spreading out. We also need to take a hard look at accessible transit. Many of our citizens have disabilities and this needs to be taken into consideration for public transportation. Its unacceptable to wheel a wheelchair three miles to catch an infrequent bus.
Absolutely not. If you are open to the public, you need to serve the public. Now, if you want to run an exclusive private business, not open to the general public, then yes, you should be able to field your clientele. We are Colorado Springs, united. Not Colorado Springs united except with those we depict as different. We are all created equal.
COS should really empower the local businesses more. Devise some kind of financial breaks for training and hiring local workers. But to make sure these financial breaks are not just lining the pockets of business management, a checks and balance system needs to be put into place. Similar to that of those receiving grants. Is it more work? YES! But don’t our constituents deserve a system which supports growth and employment?
Art is the beauty of this city’s soul. People come here to see the beauty with their eyes, paint it with their hearts, and create music from their soul. The city holds many cultures in it, and art is such a beautiful way of sharing the various cultures with one another. We should encourage our children to share their beauty with one another. There is nothing more moving than hearing a child sing. I am so supportive of funding art. Art is a vehicle, which allows us to connect to one another.
Education: BA From Catherine College in Van Nuys, CA Occupation: Retired former USAA MSR and Exec. Dir for Non Profit
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i. Economic development and diversification of the economic base. The economic base of the city is what drives opportunity for our citizens and provides the tax base upon which the city funds its operations. Greater efforts to expand businesses bring new industries and foster a business friendly environment. The Commercial Aeronautical Zone is the type of success that can be used to expand and diversify our economic base. Roads and flood control (stormwater) backlog. We have and should continue to fund these projects through the special 2C taxes and through the General Fund.
The Mayor and Council can use a combination of public meetings, greater use of social media, live and electronic townhalls. When key items are being considered it is essential to engage the public early and often. A greater use of special committees to research and receive public input could be used to increase public engagement on an issue earlier.
The current arrangement is working fairly well which is that each enterprise stands on its own and is funded by the fees it generates. The option of funding an enterprise with supplemental funding through the General Fund shifts that burden to the taxpayers in general which, as a general rule, should not occur. The Utilities is operating well as it is currently established and provides a transfer fee to the city which is commensurate with what a for-profit utility would pay in taxes and fees. The utility is currently in the lower 1/3 of rates in the country.
? I wrote that resolution and that is NOT what it said! That resolution did not oppose the relocation of refugees. The resolution requested two actions; that the local refugee resettlement agencies provide notification to the local governments since relocation drives local spending, and requested that the federal agencies ensure that refugees from specific threat areas identified by the Administration be securely screened. Since then the local agencies have engaged with the city and that communication continues and therefore answers that request.
By expanding the economic base in general there would be greater opportunity for all. There will always be those who need assistance and we do need to address those. At present, partnerships between city, county and local charities and non-profits are doing what we can to provide for those who are in need. The new shelter should be able to provide for that need and we will need to evaluate how well it works.
We do need a greater level of transit with expanded routes and services. The city has recently achieved the maintenance-of-effort level and has expanded service. There needs to be more transit service to the hospitals in the northern part of town and greater routes across town from all areas to all areas. This enables those who need that to reach employment which helps replace welfare rolls with productive employment. Funding this will continue to be difficult.
I do believe in religious freedom and I support the right of anyone to refuse service on religious grounds. We do not need a new tyranny of anti-religious bigotry against anyone and I will oppose such tyranny of thought and suppression of economic and religious freedom.
Economic development and job growth are my highest priority as this is what will drive prosperity, full employment, and the quality of life that everyone aspires to. We have and I will continue to emphasize economic growth and both the expansion of our economic base and diversity of business sectors. We are at present too dependent upon the defense sector and need to bring new business sectors. The Commercial Aeronautical Zone has been enormously successful and has generated a new business sector in our region. I think this is the type of approach that we can leverage for greater job growth across the region.
Arts and culture add to the quality of life. Arts and culture is a business sector and provide for increased employment for those in it as well as recreational opportunities for the population.
Education: BS in Business Administration with major in Transportation and Public Utilities MA International Relations MA National Security Affairs and Strategic Studies Occupation: Semi-retired, Member of City Council
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