In Colorado Springs, it’s anything but a smooth ride to work these days.
More than 60 percent of Colorado Springs roads need repairing, repaving and reconstructing, thanks to decades of neglect.
Mayor John Suthers has a plan to raise $250 million in five years to begin addressing the work and repairing the roads — something the city needs to attract new business, retain current companies and bring more tourism money to town.
But other people, some with very deep pockets, seem to think the city doesn’t need the money or a solution to the deteriorating roads and infrastructure. These are the same people, mostly, who didn’t mind reneging on promises to Pueblo to control stormwater runoff and had no objections to leaving property at risk for flooding and millions in damage.
The recent radio ads by Councilor Helen Collins are irresponsible and unethical. She’s telling people as much as half the money raised from the tax increase will go to a downtown stadium, not road repair.
It’s impossible for that to happen — once the money is earmarked for something, it must be used for that under state law. To suggest otherwise is both ridiculous and reckless.
The ads claim she spent her own money because she’s trying to “save the city.” Save it from what? A safe commute to work? Roads that aren’t disintegrating? From once again making national news for the things we can’t accomplish?
The city doesn’t need to be saved. Colorado Springs residents need to invest in the infrastructure they rely on every day. They need to realize that paying for infrastructure — much like public safety — is everyone’s responsibility. And they need to vote yes on Issue 2C.
Colorado Springs residents need to invest in the infrastructure they rely on every day.
Nor is the opposition coming solely from Collins. Americans for Prosperity is gathering up its not-inconsiderable resources to oppose the tax increase. Even the Koch brothers are considering opening their checkbooks to influence the local election. Easy enough for them, they don’t have to drive here.
Democratic elections should not be bought and paid for by special interests or by people trumpeting lies. A sober analysis of the issue and a fair exchange of ideas should be the cornerstone of politics. But not these days.
These days, a small, very loud group of people wants to erode faith in the electoral process and in our elected leaders. It’s little wonder that few people participate in the process, thanks to the constant negative drone from unethical people who lie to advance their own agendas.
Can the city find money somewhere else for road repairs? It doesn’t look that way. City staffers are going without raises; city positions are going unfilled. While the lights are on and grass in the parks is being watered, there’s little money for the extensive work needed on the streets.
Voting yes on 2C shows that out-of-town interests and dishonest people don’t hold the city’s future hostage. It’s a vote in favor of economic development, a robust tourist trade and a fair business climate.
Colorado Springs too often has been in the spotlight for combative elements that don’t accurately reflect the attributes or values of the city as a whole. It gets attention for untruths spread by elected officials, for criminal actions taken by people in authority, and for biased, hateful comments.
That’s not what the Springs is all about. It’s time to take the city back. It’s time to invest in Colorado Springs.