Strong Mayoral Candidates Live on KKTV


We have dedicated the last week and a half to the Colorado Springs mayoral candidates. Initially there were nine residents hoping to get elected as the "strong mayor" of the city, but that field has slimmed down to just seven.

Richard Skorman was the first to be on our 4 p.m. newscast.

Skorman told 11 News Anchor Shannon Brinias he would support domestic partner benefits, if elected to the position.

Skorman also said he wants to find a way to fund city services that have been shortchanged in recent years. Skorman said he would not come out against any new taxes, saying he will decide on a case-by-case basis.

Mayoral candidate Phil McDonald was also a guest on the show but dropped out of the race just a few days later, saying he will leave the race for mayor of Colorado Springs. McDonald said he sees a lot of confusion among voters when it comes to all the various candidates, and that he doesn't want to create a situation in which similar candidates split votes. McDonald has endorsed Steve Bach for Mayor.

Buddy Gilmore was in our studio the following day to talk to Don Ward about how his experience running his own multi-million dollar defense contracting company gives him the know-how he needs to run the city. Gilmore says he's dealt with the complex issue of budgeting and he wants to restore the city's reputation.

The 20-year Air Force veteran says the Mayor needs to provide citizens with information on what various city departments should accomplish and what it would take budget-wise to meet those goals. He also believes that many of the hundreds of city positions not currently filled should be left that way.

Up next we had Kenneth Duncan at 11 News. He told Don Ward that he'd save the city money from day one by working for $75,000 a year instead of the $96,000 the job is slated to pay. While his background in customer service doesn't give him experience in running a city, he said he considers himself the candidate of the people. He said the job is a "people-person" position.

The Colorado native also said he favors putting a cap on city salaries, though he won't cut wages or positions. He said every city department should be able to cut its budget by 2 percent.

Mayoral candidate Mitch Christiansen also talked with 11 News about his mayoral campaign, however he has since withdrawn from the election. Christiansen said he entered the race becase he was tried of sitting on the sidelines and seeing elected officials push their personal agendas on the city. Christiansens says instead of splitting the vote even further, he would rather support Steve Bach.

When candidate Steve Bach came onto KKTV 11 News, he told Don Ward that the city is not business-friendly right now. He said there are too many regulations and it takes too long to get permits for existing companies to grow, and for new companies to move here.

The US Army veteran and UCCS graduate said every single dollar spent by the city needs to be used more efficiently. Bach also said his years of experience in economic development and commercial real estate give him insight on how to retain businesses and attract new businesses to Colorado Springs. He said he has experience running a business that will help him run the city.

The following day, candidate Brian Bahr told Betty Sexton he's a small businessman who wants to make our city more friendly to businesses looking to relocate here. He would like to see changes that make it easier for businesses to get the necessary permits and approvals.

He does not want to increase taxes, saying he believes the city needs to make do with its current revenue and live by a balanced budget.

He also believes in zero based budgeting where each department must justify its spending and explain why it deserves continued funding.

Candidate Tom Munger was on 11 News at 4 on March 15. He told Don Ward that the city needs involvement from its citizens on important decisions which impact them. He also said budget goals need to be set and then met, with a clear spending strategy in place. He also said the city's top line needs to be improved by creating more good jobs, and that Colorado Springs leaders should compare the city to others of a similar size to help with decisions on services.

Munger added that his experience leading others in the Air Force, and later in his own company has prepared him better than other candidates to run the city as a strong mayor.

Following an initial scheduling issue within his campaign, Tom Gallagher became the final candidate to appear in studio on Wednesday, March 16th. He talked about his qualifications for Mayor, describing himself as the lone wolf on the Colorado Springs City Council. He was elected to an at-large position in 2003 and re-elected in 2007.

Gallagher says he disagrees with the way the city is being managed and is often the one voice voting against issues. He wants to make the city more user-friendly and hopes to attract manufacturing companies to the Springs.

He believes Colorado Springs is a great place to live and work, but says he sees a lot of depressed people. He wants them to feel good again about the place they live. He says he would also fight to change the current climate, making it easier to do business with the city.

Citizens voted in favor of the strong mayor government, which will eliminate the city manager position, and give the mayor much more power than the current mayor has.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by David Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:43 AM
    Many things peculiar to Skorman are highly disturbing to me and I trust any honest and decent constituent. Skorman has made it abundantly clear that he is clearly an activist via his agenda. What town can truly afford same? With intent to primarily focus on "diversity", "equality" and the arts, this is something no town, especially CS needs, period. Further, Skorman has deliberately lied again and again against other candidates, especially now Mr. Bach - whether one likes Bach or not, and that, more than anything indicts Skorman for what he inherently is. I do not petition for any candidate but a lying activist...........? Absolutely no way.
  • by Drew Location: Widefield on Apr 4, 2011 at 07:27 PM
    Not that religious preference is important to me, I'm curious about Brian Bahr's reason for not being forthcoming with his. All those proud Mormon adds on TV and not one mention from Mr. Bahr about his Mormon beliefs. Its not even on his web site. the fact that he has no experience in city govmnt and starts out with cuts to PERA is a bit worrysome.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:07 PM
  • by WhereIsRyan? on Mar 16, 2011 at 04:03 PM
    Well, Ryan...where are you, Mr. "'Nuff said?"
  • by David Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:11 AM
    What the Springs needs is someone willing to actually look at, analyze, and collaborate with others to solve problems. I never understood why people who already have "enough stuff" still continue to support lobbyists and special interests. And finally... being a leader may also involve acting in people's best interests, despite what the most popular trend may be.
  • by Mr x Location: se spgs on Mar 16, 2011 at 09:53 AM
    LMAO big time. someone said here Skorman was cute. omg dO I need to go outside n PUKE!
  • by Q Location: Peyton on Mar 16, 2011 at 07:41 AM
    The Mayor Ryan comments are funny. I too was wondering where the big mouth, self righteous, I am always right and everyone else is an idiot was. Nuff said ;)
  • by Mr X Location: se spgs on Mar 15, 2011 at 04:42 PM
    NO THANKS> I'll not waste my time watching n listening to a bunch of thugs, hypocrites, liars, cheats, money mongers, on n on. Instead i'll watch the ladies bb tournament. At least they are good clean living people without all the attachments if you know what i mean.
  • by Country Gal on Mar 11, 2011 at 08:09 PM
    Amazing that the only one of these candidates, having never run for public office before called attention that Richard Skorman had received corporate funds which is clearly against the law. Skorman knew that as he had been on City Council before and one of the folks at The Gill Corporation was our Mayor and sure as life knew better. This has also been hushed up. Did he give the money back or does The State Attorney General need to be alerted? We need new blood on City Council and the strong mayor, not all these recycled individuals who have been in city and county jobs before.
  • by to @Bert on Mar 9, 2011 at 05:38 PM
    Yeah Bert, Ryan does have a great job. Collecting disability and living in mom and dad's basement playin on the computer all day. What a life. . . .
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