KKTV Mayoral Debate

what do you think? >> not much difference here. the three projects, the museum, the visitors center and the sports medicine program at uccs can be done without burdening local taxpayers. and they’re going to happen. they’re going to be good. i think that the olympic museum can be a catalyst for the development of an urban renewal area at southwest colorado springs we simply have not seen any viable information come forward as to a downtown stadium arena at this point in time. now if some sector development comes along that wants to do it, that’s a whole different ball game. but if they’re asking for any kind of taxpayer investment, i mean, they’ve got to prove that it’s a good investment for the taxpayers. we’re not there yet. and we’re a long way from it. >> there’s been some pushback nationwide about various stadium projects that are publicly funded and they say, no, let’s not done this anymore. is there room for a stadium in downtown colorado springs? >> there’s mixed results around the country. in south carolina, greenville, for example, moving the minor league team downtown was really a catalyst and it was a very good investment. >> we don’t have a minor league team. >> that’s exactly right. >> they want to stay put. >> from what we know. but you need some sort of catalyst like that. >> same thing, same thought? >> well, i’m not convinced we need the stadium in the first place, but you know, it’s a lovely location and i think there are things that can happen down there. children’s museum, science museum, perhaps a music venue. i don’t think we’ve had that kind of community conversation that would engender what i would consider a better proposal but it could engender community support, which the proposal does not at the moment. >> reporter: understood. next question from sheila on the gazette facebook page, will you allow recreational marijuana shops open in colorado spring, will you be behind a push to do so? let’s start with you, mary lou. >> well, yesterday, i announced that i have come to the position where i would support that, and it’s been a process as i gathered information going around the community. i would say that i entered this whole thing not knowing much about marijuana. still don’t know a lot about marijuana in terms of personal usage. but the citizens of colorado springs did vote in terms of allowing recreational marijuana as they were allowed to do under the leg lace, council opted not to do that. in effect, overruling the citizens’ vote. so that’s a point one and one that sticks in the crawl of a lot of people whether they’re for or against the use of marijuana. we have now a track record of a couple of years where other cities up and down the front range have allowed that. world hasn’t come to an end. they’re doing fine. they’ve learned some lessons. i think we can benefit from mistakes that they have made. we can learn from some lessons from things that have worked we do have– and this is the sticker will is we seem to think if we don’t allow the sale of recreational marijuana, we’ve somehow dealt with a problem. the reality is that we have a huge black market for marijuana in colorado springs. and there is no regulation. there is no monitoring of quality, of safety, any of those things so we have the opportunity now to put regulations in place. much as we do with alcohol and tobacco, we can regulate the industry and perhaps get a handle on the black market enterprise here. let me say one more thing. >> okay. >> and we could use the money. >> reporter: we can use the money. >> don, i’m not there yet. and let’s not be naive about this. denver, which embraced recreational marijuana, has a huge black market. attorney general’s office indicted a bunch of folks exporting tremendous amounts of marijuana to states that did not recognize legalized marijuana. as a result of the public policy positions we’ve taken in colorado, we have a higher rate of adolescent use of marijuana and adult use of marijuana. i think we need to wait and see how this experiment plays out in a few more year. i also have to tell you to the extent you think you’ve taken legalizing marijuana takes cartels out of the business, that’s also very naive. they’re all over colorado and they’re now pushing cocaine, heroin d methamphetamine to young marijuana users. this is a very complicated drug picture. the fact that we have such conflict between state and federal law, until that gets resolved, this is pretty much a mess. so i’m not there yet, but i want to make it perfectly clear, if the voters of colorado springs vote for recreational marijuana, they did not before. they voted for amendment 64 which allowed the city council to opt out. our city council opted out as have most of the communities in colorado. the vast majority. but if the voters of colorado approve it, i will implement it and the regulations to the very best of my ability. >> reporter: rebuttal, go ahead. >> not a rebuttal as much question. would you support putting it on the ballot? >> if the council voted to put it on the ballot, i would let it go to the ballot. >> reporter: fair enough. next question is from tom on our facebook page. what is your viewpoint on stormwater funding, regional authority versus the city funding its own needs? mr. suthers. >> at this point in time, while i understand the benefits of regional, i don’t think we can go to the voters with a stormwater proposal and then go again with a city infrastructure proposal, roads, thing like that. i think we need to devise a strategy, the mayor with the council and public input, how will we address our entire infrastructure problem? roads are the people’s number one concern. storm what ther is a second concern. we very to address them both , but i think it probably at this point in time has to be done on a city basis but fully cooperating in terms of planning with other regional communities. i don’t think you go to it voers on two different are sorts of issues. >> reporter: how would you handle it? >> i think it has to be regional. there was pushback from the proposal that was on the ballot before. the issue of stormwater is always presented as a problem. and i know that there are communities that have taken storm what the pert runoff and figured out how to turn that into recreational use, and i think that’s the direction we should be striving for. i certainly don’t have the answers of what exactly that would be like a monument creek. we had a proposal for a kayak run and a skip program. maybe that’s the direction we want to go. council recently approved– i don’t know if they called it a resolution or an intent to use some of the skip bonds to use the money that the city currently spends on storm water and what utilities currently spend and use that to get rid of the back log. that doesn’t answer the question of how we go forward with the, you know, yearly needs and maintenance, but i think that like potholes, stormwater is something that we have to do some immediate remediation so that we don’t have more floods and property damage and possibly loss of life. >> reporter: we have another social media question. brief answers to this one, if you would, as we get get close to the end of the time. this is from mary on the gazette facebook page. what is your plan to control crime in our community? what would you do to revitalize blighted neighborhoods? >> well, we have a fabulous police force, in my mind. i think chief cary is an outstanding police chief and i think he’s good for us. the whole issue of crime there’s so many factors that contribute to crime and part of it is the economy. part of it is education, and all of those things, the economy needs to improve, we need to make sure that we have young people who are in healthy kinds of programs so that they have interests2) other than troublemaking. >> reporter: i need to wrap you up to get a response from mr. suthers. >> we do have a good police department. i, as attorney general, was head of the police officers standard training board and i would submit that the police department of colorado springs is better educated, better trained than any large city department in colorado. let’s be blunt about it. we’ve– two-thirds of our crime problem is in one-quarter of the community, the southeast quad grant. we need to put resources there to help those folks deal with the crime issues they’ve got. we’ve got to expand the substation. you go down there on a saturday night and people are handcuffed to tables and chairs. that’s number one. and then we also have to, you know, continue to community police and we have continue to get the community involved in crime prevention >> you know, our new mayor and city hall will not make this city great it’s the people of colorado springs that are going to make our city great. for the people of colorado springs to reach their full potential, they need a city government that helps them reach that potential and isn’t a detriment to that. …