Denver native Chuck Fowler has lived in Colorado Springs for many years and now runs CFowler Communications. He has been married to Cindy (who received the Chamber’s Athena award earlier this year) for more than two decades, and the couple has one daughter, Emily. Recently, Fowler volunteered his time to head the “City Committee,” which was created after a widely circulated letter to Mayor Rivera and City Council by Broadmoor Hotel CEO Steve Bartolin. In the letter, Bartolin questioned city policies, suggesting that any organization, public or private, which spends more than 70 percent of its revenue on employee compensation is on dangerous ground.
Tell us about the City Committee.
It is comprised of local successful businesspeople who are going to provide, free of charge, advice to city staff and city council to help them operate the public’s business more efficiently.
Do you find it difficult to get the information you need in order to give the city good advice?
We’re not into it long enough or deep enough to really be able to answer that question. So far, the city has been cooperative. They believe that most of the information that we need to do our work is available online, and much of it is. However, for instance, budgets only go back to 2008. We’ve asked for information going back to the time when sales tax revenues were the same as 2009, so we can see how money was prioritized.
When will you come up with a report?
Piecemeal, really. We’re organized as a 501 (c) (3), and we’re not going anywhere. Certainly, in these times, we feel that we’ll be bringing something of value, but even as the economy improves we believe that (our perspective) will be useful.
You’ve been involved with many civic efforts over the years. How did you get involved in this one?
Well, my wife Cindy has been the one who has really been active. My involvements have not been as public. I chaired the District 11 budget committee for a couple of years, and I also chaired the School Configuration and Use committee, which was a longwinded way to say closing schools. I’ve also been involved in the community through my work with homeowners’ associations.
I got involved with this effort because I’m concerned about the community. I care about the place. I wasn’t born here, but I wasn’t born far away. I think some of the moves that the city has made over the past few years have been confusing — to me, anyway.
I think I’m part of the group that found the way that the Olympic building was handled — I found that confusing. And then more recently, the attempt to raise taxes with the referendum last November, and then the moves after that — chucking the trash cans out of parks, turning out streetlights yada, yada. And they had turned off water in the parks previously. That goes back almost two years.
I was confused by these things, and frustrated.