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Colorado Springs cuts into services considered basic by many (Democrats?)
The Denver Post ^ | o1/31/2010 | Michael Booth

Posted on 02/01/2010 11:27:55 AM PST by worst-case scenario

COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.

More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.

The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_14303473#ixzz0eJXAz9A8

(Excerpt) Read more at denverpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: coloradosprings; services; taxes
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People of Colorado Springs decided to cut taxes and take their responsibility for services formerly provided by the city.

Anybody from Co. Springs here to tell us what it's really like?

1 posted on 02/01/2010 11:27:57 AM PST by worst-case scenario
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To: worst-case scenario
Anybody from Co. Springs here to tell us what it's really like?

It's fine, unless you like grass and trash cans in the parks; plowed and sanded streets when it snows; street repairs for things like pot-holes; fire and police protection that expands with the population and extent of the city ... you know, the luxuries.

The people of Colorado Springs screwed the pooch last fall. And I say that as a conservative Republican.

2 posted on 02/01/2010 11:35:14 AM PST by r9etb
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To: worst-case scenario
Is this the usual state/city/school board trick of cutting the popular programs while keeping the questionable/unpopular ones well shielded? Like when a school board threatens to cut buses and the football team, while never questioning why they need two assistant associate vice principals when they are asking for a new levy to be passed.
3 posted on 02/01/2010 11:35:16 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Special SOTU tagline: YOU LIE!)
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To: worst-case scenario

QUESTION # 1:

Why Does a city the size of Colorado Springs have MULTIPLE Police Helicopters???


4 posted on 02/01/2010 11:36:36 AM PST by tcrlaf (Obama White House=Tammany Hall on the National Mall)
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To: worst-case scenario
"If a playground burns down, I can't replace it," Schroeder said. Park fans' only hope is the possibility of a new ballot tax pledged to recreation spending that might win over skeptical voters.

OMG! That's awful when you think of all the burning playgrounds nation-wide. It's a wake up call for sure. Hopefully they have at least enough tax dollars to save the poor kid stranded at the top of the sliding board.
5 posted on 02/01/2010 11:37:57 AM PST by mmichaels1970
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: r9etb

I thought the parks were paid for with lottery money.


7 posted on 02/01/2010 11:40:41 AM PST by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: tiki
I thought the parks were paid for with lottery money.

Nope. City park maintenance is paid through property taxes.

8 posted on 02/01/2010 11:41:22 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb

To: Mayor Rivera and City Council Members

From: Stephen Bartolin, Jr.

Date: November 16, 2009

Subject: City Budget

I understand you voted to take $580,000 out of the CVB’s share of the Tourism Budget. I completely understand the financial pressures the City has right now and the tough decisions that must be made. I am not sure this is the most effective idea, however, for two reasons:

• It doesn’t really put much of a dent in the overall problem.

• I can say with a good fact basis that cutting tourism funding will only dig the hole deeper.

This was proven, in no uncertain terms, when the State of Colorado did this. It cost them many millions more than they saved.

With that said it is unfair to make that comment and not offer some solutions. It doesn’t appear to be a popular solution to cut police and fire or not replace street lamps or water parks or close the museum or require temporary furloughs. It appears to be making people angrier. People seem to want a more comprehensive and long lasting solution.

The Gazette article a few Sunday’s ago brought some clarity when it broke down the city revenues and expenses by area. I was surprised that public safety was only a $114M of the overall $226M in expenses.

I am sure there are efficiencies to be gained in public safety, but there is a lot to work with outside of that.

Please understand the constructive manner in which these comments are intended. A good way to look at it is as a business problem. Say you are the new CEO of a $226M a year business that is going to run $30+M in the red next year. The easy answer is to raise the rates and increase revenue, but the marketplace won’t support that (in this case, the taxpayers).

That leaves only one alternative. Deal with the expense side. A basic analysis of the expenses is that you have a 70% overall payroll cost, $161M payroll for 1805 employees which equals $89,196 per employee and benefit and pension plans that are not only “Cadillac” but more “Ferrari” when compared to what is being offered in the private sector.

Looking at it this way, the solutions become more obvious:

• Restructure and reorganize how the City is run and figure out how to do it with approximately 1550 employees versus 1805 employees.

• Restructure the starting wages for both salary and hourly personnel across the board.

• Contract out everything that is practical with sharply negotiated pricing which gets you out from under the overtime, benefit and pension costs paid to City employees.

• Restructure your benefit and retirement plans to something more comparable to what is available in the private sector.

More specifically:

• 70% payroll cost - No matter what business you are in, for profit or non-profit, the game is pretty much over if you are running a 70% payroll cost. We do approximately half the revenue the City does and we run a 30% payroll cost with 1800 plus employees, near the same number as the City.

• Per employee cost of $89,196 - It is doubtful you can find any private employer for 500 or more people in the state of Colorado or practically the nation that has a per employee payroll cost that high. Our per employee cost is $24,460, which includes seasonal and part-time people which we use a great deal as there are no benefit costs associated with these.

• The number of people it takes to get things done.

i. The Gazette reported that the City has 81 people in its IT Department and is reducing it to 69. We have some ultra-sophisticated and integrated systems and a large PC network. In addition, we provide 24-hour IT customer service to all of our guests. We do this with 9 people

ii. I was told that the Utilities Department has over 30 people in Communications plus employs the services of an outside PR agency. We have 1 person in PR and we have to compete for our business across the nation.

iii. The Gazette also reported that Utilities has approximately 60 people in Human Resources. We have 13. Yet we have over 1800 employees compared to their 1300.

• Examine the number of salaried positions - of our 1800 plus employees we have 144 salaried positions. I have no idea how many the City has but it would be interesting to know.

• The Gazette reported that the City has 67 positions paying $100,000 or more. We have 13.

• Restructure starting wages for hourly and salaried positions - every year we do a wage survey among major employers as well as other hospitality employers in the city for comparison purposes. For all like positions and in almost every single case the City had the highest starting wage over any of the other private sector companies we surveyed.

• Restructure the health insurance program to one comparable to what is being offered in the private sector and examine the costs shared by the employee.

• Move retirement age to 60 no matter how many years of service - both for collection of benefits and for medical insurance.

• Once a retiree reaches age 65 move them to Medicare and off the City plan.

• The weight of the pension plan is crushing the City financially. If the private sector cannot afford plans likes this how can the taxpayers? It has to be dealt with. It occurs to me Police Officers and Firefighters who risk their lives for this community should be excluded from the ideas being advanced.

Police and Fire support staff should be treated like all other City employees. Develop a generous matching 401K plan and have people take responsibility for their own retirement planning. A friend of mine’s wife works in the IT Department of one of the City entities (she is paid $120K a year - she is not the department head or the director).

Our Director in IT makes $90K a year. This lady is 49 years old and plans to retire next year at 50. She will receive 80% of her salary with annual cost of living increases and full medical package for the next 30+ years. Who can afford this?

• Whatever measures are decided on should be carried right across to Utilities. They operate like their own private fiefdom. When I look at our water bill going from $580,000 in 2008 to $2.5M by 2018 certainly the same operating efficiencies applied to the City should be applied there. Possibly it makes sense for Memorial Hospital as well.

• Capital Expenses - the article did not indicate how much the City spends annually in capital expenses, but I am sure it is many millions of dollars. Our staff is always amazed at the new fleets of vehicles you see in use, i.e. when the Stormwater Enterprise was established everyone was outfitted with fully optioned F-350 trucks. You see them all over town. We maintain vehicles well and run them until they don’t run anymore. We have many with over 200,000 miles. We also buy well maintained used trucks, shuttle, vans, etc., many of which have been in service 10 years now. I understand the Police Department just spent $3M on new portable telephones when the present system was operating fine. In this economy could that have been postponed for another year or two?

• Go to zero based budgeting for operating and capital expenses immediately before capital budgets for 2010 are approved.

We know the arguments you’ll get: that we are only in the mid-pay range of other cities - won’t be able to hire and recruit - etc. etc. - baloney - I showed you a number of comparisons to our business with staffing levels, number of people at 6 figures or more, number of salaried people, average cost per employee and benefits per employee, etc. between The BROADMOOR and the City - we are not comparing some third rate organization. The BROADMOOR is recognized nationwide as a world class organization and we compete in a world every day where the best is just good enough. We are able to recruit top professionals in all the key positions and get creative with how we staff and operate our business.

It probably would not be effective to turn these suggestions over to somebody within the City and have them develop and implement the necessary solutions. You’ll have to bring in a firm from the outside to do it under Council’s direction or you can put together a panel of CEO’s within the community to analyze this and I am sure they would have many more points to offer. I would be happy to facilitate such a group and host a lunch discussion. I mentioned it to Bill Hybl and he said he would be happy to offer input as well and participate. A more comprehensive approach is what will provide a viable long term solution. I predict that if Council were to take this on and restructure with real reform and solve problems you would earn the respect and admiration of the entire community. In fact, this could be a national success story.


9 posted on 02/01/2010 11:42:14 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: tcrlaf
Why Does a city the size of Colorado Springs have MULTIPLE Police Helicopters???

IIRC, one or both were Army surplus, and were given to the city...

10 posted on 02/01/2010 11:42:30 AM PST by r9etb
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To: tcrlaf

No idea - I don’t live in Co., but NJ. I was just wondering if there were Freepers that could tell me just how this budget-cutting is playing out on the ground, since the news story might have an agenda.

Co. Springs seems to be a fairly large place, second largest city in Co. It certainly has grown.
“With an estimated population of 380,307 in 2008, it is the second most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 48th most populous city in the United States[5], while the Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 617,714.[6] The city covers 186.1 square miles, making it Colorado’s largest city in area.”
(Wikipedia)

It’s a large geographical area. Maybe that’s why they had two helicopters? Those are the sorts of things that a lot of municipalities bought with anti-terrorism funds after the money became available post 9/11. But I don’t know. Does anyone here have more info?


11 posted on 02/01/2010 11:45:09 AM PST by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: KarlInOhio
"Is this the usual state/city/school board trick of cutting the popular programs while keeping the questionable/unpopular ones well shielded? Like when a school board threatens to cut buses and the football team, while never questioning why they need two assistant associate vice principals when they are asking for a new levy to be passed."

PRECISELY! Happens every time. They cut fire, police and ambulances, but leave the condoms for prostitutes and needle exchange programs.

12 posted on 02/01/2010 11:50:24 AM PST by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Thanks for your post. It really sheds a lot of insight on where the money goes in a budget like the city's.

The Gazette reported that the City has 67 positions paying $100,000 or more.

What are the jobs that are paying more than $100K a year? Is that just salary, or salary plus all pension and healthcare costs? Of course, the problem with major layoffs is that it also increases unemployment. What is the employment picture in the region now?

13 posted on 02/01/2010 11:50:32 AM PST by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: worst-case scenario
Meanwhile:
The nasty woman who issues parking tickets on street sweeping day will continue - while the sweeper stays in the garage.
The guy who prowls the neighborhood looking for trash cans on the wrong side of the gate will continue issuing citations.
Construction permit enforcement will probably double.
New and more imaginative taxes will be dreamed up and applied.
And the bloated staff at every city office will continue to collect wages.

Solution:
Cut wages 10 percent.
Go back to full services and full work weeks.
Dump every task that does not provide value to the town citizens (not the city employees).
Fire the bottom ten percent of workers.
Tell employee unions that they can renegotiate retirement to something that vaguely resembles private enterprise - or they can strike and be replaced.
Then freeze raises for the next three years.

Repeat as needed at county, state, and federal levels.

14 posted on 02/01/2010 11:52:23 AM PST by norton
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To: Balding_Eagle
Stephen Bartolin

The biggest problem with Mr. Bartolin's letter is that he seems to think that there is a fundamental equivalence between the operation of a luxury hotel, and the operation of a large municipal government.

Mr. Bartolin is a smart fellow, and he runs a first-class operation at the Broadmoor ... but it helps to recognize that the Broadmoor is only a couple of hundred acres in extent, and he has the luxury of relying on all of those services that the city provides for him. Easy for him to say ... it'll be a lot harder for him to do.

Just for instance, take his discussion of IT staffing. The IT needs of the Broadmoor Hotel are essentially those of an office complex. The IT needs of a city include not only the office needs common to the Broadmoor, but also connectivity with police and fire departments (including 911 and mobile units, with all that entails); connectivity with maintence crews; websites for city services; connectivity with other government entities; and so on. It's an entirely different ballgame.

15 posted on 02/01/2010 11:55:00 AM PST by r9etb
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To: SW6906

Co Springs doesn’t have needle exchange programs, according to this article:
http://www.denverpost.com/ci_12374733

Are school budgets paid out of taxes for municipal services in Colorado? Here in NJ, school costs are paid for out of school taxes, which are completely separate than the taxes that pay for municipal services like litter pickup and police.


16 posted on 02/01/2010 11:55:38 AM PST by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: worst-case scenario
The deep recession bit into Colorado Springs sales-tax collections, while pension and health care costs for city employees continued to soar.

Chickens coming home to roost. Coming soon to a town near you!

17 posted on 02/01/2010 11:58:38 AM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: tcrlaf
Why Does a city the size of Colorado Springs have MULTIPLE Police Helicopters???

Bear Patrol.

18 posted on 02/01/2010 11:59:50 AM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: Balding_Eagle

Thanks for posting Bartolin’s letter - it was referred to in the other thread about ColoSprings but I didn’t go search for it. As is usual in most letters, it is all about who’s ox is gored. In Bartolin’s case, it was a cut to the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) budget. I will commend his letter for being thorough beyond the discussion of his gored ox. He does make a good point on the CVB that those dollars are designed to bring new dollars to the community and the tax base.


19 posted on 02/01/2010 12:03:36 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: worst-case scenario

I WONDER HOW MUCH THEY LOVE ALL THE MONEY SPENT ON ‘DIVERSITY TRAINING’ AND OTHER SUCH POLITICAL NONSENSE NOW

COLORADO IS A LIBERAL HOTBED POSSIBLY THIRD ONLY TO CA AND MASS.


20 posted on 02/01/2010 12:07:38 PM PST by Mr. K (This administration IS WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY!)
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To: Balding_Eagle

That letter is AWESOME!!!


21 posted on 02/01/2010 12:08:34 PM PST by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: r9etb

You make excellent points on the differences of IT needs for municipal services vs. a luxury hotel as regards scope and complexity. Taking that into account, a good audit could probably find ways to streamline, especially with an eye towards personnel redundancies among the departmental functions.


22 posted on 02/01/2010 12:09:52 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: worst-case scenario

Maybe now is a good time for a redefinition of essential services ...

Cops, firemen, lights, trash, etc. are essential.
Parks, libraries, etc. are NOT.
Education ... debatable.

If the localities in this country provided only essential services ... we’d be a lot better off.

SnakeDoc


23 posted on 02/01/2010 12:10:14 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Life is tough; it's tougher if you're stupid. -- John Wayne)
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To: T-Bird45
Re: IT department:

"Taking that into account, a good audit could probably find ways to streamline, especially with an eye towards personnel redundancies among the departmental functions."

Also look for custom in-house designed and maintained software that could effectively be replaced with off-the-shelf commercial software.....seen that MANY times during my career.

24 posted on 02/01/2010 12:13:18 PM PST by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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To: T-Bird45
Taking that into account, a good audit could probably find ways to streamline, especially with an eye towards personnel redundancies among the departmental functions.

That's true, but it's not necessarily easy.

We tend to forget that city bureaucracies tend to build up over decades. The problems with restructuring in an environment like that are manifold; not just because of turf protection (which is a real issue), but also because the governmental entities are more like an organism than a set of well-defined departments -- it's often difficult to tell where one department stops and the next one starts.

25 posted on 02/01/2010 12:16:02 PM PST by r9etb
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To: T-Bird45
Taking that into account, a good audit could probably find ways to streamline, especially with an eye towards personnel redundancies among the departmental functions.

That's true, but it's not necessarily easy.

We tend to forget that city bureaucracies tend to build up over decades. The problems with restructuring in an environment like that are manifold; not just because of turf protection (which is a real issue), but also because the governmental entities are more like an organism than a set of well-defined departments -- it's often difficult to tell where one department stops and the next one starts.

26 posted on 02/01/2010 12:16:07 PM PST by r9etb
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To: SnakeDoctor
Maybe now is a good time for a redefinition of essential services ...

Your opinions on what is "essential" mark you as a fellow who may well have rooted for Potter over Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.... As it happens, your knowledge of Colorado Springs is somewhat lacking.

Cops, firemen, lights, trash, etc. are essential.

Cops, firemen, etc. I agree. However, trash pickup is done by private companies -- there has been no municipal trash service in Colorado Springs for many decades: it is clearly not an essential government function, though the government has a vested interest in ensuring that trash gets collected somehow.

Parks, libraries, etc. are NOT.

Parks are an essential part of any livable city.

Ben Franklin and a long line of others would reject your characterization of whether or not libraries are essential. But as it happens, the Pikes Peak Library district is not part of the city government and therefore not at issue in this discussion. It's a separate organization, paid for by its own tax district. It is very well-run.

Education ... debatable.

I'd suggest you take up the question of public education with Mr. Jefferson, who favored it. And, as it happens, the Colorado Springs area school districts (there are several) are also not paid for out of the Colorado Springs city budget.

27 posted on 02/01/2010 12:25:00 PM PST by r9etb
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To: mmichaels1970

“If a playground burns down, I can’t replace it,” Schroeder said.

How does a “playground” burn down? Do you set fire to the jungle gym?? Torch a backboard? A molitov cocktail in the sand box?


28 posted on 02/01/2010 12:25:46 PM PST by Oldpuppymax
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To: Oldpuppymax

We went to the same playground 3 times, as I remember, to put out the plastic/fiberglass play set. Some pyro kept setting it on fire.


29 posted on 02/01/2010 12:29:15 PM PST by Clay Moore (Roaches, predators, and thieves typically work under the cover of darkness. So it is with congress.)
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To: worst-case scenario
I've lived here for over 30 years, conservative Colorado Springs has always been a tax cutting community. Colorado has a statewide law called TABOR -— Taxpayer Bill of Rights -— that limits taxation and spending. The Springs has its own built in mini-tabor provisions for controlling taxes and spending. We're doing fine, thank you.

Fiscal responsibility and tight budgets is always the goal. Some street lights being shut off is not gonna have a serious effect on anyones lives. Once tax receipts start to increase, the city budget will get a boost.

30 posted on 02/01/2010 12:31:32 PM PST by Reagan Man ("In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.")
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To: r9etb
The problems with restructuring in an environment like that are manifold; not just because of turf protection (which is a real issue), but also because the governmental entities are more like an organism than a set of well-defined departments -- it's often difficult to tell where one department stops and the next one starts.

Absolutely on point about bureaucracies in general. Your comment on turf protection reminded me of "Office Space" when the consultants were trying to streamline and follow the work flow.

"But I have people skills, dammit!"

31 posted on 02/01/2010 12:32:37 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: r9etb

Well if the Springs weren’t paying outrageous benefits to their unionized workers then it wouldn’t be so ‘tough’.


32 posted on 02/01/2010 12:37:07 PM PST by the long march
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To: r9etb

>> Your opinions on what is “essential” mark you as a fellow who may well have rooted for Potter over Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life.... As it happens, your knowledge of Colorado Springs is somewhat lacking.

I’ve been to Colorado Springs once. I was speaking generally. Second — non-essential services should be privatized, its as simple as that. I’m not anti-park, anti-library, etc. ... I just don’t think it should be the focus of government to build playgrounds.

>> However, trash pickup is done by private companies — there has been no municipal trash service in Colorado Springs for many decades: it is clearly not an essential government function, though the government has a vested interest in ensuring that trash gets collected somehow.

Fair enough. Private is fine — the city has an interest.

>> Parks are an essential part of any livable city.

So, trash can be privatized ... and parks cannot be? Come on. I’m all for pretty spaces for people to frolic ... but why must they be the purview of city government?

>> Ben Franklin and a long line of others would reject your characterization of whether or not libraries are essential. But as it happens, the Pikes Peak Library district is not part of the city government and therefore not at issue in this discussion. It’s a separate organization, paid for by its own tax district. It is very well-run.

Like I said ... I was speaking generally. I don’t live in Colorado. As for libraries — people can buy books. If places want to rent them out, like videos, fine by me. I don’t see why the government needs to be involved.

>> I’d suggest you take up the question of public education with Mr. Jefferson, who favored it.

I said they were debatable. Certainly some measure of privatization would be worthwhile.

SnakeDoc


33 posted on 02/01/2010 12:37:42 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Life is tough; it's tougher if you're stupid. -- John Wayne)
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To: worst-case scenario
People of Colorado Springs decided to cut taxes and take their responsibility for services formerly provided by the city.

Actually, the Springs rejected a millage levy increase in their property last November.

34 posted on 02/01/2010 12:37:55 PM PST by Red Steel
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To: worst-case scenario

A lot of thqt terrain is straight up and helos aint particularly good for those areas


35 posted on 02/01/2010 12:39:24 PM PST by the long march
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To: r9etb

Wrong. These bureaucracies build up because we have allowed city, state, and federal employees to become unionized. Fire em all and start over.


36 posted on 02/01/2010 12:42:21 PM PST by the long march
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To: SnakeDoctor
So, trash can be privatized ... and parks cannot be?

Have you ever been to a private city park? I've never even heard of one.

As it happens, though, there is a city ordinance dating back to the founding of the city in the 1870s that requires a certain acreage of city parks in proportion to residential areas. As a result, there are 130+ parks within the city limits, and they're a wonderful thing.

To have "privatized" parks would require somebody to buy and maintain all those parks .... to what end?

37 posted on 02/01/2010 12:43:37 PM PST by r9etb
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To: the long march
Wrong. These bureaucracies build up because we have allowed city, state, and federal employees to become unionized. Fire em all and start over.

Uh, no. Utterly simplistic twaddle.

38 posted on 02/01/2010 12:44:31 PM PST by r9etb
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To: SnakeDoctor
I’ve been to Colorado Springs once. I was speaking generally. Second — non-essential services should be privatized, its as simple as that. I’m not anti-park, anti-library, etc. ... I just don’t think it should be the focus of government to build playgrounds.

I may agree with you in principal, however how many municipalities in the United States have neighborhood parks successfully privatized for the general enjoyment?

In Colorado, local governments can be forced to divest city libraries and parks if the enough citizens petition to put the issue(s) on the next ballot.

39 posted on 02/01/2010 12:51:23 PM PST by Red Steel
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To: r9etb

Do not call yourself a conservative.

Yes I have seen private parks in a city. So what? A small is charged to get in to use the facilities. If you don’t want to use it then you don’t have to. If you want to use it you can. Having someone maintain the park is the responsibility of the owner. If they do a good job folks come back.

You may have heard of Lakside or Elitch Gardens? Or perhaps you have heard of Arapaho Basin or Copper Mountain. Lots of private property being used for citizen enjoyment.

Seems to me you want someone else to pay for access to a lawn or picnic area.


40 posted on 02/01/2010 12:51:25 PM PST by the long march
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To: Mr. K
I WONDER HOW MUCH THEY LOVE ALL THE MONEY SPENT ON ‘DIVERSITY TRAINING’ AND OTHER SUCH POLITICAL NONSENSE NOW

COLORADO IS A LIBERAL HOTBED POSSIBLY THIRD ONLY TO CA AND MASS.


This is not true by any means. While Colorado has lurched to the left in the last two elections to some degree, it is nowhere near comparable for left wing lunacy to such places as Wisconsin, New York, Illinois or Oregon. As it is the Dems will probably be losing their grip on Colorado due to the flagrant incompetence of the Big O and his cohorts in congress. Now I will certainly admit that Colorado does have a hotspot of left wing lunacy in Boulder, but that city is uniformly mocked by the rest of the state as a rule. Colorado Springs is, very likely, the most conservative place in Colorado.
41 posted on 02/01/2010 12:51:57 PM PST by drbuzzard (different league)
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To: r9etb

And you are not over the age of thirty or perhaps you have forgotten what it used to be like when unions did not run the government.

And how long have you lived in the Springs???


42 posted on 02/01/2010 12:52:46 PM PST by the long march
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To: r9etb

>> To have “privatized” parks would require somebody to buy and maintain all those parks .... to what end?

(1) Profit. If it is valuable enough to pay taxes for, it is valuable enough to pay admission. If people don’t even value it enough to pay a nominal admission — is it really worth the tax money?

(2) Charity. If people value it beyond its profitability, they will donate to its cause voluntarily.

If the people do not value it enough to pay admission, or to donate for its continuation — then it certainly is not worth the tax money.

SnakeDoc


43 posted on 02/01/2010 12:55:30 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Life is tough; it's tougher if you're stupid. -- John Wayne)
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To: Reagan Man

I live in Colorado Springs and haven’t noticed any bad, or heard anyone talk about this issue.

I too, liked Mr. Bartolin’s letter in post #9, especially the points: too many public employees with too great of benefits, and the need for the city to zero base budget

I liked Regan Man’s comment, “Fiscal responsibility and tight budgets is always the goal.” I want all public offices grumbling.

Cities should be challenged to justify their budget; it’s a wonderful opportunity. Too bad Congress cannot be challenged as directly.


44 posted on 02/01/2010 12:56:03 PM PST by RCFlyer
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To: tcrlaf
Why Does a city the size of Colorado Springs have MULTIPLE Police Helicopters???

The first thing any good city council needs is a military to command.

45 posted on 02/01/2010 12:56:43 PM PST by RobinOfKingston (Democrats, the party of evil. Republicans, the party of stupid.)
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To: SnakeDoctor

How exactly does a privatized park, as opposed to a public park, work? Does the government give a contract to the cheapest bidder for park management?

If the government doesn’t pay to build public parks, then would they belong to the construction company, who would rent out use of the managed facility?

Or would the private company own the facility outright, and charge the users? Do you need a paid badge to enter? Or do you pay an admission fee?

That would certainly make sure that rich kids don’t have to play with the hoi-polloi.

But then they aren’t “public” parks.


46 posted on 02/01/2010 12:56:58 PM PST by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
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To: Red Steel

I’m not arguing that parks will necessarily exist without the government ... I am arguing that if people truly value the parks, they will either charitably sustain them or pay for their use.

If they won’t pay voluntarily (admission or charity) to keep them open ... why force them to pay involuntarily for a service they do not value?

SnakeDoc


47 posted on 02/01/2010 12:58:04 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Life is tough; it's tougher if you're stupid. -- John Wayne)
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To: the long march
Do not call yourself a conservative.

Do not call yourself worthy of my time.

48 posted on 02/01/2010 12:58:43 PM PST by r9etb
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To: worst-case scenario

A private entity owns it. You either pay to get in — or you donate to a charity that runs the park and allows free admission.

If people value the parks, they will voluntarily pay for their continuation. If the public does not value them ... who cares if they close?

SnakeDoc


49 posted on 02/01/2010 12:59:58 PM PST by SnakeDoctor (Life is tough; it's tougher if you're stupid. -- John Wayne)
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To: mmichaels1970

Burning playgrounds! The travesty!


50 posted on 02/01/2010 1:02:22 PM PST by Rebelbase
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