Is the mayor handling the COVID-19 crisis?

A flashlight at dusk? That is our mayor's response to COVID-19? How about a press conference to discuss the severe drop in sales tax receipts? Or will the city re-purpose the half-cent sales tax to keep city operations intact or to use it for our local small business operations?

Is it the best time to have an election in the middle of the COVID-19 medical crisis? Mail-in ballots that may be contaminated? Poor voter response, as other matters like putting food on the table may cause people to trash their ballots?

Is our mayor up to the challenges facing our city in a time of crisis? Has he thought about getting more food to the food distribution center for low-income residents on Fourth Street?

These are my concerns and others may have similar or different concerns about the direction our leadership has taken, as this crisis is a test of their leadership skills and devotion to the welfare of our community.

Larry Fancher, Pueblo

Black Hills Energy vote

I agree with Pueblo City Councilwoman Lori Winner that we should defeat the proposal for the city to take over the production and distribution of electric power in Pueblo.

In the first instance, the administration and the City Council should be making the decision by getting the best professional advice that can be obtained and they should then stand by the consequences of that decision. They should not be asking the citizens to vote on a highly technical matter which most of us don’t have enough actual technical knowledge to decide. What in reality is in this community’s best interest for the long term?

The existing proposal to be voted on has no safeguards for the public with respect to a limit on the amount the city will spend for attorney fees; a limit on the amount the city will spend for a takeover; how the city will make up lost sales tax dollars from Black Hills Energy; and when users will pay less for their electricity.

Everyone knows that water and electricity don’t mix and never will.

Vote no on the proposal.

Donald Banner, Pueblo

Vote no on 2A

What started as concern of high electric rates has snowballed into projected costs of $400 million or more over a period of 20 to 25 years, with no lower rates. It would take seven to 10 years or more and hundreds of millions of dollars to municipalize, all at cost to the ratepayers. There is no guarantee of lower rates by municipalization.

Even though four City Council members are against municipalization, the council voted unanimously for putting the question on the ballot. This was done because the contract with Black Hills Energy required an election.

At this time, it's not a matter of how Black Hills operates, but what is best for the city of Pueblo. Ten years ago, voters approved Black Hills to be the supplier of our electricity and the company has given reliable service. Let's not change horses in the middle of the stream.

Why get into a debt of $400 million or more for the next 20 to 25 years? Why not honor the first agreement, then changes can be made at the end of the contract period. We are not just voting for current costs, but we also are deciding what the cost will be to our children and grandchildren.

Now with the coronavirus crisis, who will we depend on to sustain our electric power in a time of crisis? The answer is Black Hills.

When the ballots are mailed for the May 5 election, I urge you to carefully read and understand the wording.

Vote no on 2A.

Elizabeth “Betty” Duran, Pueblo