Growth is inevitable. If we are not growing as a region and as a state then we are stagnant. If we are stagnant we are dying.

What business would accept a 1 percent growth rate? I wouldn’t have a job if the Colorado Springs Business Journal was growing at 1 percent.

What are the people thinking who want to put the following on the ballot in November?

Proposed Initiative Measure 2005-2006 No. 85

Allows the voters to reserve the right to limit housing growth without legislative inhibition or penalty by initiative and referendum. The following counties shall allot building permits so that the housing growth does not exceed a 1 percent growth rate in the total number of dwelling units in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson and Larimer. At least 30 percent of the housing subject to the limitation shall be affordable housing and affordable senior housing as defined by the general assembly and subject to initiative and referendum in each local government. No permits to build new privately owned residential housing units shall be issued within said counties between Nov. 8, 2006 and Jan. 1, 2007.

Are they smoking some illicit drug? These folks not only lack vision for our state, but this measure would seriously hurt some industries that are mainstays in our economy.

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The name of the group pushing the initiative is Colorado Growth Limit, which is based in Arvada and Fort Collins. Luckily they don’t seem very sophisticated (a search for the group’s Web site came up empty).

And why are they proposing this 1 percent limit for El Paso County when they don’t even live here?

Why would someone want limited growth? OK, maybe some environmentalists would want to keep some of our natural resources pristine. I can agree with that. But, it seems to me that we here in El Paso County do a good job with open spaces.

I could also agree with requiring a minimum lot size so that a development doesn’t get too dense, causing traffic problems.

What other reasons are there for limited growth? In addition to the obvious total lack of vision, maybe a paranoia of some type?

There is agoraphobia – fear of open spaces or of being in crowded, public places like markets. Fear of leaving a safe place. But that wouldn’t make sense because they would be afraid of open spaces.

What about anthropophobia – fear of people or society. That might fit these folks.

Then there is enochlophobia – fear of crowds. Well, if the Colorado Growth Limit people are afflicted with enochlophobia there is the state mental hospital in Pueblo, or I am sure I could make some calls and find a decent counselor for them.

Whatever the Colorado Growth Limit people’s agenda is, they must be stopped. They obviously don’t understand basic economics. Approval of this measure would kill our state.

Brudnicki speaks to The Winter Night Club

As I mentioned previously in this space, the book and movie “The Perfect Storm” is my all-time favorite. Having spent a lot of time at sea when I was a working as a professional boat captain, this movie makes my palms sweat and I have to cover my eyes like a teenager at a horror flick.

Wednesday night, Captain Larry Brudnicki talked about his command as he relived the story of two daring rescue missions during the worst storm to hit the high seas in more than 100 years.

Brudnicki shared the action, the courage and the leadership skills that allowed his ship and crewmen to save so many lives during this most difficult of missions on the high seas.

He stopped by my office on Wednesday while he was in town.

It is amazing the parallels Brudnicki makes comparing decisions we make in our business lives and those decisions he made that saved lives during the Perfect Storm. The waves were so big that the propellers of the 205-foot, 1,600 ton Tamaroa were coming out of the water. The last height of a wave recorded by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration buoys was somewhere around 100 feet. Brudnicki said, “those buoys were not designed to track wave heights that high, so I would say they were really big.”

We as businesspeople make decisions every day that we have to live with. Do we wait too long to make a decision? After we make a decision how does it get executed? “Teamwork,” says Brudnicki. “The team has to trust the leader and the leader has to trust the team.”

When I read the “Perfect Storm” for the first time I couldn’t put it down. When I saw the movie I was impressed by Brudnicki’s decision-making ability.

I have been out in stormy weather. It is hard for me to fathom being out in what Brudnicki and his crew were out in. Making decisions and saving lives during the Perfect Storm and now comparing those experiences with business makes sense to me.

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