D-3 race: Facts don’t support Gloriod’s road-extension attack on Clark

       District 3 county commissioner candidate Sallie Clark responded vigorously this week to an attack letter sent to Broadway Bluffs residents by her Republican Primary opponent, Jack Gloriod, accusing her of stopping a key road extension in that area when she was on Colorado Springs City Council.
       The letter, containing allegations from an unnamed “concerned citizen” and signed by Gloriod, was recently delivered to about 200 Broadway Bluffs residents, Gloriod told the Westside Pioneer.
       Clark pointed to minutes of a 2002 council meeting regarding the JL Ranch development proposal to build 95 homes on Broadmoor Bluffs Drive at its planned extension to NORAD Road. The minutes state that she made the motion requiring the extension to be built, with the added stipulation that no building permits could be purchased until the road was in. The motion passed without opposition.
       That action has been supported by the current council, according to Jerry Heimlicher, who won the election for Clark's District 3 council seat in the 2003 election in which she ran unsuccessfully for mayor. “When a developer made a request for approval of a development in that area, our council reiterated the stand taken by the previous council that no new developments could be started until Broadmoor Bluffs is connected to NORAD,” Heimlicher said.
       Rick O'Connor, Colo-rado Springs planner for the city's southwest area, provided an update on the road's construction. He told the Westside Pioneer the developer has started building the 3/8-mile extension to NORAD Road, putting in curb and gutter and road base. The road was to be finished this August, but now there is no announced completion date, he said.
       He also pointed out that the city cannot force JL Ranch to put in the road until the developer applies for building permits (which has not yet occurred).
       The property is owned by Denman Investments, which has hired the private planning firm of N.E.S., Inc. as its consultant on the project. “The action by council had no impact on the road one way or the other,” said John Maynard, co-owner and planning director of N.E.S. He pointed out that as an investment firm, Denman is “not typical” of development companies - most of which normally like to move their projects along quickly.
       In the case of Denman, Maynard said his client “is not ready to open the area for development yet.” As a result, he said plans now do not call for the road to be paved until next year.
       In his letter about the road to Broadway Bluffs residents, Gloriod quotes from the “concerned citizen” that Clark “deliberately pulled the staff recommendation from the City Council's consent calendar to kill it. As a result… the road connection… remains uncompleted - two years later.”
       Clark and Heimlicher indicated in separate communications that this statement demonstrates ignorance by Gloriod's anonymous source, as well as Gloriod himself, about how consent items work. “I pulled it off the consent calendar so they would have to finish the road before they did the development,” Clark said. “The neighbors were up in arms about all the truck traffic on Broadmoor Bluffs Drive.”
       Extending the road to NORAD Road will provide an outlet for some of that traffic, she said.
       The effect of the council action was “putting pressure where it needed to be to force the completion of the link to NORAD Road,” Heimlicher said. “The facts are an exact opposite of the charge by Jack and if the letter had been factual, he would have been complimenting Sallie instead of distorting the facts.”
       Gloriod denied that his facts were wrong. “Let's look at the results,” he said. “There's no road.”
       He also stood by the “concerned citizen” allegation that Clark's taking the item off the consent calendar was the major reason why there's no road. “The city action prevented what was arranged to be done,” he said. “There was an agreement on how this was to be done and they turned it down and put in other requirements that have slowed the operation,” he said.
       Asked what the agreement involved and what the requirements were, he said, “This is a level of detail I don't have.”
       Regarding the City Council stipulation that the road needed to go in before construction could occur, Gloriod said he did not accept that as fact. “Houses are being built up there all the time,” he said.
       Gloriod declined to name the source that spurred him to send the letter to the Broadway Bluffs residents. His letter begins: “Dear Broadway Bluffs Resident, As you know, Broadmoor Bluffs Drive is still not connected to the Norad Road. But you may not know why? One of your neighbors, who was instrumental, in getting the two roads connected, emailed me the following information…”
       After the above-stated allegations about the consent calendar, the letter further charges that Clark's “actions seem to indicate a lack of regard or consideration for the voters in the Broadmoor Bluffs area (which, keep in mind, was where her former opponent Linda Barley resided).” [Note: Clark defeated Barley in 2001 for a seat on City Council.]
       Of Gloriod's contention about the city action “killing” the road, Maynard said, “He's wrong. He ought to check his sources.”
       The Pioneer suggested that Gloriod talk to O'Connor, then call back to discuss the matter further. There had been no call-back at press time.

Westside Pioneer Article