City GovernmentColorado Springs City Council

Response From COS “Public Communication Specialist” Invites Salary and Benefits Scrutiny

Photo Credit: The Daily Hatch

A reader recently contacted us with a concern: He had contacted his City Councilman and instead of hearing back from his elected public servant, he received a response from a “Public Communication Specialist.” A Public Communication Specialist is a real job in the City of Colorado Springs, believe it or not. In the job description, the Public Communication Specialist, “participates in shaping public opinion and public perception.”

Funny. We thought that a Public Communication Specialist might communicate with the public transparently, not shape public opinion and perception. Good grief!

So, we wondered: What other jobs are staffed to serve City Council, and how much is it costing taxpayers?

Over the past few months, your tax dollars have funded $465,000 in office remodeling for council members and staff. How much more of your money is being spent to fund staff positions like “Public Communication Specialist?”

We pursued the answer to that question through a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request. There are 8 full-time staff members employed to assist the elected Council members: a City Council Administrator, an Analyst II, two Senior Office Specialists, a Staff Assistant, a Deputy City Council Administrator, a Public Communication Specialist II, and an Administrative Technician. Their salaries total $533,510.

Did we mention that these salaries are likely to increase, as Mayor Suthers is currently pursuing a pay raise for all city employees?

Job Title                                                      Salary                 Classification

City Council Administrator                     $113,942              Management

Analyst II                                                    $76,825                 Non-Management

Senior Office Specialist                           $45,444                 Non-Management

Senior Office Specialist                           $42,900                 Non-Management

Staff Assistant                                           $56,000                 Non-Management

Dep City Council Administrator            $88,400                 Non-Management

Public Communication Spec II               $57,999                 Non-Management

Administrative Technician                      $52,000                 Non-Management

Additionally, these City employees receive a plethora of benefits. Taxpayers pitch in up to $6,936 per year per individual or $18,384 per year per family, for medical insurance. Taxpayer  contribution toward dental benefits is $420 per year per individual, or $540 per year per family. How does this compare to what your employer provides?

Have you ever laid eyes on the Colorado Springs City Employee benefits handbook? We received it as part of the CORA we filed.

They even have a plan for employee pet insurance (page 31 at the link above,) and reduced Disney World ticket prices from ticketsatwork.com (page 32 at the link above.) Additionally, taxpayers pay for staff for a City Employee Medical Clinic and a City Employee Pharmacy.  Sounds pretty fancy.

Colorado Springs City government has gotten way too big and too expensive. The Mayor never cuts expenses from year to year —there is just more and more spending. Contact Mayor Suthers and City Council and ask them to rein in the spending and tighten their belts. At this point, the City is a monster that is only getting fatter off of our tax dollars.

Mayor John Suthers Jsuthers@springsgov.com

Tom Strand   Tom.strand@coloradosprings.gov

Bill Murray  Bill.murray@coloradosprings.gov

Yolanda Avila  Yolanda.Avila@coloradosprings.gov

Richard Skorman  Richard.Skorman@coloradosprings.gov

Mike O’Malley   Mike.OMalley@coloradosprings.gov

Dave Donelson   Dave.Donelson@coloradosprings.gov

Nancy Henjum   Nancy.Henjum@coloradosprings.gov

Randy Helms   Randy.Helms@coloradosprings.gov

2 thoughts on “Response From COS “Public Communication Specialist” Invites Salary and Benefits Scrutiny

    1. Mayor Surhers the City of Colorado Springs does not need all of these additional “support people” especially when they are used as middle men to convey a smoke screen to the face of the council people. If your constituents need to speak with a representative, that person needs to speak to the people. Cut the pork fat. We need fiscal responsibility, transparency, and less government oversight.

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