A random hodgepodge of numbers for you in this edition of COS By the Numbers. Pay close attention to the salary of COS City Council members. It is low. When compared to similar size cities it is really low. Why does this matter? It results in a non-representative city council. Our candidate pool is composed of people who are generally old retired people who don’t have to worry about the paltry city council salary. If we, as a city, want a diverse and dynamic city council we need to think long and hard about raising their salary. Let’s make it feasible for people from all socio-economic situations to be able to run for city council. Because seriously, do we need more old ass white people trying to figure out how to make this city more vibrant?
A 2014 national study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that those aged 55 to 64 where 455 percent more likely to say they have used marijuana in the past month. Holy shit! Our parents are getting high as fuck! Marijuana usage statistics are one of those things the current mayor of COS, John Suthers, likes to cite as a reason to not legalize marijuana in a city. In September of 2016 the mayor traveled to Arizona to try and persuade voters that legalizing marijuana had “dire consequences” including increased teen use; one of those alternative facts not supported by the data. Meanwhile, tax revenue from retail marijuana topped $150 million in 2016. Colorado Springs received exactly $0.00 of that revenue. [Colorado Springs Independent]
The length of Nevada between the Old North End and North Nevada Corridor Urban Renewal Area, where University Village Colorado is located, that the city is hoping to revitalize. The city has been holding a series of workshops to obtain community input and develop a plan that meets the needs of the businesses and residents in the renewal zone. But don’t rush to buy property in the area yet; the plan still has to receive approval from city council. Council will likely be confused that the project doesn’t involve some sort of military installation, and will therefore balk at an actual plan that could help revitalize the area because infrastructure spending bad! [Colorado Springs Business Journal]
Your salary if elected to Colorado Springs City Council. For comparison purposes, let’s take a few similar sized cites by population. Des Moines, Iowa, population 622,899. City council members there make $26,000 per year. Boise City, Idaho, population 676,909. Council members there make $22,799.00 per year. Wichita, Kansas, population 644,610. City council members there make $40,000.00. Per year! If you ever wonder why our city government seems so stuck in the past with attitudes about taxes, bond issues and overall city development it is because the vast majority of our city council is literally old as fuck white people retired from the military. You want better council? Raise their salaries! [Wikipedia]
The number of new jobs that will arrive once the Amazon fulfillment center in Aurora is completed. The center is projected to open near the holidays and will pay employees about 30 percent more than traditional retail positions, with comprehensive benefits including healthcare and a 401K option. Granted, they probably plopped this thing in Aurora because the vast bulk of Colorado’s population is in Denver. But just imagine a city with a low cost of living that actively developed awesome mountain biking and running trails, excellently maintained its parks and associated amenities and then tried to use all of its kickass outdoor awesomeness to draw companies to relocate here. Sounds like a worthwhile investment. Oh wait…old as fuck white people retired from the military running the city. DAMN IT. [The Gazette]
Trump wants to build a border wall on the Mexico/American border. He wants to fund the wall with a 20% import tax on goods coming from Mexico. Which means that the products that millions of Americans are purchasing from our neighbors to the south will now be more expensive (bananas, lettuce, avocados, cars; we can keep going…). In return we get a wall which probably won’t work. Welcome to the new America people, where your President is more concerned about his television ratings than he is about rational foreign policy. [Denver Post]