This column’s message focuses on the two people who care less about the future of Colorado Springs than probably anyone else who lives here.

You guessed it: Douglas Bruce and Helen Collins.

There’s no reason to think about them separately, because they are the ultimate Destructive Duo. United in purpose, dedicated to tearing apart our local government, and not letting truth or ethics stand in their way.

So guess what? No more trying to play nice. If they want to roll in the mud, the time has come to leap into the muck and take them on.

One week the slumlords are in a Denver courtroom, playing the role of victims, as Bruce tries every imaginable tactic to avoid going back to jail for parole violations, with Collins playing the ever-willing, paranoid soldier/puppet.

The next week we hear ads on local radio, with Collins spending $10,000 of her own money (Bruce’s words, in a news release he wrote to celebrate the occasion) to throw grenades at the city’s ballot issue asking for money to begin fixing more crumbling roads and bridges.

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Issue 2C’s purpose is to raise a projected $50 million a year for road repair, but Collins insists she knows of a dark plot to divert half the money to a downtown stadium as part of City for Champions, saying, “It is NOT for ROADS. It is for the DOWNTOWN ARENA, to be built WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL.” She called it a “bait and switch” that would “wreck our economy and cripple family budgets.” Then she added this: “If I don’t trust City Hall, why should you?”

That, from an elected city official.

Mayor John Suthers, to his credit, responded with the proper indignation: “The claims made in the ad are patently false. As I have said multiple times, the sales tax revenues will go into a separate fund and will be dedicated solely to roads. Approximately half the cost will be for asphalt and the remainder for concrete, curb, gutter and sidewalks. Our roads are in a state of disrepair and our fiscally conservative city council and the majority of our voters readily recognize that fact. … It’s time to move our city forward and this measure aims to do just that.”

When some online commenters began sniping away (with verbiage that seemed suspiciously like Bruce and/or Collins), I posted the actual ballot language — no commentary, just that.

And then it turned personal. Bruce and Collins showed their true selves — as bullies. They “separately” sent me emails, 37 minutes apart. Collins fired first, saying, “Look at the local ballot and how Colorado Springs was able to illegally post narrative under the ballot question. No other issue on the ballot has this narrative. This is the first time in state history this has been allowed.” Then she made reference to a secret Urban Renewal Authority meeting, which she alleged was related to the 2C conspiracy.

They want nothing more than to sabotage, and destroy, the renaissance that so many of us are trying to create.

Never mind that the Destructive Duo went to court challenging that ballot wording — and lost. The mayor also was Colorado’s attorney general from 2005-2015. Case closed.

Bombastic Bruce followed, at his down-and-dirty worst: “That an official admission they will divert the money to the arena is not on the ballot (big surprise) doesn’t prove it won’t happen. That’s the point — they’re lying, just as they lied about their promised maintenance of effort for transit funding to pass the RTA $70 million yearly sales tax (for roads) in 2004 …

“Remember, the City’s 237-word add on to the Charter-limited 30-word ballot title is ILLEGAL. That’s why no other government has done it or is doing it. Your quoting it is gross gullibility. Would it be OK with you if incumbent councilmembers added a last-minute plug for themselves ON THE BALLOT?”

Lying. Suggesting it was related to something 11 years ago. Illegal (uh, the court disagreed). Gross gullibility.

Stop, Mr. Bruce. Please. You’re hurting me. I can’t take it anymore. 

Actually, something about those distasteful emails caused me to snap. So, no more turning the other cheek. No more giving the bullies any leeway.

It’s time for Colorado Springs, not just the business community but everyone who truly cares, to realize Douglas Bruce and Helen Collins aren’t like the rest of us. They want nothing more than to sabotage, and destroy, the renaissance that so many of us are trying to create. We cannot stand by and let them get away with such repulsive behavior and antics.

All of us have to put the Destructive Duo in their place, hold them accountable for their words and actions, and fight back from now on.

It starts by passing Issue 2C, another step toward making Colorado Springs a better place for the next generation.

Obviously, because I’m not that gullible, the battle won’t end there. But we have to treat Douglas Bruce and Helen Collins as the enemies they are.

Starting now.