‘Follow the money’
‘Follow the money:’ It’s an old adage, one that never seems to betray honest men. If elected, I will chase down the taxpayers’ money like a bloodhound. Every. Single. Penny.
Where’s the required transparency of Public Safety Tax (PST 1A) money? We haven’t seen it. If I’m elected, you will get full public accountability and transparency. I’ve done it before with multi-million-dollar budgets. I’ll do it again, turning over every rock in my path to get the accountability you deserve.
We’ve heard the El Paso Sheriff’s Office is short of funds, so much so, that a mobile command vehicle sits in a repair facility with a bill the EPSO cannot pay. Something like several thousand dollars. If this is the case, how can the EPSO be short of money when it’s padded with Public Safety Tax cash?
What happens if there’s another major incident, like the Planned Parenthood shooting? The mobile command vehicle’s absence could put deputy safety at risk.
Is it just this one vehicle or are other vehicles sitting in disrepair and out of service due to a lack of funds? What does this mean to the citizens as far as patrols go and response times for calls?
How did EPSO run out of money with two and a half months remaining in the calendar year?
Weapons Proficiency Funding
Why isn’t there enough money to fund mandatory firearms qualifications? Allegedly, instead of four times a year for patrol deputies, it’s been cut back to once annually. That’s a major safety issue, a ticking timebomb that could have serious consequences.
Was the Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) pulled off its normal duties to backfill the patrol division? That’s what we’ve been told. Is it because patrol has been decimated due to high attrition and mismanaged budgets? Perhaps it’s because patrols are thinned out to the point that there’s a need to create the illusion of proper manning, with an election looming.
Why were additional deputies called in to augment patrol? For the same reasons as the CRU, it would seem, if what we’ve been told is true.
Public Trust Issues
It’s going to be tough to ask the public to approve an extension of the Public Safety Tax when the citizens have not received the transparency and accountability they deserve. If government shows it’s not been a good steward of the peoples’ money, then the public rightly becomes cynical and reluctant to provide more. It’s not just a lack of transparency, but it’s the apparent misuse and mismanagement of that money as well, which is likely the reason for the lack of transparency in the first place.
I want EPSO fully funded, even as a low-tax conservative. Public safety always comes first, so I support PST’s extension IF the EPSO can show it hasn’t squandered what it was entrusted with. However, the improper manner in which EPSO has handled funding is going to make an extension request difficult to sell to the public. This may also make it tough for the taxpayer’s to approve the Stormwater Tax proposal (2A), a tax that ultimately benefits the Colorado Springs Police Department. That would be a shame.
These are the consequences of poor leadership and budget mismanagement at best. At worst…well…it could be much more serious. I have a proven record of leadership and management as the chief executive of five law enforcement agencies, all with tremendous success. Nothing even approaching this level of disrepair ever happened on my watch.
If elected, I will fully investigate the flow of every penny of taxpayer money from origin to final resting place. If need be, I’ll request the assistance of the Department of Justice. The citizens of El Paso County will finally have the transparency they deserve, the transparency the law requires.