It's an outright battle between Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach and the stormwater task force. They're arguing over money that may come out of your pocket to fix flood problems in Southern Colorado.
Wednesday, Mayor Bach called out Springs City Council, El Paso county commissioners and other city leaders. His statement came one day after city council approved a roughly $7 per month fee for families living in the Fountain Creek watershed.
It was clear the task force was not happy with the mayor's statements when they held their own press conference. Many of them said the mayor knew what was going on for months and only just started to give input during the home stretch.
In Bach's monthly meeting, held Wednesday morning, he talked about the stormwater task force, its proposed household fee, the overall stormwater agreement--and he blasted the city council.
"In my 39 months as mayor, I’ve seen enough evidence to give me cause for concern as to whether or not our own city councilors will consistently represent the best interest of the citizens of Colorado Springs," Bach said.
During that meeting Councilman Joel Miller fought back.
Bach: "This is not for council.”
Miller: “We're not going to get it to answer to the allegations that you...”
Bach: “You can hold your own press conference. You're welcome to do that… This is a mayor's media conference."
So that's what the task force did. They held their own separate meeting Wednesday to counter the mayor's statements.
"The assertion that our own city counselors don't represent our city, frankly should be offensive to any citizen who elected the city council," Miller said.
"I'm very disappointed that he has chosen not to be involved, and I would hope that he would discontinue to try and sabotage this effort, and be honest with the citizens of Colorado Springs," council President Keith King said.
Bach said the $7 per household requested is nothing but a tax. One task force leader responded saying it’s not a tax, it's a fee. A fee everyone will have to pay, including tax-exempt businesses and government agencies.
"We realize now that the mayor is not interested in collaborating, but this has been an collaborative process," task force co-chair Dave Munger said.
Bottom line, the mayor said he won't support the agreement.
Tuesday, city council voted and passed (7-2) the stormwater agreement, which will now go on to county commissioners who will ultimately decide to put it on our ballots.
The proposed fee of more than $7 a month per household will rack up more than $39 million in the first year if passed by voters.