LETTERS: City's mismanagement mess; slap-on-wrist punishment [Gazette, The (CO)]
(Gazette, The (CO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) City's mismanagement mess
In 2009, the city: 1) moved assets located at 217 S. Wahsatch Ave. to the Police Operations Center, 2) replaced the telephone system, 3) performed major upgrades to network infrastructure, servers, and data storage systems. The projects costs: $13-17 million.
Now, the city's IT needs the infusion of $2 million to fix problems. Much of the network equipment purchased had defined end of life, sale, and support dates for 201four.
The city leased 217 S. Wahsatch Ave. for decades when the lease allowed the property to be purchased by notifying the lessor, and following the lease procedures to reach fair market value. Why?
The city scrapped a world-class telephone system needing minor upgrades. Why? The city's answer: replacement was cheaper. Staff provided estimates for telephone system upgrade costs for management who refused to provide system requirements, and who gave unrealistically short time lines - 1 day to design, and cost a citywide telephone system upgrade. The estimate was high to cover all possible requirements and potential errors/oversights caused by unrealistic line-lines to produce an estimate.
There are similar questions/issues for other IT systems. The money spent on the moving and upgrading the data center is now being thrown away. The data center is for all intent and purposes being abandoned.
The city's most experienced and knowledgeable network engineers lost their jobs during the projects' planning stages. Why? The city's answer: budget. Could it be the engineers were willing to speak up about waste and mismanagement?
From 1999 -2009, the network engineering staff installed, upgraded, and managed an award winning network, on a fraction of the money spent in 2009. A case study in mismanagement...
Gene Bray, Colorado Springs
What about U.S. exceptionalism?
In the July 1 edition of The Gazette, there was a story about how we continue electing the same people to government, again and again. It should have been on the front page in huge type so that even those just passing a newsstand would have seen the headline. Following is a list of people that "we" have recently elected to high office in the United States - more than once: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann. There is obviously a much longer registry. I challenge anyone to point to a true leader from among this group. Yet, when someone dares to question the concept of "American Exceptionalism" they are summarily booed and then quickly booted back to the sidelines.
Is it exceptional that we stand by and watch our privacy rights being diminished on an almost daily basis?
Is it exceptional that our Supreme Court has decided that corporations are now people?
Is it exceptional that America ranks in the middle of the pack in educating our young, while at the same time leads the league in imprisoning our citizens?
Is it exceptional that our astronauts have to wait in line, and then pay, to catch a ride on a Russian craft if they want to get into space?
Is it exceptional that we shout "Drill baby drill" or "Keep the coal fires burning", while we watch the oceans warm to the extent that is, perhaps, passing the tipping point in destroying a major part of our food supply, at the same time the Chinese are taking the lead in solar technology?
Is it exceptional that, in true spit-in-the-wind fashion, our Congress has voted at least 50 times to put an end to the Affordable Care Act? (Was it exceptional that Nero fiddled while Rome burned?) Is it exceptional that our roads and bridges and our very infrastructure are all crumbling before our eyes? Is it exceptional that we keep electing those exact people responsible for all the above?
What is exceptional, is the indomitable, albeit reactionary, spirit of the American people. We saw it during the Great Depression, and World War II, and especially during our Revolution. The problems were addressed and, as we used to say in the Army, we as a people began to "adapt and overcome". We sacrificed, and we fixed what needed to be fixed. I think that during this Independence Day holiday, it might be a good time to take a seriously hard look at the "new" problems that face us as a nation, and then react in the way that is our true national character. I hope it is not too late.
Rusty Baker, Woodland Park
A point of hard fact
The Gazette is shirking its journalistic responsibility to the truth and its readers by printing without sidebar comments The Associated Press articles regarding the Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which state that the decision deprives women of access to contraception.
In point of hard fact, it does not, and that was noted in the SCOTUS decision itself. Hobby Lobby is actually covering contraceptives with its insurance. The company sued to be relieved of the obligation to pay for abortion-inducing devices and drugs because it believes abortion to be tantamount to murder. Out of the 20 available drugs, they sought to be relieved of the obligation to cover four. The other 16 are still covered. And women are free to purchase these others at a very nominal cost if they wish to. No one is being denied access to contraception. No one.
Half the truth is no better than a lie.
Patricia Jahla, Monument
I was shocked to read that Sen. Mark Udall's 27-year-old son was sentenced to only four years supervision for burglary and breaking into cars. I can only wonder how many 27-year-old men would have received the same slap on the hand punishment. Too bad every criminal doesn't have senator for a father.
Ann Reich, Colorado Springs
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