Is Operation 6035 dying a slow, quiet death?

Filed under: Opinion,Print |

It happens all the time.

In the interest of economic development or some type of change, government bodies or community groups hire consultants to help guide them toward a better tomorrow.

These consultants — professional advice givers — charge a hefty fee for their expertise and insight. They are usually outsiders to the community, and believed to be better equipped to offer objective analysis about a community’s best way forward.

And so, the hefty price is paid.

The consulting groups get to work, employing teams of analysts, which they can afford because numerous other organizations have already paid the hundreds of thousands of dollars for their services.

They crunch numbers. They conduct interviews. They study history.

Then, months later, to the tune of trumpeted enthusiasm, they present their diagnosis.

It is met with thoughtful consideration and affirming nods of the head.

It’s not met with jaw dropping awe for one simple reason: The diagnosis contains little revelatory information. It’s stuff the community already knew about itself.

Still, unwilling to admit the consultant route was a waste of time and money, organizers adopt a guiding document based on consultant advice and set forth to better the community.

Months go by, then years, and none of the consultant’s suggestions are ever implemented. Then, the plan fades from public memory to lay at rest with the several other consulting plans that quietly died before it.

It happens all the time.

It appears to be what’s happening to Operation 6035, the Pikes Peak Region’s $160,000 economic development analysis supplied by consulting firm Angelou Economics.

The Business Journal reported last week that since its launch about two years ago, little tangible evidence exists that the 6035 plan has produced anything of value to the community.

But does that really matter?

That all depends on how much you’re concerned about the taxpayer money that was spent paying for the study. The purchasing entities include the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities, the Regional Economic Development Corp. and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Hold-out supporters of Operation 6035, defend the plan’s progress by saying that it is situated around long-range goals and that there’s no need for alarm over the lack of results so far.

They’d probably agree that revolutionary plans throughout history start slowly and with little action.

Maybe the community should consider that consulting plans fail for the same reason they’re ever needed in the first place — lack of real leadership.

6035 appears to be dying, and what might be worse is that no one is screaming about it. It’s passing away quietly.

It happens all the time.