Hughes to be 1st recipient of mayor’s Inspirational Leader award

       A new award from the Mayor's Office will be presented to long-time Westside leader Dave Hughes in a ceremony Monday, July 1.
       The presentation of the Inspirational Leader award by Mayor Steve Bach is scheduled at 10 a.m. at the Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St.
       The public is invited.
       “The Inspirational Leader is a new award that is a part of the Spirit of the Springs series, the first being a Celebration Award,” reads a statement from the Mayor's Office. “The mayor will continue to acknowledge other inspirational leaders. Dave is the first.”
       An e-mail to Hughes from City Economic Vital-ity Director Donna Nelson includes the statement: “Words cannot thank you enough for your tremendous contributions to the City of Colorado Springs, in particular Old Colorado City.”
       According to Krithika Prashant of the city's Communications Office, the History Center was chosen for the presentation because “it's a beautiful venue and he [Hughes] helped found it.”
       It is not known why Bach chose this particular time to present the award. About six weeks ago, Hughes had sent an e-mail to the mayor and City Council, blasting the city administration as a whole for a regulatory decision that forced the Farmers Market off the street and (at greater expense) into Bancroft Park. Here is an excerpt from that May 4 e-mail: “So when I read in the Westside Pioneer about even more costly obstacles being put in the way of Westside self-reliant progress, I am reminded of the Westsiders who have suggested I lead a movement to DE-ANNEX the Westside from the rest of the city, and let it revert to the original old Colorado City, I am tempted. Even though I am turning 85 this month, as an old West Pointer, native of Colorado, who managed to win all my battles in two wars, and was able to do all I do on the Westside pro-bono, I am quite prepared to go to war again against my own city.”
       Among Hughes' accomplishments:
       - Graduate of West Point in 1950, later named a recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award.
       - Fought with the U.S. Army in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, receiving a Distinguished Service Cross in Korea. Retired with the rank of Colonel.
       - Headed city's Centen-nial Celebration in 1976.
       - Through that work, became involved in revitalization of Old Colorado City, where he worked to secure HUD block grants to save old buildings for transformation into small businesses that helped revitalize the area; and was a leader in founding the Old Colorado City Historical Society and Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District.
       - Owned and operated Old Colorado City Com-munications for 23 years (retiring in 2007), with related ventures involving the spreading of wireless connectivity to remote parts of the world, including Puerto Rico, Alaska and Nepal.

Westside Pioneer article