Transparency questions raised about project plans for downtown Colorado Springs

From The Gazette (Colorado Springs):  The city’s plans to provide a $1 million water quality project for the U.S. Olympic Museum and plunk a massive parking structure nearby have outraged some Colorado Springs City Council members who say they knew nothing about those projects.

The lack of communication by Mayor John Suthers’ administration is an “anomaly” and “deja vu” reminiscent of former Mayor Steve Bach’s secrecy, Councilman Don Knight said Friday.

“The council again is the last to know and the first to be held accountable,” said Councilman Bill Murray. “The transparency we were promised? Collaboration has devolved into obstruction.”

Said Chief of Staff Jeff Greene, “This is a responsibility for the administration to make sure we’re doing our due diligence and looking at all options so when we present to council, we have our facts together and can answer requests and questions on those projects.”

Unknown to the council, a Southwest Downtown Planning Team had been planning revitalization of the area during two to four meetings a month over the past year, city Traffic Engineer Kathleen Krager revealed last month during her presentation on a pedestrian bridge for the site.

Key team members include Jeff Finn, project design manager for Nor’wood Development Group; Ryan Tefertiller, the city’s urban planning manager; Greene and Krager; Public Works Director Travis Easton; Susan Edmondson, president and CEO of the Downtown Partnership; Bob Cope, city economic development manager; and Christian Lieber, of city Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

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