Bach appeals to Council
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach on Jan. 16 acknowledged that City Council's nine members "hold all the cards" in bringing Bach's City for Champions tourism project to fruition.
The statement came during a meeting at the City Administration Building of city and El Paso County officials about C4C, the project that aims to build four tourism attractions with state and local tax money. Council hasn't endorsed the venture but must give permission to change urban renewal boundaries to accommodate two downtown attractions: an events center and an Olympic museum. Council also will play a role in approving the Urban Renewal Authority's issuance of debt, and whether to place a measure on the ballot for voter approval of general fund debt.
Council also must approve a contract to be submitted by April 16 to the state Economic Development Commission, which has approved $120.5 million in state sales tax money over 30 years but also has imposed strict terms and conditions, such as construction deadlines and square footage requirements.
Bach said if the project poses a burden to taxpayers or isn't self-sustaining, "I won't support it." City and county officials agreed to meet monthly in public session to discuss C4C. — Pam Zubeck
Singer joins 5th CD race
Leslie Simpson-Summey has joined the race to unseat U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn. The Democrat announced her candidacy in the 5th Congressional District on Monday, saying she is not a politician.
According to her campaign website (lesliesummey.com), Simpson-Summey has extensive experience as a jazz vocalist, both with the Navy Band and as an independent artist, and is a mother of five. “Her experiences lead her to be concerned about disparities in both the public and private education systems, the status of women in both the private sector and the military, and families,” states the About Leslie section of her campaign website, lesliesummey.com.
Simpson-Summey will face retired Air Force Major General Irv Halter in the Democratic primary, June 24. — Robert Meyerowitz
Memorial: Out with the old
Underscoring who's really in charge at city-owned Memorial Hospital, University of Colorado Health announced Friday that CEO Mike Scialdone, at Memorial for about five years, and CFO Tracy Narvet, there for nearly 20 years, had resigned effective that day.
Replacing them are George Hayes, president and CEO of UCH's Medical Center of the Rockies of Loveland, and Dan Rieber, vice president of finance and controller of UCH.
Hayes met with reporters Friday afternoon, saying he would strive to stabilize the hospital and "move [it] in a positive direction." What, if any, severance pay Scialdone and Narvet received wasn't released because UCH isn't subject to the Colorado Open Records Act.
The city leased the hospital system to UCH on Oct. 1, 2012, with 83 percent of voters having approved it in an August 2012 election. Under the lease, Memorial's seven-member board is powerless to choose the CEO, and the city has no seat on the UCH board where such decisions are made.
City Councilor Jan Martin said Scialdone had served Memorial well during the transition. — Pam Zubeck
Lotfi to speak at U.N. event
On Wednesday, Jan. 22, local filmmaker Sarah Lotfi is scheduled to speak in Geneva, Switzerland as part of a United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization conference, titled "Open Innovation: Collaborative Projects and the Future of Knowledge." Lotfi was presenting "Open Collaborations in Independent Film," examining "the processes of collaboration open to independent filmmakers in technology, business models, and financing," according to a press release. Then the 2010 Student Academy Award nominee was slated to screen her most recent film, Menschen.
The 25-year-old was asked to speak after conference organizers watched the 2012 film, which follows a German company at the end of World War II that has taken in a boy with a developmental disability. Other speakers at the two-day conference include architect Rem Koolhaas, film historian Kevin Brownlow and actress Iréne Jacob. — Edie Adelstein