Herpin said in an e-mail today that he was unable to attend the city manager’s performance review Monday afternoon because was traveling back to Colorado Springs from California, where he and his wife were visiting their grandchildren.
But Herpin wants people to know he supports Culbreth-Graft.
Herpin also said he doesn’t think even former Colorado Springs Mayor Bob Isaac, the city’s longest-serving mayor, or former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who became known as America’s mayor after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, ”could have done much better” than Culbreth-Graft given the circumstances.
“I am not sure any city manager could have done any better than Dr. Culbreth-Graft,” he said.
“She arrived in Colorado Springs in January 2008 just (as) the full effect of the downturn in the economy began to hit. Given our low tax burden, overdependence on sales taxes, the economy, the leakage of sales tax to new, big box stores in the county and Internet sales, and a requirement for a balanced budget, I don’t think even a ‘strong’ mayor like Mayor Bob or even Rudy Giuliani could have done much better. In fact, other cities are facing the same kinds of problems as we are,” Herpin said.
“I suspect that she would, in retrospect, have stayed in Huntington Beach, where the city was running a budget surplus,” he said.
Before moving to the Springs, Culbreth-Graft was the city manager in Huntington Beach, Calif.
“This move has cost her, and her husband, personal financial problems when the California housing market collapsed just as she was putting her house on the market,” Herpin said, referring to Culbreth-Graft’s ocean view home, which the lender took back in January.