EDITOR'S DESK: Springs Utilities is asking for input, so...
“Your opinion counts,” states the headline in the February Connection newsletter, published by Colorado Springs Utilities.
All of us receive this newsletter with our monthly utilities bill. “As a citizen of Colorado Springs, you own your utility, and that means you have a voice in utilities decisions,” reads the text under the headline. “Several policy and planning discussions are taking place this year, and we want your input.”
Below that, the newsletter lists the four topics that Utilities staff say they are interested in. I considered the matter and, being a citizen first, journalist second, I submitted my opinions. I don't think they're earthshaking in any way, but if you'd like to read them, here they are (and I'm sure the staff would love to hear from you too):
To Whom It May Concern:
You asked for input. Here's mine.
Utilities governance - I like having my elected councilmembers overseeing Utilities. It makes me feel represented - that decisions will be based on commuity priorities, not technology or possibly even staff ideology. Even if councilmembers are not experts, they have access to them.
Utilities' role in the community/economic development - It doesn't need a "role." It just needs to do its job, as it has for years, providing clean, steady products and service at the lowest possible prices, as well as being there for the community when unique situations arise.
Electric Integrated Resource Plan - My request is that you rely on good judgment, not politics, in considering how to manage increasing public electrical needs. Those currently setting the rules at the federal and state levels are pushing renewables hard, despite greater costs to the public. The next group in government may not be that way. Ideally, we should transition from fossil fuels in a sensible way over time, giving alternative power sources a bigger part when they are truly ready for it. The process could even be fun, using incentives instead of mandates to bring about change.
Integrated Water Resource Plan - It seems like a good idea to develop what you term the "community's roadmap for ensuring a reliable, cost-effective water supply for the next 50 years and beyond," as long as flexibility is part of it. But even now, reading through the CSU website link (and having lived in this city for many years), I believe that CSU is doing a good job of providing us clean (actually tasty) water and staying ahead of growth.
(Posted 2/14/15; Opinion: Editor's Desk)
Kenyon Jordan is the editor of the Westside Pioneer.