In my July 13 column, I wrote about the Western Strategies Center getting started and suggested that they make sure there weren’t good people doing similar things somewhere else in town.

Well it turns out there is a possible duplication of activity.

A group called the Citizens for Effective Government was formed last year to research and act against Initiatives 200 and 201 and Amendment 38. They’re currently working with the city and county on their budget and capital needs issues. They meet bi-weekly to receive briefings from elected and appointed officials, heads of agencies and staff on these issues. Based on what they learn, they may advance a ballot issue for November 2008.

The Chamber of Commerce leads and administers CEG. Sitting at the table right now is the Chamber, Economic Development Corp., Pikes Peak Association of Realtors , the Housing and Building Association, the Council of Neighborhood Organizations, the Pikes Peak United Way, Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group, Memorial Hospital, elected officials, city and county staff, CH2M Hill, USAA, and many others. They average 20-30 attendees per meeting.

What the Western Strategies Center is doing is admirable, but the CEG has already spent six months working on some of the issues. Once the CEG is done with the budget pricess, they plan to turn their full attention to other pressing community issues.

WSC is a good concept, but may be overlapping CEG, which is already rolling up their sleeves to tackle substantive issues.

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I encourage Jay Fawcett to engage CEG right away and make sure that everyone in the Colorado Springs is rowing in the same direction.

It would seem to me the two organizations would have a better impact on our region’s issues working closely together, rather than like two boats crossing in the night.