Did you miss Mayor Steve Bach’s Second Town Hall Meeting held on May 12, 2012? Well, never fear, we have it here!
In their own words, here are a few comments from some of those public safety leaders. If you support them, then please share this post and thank them for their service when you see them at work.
Q: Can you tell us how you feel about your work and the impact of your recent promotion?
“I am very excited to be afforded this opportunity. It is a real honor and I must give credit to the fine people that I work for, the people I work with, and those that work for me. They are the ones that helped me get here. I will be staying at the Gold Hill Division and I have already begun to establish strong working relationships with a variety of community members. There is a real passion about the quality of life in the neighborhoods that the Gold Hill Division services and I hope to be a part of making it an even better place to live by ensuring that public safety needs are met. I understand that the Colorado Springs Police Department is very reliant on the strong support we receive from the citizens in the community. I want to continue to build this support and trust. I am a native of Colorado Springs and I can’t imagine a better place to live!” –Commander Pat Rigdon
“I am extremely excited to serve in my new capacity as a lieutenant for the Colorado Springs Police Department. Even though I have taken on a new rank one of my main goals is to remember I am a public servant first and foremost. I received excellent advice in the past regarding leadership decisions: Take care of your people but remember the needs of our community come before the needs of our department, the needs of our department come before the needs of our unit and the needs of our unit come before our individual needs. I plan on following this advice to the best of my ability.” –Lieutenant Hugh M. Velasquez
“As a Deputy Chief on the Colorado Springs Police Department, I look forward to serving our community as well as the men and women on our Department. I hope I can make thoughtful and informed decisions that will positively impact our employees. I will continue to support our mission of providing police services with integrity and with the spirit of excellence, in partnership with our community, to promote the quality of life in Colorado Springs. I will diligently work toward fulfilling our vision statement of ‘Safeguarding our Community as our Family.’ We all look forward to the bright future we have with Chief Carey and Mayor Bach.” –Deputy Chief Vince Niski
“I am truly honored to be able to continue to serve our community in my new capacity. I look forward to learning the new responsibilities associated with my position while still being able to work with officers on the street. Having been fortunate to work for some truly great leaders on our department, I hope that I can come close to being able to lead as they have. We live in a great city and a great area and I hope to do my part to keep it as safe as possible.” –Sergeant Rick Bubacz
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.
Chief Communications Officer
Mayor Steve Bach announced this morning the appointment of a new Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, pending confirmation by City Council on Tuesday, April 24. After a comprehensive two-month recruitment and interview process with over 120 nationwide applicants, Karen Palus was selected by the Mayor and will begin her position with the City of Colorado Springs on Monday, June 18, 2012. Ms. Palus will earn a salary of $128,000 per year.
“Karen’s extensive experience in park and recreation, as well as her leadership at the local, state and national levels will be a great asset to Colorado Springs.” said Mayor Bach.
Karen brings over 20 years of parks and recreational experience with both city and county government. Most recently she served as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Tampa where she worked for seven years. During that time, Karen successfully attained National Accreditation by the Commission of Accreditation (CAPRA) for the City of Tampa’s Parks and Recreation Department. Ms. Palus developed a park in the downtown core of the City of Tampa, after which time the park received numerous awards and was named one of the top ten new parks in the country for 2011. She was the recipient of the Fellow Award, Achievement Award, Outstanding Service Award and Agency Excellence Award from the Florida Recreation and Park Association.
Ms. Palus began her career in Recreation for Brevard County Government in Florida. She also worked in recreation for Martin County and Orange County. Karen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Masters in Public Administration. She is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional as well as a Certified Youth Sports Administrator. She served as the Florida Recreation and Park Association President in 2004 and has been on their board of directors since 1997. She currently serves as the Head Faculty and Chairwoman for the Joe Abrahams Leadership Academy and is a trustee of the Florida Recreation and Park Association Foundation.
Mayor Bach and members of the Caucus agreed there is need for increased state highway funding. They will ask for a meeting with Governor Hickenlooper to focus attention on this issue.
The Pikes Peak RegionMayors Caucus is patterned after Denver Mayor Hancock’s Mayors Conference. Mayor Bach attended the conference and found it was a very effective way to bring community leaders together to get things done. He stressed they are not a committee – they are an action group.
Mayor Bach was asked if these Mayors Caucus meetings will be open to the public in the future. He responded, “We will certainly discuss it and see if the group is open to it.”
Media also asked how members were selected for the Caucus. “We used the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments members and the Mayor of Canyon City may join us in the future as well,” he said.
The Mayor of Green Mountain Falls, Tyler Stevens, took a moment to thank everyone who expressed regrets and concern over the recent fire which destroyed their historic town hall building.
He also thanked the Friends of Green Mountain Falls for setting up a Fire Recovery Fund through the Pikes Peak Community Foundation.
The Mayor closed the media meeting by saying that the Pikes Peak Region Mayors Caucus is not intended to take the place of City Council or the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments.