Thomas VanBenschoten, who is one of the chairmen of the Economic Development Corp.’s media task force, sent material over the other day that caught my eye.

Ed Barlow is coming to town October 12. Who is Ed Barlow?

Ed is a futurist.

When I think of a futurist I think of the Herman Group that is featured regularly on these pages. However, Ed is a bit more than just a futurist.

The reason this really caught my attention was not so much that Ed is going to “take us on a journey through the uncharted territory of the 21st century” but more importantly Ed will explain the “unique, yet interconnected responsibilities which business, government, education, health care and non-profit organizations have and must take to the next level and that he will facilitate an action agenda to better prepare us for what is ahead.”

Who should attend? Employers, educators, elected officials work force developers, community planners, chambers of commerce and citizens. My take on this is many people should be attending.

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I like the concept of community “wealth creation.” Ed will explore the structural changes, which are occurring, and their “wealth creation” implications for individuals, organizations and most importantly our community.

Ed said, “I will follow a systematic approach for the 21st century economy and identify the strategic need for a tax base” and “everyone will leave with something that will help improve their business and the community”.

I suggest not missing what I think will be a thought provoking and forward-looking session on October 12.

We need more forward thinking people in this community and more importantly in elected positions. We need forward thinking leaders and we do have some of these but how can people be against items like Referenda C and D and still be forward thinking? I do not think we can.

Therefore, my challenge is for many of you to attend this summit.

While I do not expect the business community to move in lockstep, I do think we can accomplish more for the betterment of our community if we attend and really listen to what people like Ed Barlow have to say.

The event is from 8 a.m. to noon, Oct. 12, at the Sheraton Hotel, 2886 S. Circle Drive. For more information, call 667-3730.

If C and D do not pass…

…we will all be paying more for housing the way I figure it.

If the government runs out of money, which will happen if C and D do not pass, the government will have to go somewhere to tap into revenue.

I figure they will go to developers and homebuilders and increase impact fees. Well guess what, those impact fees will be passed along to the homebuyer. What happens if the cost of housing goes up in our area? This would be a detriment to businesses looking to relocate here.

The ads that the Independence Institute is running are false. They insinuate that C and D are a tax increase and that lower taxes are what drive business growth.

If they really want to represent businesses and help grow our business vitality they would be putting this ad money toward fighting the business property tax that is much higher than the residential property tax.

A Washington, D.C.-based organization called Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) is doing a mass faxing claiming Post-Tabor Colorado is the picture of a strong economy. How would they know? They aren’t even in our state.

It seems to me all of these tax haters are a vocal minority. The ATR is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers who oppose all federal state and local tax increases. With the recent legislation on junk faxing … I think I may call my attorney.

Anyway, back to where will the money will come from.

I could see privatization of our fire department and a call like this:

Operator: This is 911 how can I help you?

Caller: My house is on fire.

Operator: One second, please let me check the last payment. I’m sorry sir your fire department fee was late last month, we can’t send a fire truck until you are paid in full.

We need better services in Colorado as we grow, and C and D are like watering a plant. We have to have them to build a better, more economically sound Colorado.

I am sure many of the points Ed Barlow will be making on Oct. 12 will hit home considering our precarious position with C and D.

Save the Date

The Children’s Literacy Center is bringing Tom Harken, a literacy activist and entrepreneur, to Colorado Springs to speak at Garden of the Gods Club on Sept. 20. Tom overcame childhood illness and illiteracy to build multimillion-dollar businesses before devoting his time to literacy and patriotism.

He now motivates people that are discouraged and lets them know that he has been there too, and gives them hope and guidance to find their way.

“If your shadow stops, you stop, so keep moving.”

For more information or tickets call 471-8672.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at or 329-5202.