Apr 6, 2014 8:17 PM by Maddie Garrett

Local Leaders Unhappy Changes Not Made in City for Champions Plans

Some local leaders are not please with the final resolution on City for Champions being turned into the State for approval. Both City Council President Keith King and El Paso County Board of Commissioners Chair Dennis Hisey said they had has for changes in the resolution to include more checks and balances and transparency in the plans, but didn't get them.

"We did not get the language in there that we had hoped for," said Hisey.

Despite comments from the Mayor's office that they would work with City Council and County Commissioners on collaboration, King said they did not deliver when it comes to this specific resolution.

"We were hoping that the changes would be more collaborative and the Mayor would incorporate the El Paso County Commissioners and the City Council in the process of being able to make sure the application goes forward and the resolution works for all of us and they did not do that," said King.

A few weeks ago, King and Hisey held a press conference, announcing that the resolution was unacceptable because it gave too much control of the Colorado Sports and Events Center to the Mayor. The sports complex is the only one of the four tourism projects set to use public tax dollars.

At that meeting, the two leaders presented signed letters, in which half of the City Council Members signed, stating they were unhappy with the City for Champions Resolution and asked that changes be made to include more checks and balances.

"It's time to have the ownership of this project be community wide as opposed to just the people that have been behind it so far," said King.

King said he's worried about the Mayor having too much control over the project, because City for Champions will continue to be in the works long after Mayor Steve Bach's tenure is up.

"The Mayor will change, the City Council will change, the El Paso County Commissioners will change, and if we have a collaborative process it makes it so much better for everybody to have a chance to be involved and engaged," he explained.

But the City for Champions resolution isn't set in stone quite yet. The State will review the resolution and can ask questions and suggest changes to the resolution, which outlines how City for Champions will move forward.

"I think some good changes were made, the fact that we didn't get ours in there is not the end of the world," said Hisey of the resolution.

The Mayor's office has said there will be time for collaboration further down the road, and they are willing to work with Council and Commissioners on the plans. Hisey and King hope that happens, but would have liked to see that collaboration up front.

"We would rather had the details worked out up front sometimes some details just have to be left for a later time," said Hisey.



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