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Four horsemen

Commissioners Tom Huffman, Duncan Bremer, Ed Jones and Chuck Brown, and their dancing master, Terry Harris, have certainly been argumentative, hostile, rude and arrogant (arrogance is assured in a county dominated by one political party).

Their jubilant attitude as they celebrated "victory" in the Criminal Justice Center funding was sickening, especially so when the "vanquished" were the lame, the halt and the blind, the most vulnerable of our citizens!

I observed that the four horsemen and their stable mate were intent from the beginning to punish the citizens of El Paso County for a vote they did not like. Throughout the last two months of meetings, comments made by these commissioners reinforced my observation.

I was not always certain from whom the comments came, but such references as: "we didn't get much help from the voters," "the voters abdicated their responsibility," derogatory references to the media, and the need to "share the pain," left no doubt that a desire for "punishment" was a prime motivation for the actions taken by the BOCC.

The "gang of four plus one" has certainly punished the current citizens of this county, and at least a generation of those yet unborn, by committing us to the largest debt in our history.

Well done, good and noble commissioners!

-- Charles Merritt

Colorado Springs

Sign him up

John Hazlehurst's "Time for a Regime Shift" (Nov. 28) mirrored my thoughts exactly. The analogies were right on. What a colossal waste of taxpayers' money to have to duplicate most everything in (and around) our fair city for the benefit of a few politicians who have forgotten that we are their employers.

We finally got rid of "status quo" -- Jim Mullen inside the city -- so let's continue up this progressive highway, outside the city, and get this on the ballot and get it done.

Once we voters give the go-ahead for the new City and County of Colorado Springs, we can combine these two behemoths in a way that makes the most economic sense to the benefit of us all -- their employers. I'm ready. Sign me up ...

-- Teddy Hamilton

Colorado Springs

Is it any wonder?

As usual, you've given me a glimmer of hope through the murk that is El Paso County politics. Thank you for your continued coverage of the county commissioners' antics. For what it's worth, I've written to them expressing my displeasure and I encourage others to do so as well.

Is it any wonder citizens don't want to vote? If a single name on the November ballot for most county offices wasn't enough, the commissioners' mockery of "representative government" is a good example of why voting seems in vain.

But, we can't let the bad guys win. So, go Indy! Kudos to people like Walter Lawson (Council of Neighborhood Organizations) and Jim Alice Scott (Committee for Responsible County Government). Perhaps a recall will help voters see we are not powerless after all.

-- B. Miller

Manitou Springs

Show some leadership

An open letter to the county commissioners:

You are not paying attention to the election results. The people of the county expressed in clear terms their opposition to the construction of a new jail and the various economic consequences.

You are elected to carry out the will of your constituents, not to pursue your own agenda. Those of you who support the jail need to reconsider your position. You need to show leadership by devising a better plan than the jail that will still enlist the support of the others (examples: work release programs, home monitoring, etc. for non-violent offenders).

I have never been active in local politics. Let me assure you that I will put my energy behind defeating every commissioner that does not oppose the jail (and the enormous damage that the budget consequences will have for El Paso County) and/or does not do their utmost to find a more constructive alternative. The electorate is speaking. Is anyone listening?

-- Dr. William J. Klein Jr.

Colorado Springs

School or jail

I am outraged that a proposal -- to eliminate all Springs Transit routes that go outside Colorado Springs city limits in order to build some 800 new beds for the county jail -- could have even been proposed.

I am a full-time student who attends Pikes Peak Community College at the Centennial Campus. Since my vehicle broke down a couple of months ago, I have had to rely on the Springs Transit to get to school and two jobs.

I live near Memorial Park. It's only four miles to one of my jobs downtown -- $6 if I take a taxi. The transit system has limited routes as it is. How am I going to get to the only campus that has my courses?

At the same time that the county is cutting bus service dollars, it is keeping more than $500,000 to spend on company vehicles for its already highly-paid employees.

Why is the lower class being affected again? If my routes get eliminated, how am I going to better my education? How am I going to get a better job without "reliable" transportation companies require?

Will I be better off filling one of those 800 or so new jail beds?

-- Thomas Cruz

Colorado Springs

Taste of reality

I have a bit of a news flash to everyone who voted "No" on the jail initiative and are now whining about the fact that it's being built anyway: The matter on the ballot concerned only funding of the jail. Voting "No" stopped a new tax initiative for funding the jail; it didn't forbid a jail from being built.

On the same subject what do the people of this city expect? Our jails are full, our laws are (almost) hopelessly behind the times, and more people are being sent to jail every day. Where should we put these lawbreakers? We can't fit them in the jail anymore.

We could fix the laws allowing for less harsh punishments for nonviolent offenders, we could put more people into criminal rehabilitation programs, we could do any number of things. But we haven't.

So until the people get off of their behinds and vote for real meaningful reforms, we have to do something with the criminal populace. The jail has to be built; there is no way to get around this.

-- Vinnie M. Iuppa

Monument

Care about everyone

A letter in last week's Independent ("An ignorant decision," by Kendell Kretzschmar) made me laugh and feel bad for the writer at the same time.

He asks, "you realize that when just one gay gets AIDS, his/her medical costs will break the city's insurance status fund?" I say, "How would you feel when one straight gets AIDS?" because it costs the same whether you are straight or gay.

I feel bad for anyone who would get this terrible disease, not just straight people. So for this obvious bigot to insinuate that he's more educated or cares more about this community, I'll write in big letters so he understands "YOU HAVE TO CARE ABOUT EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY, NOT JUST THE STRAIGHT, WHITE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY!"

Mr. Kretzschmar makes our entire community (Christian or non-Christian) look bad and extremely hateful.

-- Geoff Kramer

Colorado Springs

Experiencing Nirvana

This letter is in response to Kendell Kretzschmar's letter in the Nov. 28 issue of the Independent.

Mr. Kretzschmar, if ignorance is bliss you must be experiencing some serious Nirvana! We're referring, of course, to your comment regarding it only taking "one gay" and his/her medical costs to break the city's insurance status fund.

What is this "one gay" business? For your information, AIDS does not discriminate against anyone. It favors any and all of us! And, furthermore, recent studies have shown that heterosexual Caucasian women are the highest percentage group of AIDS carriers in this country.

Who are you to castigate City Councilman Ted Eastburn for his "ignorant decision" when your own ignorance of some of the most basic AIDS statistics is so sorely lacking?

-- Christopher Curcio and Elizabeth Osborne,

Colorado Springs

Crock of poo

This is an open letter to City Councilman Ted Eastburn:

As a medical doctor, you should realize that the letter by Kendell Kretzschmar is a gigantic crock of poo that should be ignored completely. Mr. Kretzschmar says that just one "gay" (sigh) with AIDS will break the city's insurance. But he totally overlooks that a) the individual getting "the AIDS" doesn't have to be "a gay" and b) lots of married couples have spouses who get cancer and other expensive diseases all the time, yet the city's insurance still manages to exist.

The New York Times reported on Nov. 27 that the U.N. says for the first time, half of the adults infected with HIV are now women, which they got from sex with HIV-infected men. I'd have to say that it's not just gays that Mr. Kretzschmar needs to worry about anymore.

Incidentally, I'm actually one of those people that most consider to be a "victim" in the world of HIV. That alone is enough to make me blow chunks, but that's a whole 'nother letter.

Colorado Springs, go grab an education, quick! It's almost 2003, and HIV belongs to us all, not just a subset of the population that we can conveniently cast aside.

-- Sally Brookins

Colorado Springs

Strange bedfellows

I know politics make strange bedfellows but I was surprised to see my name alongside Ed Bircham, James Dobson, Will Perkins and Mike McKee in the letter from Michael Allison in last week's Independent. I have a fairly thick skin when it comes to disgruntled slurs from the electorate, but "Minister of Propaganda"? I don't get it.

City Councilwoman Judy Noyes

Colorado Springs

Who's next?

The Colorado Springs Utilities plans an attack on the city's poor, using -- what else? -- late fees! Who will be hurt? Anyone on Social Security!

The bastards can't manage a budget, and their greed is insatiable, so they attack the poor. Next it will be the "gay community" or some racial or ethic group. This town stinks.

-- Stella Wells

Colorado Springs

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