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Not strictly business

Street Smarts

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As budgets tighten, many governments — including that of Colorado Springs — are turning to the private sector for help. Can profit and the public good coexist?

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Rob Kohler of Cragmor is an unemployed electrician

Should government be operated like a business? It should be operated with the efficiencies of business, instead of just taking money from taxpayers.

What role should government have in public life? Defense of the realm, making sure crime doesn't pay, providing enough safety and regularity for economic development.

What service could the city best dispense with? It shouldn't be responsible for facets of public health, like your drinking and drug problem.

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Robert Galindo of Dallas is a college teacher

Should government be run like a business? We should be attentive to efficiencies, but government for the people and by the people shouldn't be profit-driven.

Name a government service we could dispense with. We'd save a ton of money by having a little less zeal for imprisoning people for small things.

What's your take on the argument that private, for-profit business always trumps government? Business answers to private benefit, not public good.

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Luin Keever of Broadmoor Bluffs is a records clerk

What should the role of government in public life be? It should never intrude on our liberties and freedoms, like in Obamacare's high-handed attempt to make Catholic agencies provide for contraceptives.

Should city government be run like a business? That model makes for more accountability, and it works well in certain areas, but you can't run parks on a for-profit model.

What city service would you least like discontinued? Bus service. It's already abysmal. It's deteriorated sadly in the 20 years I've lived here.

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Karin Henricksen of Cheyenne Cañon is a college program manager

Should government operate like a business? I'd like to see it operate like a business with a heart. The profit motive doesn't always work to the advantage of, or in the interest of, the street-level person. We see that with health care. We saw what happened to the parks.

Do you trust the public or the private sector more? I was born and raised in the Netherlands, so that's a hard question for me. A lot of good organizations and programs can't make it without government support.

Do we need less government? We need government that's put to good use.

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