RE: “Bruce Proposal would likely cause irreparable damage”
I have seen some wild stories and articles around stating that the sky would fall if Doug Bruce would succeed. This article is an out and out stretch of the truth.
Let’s look at what got us into this fix in the first place. The city government has devoted so much energy to figuring out how to get around TABOR (the Taxpayers Bill of Rights) with COPs (certificates of participation), fees (aka taxes) police officers as revenue generation forces, moving city costs to CSU (Colorado Springs Utilities), moving costs to PPRTA (Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority) you name it, they have been very creative with accounting and tight with the truth about what is going on.
The past city manager (Lorne Kramer) did not expend the effort to curtail or really reduce city government. He was interested in increasing revenue through fees, grants anything else he could conjure up. The rubber stamp City Council went right along with it. Now we have a new city manager and, from the articles, I have read we are marching the same direction.
Now since you brought up the rain tax (aka Stormwater Enterprise) let’s look at the facts. What did the city do with the taxpayer money that has been collected for years that were to be used for drainage? Does obtaining more real estate, parking garages, equipment, more employees and more levels of government waste ring a bell?
Every time the city spends for capital items the money comes from the general budget as it does for payroll. The city has to expend more for wages, benefits and overhead costs such as facilities. How do they get the money to expand those areas? The first thing that happens is an obligation such as drainage or road repairs are shorted in the budget. The drainage and streets can’t be fixed because the money is used for wages or purchase of more equipment.
In regard to Pueblo and its constant crying about SDS (the Southern Delivery System) — so what? The residents of Colorado Springs own the water, not Pueblo. They need to pay more attention to their own city and quit worrying about what others are doing.
The statement that the problems with Fountain Creek are a result of our growth is again absurd. I ask you again what the city did with the money from our taxes to fix the drainage. I would say that if the city had provided the services they are obligated to provide a problem would not exist.
The projection of $212 million reduction seems like a little more creative accounting by city staff. It always seems that when they are going to spend something they under estimate the cost to convince the public and when we want our money back it becomes a huge amount of money that will cause a burden on city services. With a huge leap of faith let’s say the $212 million is real. How do we cut to maintain a real balanced budget?
First thing on the agenda is to privatize all city crews for roads, parks, CSU, Memorial, engineering, planning and the top of the list an elected auditor that can only use outside sources to make sure the books are up to snuff.
How much will this generate in reduction in costs over the same 10 year period? Much more than the $212 million.
If CSU is not sold, all of its work can be outsourced. All the buildings, parking garages etc can be sold with the money funding all the drainage, roads and other obligations of the city. Yes privatizing the government will work hand in hand with the reduction of funding with the ballot issues. It’s too bad CSBJ has taken the tax and spend path and not stuck to the core principles of less government.
Mitch Christiansen, Colorado Springs