EDITORíS DESK: Bruce is not the bad guy here

       It's a cinch that the most popular guy among local outdoors-lovers this week is not Douglas Bruce. If there was a dart board for sale with his picture on it, the thing would have sold out by now. After all, isn't Bruce the guy who had the gall to sue the city (successfully now) to overturn the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) tax extension ballot issue that city voters approved last year by a 2-1 margin?
       Listen, I feel your pain. The city's purchase of scenic Section 16 looked like a done deal, with a sweet grant seemingly there for the taking from the Colorado Conservation Trust Fund. All that seemed needed for state grant approval was the assurance that the TOPS money would keep coming in after 2009. Because that assurance no longer exists, bye-bye grant, and who knows what will happen with that property after this year?
       And yet... Is Bruce really the one to blame? I mean, the man is predictable. He wrote the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR) - which is a state law - and he is a tireless watchdog for any government action in Colorado that even smells like a tax hike. Why did none of the City of Colorado Springs' high-priced lawyers even bother to ask Bruce before the election if the TOPS ballot wording met TABOR specifications? Hello? Disagree with Bruce if you like, but save your real venom for the city employees (paid, yes, with your tax dollars) who let you down.

- K.J.