City Council President Keith King
and El Paso County Board of County Commissioners Chair Dennis Hisey
said today at a news conference the resolution for City for Champions
lacks collaboration and checks and balances, and as such, they cannot support it.
"Woefully unacceptable and disappointingly non-collaborative" is how they put it in a letter to Mayor Steve Bach
, who oversaw the resolution and submitted it to the state Economic Development Commission
over the weekend.
"It's not open. It's not transparent. It has no checks and balances in it," King said.
The letter was also sent to the EDC, along with another letter from King and four other Council members: Joel Miller, Andy Pico, Don Knight and Helen Collins.
One thing that was especially disappointing, King said, was that the resolution — which sets out governance of various boards to oversee the C4C tourism projects— vests complete authority over the sports and events center with Bach. The events center is the only one of four projects that is likely to require local tax money.
The Council's letter also says, "We are in agreement that, prior to the expenditure of any local public funds of the City of Colorado Springs, the proposal should be approved by the voters of the City of Colorado Springs."
Bach immediately issued a statement, saying:
Regrettably, neither City Council President Keith King or El Paso County Commission Chair Dennis Hisey called me to discuss their concerns before sending their letter. What is more disappointing is that they and I had lunch today at my suggestion with Tom Neppl, Chair of the Regional Business Alliance, to talk about economic development. Neither Keith or Dennis mentioned the letter. I will continue to work collaboratively with City Council, County Commissioners, Mayors of outlying municipalities and fellow citizens as we proceed through a thoughtful, in depth due diligence on C4C. As I have said repeatedly, I support C4C in concept subject to becoming comfortable along with a majority of other community leaders in the economics and assurance that there will be no tax increase associated with the project or any tax payer risk. In the end, it will be City Council which has, as they already know, ultimate authority on whether the Downtown Sports and Events Center is built.
Read the two letters here:
See related PDF