This will come as no surprise to readers who know that we already had made Richard Skorman our choice for Colorado Springs' first strong mayor, well before the April 5 election.
Now, for the runoff against Steve Bach, our feelings have grown even stronger.
We have felt all along that our city government cannot afford missteps in this precedent-setting transition. Skorman has been an effective participant in city government; he knows the inner workings and the potential pitfalls. Bach has a lot of friends, but he never has been able to develop a polished platform explaining how his administration would look, or how basics such as the new budget (with a tight deadline) might take shape.
Our concerns have grown as we've watched the first days of the new City Council, with six rookie members learning the ropes. The thought of having a still-infantile Council working with a comparably inexperienced mayor is scary.
Skorman knows the political scene, from consensus-building techniques to infrastructure needs to the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. He knows how Council operates. And he would know when to deal with the county and state. He's miles ahead of Bach on all those levels and more.
We also can't take this stand without addressing the tolerance issue. One simple question at the candidates' last debate, whether the candidates would sign a proclamation for the annual Gay Pride parade and events, should tell everyone all they need to know. Skorman made it clear he would be fully supportive, as he already has been for years. Bach dismissed the idea, referring to gays as a "fringe element" and showing the same kind of intolerance and insensitivity that have contributed so much to Colorado Springs' negative image the past two decades.
As for their business expertise, we'll let Skorman's small-business successes and our recent story about some of Bach's questionable past dealings speak for themselves.
It's too bad that the runoff campaign turned sour, but that also has given the two candidates a chance to show their toughness. Richard Skorman has convinced us, more than ever in recent weeks, that he wants it more, enough to fight for the chance. And, it's clear now, he deserves the opportunity.
Indy endorsement: Richard Skorman
Your ballot's in the mail
On Wednesday, the city clerk's office sent mayoral runoff ballots to about 150,000 active voters in Colorado Springs. Today (Thursday), brings yet another sign that Election Season, Part 2 is upon us.
Drop-off locations open today, and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday until May 16. On the official election day of Tuesday, May 17, they'll accept ballots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Voters obviously will also have the option of submitting their ballots by return mail.)
Locations for dropping off ballots include:
• City clerk's office, 30 S. Nevada Ave., #101;
• Colorado Springs Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave.;
• Fire Station No. 8, 3737 Airport Road;
• Fire Station No. 17, 3750 Tutt Blvd.;
• Fire Station No. 19, 2490 Research Pkwy.;
• Fire Station No. 20, 6755 Rangewood Drive;
• Gold Hill Police Substation, 955 W. Moreno Ave.
Inactive voters (classified that way if they did not vote in the November 2010 election) can go to the city clerk's office, reactivate their status and pick up a runoff ballot during regular business hours from now through May 17.
Inactive voters whose name or address changed since they last voted must start the activation process by making necessary changes to their registration at an El Paso County elections office. Find those locations online at car.elpasoco.com/election.
— Ralph Routon