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Swiss TV crew doing story about Springs’ tax climate

Mon, Jun 18, 2012

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What do Colorado Springs and Trenton, N.J., have in common? More than you might think.

They’re both medium-sized American cities struggling to fund vital public services during a prolonged recession. One is in catastrophic decline, while the other remains reasonably prosperous. One is largely black, poor, dangerous and governed by Democrats, while the other largely white, middle class and reasonably safe.

From the viewpoint of Geneva-based Swiss Public Television, the cities offer a great case study.

A four-person crew from Geneva has been in Colorado Springs for more than week, interviewing community leaders, newsmakers and ordinary residents. The crew is working on a story about how American cities are struggling to cope with declining tax revenue.

Colorado Springs made national headlines late in 2010 when it announced plans to turn off street lights and stop watering parks because of budgetary constraints.

“We’ve talked to Mayor Bach, Chuck Fowler and Jan Martin, and many others,” said Francoise Weilhammer, a journalist with SPTV. “It’s been very interesting.”

Before coming here, the crew spent two weeks in Trenton, where police budgets have been cut.

The one-hour special is slated to air in Switzerland on October 11.

 

2 Comments For This Post

  1. John Whitten Says:

    They visited, last Thursday, for 2 1/2 hours with ‘The Committee’ (Fowler, et al) and folks from the CS Leadership Institute (including me) up at the Broadmoor……folks included Doug ‘It’s not Taxpayer Money’ Price, Jan Martin, and a couple of folks from whatever the name of the new Chamber/EDC entity is……..except Joe Who?, the new head of Chamber/EDC.

    (His absence was conspicuous…in fact, Jan Martin and Price both mentioned it……for a guy who’d never been to Colo Sprgs prior to his interview for the job, it would have been an excellant chance to meet the folks who will have to be the ‘doers’ for any change to happen around here.)

    Bach wasn’t there either, but it sounds like he had his time with the Swiss folks earlier……

    I was amazed at the number of folks who still think the city budget will directly, and significantly benefit from the Memorial sale…even a couple of the ‘Committee’ members think they can manipulate the budget to get that money in somehow…..even more support for your position of a responsible, El Pomar type Board running that fund……

    I got to talk to that Francoise Weilhammer….maybe I’ll get on TV as a representative of the outspoken fringe business element……I do, afterall, have a face for radio.

  2. ray rhodes Says:

    There is another major difference…Colorado Springs is stable (not booming or growing much) because of the Military, its military and non-military payroll, its construction dollars and its impact on military support industry. Remove that you’ll have a small, lily white republican run city with decaying infrastructure and no tax base to keep the city viable. Any Colorado Springs republican who suggests government does not create jobs is living a lie.