It’s so encouraging when people from different countries come together to discuss government issues and community concerns. It’s especially exciting when the American Council of Young Political Leaders from Romania and Croatia meet with the Mayor of the second biggest city in Colorado to exchange ideas.
Mayor Bach opened the meeting by welcoming the Young Political Leaders then shared a bit about himself. “My ancestors, who were farmers, came from Munich in the 1880′s, so my roots are European. I’m very glad you’re here.” He went on to describe the Mayor-Council form of Government and explain he was a businessman who entered politics towards the end of his career.
“I had one day of retirement. I spent it at home with my wife Suzi and at the end of that day, she suggested I go back to an office.”
“I’m blessed to live here, run a business and be able to help my community. It’s an honor to be in this office and exhilarating to help fellow citizens. It’s a complex job and I continue to learn more every day to help make things better,” said the Mayor.
Members of the American Council said the Mayor runs their city, but they have a two or three party system. In order for the Mayor to get anything done, they must have the majority on Council or they could be blocked for all four years.
“After I was sworn in on June 7, 2011, the first thing I did was ask to see the budget. Previously the budget was only looked at one year at a time. I wanted to know why we couldn’t look 3-5 years out. We project our revenue will increase moderately during that time, but costs will increase rapidly. Our goal is to get stabilized financially. I am a pragmatic problem-solver. We need to move to priorities based budgeting and focus on core functions like public safety – police and fire.”
Next, ACYPL members and Mayor launched into a discussion on taxes, innovation and the pioneering spirit to be continued in Part Two.