EDITORíS DESK: Rise of the redheaded stepchild
In our June 1 issue, we reported on the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District's charge of downtown favoritism, as exemplifed by the original plan for
new parking-fund money that showed 100 percent being spent on the downtown and 0 percent on Old Town.
With the help of Councilman Jerry Heimlicher and strong words to the overall City Council by District Advisory Committee Chair Judy Kasten, that financial inequity was soon changed. However, I don't know if anyone could have predicted how much things would keep changing. City Manager Lorne Kramer arranged to attend the July meeting of the committee, and if he'd had a beard he might have been mistaken for Santa. The big "present" was the manager's pledge to paint in a crosswalk to help people get from the south side to the north side of 24th Street at Colorado Avenue. For years, the committee - which consists of property owners in the commercial/ retail district between 24th and 27th streets - has gone to City Traffic Engineering and asked pretty-please for a stoplight or maybe a flashing light or at least a crosswalk at that well-used site. No, no and no. The latest crosswalk denial was a classic. We don't want to encourage people crossing at that location, the district was told. As if not having a crosswalk has stopped people from risking their lives against 35- to 45-mph motorists to access the Farmers' Market or other Bancroft events year in, year out.
Perhaps best of all, the committee now has a permanent liaison in Parking Administrator Greg Warnke, who reports directly to Kramer. So when he mentions he'll be talking to different city department heads about Old Colorado City needs, you can bet they'll return the call.
In the past, Kasten has referred to Old Town as the city's "red-headed stepchild." I don't know about that, nor how long the current status will last, but for now at least the color red seems pretty cool and we foster kids never had it so good.