On Wednesday, September 19th, Mayor Bach met with Council Members Scott Hente, Jan Martin, Merv Bennett, Angela Dougan, and Bernie Herpin for the monthly Mayor’s Counsel meeting. Agenda topics included: the City’s Parking Enterprise, CDOT, Economic Vitality Accommodations, City-sponsored event planning, Quality of Life indicators, and homelessness.
Opening the meeting was a discussion on possibly selling the City’s Parking Enterprise; a topic brought to the table by Council President Scott Hente. The Mayor expressed a preference to have the voters make any final decision when it comes to the Parking Enterprise, but agreed that it should be brought up for further discussion, with more interested parties present, at a future Informal Meeting of City Council.
Next, the Mayor discussed CDOT funding for Colorado Springs. On a recent trip to Denver with the Pikes Region Mayors Caucus, the Mayor met with CDOT leadership regarding the fact that, given that we are supposed to receive 9.48% of funds from them, we only receive 4%. This is a problem that needs to be addressed soon.
On the subject of Economic Vitality Accommodations, the Mayor introduced his limited-time, jump-start strategy to encourage primary employers to hire and expand in Colorado Springs. These incentives on City property and sales and use tax are designed to encourage employment, particularly in the hard-hit region of Southeast Colorado Springs, near the Airport. The Economic Vitality Accommodations are subject to approval by City Council.
In the realm of City-sponsored events, the Mayor wants to see a three year plan with events happening throughout the year, rather than having a cluster during the summer months. He also invited two members of City Council to become more involved in the ongoing event planning process.
The meeting concluded with a discussion on Quality of Life indicators and homelessness. With the City population aging at a rate more than two and a half times the national average, the Mayor expressed concern with providing services to that older population moving forward. The suicide rate was also mentioned as higher than the national average. Council Members Hente and Dougan expressed an interest in helping on that front, particularly with military members in town. The Mayor mentioned that he is working with his wife Suzi and Councilman Merv Bennett on an action plan to help the homeless.
The Mayor finished with a small preview of the forthcoming 2013 Budget Proposal saying that there will be money to increase the size and strength of the Police and Fire Academies.