Conclusions – January 2011

In light of our commitment to making recommendations based on objective fact,  these findings are accurate to the best of our knowledge.  However, we are continually renewing our research, reviewing our findings and revising them for accuracy.  We will post corrections in a timely manner, when warranted.

These conclusions were articulated during our forum for mayoral and city council candidates.write my essay now

Warning Signs

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  • Unemployment at 9.5%
  • Real Wages at levels lower than in March 2001
  • Heavy reliance on military + defense related employment
  • Uncontrollable escalation in pension costs
  • Property tax collections expected to fall in 2011 onwards
  • State budget shortfall will impact re-imbursement to municipalities – example cigarette tax
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  • Impact of TABOR ratchet down effect as we recover
  • Inability of general fund balance to address any surprises

General

  • Successful start for The City Committee
  • Four specific areas require action
    • Workers compensation
    • Compensation and benefits
    • Change policies to reduce liabilities
  • Realistic, balanced approach to spending in 2011 and 2012 budget
  • MUCH more work ahead
  • This will be a community effort
  • The City Committee recognizes:
    • Efforts by council + staff to reduce costs in 2010 and 2011
    • Prior work by Sustainable Funding Committee + others
  • The unanimous opinion of The City Committee:
    • City of Colorado Springs finances remain vulnerable and unable to meet obligations and needs of the community
    • URGENT action is required to address:
      • policies, escalating costs and liabilities to provide for a sustainable future
  • The City Committee offers the community a partnership to help, advise + guide improvements

Next Steps

  • More work on Memorial Hospital decision
  • Secure co-operation for Towers Watson study
  • Subcommittee meetings starting now
  • First recommendations in 2Q11
  • Plan for quarterly review with stakeholders
  • Work with candidates through election process
  • Long term improvement for community
    • Educate
    • Effective
    • Efficient

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