Here's a message from one of our members about the election next Tuesday:
I hope you don't mind me passing along this related information on the City Council race in District 3 that also affects the environment. District boundaries were adjusted recently; see a current map.
> Message of Hope
> by Daphne Greenwood
> Professor of Economics
> Director, Colorado Center for Policy Studies
> Former Colorado State Representative
> This year, we citizens of Colorado Springs face many
> economic challenges along with the rest of the nation.
> Unfortunately, the problems here at home are going to be
> even worse if we embark on some of the unwise policies
> proposed by current local leaders. These leaders are
> well-intentioned. I respect the hard work that many of them
> do. But "business as usual" has been the mantra
> for too many for too long.
Dave Gardner on city council will mean a new voice for a change in direction.
> One of the important jobs council members have is serving
> as the citizen elected board for our city owned utilities
> department. As we struggle through an economic crisis
> without a definable end, Colorado Springs Utilities proposes
> to double the debt it owes. Just to pay the interest on the
> new debt will mean sharply higher water rates for utilities
> customers - -about 50% more next year alone. Of course, a
> massive new water project like the Southern Delivery System
> (SDS) is expensive -- it literally plans to make water flow
> We don't need to spend the money to bring water uphill
> for people living here today, who have already been
> conserving. It is plans to double the size of Colorado
> Springs that create a "need" for this new water
> source and delivery system. Current customers will pay more
> for water to subsidize more growth in housing developments.
> In your last utility bill, was an insert explaining that
> rates are going up more than expected this year because
> there haven't been enough new hookup fees from new
> homebuilding lately. As Homer Simpson would say... DUH?
> Rates have been going up for several years to pay for the
> water projects for new housing, but now when there isn't
> enough new housing built rates go up even more???? Could
> somebody please dig us out of this hole? Dave Gardner's
> run for city council gives me hope that help is on the way!
> The bursting housing bubble had been coming for a long
> time, but our council members and the folks they listen to
> thought it wouldn't affect us. It was clear that
> banking on homebuilding as a sustainable source of
> prosperity was a big gamble. Now that the bubble has popped,
> these same leaders have gotten behind a special tax
> increase to lure new businesses here and revive the housing
> market. But repeated studies have shown that tax rates and
> incentives are not cost-effective ways to lure businesses.
> Good schools, safe neighborhoods, clean air, our wonderful
> park system, good roads, affordable water rates - the list
> of what it is more important to preserve for both quality of
> life and a sound, sustainable economy could go on and on.
> Dave Gardner will be a top notch addition to our city
> council because he takes the time to learn the facts and
> study the issues. You won't find Dave getting his
> "analysis" from a developer or site
> consultant/lobbyist. Common sense, along with the experience
> of running a successful small business, show in Dave's
> understanding of the true sources of economic vitality and
> prosperity. Dave understands the importance of quality of
> life to attracting high quality jobs. Dave has read the
> research and seen the evidence -- special tax breaks or
> other so-called incentives to businesses just don't pay
> for themselves over time. Ever. Raising our taxes now to
> turn the money over to businesses that come and go makes no
> more sense than compromising the very quality of life that
> makes us special. Unfortunately, our city leadership is
> starting down this path right now (despite the economic
> crisis). Higher water rates, higher taxes - both for things
> we don't need. If we aren't careful, we will all pay
> the bill.
> I am endorsing Dave Gardner for the city council of
> Colorado Springs because he speaks for sustainable economic
> development that preserves quality of life. Dave wants to
> make sure the costs of growth are addressed as well as
> its' benefits - and that we don't see the benefits
> flowing to a few while the costs are paid by the rest of us.
> There has been far too much of that coming from Wall Street.
> Let's bring a voice to "Main Street" here in
> Colorado Springs by electing Dave Gardner to our next city