Downtown Partnership honors innovators; Bach pushes familiar themes

Mayor Steve Bach spent 15 fast-paced minutes expounding on his favorite recent priorities, City for Champions and stormwater, in his keynote speech Wednesday morning at the Downtown Partnership’s 16th annual Breakfast with the Mayor.

Addressing a record crowd for the event of about 400 at the Antlers Hilton, Bach implored the audience to embrace the City for Champions proposal for Regional Tourism Act funds to help pay for projects including an Olympic museum and a baseball/events stadium downtown. He called the City for Champions a “game-changer for our future,” adding that “once the state [Economic Development Commission] approves our grant proposal, that’s when the conversation begins” concerning details and accountability.

As for stormwater, Bach continued to push for his strategy of the city addressing its needs without joining a regional effort that already has broad support from other elected officials.

“We are not standing idly by,” the mayor said, describing plans to spend $25 million in the next year on stormwater projects. He is pushing for refinancing current city debt to cover up to $240 million in stormwater capital improvement needs instead of asking for more help from taxpayers. Opponents insist that Bach’s idea would cover only about 20 percent of the actual pressing needs in stormwater infrastructure.

After Bach’s address, the Downtown Partnership honored several individuals and businesses. First, the Community Ventures board of directors recognized former downtown businesswoman Judy Noyes, longtime co-owner of the former Chinook Bookshop on Tejon Street. Noyes, who passed away earlier this year, was honored for her role in starting the Art on the Streets program, and Community Ventures is starting a Jody Noyes Memorial Purchase Fund with a $12,000 contribution toward future purchases of permanent outdoor art.

Other honors included:

Individual, Susan Godec, owner of the Phancy Pheasant store on Tejon Street, for her leadership in fundraising efforts to enhance downtown sidewalks with more than 40 large flower pots, maintained throughout the warm months.

Civil servant, Greg Warnke, manager of the city parking enterprise, for his work in helping downtown projects such as revitalizing the city’s alleyways.

Business or organization, Colorado Springs Urban Intervention, for its most visible downtown-centric projects: converting a city block (Pikes Peak Avenue, west of Nevada Avenue) into a pedestrian-dominant area with single-lane traffic for two days; and the Curbside Cuisine facility for food trucks at the corner of Platte and Nevada avenues.


4 Responses to Downtown Partnership honors innovators; Bach pushes familiar themes

  1. “As for stormwater, Bach continued to push for his strategy of the city addressing its needs without joining a regional effort that already has broad support from other elected officials.”

    (without joining a regional effort ?)

    Manning is a good quarterback. He plays with a team.

    Rick Wehner
    October 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

  2. If Sir Bach continues his “do it alone” attitude, it will be on the taxpayers backs to fund and try to make this successful.

    When do we get the chance to vote this knuckle overspending noob out office?

    Kenny G
    October 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm

  3. Another article late in the day re: amateur politicians getting in the way of professionals who were set up to inform the public on stormwater.

    Bach and King: Shut up.

    A wise decision was made to create a task force of educated and knowledgeable engineers and funding specialists to develop a list of projects – costs – timeline and to develop management structure options and funding mechanisms. These people are lined up waiting to do their job. Politicians need to stand down!

    All information to be presented in a straightforward manner to the public with no political interference so that the pubic could make an informed decision on how they prefer to be approached on funding this critical need. A process where the public could be informed by professionals – then have a period of feedback where public opinion could then be gathered. Bach – King – Lathen: sometimes you just need to shut up long enough for the professionals to do their work.

    These meetings are scheduled to begin tomorrow night. Yet the political amateurs cannot keep out of the process long enough for the public to be given a realistic appraisal before Bach, King and the loose cannon from the county start getting in the way.

    The politicians have mangled this from the beginning five years ago – and have begun to unravel the process again. Shut up. Sit down. Relax. It is the public who will have to pay for this. At least give them the chance to receive credible information and provide public input. None of your ‘solution teams’ have panned out – jobs are not being created – companies are not moving up. Let the task force do their work – they have a track record and credibility. You do not.

    You were put in office to be part of the solution. You are now part of the problem.

    Give the public chance to receive non-partisan and factual information before running going into over-drive trying to out maneuver each other. It is not too late for you to really screw the pooch on this and you are off to a good start.

    Again: Shut Up. Sit Down. Relax.

    Rick Wehner
    October 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm

  4. If Bach does not continue his “do it alone” attitude, how is he to help make his friends richer? Also after millions are spent on a stadium (for a team that would loose money if it moves) and an Olympic museum, hopefully they will pull in as many tourists as the World Figure Skating Museum or the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center currently do. Last time I passed the Olympic Training Center, I do not remember seeing a line of tourists waiting to get through the gate. Yes, you can take a tour. If the Olympic committee thought they could make any money on a museum or hall of fame, they would have done it already.

    October 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm