City Council refuses to stand up to Mayor with Parks Funding Issue.
On Tuesday, City Council voted 6 to 3 not to allow a small tax increase for parks to appear on the April ballot. Council members Strand, Gaebler and Murray voted in support. The Mayor (represented by Chief of Staff Jeff Greene) and Dirk Draper of the Chamber of Commerce spoke in opposition to the one-tenth of one percent increase. (That means one penny on a ten-dollar purchase).
We had excellent support from the Council of Neighbors and Organizations, Friends Groups, and other leading parks advocates. They asked Council to simply let the people decide. They reminded Council that the city’s financial support for parks is less than it was 10 years ago and that polling results indicate the public would support a slight tax increase.
Thank you to the many, many supporters who called and emailed Council and the Mayor. Decision-makers’ voicemail and email boxes were filling up with messages. We had the opportunity to present to Council because of YOU. Even though we didn’t win, both Council and the Mayor are on notice that the people want real solutions to the problem of underfunded parks.
What now? We’re tired of hearing our leaders say they support maintaining their parks while being unwilling to support solutions. We can follow their example and ignore the underfunded parks problem and hope it goes away. We could plan to petition the initiative onto a future ballot. Or we could elect new leaders and try again to work within the system. More conversations to follow.
The Forestry Division of the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department will be conducting forest restoration treatments in Stratton Open Space, Stratton Forest, Bear Creek Canyon Park and University Park beginning mid-January, 2017. This work will be performed by Seedmasters Inc. and MarkIt!, two local, professional forest restoration companies under contract with City Forestry.
The restoration treatments consist of removing overstocked evergreen trees and reducing the size of Gambel oak clumps. The treatments will focus on a return to a more natural number of trees per acre, a reduction in fuel loading and continuity, removal of insect and disease affected trees and elimination of invasive woody plant species.
Friends and Partner News
“Table to Trails” with Salsa Brava, Over Easy, Sonterra Grill
New Over Easy location gives another chance to take part!
Over Easy, Downtown, University Village, Dublin/Powers
Over Easy donates one dollar to the Trails and Open Space Coalition for every special sold, and as of the end of 2016, the amount had reached almost $5,000.
Please give to the Trails and Open Space Coalition. Your donation supports our important work of preservation and conservation.
We are in the Sustainacenter!
The COS Office of Sustainability established office space in one of two city-owned, Victorian style houses located in the Middle Shooks Run neighborhood (704 E. Boulder Street). The other house, located at 702 E. Boulder Street, houses sustainability focused non-profit organizations to co-locate with each other and the COS Office of Sustainability. Collectively, these two houses are referred to as the Sustainacenter.
Trails and Open Space Coalition’s new office address is: