Face reality and end the much-maligned Stormwater Enterprise immediately.
That was the gist of what anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce told city officials yesterday during a closed-door meeting that lasted about 45 minutes, Bruce said today.
“They just have to accept reality, and that was the thrust of what I was saying,” he said.
Bruce, a former El Paso County commissioner and author of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights – which he lovingly calls “my baby” – contends that Issue 300, which voters approved Nov. 3, calls for an immediate end to the Stormwater Enterprise.
Hoping to avoid a court battle, city officials extended an olive branch to Bruce by asking for a private meeting to discuss his ballot initiative and its repercussions.
Mayor Lionel Rivera, who was about 10 or 15 minutes late, Councilman Randy Purvis, City Attorney Pat Kelly and a “cute court reporter” taking notes attended the meeting, Bruce said.
“I don’t think anything was accomplished,” he said. “There was no handshake. There was no document to be signed. I think they wanted to assess how firm I was, whether there was any give… I made it clear that there was no give.”
Bruce has threatened to start a petition drive for a property tax cut in Colorado Springs if city officials don’t end the Stormwater Enterprise this year.
“This isn’t exactly what I said, but I said (something along the lines of) the consequences of continuing to plan to violate Issue 300 are too horrible to contemplate,” Bruce said.
The issue has divided the City Council.
Purvis and Tom Gallagher, Darryl Glenn and Jan Martin voted to end the Stormwater Enterprise immediately.
But they didn’t have enough votes.
Rivera, Vice Mayor Larry Small, Scott Hente, Bernie Herpin and Sean Paige voted to phase it out over two years.
On his Web site, Bruce is encouraging his supporters to lobby the five council members who voted for a two-year phase-out to change their minds.
Bruce calls the five council members who voted for a two-year phase-out the “foolish five” and the four who voted to end it right away the “fearsome foursome.”