Citizen fire task force may reconvene; membership make-up questioned

       A citizen task force advising the Colorado Springs Fire Department on service delivery may reconvene.
        The roughly 20-member, city-appointed group, including four Westsiders, had met several times with department personnel between February and April before recommending a plan differing from the station-relocation plan Fire Chief Manuel Navarro favors. The department wants to relocate some stations, including moving the Westside's Station 3 east (but still west of I-25). The citizen group, called the Service Improvement Task Force (SITF), has proposed leaving the stations where they are and requesting a new station in the growing southeast area.
       City Council directed Navarro at its May 24 informal meeting to get back with SITF. According to Battalion Chief Clark Stidham, who led the SITF meetings, he will meet with Navarro this week “to discuss a specific date to start.”
        “The other issue relative to the Task Force is membership,” Stidham told the Westside Pioneer. “Since Council directed the Fire Department to look at the station relocation idea from a broader perspective, we feel it is important to review the membership to ensure good 'city-wide' representation is achieved.”
       The original membership was developed with help from Jan Doran, president of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO). Stidham said he hopes that he and Navarro can meet with Jan Doran this week “to set a date to reconvene as well as firm up the membership.”
       Sallie Clark, a member of SITF, said she is open to new members being added, but would oppose any proposal to remove existing members. “I think CONO worked hard to be sure this was a diverse group to begin with,” she said, adding that to her mind it is “not stacked with Westsiders.”

Westside Pioneer Article