Tying it all together: Three large projects with no glue

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The Quality of Life Indicators report, the Dream City 2020 project and Operation 6035 are all significant, worthy projects meant to help Colorado Springs be all the city can be. But, it seems the three legs of the stool are without a solid plank at the top to unite and give strength to those legs.

Who in this community will be that solidifying component, that one leader willing to occupy that position of bringing together those three disparate programs?

I can tell you right now, the Quality of Life Indicators to be published in August should have the Grim Reaper on the cover. Things aren’t looking too positive in the “Growing a vibrant economy” chapter. This is just one of the chapters in the book that will act as a report card on the community.

Dream City 2020 culminated in a summit last weekend. There were approximately 300 people in attendance. After a year of planning, conversations and 109 volunteer facilitators recruited and trained, extensive outreach to community members and organizations with more than 3,000 residents participating, according to materials put out by Dream City, 300 people in attendance was not a good turnout.

The Operation 6035 report will be out soon. What will it tell us? That the Springs is losing young professionals and the economic development folks should go after green energy, biotech and technology companies. These are apparent right now. What specific actions must the city take to accomplish those things?

What is the deliverable on these three projects? Is the Springs now ready to grow-up, get commuter rail, build a museum or facility that would put us on the map? I don’t think so.

Who is that one person, who can lead the charge, tying these three undertakings together to make a difference? Or, are these projects destined to gather dust along with reports from bygone days that didn’t amount to any action items then. Why should these new projects turn into actionable items now?

Call me a skeptic if you wish. I will be glad to report a positive outcome should one come together. Right now I see well-intentioned people spending well-intentioned time for nothing.

Another name for the Dream City 2020 project could be the great 2009 silo mapping project. It is an admirable undertaking to try to chronicle all the different organizations in town. But, I sure wouldn’t want to do it.

Three-hundred people at the Summit for Dream City? That tells me there is a long way to go. To this point there is no white knight who will gallop in, take ownership, corral the projects, put them in a nice organized package with action items, and make a difference.

It really should be an elected official. But who?

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.