Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach is a monthly guest on the Richard Randall Show at 740KVOR. During this interview the Mayor answered questions from callers and discussed critical issues facing the City.
Richard’s first question was, “Mr. Mayor, what’s the number one thing on your mind right now?”
Public safety has always been top-of-mind for the Mayor, especially on a day with significant snowfall and frigid temperatures. So it wasn’t surprising when he responded, “Everyone’s safety – I hope you’ll drive safely today. We appreciate people being patient.”
Then the Mayor addressed another issue of utmost concern for many throughout the community and country – fiscal sustainability. His proposed 2012 Budget and subsequent line item vetoes addressed forecast predictions of City insolvency – bankruptcy in the next five to eight years if changes aren’t made quickly.
“The world has changed all around us and City Government must change too,” Bach believes.
Some say he should compromise, but he knows it’s time to stand on principle and address the way we do business before assuming the only solution is to raise taxes. He stressed his commitment to continue working with City Council and encouraged people in the community to collaborate and raise money for meritorious, but non-essential services.
With solvency of the City at risk, the Mayor has called for an outside consulting group to conduct a Classification and Compensation Study, something that hasn’t been done in a decade. He also recognizes that factors like work environment and recognition play a big part in retaining good people; he sincerely respects and appreciates the work City employees do.
Callers said they appreciate him sticking to his guns and his straight-forward, no-nonsense approach. One key message came through loud and clear: “We voted you for Strong Mayor and that’s what we want you to be!”
Standing on principle doesn’t negate the Mayor’s intention to leverage the talent and intelligence of Colorado Springs citizens and community leaders. Consistently, he asks for input and stresses the importance of working together with Council to solve problems and move forward.
“I’m not worried about re-election. I’m not a career politician; I’m just here to try to help. And now that we have the budget process behind us, we can focus on the future and make this great city even better together.”
Clearly, financial sustainability, commitment, collaboration and the leadership required to make hard choices without regard to political popularity is what motivates this Mayor!