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Aug 9, 2011 12:31 AM by Matt Stafford

City Committee makes stern recommendations to Council

The City Committee gave some stern recommendations to Colorado Springs City Council for improving its financial shape.

Among the recommendations; cut down the number of managers and, quote, "flatten the pyramid", use temporary staff where it's possible, and put strict controls on hiring.

Chuck Fowler is heading up the City Committee, and says they would like to evaluate the best way to maintain services with ever-dwindling resources.

"That may be by the government, that may not be by the government; that may be by private contractors, whoever can deliver the quality that's required at a price that we can afford, they're probably going to win the day," says Fowler, president of the City Committee.

Other suggestions to cut the bottom line including awarding out pay raises based on merit -- not
policy -- and public safety, they say, needs to become more efficient.

"Everyone has had to tighten their belts, and we haven't been immune to that," explains Jeremy Kroto, president of the Colorado Springs Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 5. "Make no mistake, I'm absolutely in favor of everyone being efficient -- my department included -- but we are some 500 employees less that we were at our peak in 2007-2008."

A number of City Council members feel the public conversation, on what services need to go and which are vital, needs to get louder.

Fowler says one thing is for sure, there are some new faces on council that may offer new perspective.

"They see the situation a little differently, and I think that they're prepared to make the difficult decisions that they have to make," says Fowler, but he adds that the council's willingness to cut will become clear when they begin budgeting.

The recommendations from the City Committee are just that, recommendations. Changes would have to come from the City Council.

The City Committee is made of local business leaders who are trying to suggest a plan to handle the financial future of Colorado Springs. The committee is doing their work for free.

For more on the City Committee -- as well as their presentation to City Council -- click here.

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