Council folks are talking about the budget and maintenance districts this afternoon, and I’m waiting on some phone calls here and responding to some emails for other stories.
(One email is from someone who “can’t stand Liberal Newspapers.” He opens his letter with a thanks for responding to him even though he is old, and he closes his letter with this remark: “be good and stay in touch even if you are a liberal.”)
So on the budget, we’ll get some more info out about it this new way to pay for stuff before the public hearing on maintenance districts, which I think the council will set for sometime in early July.
In Colorado Springs, it looks like they haven’t had much luck finding money. The budget looks pretty bleak there, according to this Denver Post story that arrived today in my mailbox. Here’s an excerpt:
• Turning out the lights, literally, is one of the high-profile trims aggravating some residents. The city-run Colorado Springs Utilities will shut down 8,000 to 10,000 of more than 24,000 streetlights, to save $1.2 million in energy and bulb replacement.
Vendors there also worry a decrease in marketing dollars and economic development won’t be good news for that city of some 400,000. (Hm. The smell of opportunity. Can someone else, like Missoula and the Best Place Project, capitalize on their mess?)
“It’s going to hurt. If they don’t at least market Colorado Springs, it doesn’t get the people here,” said Nancy Stovall, owner of Pine Creek Art Gallery on the tourism strip of Old Colorado City. Other states, such as New Mexico and Wyoming, will continue to market, and tourism losses will further erode city sales-tax revenue, merchants say.
New Mexico, Wyoming, and … Montana?
The part of the story that caught the eye of the sender was this one:
Mayor and council are part-time jobs in Colorado Springs, points out Mayor Rivera, that pay $6,250 a year ($250 extra for the mayor).
They’ve got a city manager there too. No word on whether they’re locking up park bathrooms, and here, according to the mayor, an open and clean bathroom is one measure of how well a city is doing its job. Bets plenty of folks would put lighted street lamps in the mix too.
A HuffPost column referenced the story here this week.
— Keila Szpaller