Springs mayoral candidate Munger promises to increase community involvement

Colorado Springs needs a full-time mayor, Dave Munger said, announcing his candidacy for the position. The election will be held April 2011.

Munger, 64, is the latest of three candidates to announce. A retired university administrator and the current president of an influential group of neighborhood organizations, Munger plans to focus on restoring trust in government, job creation and increasing community involvement in problem solving.

He cited his experience working with city government and in development as head of the influential Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO) and as a member of the city council-appointed Citizens Transportation Advisory Board, the Memorial Heath System Citizens’ Commission and the El Paso County Community Development Advisory Board.

“I don’t believe the government has all the answers,” Munger said.

Munger said he would work to entice corporations to establish headquarters in Colorado Springs and to persuade young people not to move away to start their careers.

“I am confident that Colorado Springs is a city on the cusp of greatness,” he said.

He said one of his main focuses would be to generate revenue for the city so it could recover from the economic hardships that caused massive budget shortfalls over the past year, forcing well-publicized cuts in public services and the browning of city parks.

Munger is the third candidate to enter the mayor’s race. He joins real estate broker Tim Leigh and defense contractor Buddy Gilmore.

The Colorado Springs mayor is now a part-time position and little more than another member of the city council. Two ballot initiatives are in the works, however, that would transform the office, moving it away from legislative functions toward executive functions. The initiatives are sponsored by Citizens For Accountable Leadership, which includes a group of downtown business operators as well as Doug Bruce, father of the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the man at the center of a recent initiatives-related campaign finance complaint and the target of a coming contempt of court charge.

The fate of the proposed ballot measures doesn’t concern Munger.

“I’m open to letting the people make the decision to what my role will be,” he said. “I’ll serve under whatever the Springs citizens decide.”

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