Reader comments

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On Friday, the Colorado Springs Business Journal published a special report about how Huntsville, Ala., is beating Colorado Springs in the race to attract aerospace companies and jobs.

What is Huntsville doing that Colorado Springs should be doing, and what should the city’s strategy be moving forward?

We’d like to know what you think. Leave a comment below.

10 Responses to Reader comments

  1. Colorado Springs needs to make it easier for companies to relocate here. There seems to be this anti-growth movement here and it is killing us. Similar sized cities to us are welcoming these companies with welcome arms and make it easy for them. We need to make it easier and financially attractive for large companies to move or expand here. They will bring high paying primary jobs. And those jobs will create more jobs. This will increase our tax base and allow us to turn the streetlights back on.

    Hyrum
    August 23, 2010 at 10:21 am

  2. I think it’s a mistake to assume we want to attract aerospace companies and jobs. People follow the jobs, and study after study shows that you just end up with more people chasing a share of a bigger pie. With that bigger pie comes bigger problems requiring higher taxes. Who wins? Real estate speculators and other growth profiteers, but not the everyday citizen, who just watches quality of life decline and costs go up. Colorado Springs has proven this over the past two decades.

    Dave Gardner
    August 23, 2010 at 10:45 am

  3. What Colorado Springs fails to have is a coherent vision. In five years…we would like to have… we would like to be….
    What I would like to see is a more honest dialogue about taxes and how they effect the overall quality of life known as Colorado Springs.
    What about doing our own ‘Google fiber optic project’? Could we ask the citizens to vote on the internet support being a utility (similar to how we build roads and city infrastructure) and operated by CSU? What would happen if “we”, the citizens of Colorado Springs stepped out of our comfort zones and made the leap into fiber optics to the home, school, hospital and government? Then, let COMCAST/QWEST/DirectTV or whomever tie into the system somewhere downtown. A city with this capability would be a ‘launching area’ for all types of internet products and capabilities. How much would/could we ‘save’ in gasoline (shop on line), medical care (telemedicine) or even schooling if we ‘created’ this capability. The voters would have to approve it but the costs are rather small compared to the potentials. There are no telecommunications systems willing to take this step until they have ‘costed out’ their current copper lines. Therefore you are stuck with what they ‘will’ give you when they are willing to give it to you (check your current rates…and expect them to increase without substantial increase in capability)
    Huntsville does not have anything that Colorado Springs cannot offer (except mayber Doug Bruce). And, we have a better climate and views! People will follow leaders with vision. Anyone can be negative but we do not force our politicians to be postive and come up with constructive ideas. We could be the source of these ideas if given the opportunity…

    wpm3
    August 23, 2010 at 10:50 am

  4. @Hyram is buying into the myth that expanding a city increases tax revenue faster than it increases costs (thus reducing per capita tax burden). If this were actually true, Los Angeles would have some of the lowest taxes in the country. Isn’t it time we put this mythology behind us?

    Dave Gardner
    August 23, 2010 at 10:52 am

  5. 1. We need a single bellybutton for business development. That may be the Chamber, the EDC, or the other folks working this issue, but we need a coordinated, focused effort by these groups. Example – EDC is headed to Huntsville this week. Did EDC, Chamber, etc get together and discuss this trip? 2. Our elected officials, local, state, and federal need to be kept in the loop on a regular basis. They need to be advocates of our business development efforts. 3. We must create community partnerships that are more than just in name only. Our academic institutions, our city government, industry, and business development organizations need to commit to being part of the team to execute specific business development plans, whether strategic or tactical. 4. Speaking of plans – what is our plan for 10 years down the road? Do we have one? 5. We need to phase out the business personal property tax. It contributes around .5% of the city budget, but hits small businesses such as restaurants, beauty salons, particularly hard. This tax is also a hinderance when trying to think regionally. 6. We need a complete review of our regulatory process for re-locating or setting up new businesses here. 7. We must develop buy-in from our community, particularly if any incentives are being offered. We need to be very clear, and very vocal, regarding strategic planning. 8. We need measures of merit/performance to assess how well we are doing. That assessment needs to be independent of the business development community. 9. We must be willing to think outside the box – dream big dreams, and be bold enough – dedicated enough – to turn those dreams into realty. Are you ready, Colorado Springs??

    Buddy Gilmore
    August 23, 2010 at 11:40 am

  6. One of the things that Huntsville has going for it is a very active and aggresive Congressional Delegation. The Colorado Congressional Delegation could take some lessons.

    Vic A
    August 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm

  7. Huntsville uses strategically planned and concerted efforts to create an atmosphere of government-business cooperation, creating an environment which appropriately favors locally-owned and headquartered businesses in the procurement process. Their legislators work on behalf of these taxpayers to help secure contracts for their constituents. Colorado Springs does just the opposite — it has an anti-local business climate as evidenced by the city’s recent market survey for IT services which all but guarantees no local firm will bid based on the 100+ ridiculous questions they ask. El Paso County selected 5 IT services companies for their preferred IT vendors — none of them even has an office in El Paso County. The City of Colorado Springs sole-sourced their web site re-development (springsgov.com) to a company in Oregon for $80K when the work could have been done for less by locally-owned firms. Being HQ’d here means a heck of a lot more when it comes to revenues staying here and being recycled within the community – that means both jobs and infrastructure growth and flexibility during financial downturns. Look at how hard Chicago worked to get Boeing’s HQs moved there – they recognized it wasn’t just the jobs – it was the corporate decision makers who have the ability to affect the financial well-being of the community by living and financially participating within that community. Until the Pikes Peak region gets its priorities in order, Huntsville will continue to win. Coincidentally, 2 Huntsville-based companies just won 2 of the 4 large IDIQ contracts (valued at ~$500M) at Peterson AFB, CO. The other 2 winners are HQ’d out of state.

    David
    August 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm

  8. Getting rid of the current governor would cure some of the state problems the city has no control over.
    Reading all of the above, the common theme seems to be government ~ as citizens we are among the best.

    S. Martin
    August 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm

  9. First….The city needs to get its spending under control ..The county has it figured out how to run a workable budget.

    Secondly….Knowledge works mecca…creat the enevironments that foster people who create by knowing how not so much as by doing.

    Thridly…Market our strenghts in opportunities via our core business is the military yet that drives inovation in other technical area’s. No more fighting the militrary for selfish issues. We should be choice one foir Army and Airforce location

    Fourth.. Colorado is an awesome place to live, work and play so shout it out on bloggs, social media and all digital native listening posts.

    promote, Promote Promote!

    Bruce Hutcheon
    August 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm

  10. Colorado Springs is not business friendly. Our state is becoming less business friendly. Need someone who understands sales and people’s wants for business in order for this state to grow. Ritter calls us the “Green Mountain state” (or whatever) and then barely funds the initiatives to bring these types of compaies to Colorado.

    Talk with several of the defense contractors located in Colorado Springs. They are here becuase their customers are here, not because the Chamber, et al lures or keeps them here. Like when Intel was here, many of their suppliers were here, now Intel is gone so are a majority of the suppliers.

    Many choose to retire in Colorado Springs, many choose to raise their families in Colorado Springs (as I do). Colorado Springs is great for families. Not businesses. However, you need both to grow both to prosper.

    Yes C/S needs a vision, problem is too many cliques and separate committees are working to create and launch these mutliple visions. There is no cohesion.

    I continue to say – build a convention center and two more hotels downtown. Bring the Sky Sox to down town, build a multi-use facility where visitors want to COME and visit. Garden of the Gods is absolutely beautiful and many visitors enjoy it for a day and then head home. We have a great zoo, they have done a great job marketing themselves, but they are a stop not a destination. I spent a few days in St. Louis last week for business, what an environment with the BB stadium nearby…..Could do some greatness with the Sox in downtown…..

    Our city is so busy trying to find the penny in the grass, they ignore the quarters on the sidewalk.

    Ken G
    August 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm