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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

City council faces tough questions Monday night

Photo by Julian Volk. Pueblo City Hall Building in Pueblo, Colo.

By Julian Volk

The Pueblo City Council met February 13, 2023, at p.m. to discuss. All seven members were present and mostly participative.

The meeting began with a work session, where members of the community spoke on behalf of the organizations they represented. CarbonSAFE, Colorado Department of Human Services, Crazy Faith and ARPA all had representatives present to speak who all made their cases for funding of their projects. 

Crazy Faith was one that particularly got attention from District 1 Representative, Regina Maestri. Crazy Faith is an organization that fights to end homelessness in Pueblo. The board, back in October of 2022, had already agreed to give Crazy Faith $50,200 plus around another $2,000 for every night that the weather was to be under 20 degrees, but now Crazy Faith’s new innovation, a warming center, is in jeopardy. The building where the warming center is currently, located just off 4th St. and Midtown Cir. Dr., is now up for sale, meaning the warming center may not be open for much longer. Crazy Faith’s representative claimed they would need nearly $500,000 for a new building. Maestri made a commitment to attempt to help convince the board to help Crazy Faith Ministries find a new building. 

After the work session concluded, the public forum began. It started off with the “Christopher Columbus Readers,” Debra and James. They strive to teach the “untold” history of Columbus in efforts to push the mayor and the council to approve the removal of the Christopher Columbus Statue on Abriendo Ave., just outside the Rawlings Library. Other points that were touched on during the public forum were the trash clean up in Pueblo, the changing of city government, etc.

Mayor Gradisar was invited to talk about the petitions circulating around Pueblo calling for a reform of our city’s government. The petitions are for the dissolving of the mayoral government in our city. “The people who are circulating these petitions, for the most part, are misinformed,” said Gradisar. He went on to say that a city manager run government is indeed not cheaper than a mayor run one, but in fact more expensive. He backed this up by saying the city manager before him was given 9 months’ severance and a year of paid health care, while after Gradisar leaves, he will receive nothing.

District 4 Representative, Vicente Martinez Ortega, announced that the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation would be helping students every Wednesday of February 5-7 pm with scholarship applications at the Latino Chamber at 215 Victoria St.

As the regular agenda began, a large talking point was M8. M8 is a reaction from the board towards the petition to annex the 10.74-acre plot of land known as the Dorcy Community Housing Annexing. The Dorcy Community Housing Program is a program that was proposed by Posada. The land will be used to build affordable housing for low-income families in Pueblo’s southside region. The annexation of the land into Pueblo would make it available to city waters and electricity.

Pueblo Planning and Zoning Commission had recently voted against Posada’s proposal due to the high density of units in the proposal and the outcry to do so from residents in the Regency neighborhood area. The City Council voted in 5-2 favor to file for an additional period of no more than 180 days on the matter.

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