Things have been pretty divisive in Colorado Springs city government for the last couple of years. And getting six new City Council members in the April election certainly hasn't eased the tension between Council and Mayor Steve Bach.
Disputes have emerged over Council's ability to hire their own lawyer (Bach says they can't), about how to fund flood drainage (Bach opposes a regional solution), and, most recently, about budget matters. Council wants Bach to stick with the 12 departments outlined in the City Charter; Bach says he'll ignore Council's veto override on that point and use only five departments, thereby gaining considerable flexibility when it comes to moving money around without Council oversight.
But with a new year dawning, Council President Keith King says it's a time for the city's nine Councilors to pick their battles and to adopt a positive tenor overall. Hence, he's asked the six district members to find a project or two in their areas to promote during 2014. The three at-large members are to identify some citywide goals.
While the assignment isn't binding, we thought it was an opportunity to ask Councilors what priorities they've identified. And their responses ran the gamut from the expected to the surprising, from big picture to small potatoes, literally. To read them all, turn to our cover story, which begins here.
One common denominator: You can make an argument that each Councilor has goals with actual, tangible community betterment in mind.
Now how could that be divisive?