State of the City Address 2012
Highlights of Mayor Bach’s First Year
A New Executive Team
Chief of Staff: Laura Neumann
Fire Chief: Rich Brown
Police Chief: Pete Carey
City Attorney: Chris Melcher
A New Future for Memorial Health System
On August 23rd, 2011, at a formal City Council session, the Mayor asked the Council to reconsider their single proposal position and form a new task force to entertain multiple proposals. The Mayor would like to thank Council for agreeing and moving forward with his recommendation.
The impending lease will generate $1.9 billion for the city versus the $45 million generated under the first plan.
The lease payments will set up the forthcoming Community Healthcare Foundation under the direction of a board of appointed citizens.
Parks and Pools
We outsourced maintenance on 275 acres of city parks to the private sector.
We partnered with the YMCA to reopen our city pools, an attraction enjoyed by over 250,000 visitors per year.
After meeting with Mayor Bach, Bal Seal, Steller Restaurant Solutions, and Kinder-Morgan decided to remain in Colorado Springs, resulting in the retention of over 850 jobs. Lowe’s, USA Discounters, and Wal-Mart are leading renewal initiatives in the Southeast area of Colorado Springs and will bring over 200 jobs to the region.
The Mayor has made contact with over 200 of the primary employers in the region to discuss ways to make Colorado Springs the most attractive city in America for job growth.
Transforming City Government
The Mayor has changed the culture of the City, shifting it away from its regulatory roots and encouraging it to focus on customer service.
There is now longer-term planning, priorities-based focus, and zero-based budgeting.
Operational expenses for 2012 have been essentially flat compared to 2011, the salary budget is down $2 million compared to last year, and over 38 vacant city positions have been eliminated.
The city achieved an all time high reserve fund as of 12/31/11.This enabled a $4 million investment in mission critical public safety capital replacements, road repairs, and allowed pools to be reopened.
The reserve fund is nearly $10 million dollars greater than a year ago; however some of this will go toward Waldo Canyon Fire expenses.
The Fire highlights the importance of healthy reserves.
Through the Spirit of the Springs program, we’ve focused on cultivating future city leaders, celebrating and connecting community, and engaging citizens. The Mayor has given out almost three dozen Spirit of the Springs Awards, held rallies and special events like the Downtown Olympics Opening celebration, supported Adopt-A-School, initiated Ticket to Success, inaugurated a scholarship golf tournament, hosted town hall meetings, and met with 106 community groups.
He has also founded the Pikes Peak Region Mayors Caucus and has built up strong working relationships with leaders and elected officials up and down the Front Range including Governor John Hickenlooper.
Looking to the Future
This Fall, the City will announce a new Strategic Plan as part of the 2013 Budget presentation. The Plan will be action-oriented and include measureable outcomes.
With America the Beautiful as our heritage, hard work as our foundation, and western optimism as our guide, Colorado Springs will be a successful city preferred for living, working and vacationing.
As stewards of the public trust, we shall serve the people of Colorado Springs with core services effectively and efficiently through the wise use and management of all resources.
Our success will be measured by achieving three goals:
Be the most business and citizen friendly city in the United States of America as measured by :
(1) an average of 6,000 new civilian jobs per year in our region and (2) by citizen satisfaction.
This goal is the number of new civilian jobs we’ll need, according to noted local economist, Dave Bamberger, to regain a full employment economy.
Putting this into perspective, our region is adding only about 627 new civilian jobs this year, so we need to increase that 10 fold.
The City is taking the lead on improving the business climate. Today, I respectfully ask the Chamber & EDC to take the lead in growing the 6,000 new civilian jobs per year that we will need.
Transform City Government to (1) live within its limited financial resources and (2) be the “best in class” city of our size.
We will accomplish this through a priorities-based focus and zero-based budgeting, rethinking everything we’re doing, reinventing, innovating, empowering our employees and making tough decisions. We will use common sense and do the right thing.
Build community through on-going dialog with our citizens; local, regional & State leaders; and by encouraging private sector and nonprofit initiatives to improve the well-being of everyone.
We will accomplish this through our Spirit of the Springs and other Mayor’s special initiatives, continued leadership in the PPRMC, and ongoing collaboration with Governor Hickenlooper and other Front Range community officials.