Before an enthusiastic crowd of about 150 supporters, Steve Bach launched his mayoral campaign Wednesday by laying out an action plan that was short on detail but, among other items, promised to make big changes in city government.
Bach called for “transforming city government so it works for everyone – and without tax increases,” for “creating stable, good-paying jobs by getting the economy going again,” and for “building alliances with the state and other Front Range communities to protect our interests.”
He didn’t address in any detail such issues as the Southern Delivery System, the potential divestiture or sale of Memorial Hospital, or medical marijuana.
The announcement was made at Dwire Hall at UCCS, where Bach had earned his degree. Bach was introduced by several area business and civic leaders, including entrepreneur Becky Medved, former state Sen. Andy McElhany, retired manufacturer Jack Lundberg and former Colorado Springs city manager Lorne Kramer.
“Andy McElhany and I were on different sides concerning the change in the form of government,” Kramer said. “But that’s over; the voters made the decision. We’re at a very critical juncture in the history of the city, and I believe that Steve (Bach) is the best qualified candidate.”
Kramer subsequently noted that he had met with several of the candidates before endorsing Bach.
“I didn’t know Steve very well before we talked,” he said, “but after we spent some time together, I decided to support him.”
Lundberg, on the other hand, said he has known Bach for some time.
“I have a long history with Steve Bach,” Lundberg said. “I’ve seen first-hand his knowledge, integrity, and problem-solving abilities. He has local knowledge. He knows how things work here.”
Bach has lived in Colorado Springs for 45 years, arriving in the community as a young officer stationed at Fort Carson.
A veteran commercial real estate broker, he has served as chair of both the Economic Development Corp. and the Business Climate Investment Group. He has also volunteered his time to Cheyenne Village, Pikes Peak United Way and the YMCA.
Bach lives in Briargate with his spouse of 27 years. They have two adult children.
In his announcement, Bach stressed the importance of “strengthening the business climate with the most responsive, fair city government,” a statement that many in the business-dominated audience clearly approved.
Ralph Braden, long associated with the Housing and Building Association as a member, director, and political consultant, was one of them.
“I think that (Bach) will bring a rational approach to the city’s regulatory environment,” he said.
Jill Gaebler, who founded the Colorado Springs Charter Academy several years ago, praised Bach from a different perspective.
“He represented us when we bought our school buildings,” she said. “He has impeccable integrity. I treasure him as a friend and as an advisor.”
Sam Masias, the CEO of Colorado Solar Solutions, was at Bach’s announcement and had also attended Richard Skorman’s campaign kickoff on Tuesday.
“Two very different groups,” he said. “Bach’s supporters are the old business and political leadership of the city. We’ll see if they still have the energy to lead the city.”