EDITORíS DESK: Applauding government servants

       The role of government in our lives is often a tricky one. My thinking is it should be a servant of the people, and when it does work that way, I think we all benefit.
       Three examples can be found in articles in this issue of the Westside Pioneer:
       Section 16 - In 1997 Colorado Springs voters approved an open space sales tax that generates several million dollars a year. According to the city website, since the tax was established it has helped create more than 6,000 acres of open space and built 32 neighborhood parks and more than 46 miles of urban trails. Better still, no new government bureaucracy was created as a result. It's just been City Parks staff - with the help of volunteer advisory boards and the nonprofit Trails and Open Space Coalition - administering these worthy additions. Section 16 is a wise choice because its undeveloped 640 acres of hillside land sits amid two existing city open space properties (Red Rock Canyon and White Acres), as well as Pike National Forest.
       Fillmore corridor study - Neighborhood meetings over the past several months - including door-to-door visits with residents of potentially impacted Parker Street - are clear signs that our government servants are trying hard on this issue to seek out and follow the will of the people. Incidentally, if you haven't done so already, the survey that's just been posted is a worthwhile endeavor if only to read details on each of the options being considered. None seems ideal.
       PPACG long-range transportation plan - This one's a little tougher to follow, because of the almost-staggering complexities of federal and state regulations. And PPACG has a bit of a track record of deciding for us when and how it wants public feedback. But its board is made up of elected officials, and their meetings are public. You have a right to be heard!

- K.J.