Jan 4, 2013 8:38 PM by Bill Folsom
Democracy is in action in Colorado Springs. It is happening with several grassroots efforts to change the way local government operates. Several proposals will be presented to Colorado Springs City Council on Monday.
"I'm actually a person that likes to take action," said Kanda Calef. She wants to make the City Attorney's job an elected position to remove it from any potential insider politics. She is also behind a second ballot question related the city's oversight of Colorado Springs utilities. It proposes eliminating the Mayor's contract authority and makes City Council solely responsible. "If we know the buck stops with the city council, then we know how to keep our utility accountable by going to the city council."
Tony Gioia is also working to influence change from a citizen level. "It's very much a grassroots thing," said Gioia He is helping lobby for a ballot question intended to get city council full time salaries and benefits. "[The] council is only paid 6-thousand per year which precludes working class regular citizens from being able to serve on the council when they're not going to be able to pay their bills." He has nothing negative to say about the current council, but thinks the salary change would allow a more diverse council.
"Better representation of citizens within government."
The Mayor says these proposals come at the last minute before the deadline for putting things on the ballot. He opposes them.
There is a fourth proposed ballot question. City Parks and Recreation leaders want voters to allow them to use more of the trails, open space and parks tax on maintenance.