On Friday, December 14th, Mayor Steve Bach, Chief of Staff Laura Neumann, City Clerk Sarah Johnson, Human Resources Director Mike Sullivan, Interim Chief Information Officer Jesse James, and Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Director Karen Palus participated in the monthly Media Conference.
Mayor Bach opened the meeting by thanking City Council for approving the 2013 Budget. “This is a balanced budget, that is flat with the 2012 Budget. It restores 3,500 streetlights and evening bus service. It will allow us to continue watering our 275 acres of neighborhood parks. We will be adding 50 police officers, 25 community service officers, and 30 firefighters. We will be contributing six million dollars to stormwater and streets and our reserves are at an all time high,” said the Mayor.
Next, the Mayor discussed the importance of the recently passed no-solicitation ordinance covering a small, twelve square block portion of Downtown. Following was a correction to some recent factually inaccurate reporting. ”I have had no meetings or conversations with the Sierra Club… I have no interest in the Martin Drake site for a baseball stadium…” said Mayor Bach. “These are issues under the purview of City Council. My interests when it comes to Colorado Springs Utilities is seeing continuing high quality and reliable utilities at the lowest cost to the ratepayers, all while spending ratepayer money wisely,” said the Mayor. To see the video of the Mayor’s full discussion on Utilities issues, please click here http://www.springsgov.com/units/communications/Utils_cut.mov
Chief of Staff Laura Neumann was up next to briefly introduce the upcoming speakers and to thank them for their hard work on the projects they unveiled.
City Clerk Sarah Johnson shared information for City Council candidates in the upcoming election. The City Clerk’s office and the City Attorney’s office will be conducting a Candidate Training Session from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 in Room 102 of the City Administration Building. Training topics will include candidate filing, general election information and the new campaign finance law. The session will be videotaped and placed on the Clerk’s website for those unable to attend. On that same day, City Council candidates can begin to circulate nominating petitions. These petitions must be returned to the City Clerk’s office (Suite 101 in the City Administration Building located at 30 South Nevada Avenue) by 5:00pm on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. 50 valid signatures are required on the nominating petitions.
Human Resources Director Mike Sullivan discussed the City’s new Student Internship program. Starting in 2013, the City will hire college students to work part-time in one of the City’s departments. “We have so many talented young people in our community and we’re looking forward to having students bring their talents and fresh ideas to the City while offering them an opportunity to learn more about their local government,” said Sullivan. Students can look for internship opportunities online beginning in January at www.SpringsGov.com/Intern
Next, Interim Chief Information Officer Jesse James gave a presentation on the the City’s new mobile app. “It is designed to provide an easy interface for citizens to report issues within our community,” said James. It can be downloaded at http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=3473
Finally, Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Director Karen Palus concluded the media conference with an important announcement regarding Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain. Starting on January 1, 2013, the Pikes Peak Highway will be open to unescorted bicyclists year round. “After a successful pilot program in September 2012, we are very excited to open the Pikes Peak Highway to cyclists year round,” said Palus.“We know avid cyclists from the Pikes Peak Region and around the world will come to experience the challenge and beauty that Pike’s Peak – America’s Mountain has to offer.” More information about the program can be found here www.springsgov.com/pikespeak