Dec 15, 2011 12:30 AM by John Romero
After another round of budget approvals by City Council, Mayor Steve Bach is vetoing some programs. His cuts total over $312,000.
The biggest item on the veto line is a proposal to add $175,000 to the budget for maintenance and repairs to the city's tennis courts. The Mayor said right now, that kind of money doesn't make sense. He'd like to see a community effort to raise money for such things. "Our city cannot pay for everything we want it to do right now." he explains, "I've said this to you over and over, we need for our community to step up individually and as organizations."
In a time where fire and police are cutting over a million dollars combined. Bach says he had no choice but to veto the item. "If we are going to spend more money here it needs to be in public safety." he explains.
Another hit came in the form of a veto on a proposal to add another Code Enforcement Officer to the city. That move would have cost about $84,000. Bach said he could approve one new officer. But this second proposal was just too much. "We need to start with one new code enforcement officer and see and that works. So doubling that doesn't make sense to us. Not right now." he says.
The mayor also vetoed $43,000 for a legislative communications position and $10,000 to the Old Colorado City Historical Society. "It's a meritorious endeavor." he said of the OCCHA proposal, "But it doesn't rise to the level of essential services."
All in all, Mayor Bach believes these vetoes will go a long way in the long term financial stability of the city. It's not an easy decision, but one he is convinced must be done. "The world has changed all around us and we must change with it." he explains, "We must transform our city government, so that it is fiscally sustainable for the long term."
City Council will get a chance to voice their opinions on Bach's vetoes on Thursday. They called a special session that will begin at 1 pm tomorrow at the Colorado Springs Utilities River Board Room, Plaza of the Rockies, 121. S. Tejon St., 5th floor. It will also be shown live at www.springsgov.com. We'll have a full report tomorrow on News 5.