Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte is trying to calm his employees after a tumultuous week.
Forte sent employees an email Friday assuring them that the city-owned enterprise is a “treasure worth preserving” despite talks of selling it.
“I am confident that our organization will more than meet the demands of our time- because I know you,” Forte said in the email.
“When the facts are all researched and debated, I know that the overwhelming conclusion will be that Colorado Springs Utilities is a treasure worth preserving, because our people are a treasure,” he said.
Here is the full text of Forte’s email, which he also sent to the Utilities Board:
We certainly are living in interesting and challenging times! During periods like this, I like to fall back on what I know is true. That always helps me see the path forward with more clarity. So what do we know? We know that Colorado Springs Utilities is one of the finest four service utilities in the entire nation because our mission is grounded in the values of safety, reliability and competitiveness. Our vision to be a treasured community asset for Colorado Springs is realized because our people strive to work every day by a set of values that are much more than a sound bite or a plaque on the wall.
The recent conversations concerning the sale of Colorado Springs Utilities prompt several questions in my mind. How do you place a value on our employee’s response to the Waldo Canyon fire? How do you place a value on having some of the best customer satisfaction in the country? How do you place a value on world class reliability? What about competitive rates? How do you value record breaking volunteerism in service to our customers? How do you value employees that go the extra mile every day to serve the community they cherish and live in? What is the value of local ownership- the ability to appeal directly to elected officials as opposed to an unelected bureaucracy in Denver, or a Board of Directors that resides in another state? If the community wants to discuss the future of a power plant, in Colorado Springs, that can take place in an open, transparent, fact-based and constructive manner. What is the value of that?
While these conversations may seem difficult, we must not shy away from them. We are proud of our track record and believe that it will stand up to any and all evaluation. We are not afraid of facts, in fact, we insist on them. What we all stand for is an open, honest, informed and transparent public conversation that allows all stakeholders a place at the table. That is what community is all about, that is what we are all about.
So how do we navigate these times and move forward? First, since we exist to serve this community, we must always keep in mind what is genuinely best for all of Colorado Springs. Second, we need to insist on honest and balanced public conversations, seeking to understand and then to be understood, being open to new ideas. Third, and most importantly, we need to arm ourselves with the facts and get involved. We need to have many conversations with our friends and neighbors, and we need to inform them in a non-defensive manner. We need to enrich every conversation by the way we demonstrate our values, by the way we boldly stand for the truth.
I am confident that our organization will more than meet the demands of our time- because I know you. When the facts are all researched and debated, I know that the overwhelming conclusion will be that Colorado Springs Utilities is a treasure worth preserving, because our people are a treasure.