Earlier this week, we reported about a poll being conducted by an unknown party. The purpose of the poll was to gauge public sentiment about a possible ballot measure to keep your TABOR refund. New Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade wants to use the $4.75 million as “seed money” to pay for a new police academy. At the Colorado Springs City Council Work Session on August 7th, we learned Mobolade is still pursuing your TABOR refund, but now plans to ask you to keep it in perpetuity- year after year after year…forever.
Mobolade promised transparency during his campaign, and even criticized outgoing Mayor John Suthers for lacking in that area. After what we’ve seen over the past week, Mobolade shouldn’t be criticizing anyone about lack of transparency.
The City of Colorado Springs repeatedly denied they had any information about the telephone poll. Our two Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests turned up nothing. On Monday, we learned they had the poll results. How did they get those poll results if they were not directly involved in the poll somehow? If the information came to the city of Colorado Springs, why didn’t either CORA request we submitted indicate this? Where’s the transparency, right?
The August 7th City Council Work Session
Mayor Mobolade referred to the telephone poll during the presentation about the potential TABOR ballot measure.
Mobolade specifically used the word “we” when he talked about who conducted the poll. “We” indicates he was involved, knows who funded it, he’s seen it, and he has a copy. Yet, he won’t share it with you. This isn’t very transparent, is it?
District 2 Councilman Randy Helms specifically asked about the poll.
Mayor Mobolade said the poll was conducted by a group of “community members”, but didn’t go into specifics. Councilman Helms didn’t push for details.
District 1 Councilman Dave Donelson asked Mayor Mobolade pointed questions about the poll.
Councilman Donelson asked for a copy of the poll results, and information about who conducted the poll. Mayor Mobolade, in a completely evasive manner, said there is “a group” who conducted the poll. He agreed to pass a copy of the poll to Donelson.
Mayor Mobolade is either uniformed, or he’s not being transparent. The Mayor stated the reason our CORA request returned no results was because the poll was not conducted directly by the city. Yet, the mayor’s deliberate use of the word “we” when referencing the poll indicates the city had a part in conducting the poll. So, this answer appears to be more fiction than truth. Our 2nd CORA asked for: 1) the TABOR retention poll results and 2) all emails (and attachments) to, and from, the city staff and elected officials who were involved in the TABOR retention poll. Again, no results came of this request.
We’ve taken the effort and expense to file another CORA request with the City of Colorado Springs. The poll is now a part of public record. We want the poll results, and we want to know who funded it, and who conducted it. There’s no legitimate or legal reason to keep any of this a secret from you. We’ll keep digging for the information on your behalf.