Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Water Issues Between Pueblo and Colorado Springs Engenders Potential Ballot Issue

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers |
Photo: Mark Reis
Colorado Springs, a notoriously difficult community to raise taxes and fees, is planning on a stormwater fee increase November ballot issue to get the city out from under a nearly $500 million obligation to Pueblo County for 20 years worth of stormwater improvements. The City argues that unless they raise fees, all services and obligations, such as police and parks, will be starved for revenue.

The stormwater fee supporters have a poll that shows 51 percent support. In an article by Pam Zubeck for the Colorado Springs Independent, I opined that it was a very narrow cushion for a campaign:

Ciruli says while it's not scientific, it's a "general truism" in the political world that a ballot measure must poll high before campaigns begin, because support can be expected to fade during the election season. He also notes that if developers, builders and contractors turn out to be the chief funders of the "vote yes" effort, it might engender skepticism.

"You just had a council race that showed developers aren't exactly running things at the moment," he says, referring to only one of five candidates backed by developers winning Council seats in the April 4 city election. "The general rule is if these things have any opposition they tend to go down." There's been no early signs of organized opposition.

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