Excerpts from..... Getting the storm water agreement right

Originally published: September 14, 2014

I recently attended Mayor Steve Bach's press update, which focused principally on our pressing storm water situation. Before that event, and based on the dysfunction at City Hall, I didn't have a very high opinion of our mayor..... But that recent press conference prompted me to read representative examples of his correspondence with the county commissioners and our council. Darned if I didn't find his arguments to be cogent, logical, and fiscally and constitutionally correct....

That prompted me to ask around, principally among his supporters. To my question about why the county commissioners and City Council members don't pay heed to his thoughts about storm water, I was told because "the county commissioners and City Council simply don't like him."

The mayor has been described as "prickly." What if we could strip out the "prickly" aspect and go with "the proverbial devil we know?"....

Whether you like Mayor Bach and would vote for him, we'd better listen to him now. Why? His concerns about the proposed storm water intergovernmental agreement are reason enough.

Colorado Springs has been a participant for the past 10 years along with El Paso County, Green Mountain Falls, Manitou Springs and Ramah in another regional authority known as the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. The city has three board seats, the county has three, and the three other municipalities within the county each have one.

So, the Springs has a minority position on the board even though it has contributed 89 percent of the funding.

Over the past decade, the city has contributed 89 percent of the funding into PPRTA, while receiving only 73 percent of the funding. That amounts to a $100 million shortfall....

I just finished interviewing the mayor, a majority of our council and many military, civic, political and business leaders. I took away from that exercise a sense that our leaders and we can do better.

Let's start by getting the confusing intergovernmental storm water agreement right before the November vote. Or let's ask City Council to bring to the April ballot a city-only storm water question.

Only then will we have the leverage to ensure we don't cede our rightful power and money to third parties.


Gregory Olinyk is founder and managing 
partner of Point-of-Reference LLC.