Wednesday, February 3, 2010

City Council sets direction at annual retreat

COMMERCE CITY – City Council has identified 13 top priorities that will set the direction for the City of Commerce City and its staff in 2010 and beyond.

“Establishing these priorities is vital to the culture of excellence we have come to expect in Commerce City ,” said Councilman Jason McEldowney. “I would like to thank my fellow members of council for a highly productive exchange of ideas and interests. It was great to see the unique passion we each have for our community, and yet we were able to meld our ideas and perspectives into this common set of priorities.”

Council shared their own ideas as well as weighed citizen and business input from efforts such as the Comprehensive Plan, a recent business summit and direct submissions from almost 50 citizens. More than 117 comments were reviewed and placed within 13 main categories.

All nine members of City Council worked together to define the categories. While listed in order of priority, each category below plays an important role in the overall vision of the city and its continued growth and development.

1. Financial stability
2. Economic development
3. Communication
4. Public safety
5. Transportation and transit infrastructure investment
6. Restructured council meetings
7. Community planning and development
8. Constructive relationships (local, regional, national, international)
9. Parks, trails and recreation
10. Public health, wellness and quality of life
11. Environmental sustainability
12. Legislative/lobbying
13. Youth initiatives

City Council clearly identified that financial considerations are a key driver for all priorities. Especially where economic development is concerned, the improvements being seen in the broader economy are likely to present opportunities for Commerce City . Putting economic development at the top of the list ensures that the city is ready to take full advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves.

“The results of this retreat are going to be very important to staff at all levels in city government,” said Mayor Paul Natale. “City council sets the direction, but we count on staff to execute and deliver. These 13 priorities help draw the map for city staff.”

A Council Strategic Planning Committee was formed to plan and facilitate the retreat as well as track progress. The committee is lead by Councilman McEldowney with the help of council members Dominick Moreno, Renee Bullock and Jadie Carson. As part of the process, formal quarterly checkpoints are being implemented to review progress on key projects, affirm goals and milestones for the coming quarter and weigh the impact of any new developments on council priorities.

“Council has taken an active role in determining the vision of the city,” said City Manager Jerry Flannery. “The level of active involvement we saw in this process is unmatched by any jurisdiction in my experience and they should be applauded for that.”

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