A poll to determine citizen views of a proposed downtown Colorado Springs ballpark is under wraps for now, deemed a confidential work product by city officials.
The 40-question poll was sent to 40,000 Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) email-list subscribers and members of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. Only 2,000 responses were tallied — a pretty poor 5 percent response rate — and the results are currently under wraps despite a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the local newspaper:
[T]he results have not been released and may never be. In July, the city denied The Gazette’s request, under the Colorado Open Records Act, for the survey results, saying they’re considered “confidential and privileged attorney work product which has not been disclosed to any third parties.”…
City Attorney Chris Melcher said the survey was not meant to be community-wide. Instead, he said, it targeted Sky Sox fans and the business community to gauge their support for a downtown stadium and determine what would be most and least exciting to them about the project.
The survey results were intended to be used in the city’s application to the state for the sales tax rebates, but they didn’t make it into the document.
The application refers to the city’s request to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade for $82 million in sales-tax incentives to help fund a variety of projects, including a new $60.7 million ballpark for the Sky Sox. The “City of Champions” project that would also an Olympics museum and a sports-medicine facility at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
(Work product, by the way, refers to privileged communication between an attorney and client. In this case, Colorado Springs is saying that since the data has not been distributed to a third party and disseminated only between city staff and its legal team, it is protected.)
Image courtesy city of Colorado Springs.
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