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Entries posted by john.hazlehurst

Budget provides textbook on city operations

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This’ll make for many hours of interesting reading,” said a cheerful city employee in the print shop, located in the basement of the City Administration Building. “Yeah, right!” I retorted, “I can’t wait to sit down before the fireplace, faithful dogs at my feet, and begin reading.” That said, I plunked down $12 for a… Continue Reading Budget provides textbook on city operations

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Mayor Bach unveils 2015 budget with some clever balancing

After months of dour predictions hinting that the 2015 city budget would incorporate as much as $6 million in cuts, Mayor Steve Bach unveiled his administration’s proposed budget Monday morning at the City Administration Building. There were no visible cuts. The 2015 general fund budget of $259 million is 3 percent higher than the 2014 budget.… Continue Reading Mayor Bach unveils 2015 budget with some clever balancing

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PERA outcome likely best for Springs

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PERA outcome likely best for Springs

One of the hoariest tenets of economic development has to do with “primary” jobs. Such jobs are prized because they bring new revenue into a regional economy, spurring local demand for goods and services. Increased demand encourages non-primary employers to add workers and expand their facilities, thereby creating more secondary jobs. Colorado Springs boomed in… Continue Reading PERA outcome likely best for Springs

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There’s a certain slimy literary genre that newspaper employees have grown used to in the past decade — the pre-sale, pre-bankruptcy, pre-termination letter from the boss. Digital First Media CEO John Paton sent such a missive to DFM employees last week. It’s a classic of its kind, beginning with the fake-friendly, informal opening salutation (“Folks,”)… Continue Reading Best name for a newspaper? It’s now taken

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City needs to update property records

Colorado Springs and the city’s associated enterprises own a lot of real estate — that much is clear. Just how much is a mystery. Enter “Colorado Springs, City Of” into the El Paso County assessor’s public-record real estate property search, and the website returns 300 lines — the maximum it can load in response to… Continue Reading City needs to update property records

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The headline in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said it all: “Brewers settle for Colorado Springs as AAA team’s host.” Neither Colorado Springs nor Milwaukee had a choice. There are 32 major league teams and 32 Triple-A cities – so when one team jumps ship, as did the Rockies (and others in recent weeks), it triggers a… Continue Reading Baseball lives on in Springs, so why not a new name?

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Summit House moves forward

In 1999, then-Congressman Joel Hefley secured a budget earmark for $1 million, funds that could only be used for planning and design work on a proposed new Pikes Peak Summit House, designated as a priority in the 1998 Pikes Peak Master Plan. Fifteen years later, those funds remain untouched. But the project finally could be… Continue Reading Summit House moves forward

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Midterm elections have a deservedly bad name. Absent the draw of a presidential contest, they often feature mediocre candidates, quirky ballot issues and public apathy. It’s hard to get excited, especially when your mailbox, your inbox, your TV and your social media sites are fatally infected with campaign trash. It makes you long for the… Continue Reading This off-year election still has much meaning

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City, PERA appear close to announcing settlement

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Colorado Springs and the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) apparently have settled their multi-year dispute concerning the withdrawal of Memorial Health System from PERA. Wednesday afternoon, the Colorado Springs City Council met behind closed doors in executive session in a “special meeting” prior to a regularly scheduled meeting as the Utility Board. In attendance:… Continue Reading City, PERA appear close to announcing settlement

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Four years later, it’s time to ask: Was the strong-mayor idea worth it?

In November 2010, Colorado Springs voters approved a radical change in the City Charter by a 60-40 margin. Issue 300, a citizen-initiated charter amendment, replaced the city manager form of government with a “strong mayor” system. The amendment, supported by an ad hoc coalition of longtime local business leaders, benefited from a sophisticated, heavily funded… Continue Reading Four years later, it’s time to ask: Was the strong-mayor idea worth it?

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