by Pam Zubeck
Republican political activist Jeff Crank is asking candidates for Colorado Springs City Council and mayor to sign a pledge to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes." He got a harsh review today from a local business community advocate.
"I will call that silly," said Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp., in an interview today.
He added that the pledge means a candidate "pledges to not allow the voters to decide what's best for them. They're not giving me the voice to invest in my community, in order to follow some ideological principle that may hurt our kids and our community in the long run."
Kazmierski also said one of the biggest challenges facing this community is residents' reluctance to believe that if you invest in your community today, it will make a better community tomorrow. He noted that citizens here have approved tax increases for only two purposes in the last couple of decades: a sales tax dedicated to trails and open space, and a sales tax for transportation, notably roads.
(There's actually one additional tax increase voters approved: for public safety. The vote came after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.)
Crank, who hosts a radio show and is state director of Americans for Prosperity, has long opposed tax increases, even the Rural Transportation Authority tax adopted in 2004.
So far, five mayoral candidates have signed the pledge, as reported in this week's Indy.