Homeless on the bridges, on public rights of way, in some

08 de novembro

John Suthers reflects on first term as mayor

canada goose uk shop We caught up with Suthers for a 75 minute interview in his sixth floor office conference room on July 11, where he reflected on his accomplishments as mayor and outlined challenges ahead. Not surprisingly, a lot hinges on tackling some pernicious problems, such as affordable housing and a growing homeless population. canada goose uk shop

uk canada goose outlet Asked for his top accomplishments so far, Suthers, ever the strategist, names three things that all went hand in hand. First, mending Council mayor relations to the point that councilors were willing to refer his two tax measures to the ballot (2C, a road tax approved in November 2015, and 2A, a stormwater fee approved in November 2017). Second, passing those measures, even though polling initially showed only 14 percent of voters even thought stormwater was a major issue. That stormwater measure was especially important because of a lawsuit from the Environmental Protection Agency, stemming from the city’s violations of the Clean Water Act due to poor stormwater control. And third, boosting the economy something that Suthers says was canada goose clearance sale partially made possible by better infrastructure, since that’s always on the short list for relocating companies, though clearly the national economy played the biggest role. uk canada goose outlet

Canada Goose Online Suthers: Obviously, I told you why 2A was so important. Part of the follow up to that is we freed up general fund [money] for hiring 120 cops. We’re going to have 48 people in every single police academy [from] here on out until we’ve hired an additional 120 cops. We think that’s going to take us four years, because, obviously, a lot of the classes are filling vacancies [from retirements and resignations]. Putting more cops on the streets is very important. We were falling behind on that, and we Canada Goose online need to get closer to national averages in that regard and get some of our response times down. We’re going to hire some more don’t know the exact number of firefighters. Canada Goose Online

Canada Goose Coats On Sale I felt very good about the approval of the reannexation agreement. People didn’t stop coming here because Banning Lewis Ranch wasn’t developing. They were coming here and building in Falcon and basically leap frogging Colorado Springs. Rather than see that continue and burden some water districts that I’m not sure what their future is, I think it was very appropriate that we get an annexation agreement that will allow for appropriate development of Banning Lewis Ranch inside the city where we’ve got the water supply. Canada Goose Coats On Sale

Canada Goose sale I’m glad we’re at the point where we’re able to break ground on the Summit House. I’m trying to raise $15 million privately to go with $43 canada goose coats on sale million that the [Pikes Peak America’s Mountain] enterprise itself can raise. It’s going to be a great facility, much needed, and we hope to finish that in fall of 2020, and with The Broadmoor indicating they’re going to go ahead with the Cog [railway from Manitou Springs to the summit], a massive investment, I think those two things will happen pretty close in time, and I think that will be great for Pikes Peak and tourism. I’m hearing all kinds of anecdotal stories from people [that] one of their main things [they want to do] in coming to Colorado Springs is taking the train up Pikes Peak, and when they find out that’s not possible, you have to sell them on, hey, you can drive up there, too. A canada goose clearance lot of them are doing it, because we’re up 30 percent in the month of June. Canada Goose sale

I’m trying to work with the [county] commissioners to come up with a merger of the respective offices of emergency management. I just think it’s kind of stupid for the city to have an office of emergency management and the county to have one also, and I would love to merge those. Now that we’re into the summer and the fire season, I don’t think this is the time to transition, but I’m hoping in the fall we’ll be able to do that. Not a tremendous economic saving right off the bat, but obviously there would be savings from having one head instead of two. We wouldn’t be laying off anyone initially. We would be consolidating where they’re located. We cheap Canada Goose would probably move to the county facility, then begin to examine over a couple years what our needed resources are in a consolidated OEM, and I think over time would probably save some money, but most important it would be more efficient and effective.

uk canada goose I will make a decision by Labor Day. And my health is good. That’s always a factor you take into account, and the only other consideration, and I don’t know if you’ll appreciate this or not, I’ll be 67 in October. Do I really want to be 70 years old working 75 to 80 hours a week? I suspect the answer to that is “yes.” uk canada goose

canada goose store click to enlarge RTA Architects/GWWO Architects/DHM Design The Pikes Peak Summit Complex recently broke ground, targeting a fall 2020 opening. canada goose store

buy canada goose jacket cheap Doesn’t it make sense that you’ve put everything in place at this point to continue into a second term? buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose clearance Yeah. On the other hand the economy is going to turn down, right? One of canada goose the things I’m working hard on is to position us well for the next downturn. This is really getting into the weeds, but I think we’ve raised the unrestricted general fund reserve [the city’s so called rainy day fund] from 14 to 17 percent. I personally would like to reach 20 percent. There’s a fairly healthy reserve in the PSST [Public Safety Sales Tax] fund, which is really to make sure when there’s a downturn and you’re laying off people, it’s not cops and firefighters; it’s IT, or parks maintenance, or something like that. Don’t want to do anything like that, but you got to prioritize. The good news is, everybody I talk to says probably not until 2020 we’ll see a downturn, and everybody thinks Colorado Springs has positioned itself pretty well. It may not be as impacted as other parts of the country. canada goose clearance

cheap canada goose uk I would like to see it increase 2 percent for a city that is so heavily reliant on tourism [is low]. People check out of a hotel, and they never look at it, right? But here’s the interesting thing. Because of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights [which requires voter approval of tax increases], even though it’s a tax that only affects a canadian goose jacket small segment of the community those people visiting and staying at our hotels and renting cars it does have to go to a vote. cheap canada goose uk

We’ve done some polling, and two things stand out. No. 1: Nobody knows what LART is. No. 2: It would take an awful lot of money to make sure they understood that canada goose coats they don’t pay it.. I think people were kind of shocked that if you ask the question, “Should taxes be raised $6 million a year for the lodging and rental tax?” which is what the question would read the results are Canada Goose sale very bad. Then you gotta spend a lot of money saying, “Oh, by the way, you only pay it if you check into a local hotel or rent a local car.” Then the numbers creep up, but right now I think we could spend $1 million and not be assured of winning. I’m trying to raise money for a lot of different things for the city Summit House and Olympic Museum and things like that and I’m not sure we wanna take it on now. If I remain mayor for another four years, I would like to get LART increased. And here’s a couple of things I would like to do. Tourists are now a very heavy burden on a couple of our parks Garden of the Gods, North Cheyenne Caon and I’m sure they’ve got numbers for tourists that go into Palmer Park and stuff like that, but I think the tourists ought to pay a good portion of the maintenance in those parks.

canada goose I hope none. Obviously, any time you’re dealing with EPA and the Justice Department, you’ve gotta convince not just the top, but you gotta convince the folks that handle litigation the case ought to be settled. And I really, really believe that this case should be settled. Go to trial and.. I think a federal judge would say, “OK, you didn’t do this right. What’s your plan?” Well, here’s our plan [our stormwater taxes and program]. I just don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t settle. I know federal bureaucracies. They want a fine. But it ought to be a reasonable fine, and we ought to move on down the road, and that’s what I hope will happen. But as of right now, the case is still set for trial. canada goose

canada goose factory sale I buy canada goose jacket think it’s only appropriate that you have a whole new look see. What do we need going forward? And people will be plenty used to paying a stormwater fee by then, if it’s well administered. canada goose factory sale

canadian goose jacket click to enlarge Courtesy City Of Colorado Springs Cowboy up: Mayor Suthers participates in one of our city’s Western cultural heritage events. canadian goose jacket

Canada Goose online Turning to the question of the homeless. What should the city do and what should the community do to address this issue? It seems like the bigger Springs Rescue Mission gets, the bigger the homeless population gets. Canada Goose online

canada goose coats on sale Yeah, yeah, I will agree with you there. Let me tell you, when I go to mayors’ meetings, I always go to homelessness [sessions], I always go to affordable housing [sessions] just to make sure there’s no silver bullets out there, and by the way, there are no silver bullets out there. But, this is a balancing act for government. On one hand, you’ve got these nonprofit service providers who deserve a tremendous amount of credit. They are meeting these people where they are, nonjudgmentally and trying to provide services, and we should be Canada Goose Outlet very grateful for that. I have to tell you, the vast majority of people I hear from aren’t those people.. Most people, I think and I would probably be guilty of being one of them are a little more judgmental, tend to see a person and see lots of bad choices and things like that. But we’ve got to take advantage of these nonprofit groups, and then consider what the appropriate role of the city should be. I believe very strongly we’re on the right path with the Rescue Mission campus. Before that’s all done, I think it’s going to be about a $28 million investment. The city’s got, my guess, $3.5 to $4 million in it, mostly federal pass through dollars, block grants, things like that. Tremendous amount of foundation and individual philanthropic support. Nor’wood [Development Group] is building a supportive [apartment] complex down there. That’s what, $15 million, a lot of money. canada goose coats on sale

Canada Goose Outlet What the public is very impatient about and I don’t blame them a bit, is camping. Homeless on the bridges, on public rights of way, in some cases trespassing on private property. We are going to approach that problem as aggressively as we can while still abiding by all the legal constraints. As long as I’m the mayor, the law is going to be the primary driver. Any ordinances you deal with here you’ve got to have compelling government interest, and public safety, things like that. What I think needs to happen now, we need to increase, and I don’t think this is unlimited, but I think we do need to increase our low barrier shelter bed capacity to the point where we can be aggressive about enforcing no camping bans, telling them, here’s a shelter bed available to you, if you don’t take it, we’re going to clean up your camp, you gotta move on. And, obviously, right now, they tend to move 100 yards, 200 yards, something like that. But I think we owe it to the folks trying to use our trails and all that sort of thing, the sheltered individuals, which are the vast majority, to do what we can to reach this balance. I hope to have 300 more shelter beds by the fall, a total of canada goose store about 620, 630, and we think that’s enough capacity to pretty vigorously enforce the [no camping] ordinance. Canada Goose Outlet

Canada Goose Jackets I don’t think the availability of jobs is a big part of the picture. Availability of housing is part of it. But there’s a lot of people making a choice not to take a low wage job at McDonald’s or something like that that would allow them to have some subsistence level shelter. They’re just making the choice not to do that. Now, no question some people are losing jobs, becoming homeless. Frankly, those Canada Goose Jackets folks are the easiest to shelter. Most of those folks you can get in a Salvation Army facility. We can get them a voucher from Catholic Charities, things like that. Those are not the most problematic folks to shelter. The most problematic folks to shelter are the folks with a mental health or substance abuse overlay which either prevents them from holding a job or causes them not to want to seek employment. Canada Goose Jackets

We are. It’s not just us dreaming these numbers up. There are economic development people who track this. You want to know where the jobs are? Call Pikes Peak Workforce Center, and see where they are, but they’re there. Not everybody meets the qualifications. I remember three years ago everybody said kids won’t stay in Colorado Springs. Let me tell you, if young people aren’t staying in Colorado Springs right now, it has more to do with maybe not wanting to live with their parents than the availability of jobs. We have the fastest growing millennial population in the country in Colorado Springs right now because of all the jobs that are available here. Cybersecurity, software engineering all that sort of thing.

Not building the housing itself but encouraging it. We [should] line up a developer buy canada goose jacket cheap with a project, make sure the developer knows what’s in it for them in terms of tax incentives. [There are] three or four projects, 500 beds, coming out of the ground this year in Colorado Springs in those type of projects. Steve Posey [with the city community development office] was in front of City Council the other day talking about how the city can help bond projects with federal dollars. It actually takes some of the revenue it gets from low income housing and builds additional housing. We’re not going to take care of all 20,000 people needing housing assistance, but I would like to get to the point where we’re creating at least 1,000 affordable housing units a year, and that’s basically doubling where we are right now. One of the problems we’ve had is local developers haven’t been particularly interested in affordable housing. I think the fact that Nor’wood was willing to step up, take on an affordable housing project, hopefully that goes well and it will be an indication to other developers they can get into this business.

Maybe sooner than you think. First of all, in terms of existing development, it makes very little sense for the city to annex residential property, because, frankly, our property taxes are so low and particularly the city’s share of property taxes is so small that it doesn’t produce enough revenue to take care of the infrastructure.. In terms of annexation, I think what you’re going to continue to see, because there’s a couple of these going on right now, we’re going to go out and do the financial analysis, and it’s in our interest to have this retail establishment in the city of Colorado Springs. To have appropriate contiguousness, we may have to take in a residential development, but we know damn well that it’s an economic plus for the city.

canada goose uk outlet [As for Cherokee], I can’t see doing that. Colorado Springs Utilities is going to have to decide, are we going to make canada goose outlet sure we take care of Colorado Springs, or are we going to regionalize and take in some of these other districts? The long term future to water districts is not very good. They may be able to take care of who they got, but they really can’t grow much. And so, it doesn’t surprise me they might be looking for consolidation. But I think they’re going to have a hard, hard time. As long as I’m mayor, and based on conversations I’ve had with the existing Council, we don’t want a bunch of residential properties that aren’t accompanied by revenue producing properties. The reality of the world right now, property taxes don’t do it and I don’t see that changing.. The reality is, for as long as I can see into the future, we’re going to be a sales tax dependent municipality, which is why I’m talking so much about preparing for the next downturn. And that means being very careful about what you annex. Some of these districts that may have grandiose dreams of annexation better come up with some way that they’re going to pay for infrastructure, because I don’t see burdening the city of Colorado Springs for additional infrastructure development when in fact these houses that are annexed, their property taxes don’t come close to paying for anything. canada goose uk outlet

Matthew Schniper The mayor has to try to balance many parties’ interests in decisions.

Some citizens contend the city cares more about tourists when it comes to its parks than it does about its own residents. How do you balance those needs between tourists and local residents? Which needs come first?

That’s a good question. I think both of these have to be recognized, but I think you’re right, we find that residents around Garden of the Gods, residents around the North Cheyenne Caon don’t accept the fact that these are major tourist attractions, and they want to be able to walk their dog and they’ve always walked it and why does the city care about tourists? The big picture is, tourism is a major, major factor in our economy and driving our economy, and our job picture, our economic picture, including our tax revenue picture, would be drastically different if we did not have those tourists. So what I can’t do is say, “OK we’re going to limit the number of tourists to X number” or things like that. We’re going to try and have balance, but my guess is in the long run people living next to these [parks] will probably be unhappy that we’re catering to tourists as much as we are, but that is because of how significant a factor they are in the area’s economy. But you gotta listen to everybody.

Yeah. Palmer Park is a wonderful park for hiking and things like that. I don’t know what the tourist numbers are there. I have driven by Venezia Park twice in the last week and on hot days, and I was just blown away by how packed the parking lots are and literally hundreds of kids in their swimming suits running through the sprayground. Those are parks primarily for the locals and Canada Goose Parka we gotta make sure they’re taken care of. In terms of park funding, the Council and I have, I don’t know if canada goose black friday sale you call it a handshake deal, that the increased revenue from cable [franchise] fees would go to parks. That’s escalating. I think it went up a million last year and we gave $950,000 to parks. We hope it will go up maybe a million this year, and we hope to have the vast majority of that go to parks.

cheap Canada Goose In my opinion, it’s much ado about nothing. I think it’s easily solved. I’ll give you a little background. There’s nothing in state law that says a legislative body needs to be involved in settlement litigation. So in the state of Colorado, the Legislature has nothing to do whatsoever with settling lawsuits. The attorney general, treasurer and head of personnel [do that]. Other cities, you know, there’s a committee, much like we do for cases under $100,000. In the city code or charter, there’s a provision Council shall approve settlements over $100,000. It doesn’t say what that approval consists of. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose black friday sale I personally don’t think there’s any violations of law taking place, but what I recommended to them, if you want to have people [councilors] vote for or against something, let’s go ahead and have a vote on the record with the following caveats. So they come to the Council and they say, “This is where we think our exposure is. Obviously, you can’t then adjourn to canada goose deals formal session and say [that] publicly. You know, “I think this guy is a slimeball and we shouldn’t be giving him a dime.” That’s the kind of thing that gets you another lawsuit that may or may not have any merit but we’re spending a couple hundred thousand dollars defending lawsuits where these folks make comments on the record. So as I say, I think this is easily solvable canada goose black friday sale.