City deletes IT jobs
The city will outsource a third of its information technology jobs by contracting for services in its data center/network operations, employee help desk and database administration. The layoff of 20 of the department's 61 people is expected in the first quarter of next year, Chief Information Officer Joe Palmer says in a statement through the city communications office.
In a Sept. 25 news release, the city said those functions can be provided up to 50 percent cheaper by contractors. The savings will be applied to "additional investment in data management, intelligence, and analytics in order to measure and improve government performance and to deliver better citizen service experiences," the news release said.
Among the offerings made possible for next year: a new website, an open data portal, a new single-number citizen call center, enhanced citizen request capabilities, and a new "performance dashboard."
Meantime, the department plans to hire five new people, filling vacancies that already exist in the remaining 41 jobs.
Those laid off will be given help with interview preparation, résumé writing and "career coaching," along with some training, severance pay for which an amount wasn't specified, and opportunities to apply for other vacant city positions.
Mayor Steve Bach also will lay off at least 59 people at year's end when the city contracts with a United Kingdom company for fleet management. (It's possible a number of those people will be rehired by the private company.) Palmer notes in his statement that the IT contractors "are not foreign companies or based overseas." — Pam Zubeck
AG gets Caldara issue
The Independence Institute's Jon Caldara wanted to make a point when he voted in the local Sept. 10 recall election: that he could cast a ballot, far from his Boulder home and well outside his state Senate district, without getting in any legal trouble.
Caldara contended that he could legally vote because of what he believes is a loophole in an election reform bill recently passed by the state's Democrats. Now, the Colorado Attorney General's Office will judge whether Caldara, who cast a blank ballot in the recall of Senate President John Morse, acted illegally.
Ryan Parsell, spokesperson for the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office, says Christy Le Lait, campaign manager for A Whole Lot of People for John Morse, filed a complaint with the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office concerning Caldara. The clerk's office then forwarded information on Caldara to the DA for further review.
Instead of looking into the matter itself, the DA's office forwarded the complaint to the Attorney General to handle. A spokesperson at the AG's office would say only that the complaint was received.
The clerk's office is still in the process of identifying any other suspected cases of voter fraud. If other cases are found, they will also be forwarded to the DA. —J. Adrian Stanley
Morse moves to Denver
Recalled Senate President John Morse has a new stomping ground.
A Whole Lot of People for John Morse leader Christy Le Lait says Morse has moved to Denver, where he plans to restart his business as a certified public accountant. Morse did not return a phone call seeking further information. — J. Adrian Stanley
Lundeen wants HD 19
More than a year before the November 2014 election, Paul Lundeen, a Republican who chairs the Colorado State Board of Education, has announced his intention to succeed Rep. Amy Stephens in House District 19. Stephens is term-limited.
Lundeen, who says in a news release he's founded small business enterprises such as learning centers, a golf course management company, a marketing company, a tree farm and a "wealth management investment advisory," has support from state Sen. Kent Lambert, County Commissioner Peggy Littleton and Stephens.
A Monument resident, Lundeen graduated from New York University, where he studied journalism and economics, according to his bio on the Board of Education website.
He filed for office Friday and is the only one seeking the seat so far, according to Secretary of State records. — Pam Zubeck
Recovery Center opens
If your home or business was damaged in the recent floods, there's good news.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened its Disaster Recovery Center to answer questions and offer assistance. It's located at the Colorado Springs Fire Department complex at 375 Printers Pkwy., and is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. — J. Adrian Stanley
Code king retires
Ken Lewis, the go-to guy when a neighbor's weeds got too high or junk cars too plentiful, has bagged what has to be one of the hardest jobs in city government.
After eight years and four months on the job as chief code enforcement officer, Lewis called it quits last week, according to Colorado Springs Police Department spokeswoman Barbara Miller. Before serving in this role, he was a Springs police officer for 27 years.
Miller says Tom Wasinger has stepped in as interim code enforcement supervisor. — Pam Zubeck