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Taxpayers funded the entry fees for three City Councilors to participate in the annual Mayor's Cup golf tournament, which took place at Broadmoor Golf Club on June 9. Council President Merv Bennett and Councilors Tom Strand and Don Knight took part, at a cost of $275 each, or a total of $875, paid from Council funds designated for travel and expenses, according to records obtained by the Independent through a records request.
A fourth player, city Chief Financial Officer Kara Skinner, also played in the tournament but paid her own entry fee.
In a March 4 email, Knight told Council Administrator Eileen Gonzalez that the fee "will be [paid] out of City funds."
Then, on May 27, Knight wrote an email to Council staff, saying, "Please sign me up for the golf tourney. I checked with the ethics committee [and] it is okay to use Council funds to pay the entry fee."
According to a news release, proceeds fund Spirit of the Springs awards, which recognize citizens' contributions to the city, and "cultivate future City Government leadership." More than $250,000 has been raised in four years by the tournament, funding 22 full-tuition scholarships for public safety students at Pikes Peak Community College. It also funded Leadership Pikes Peak, Waldo Canyon Fire recovery efforts of Colorado Springs Together, and the Colorado Springs Conservatory.