Utilities won’t participate in ranch rally

       Colorado Springs Utilities will not have an information table at the “National Global Warming Rally to Demand Political Action” scheduled at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Saturday, Nov. 3.
       The city-owned enterprise was invited to do so, but will not because, “as a municipally owned facility, we cannot participate in a political rally,” explained Steve Berry, a Utilities spokesperson this week.
       The Westside Pioneer article Oct. 25 had incorrectly stated that Utilities was scheduled to participate.
       Scott Hente, the City Council member whose District 1 includes Rock Ledge, said there is a distinction between the rally organizers being allowed to use the city- owned ranch property and Utilities declining the invitation. “The city is pretty open-minded about the use of its facilities for different events,” he explained in an e-mail this week. “Whether it's a homeowners' association meeting at a fire station community room or a charity event in Garden of the Gods (Race for the Cure), the city has always been fairly free in letting its facilities be used by the public - and that's a good thing. Even political stuff - I had my announcement for running for council in 2003 at Fire Station 18.”
       As for the Utilities decision, Hente's e-mail describes that as a “different story… The city, and its enterprises, does not want to take a particular stand on a given issue without community and/or council buy-in.”
       Overall, regarding the rally at Rock Ledge, “I don't see a problem here,” Hente said. “We can be open-minded about who uses our facilities, but careful about those activities we give our vocal support to.”

Westside Pioneer article