Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 State of Commerce City by Mayor Paul Natale

Good morning – and thank you Jerry for your kind introduction. You have truly provided outstanding stewardship for our community. We know that you like to give the recognition to your team, but we understand that you are the catalyst and incubator for our successes. We all value the leadership and energy you bring to our organization.
Welcome one and all to Commerce City’s 2010 State of the City event. I’m Mayor Paul Natale, and it is my pleasure to announce that the state of our City is strong!

I have variety of positive things to share with you this morning, while acknowledging that our community does face challenges.

Our challenges are not insurmountable, and with the contributions of your elected representatives on City Council, and the hard working members of City Staff, I’m sure that 2010 will prove to be a banner year for our community.

Acknowledgement of Guests
Before I go too far, I need to acknowledge that we are honored this morning by the presence of:
• Mayor Pro tem and Ward IV Councilwoman Tracey Snyder
• Ward I Councilman Dominick Moreno
• Ward II Councilman Jim Benson
• Ward III Councilwoman Jadie Carson
• At Large Councilwoman Kathy Teter
• At Large Councilman Tony Johnson
• At Large Councilman Jason McEldowney
• At Large Councilman Rene Bullock
Thank you all for your service to our community.
We also welcome friends and colleagues from Adams County, including:
• District 1 Commissioner Skip Fischer
• District 2 Commissioner Alice Nichol
• District 3 Commissioner Larry Pace
• Sheriff Doug Darr

We are also honored by the presence of many of our City Staff, including:
• City Manager Jerry Flannery
• Deputy City Manager Nanette Neelan
• Deputy City Manager Tom Acre
• Judge David Juarez
• Police Chief Philip Baca
• City Clerk Laura Bauer
• Public Works Director Gregg Clements
• City Attorney Bob Gehler
• Information Technology Director John Howard
• Parks and Recreation Director Carolyn Keith
• Community Planning and Development Director Brian McBroom
• Economic Development Director Brittany Morris
• Human Resources Director Heather Spencer
• Finance Director Roger Tinklenberg

Thank you all for being here this morning.

I wish I had time to mention everyone on our City’s staff, but we only budgeted catering for a light continental breakfast… (not lunch, dinner and breakfast again tomorrow).

I hope you all understand that we appreciate the dedication and level of service that you provide our customers – the residents and businesses of Commerce City. Thank you all for being here.

Finally, I’d like to welcome those of you who are watching this event via the Internet – Commerce City has made great strides this year in technologies that make our government more transparent, more accessible and more efficient. Again, to those of you watching online - thank you, and welcome.

Introduction of Themes
In thinking about what I wanted to share with you this morning, a thousand things came to mind:
• Welcoming the many new businesses that have come to call our community home
• The accomplishment of a fully-staffed police department – the first time that can be said in Commerce City in two decades,
• Infrastructure and intersection improvements taking place across the City,
The list goes on, but I guess what I want to focus on today is three things:
• Opportunity,
• Boldness, and
• The value of planning
English philosopher Sir Francis Baker noted that we must make opportunities as often as we find them.
I tend to agree.

The Greeks and Romans had a common proverb that, roughly translated (Don’t worry – out of respect for the language I won’t try to pronounce it in Latin) – is Fortune favors the bold.
I tend to agree.

When it comes to planning for success, others have noted that if you fail to plan you plan to fail.
Again, I tend to agree.

I’m proud that our City has taken a bold, proactive approach to making our own opportunities, and through careful planning we’ve weathered what we hope is the worst of the Great Recession. Commerce City is well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities we’ve made for ourselves in 2010 and beyond.

Review of 2009’s Forecast
One year ago, I stood here and shared exciting developments and milestones for our City. First and foremost, we’re committed to constantly improving the state of health and public safety in our community.

Also, we spend a great deal of our time focusing on economic development. We’ve paid close attention to improving the City’s image and enhancing our community’s identity, which has helped us all grow. We recognize also that that a healthy business environment and happy residents form a powerful symbiotic relationship; together they – and we – are stronger. Effective transportation systems are important for the viability of any long-term economic strategy – we focused on improving our transportation systems in 2009 and these continue to help drive our economic engine.

Among the final items I spoke of last year was the need for belt tightening on the City’s budget. This recession has required our residents and businesses to be careful with scarce dollars, and the City was no different. This included a careful look at ensuring the mix of city services was in-line with economic realities. We know that worthy intent is not enough – we must measure our success by the outcomes of our efforts.

Speaking of outcomes, the outcomes of our thoughtful planning have contributed greatly to our current positive position on many levels. While our City is better off economically than many of our neighbors along the Front Range, economic realities have made rivalries and competition even fiercer.

I still believe the statement I made during last year’s State of the City Address that no one is going to bring anything to us, and we have to make our own opportunities. In going out and finding it ourselves, we’ve scored many major successes in the past 12 months.

Let me share with you some of our proudest achievements…

2009-2010 Accomplishments
For many, 2009 – 2010 could go down as one tough year. When you hunker down whether as an individual or a community, the tendency is to withdraw and go into survival mode. We’ve been fortunate in Commerce City to reap the benefits of the planning and thoughtfulness of our forefathers. We are a city that thrives because of its great neighborhoods and residents, and we thrive because of the engaged businesses that comprise our commercial community. Thanks to the both of them 2009 – 2010 was a year where we didn’t just survive, we moved forward with a number of initiatives that continue to demonstrate that Commerce City is a quality community not just in the good times, but for a lifetime!

Proof is in the pudding, as they say, and let me tell you why my enthusiasm for Commerce City is undimmed. First, it’s about faith – and not just the faith demonstrated by the nearly 10 new churches that opened in our community last year. It is faith that your local government is giving back, making its residents lives better.

• It is not often in this economy that you can literally give back, but that is just what the Quality Community Foundation did last year, awarding $100,000 to outstanding organizations like The Lord’s Pantry, Senior Hub, Community Enterprise and Community Health Services to name a few. We know that the money City Council allocated will be matched 10-fold to provide services to those in our community who need it most. I’d like to take a moment to recognize the members of the Quality Community Foundation who were tasked with reviewing applications that far exceeded the dollars available and making the tough decisions about where the money went:
o Tilman Adair
o Daniel Alire
o Brian Barnhard
o Andy Goad
o Josh Knight
o Julie Martinez
o Debbie Mitchell
o Shannon Morales
o Carol Taylor-Boyd
o Roger Tinklenberg
Thank you all for your commitment to the success of this program!

• To give you an idea about the generosity of your city employees, in 2008, they donated more than 12,000 food items to the local food bank. In 2009, that number rose to 27,000. Even better, the quantity of food items was matched by the Adams County Food Bank.
• Your city employees are involved in many other charity and worthwhile events, volunteering their own time to make Commerce City a better place to live.
o A great example of that is our Neighborhood Services division whose employees worked with various non-profits like Rebuilding Together and Fight for Air to help improve our community.
• I’m also proud to recognize Neighborhood Services for its continued attention to its aggressive graffiti removal program. Over the past year, they reduced the cost to remove graffiti from private properties in the City by more than 20 percent. The cost savings was the result of our inspectors removing certain types of graffiti on the spot, as opposed to turning every case over to the City’s removal contractor.
o Overall enforcement activity has increased by more than 50 percent over the past year, despite the division’s three fewer inspectors than it did 18 months ago.
o The entire Neighborhood Services team of inspectors achieved national certification last year. This is the first time that our inspectors have been nationally certified.
• In Commerce City we care about the families who are the fabric of our community. As such, we were the only 9Health Fair to take place in the fall and focus on family care. The City was and is a major sponsor of this event that drew more than 3,000 adults and 750 children during the course of two days. Citizens took advantage of the fair and received basic health screenings including low-cost blood screenings, flu shots, immunizations and dental exams. These can be life changing events, for example: one woman came to the fair for an annual exam, and she also signed up for a session with a mental health professional. In her meeting with the counselor, she confessed she was really looking for help getting out of an abusive relationship. I’m so grateful that she came to the event and was able to change her life for the better… And hers is just one story of many.
• We are also so grateful to have Salud and Community Health Services in Commerce City to provide day-to-day healthcare. Both are new facilities. Salud opened a fabulous new clinic just across the street from where we are today. Community Health Services benefited from the partnership between the city and Adams County District 14, opening a state-of-the-art clinic in the new Adams City High School. And by the way, what a tremendous school and wonderful learning environment we have for our children!

My enthusiasm is also about foresight, and laying the ground work for programs and initiatives that will provide opportunities in the future. We were fortunate to have successes in 2009-2010 because of the planning and thinking of our predecessors to ensure that our city continues on the right track.
• Adams City High School didn’t just happen; it grew out of the innovative public/private partnership that created the Prairie Gateway.
• Our planning for better infrastructure paid off last year, as construction of segments of the 104th Avenue improvement plan were completed from just east of Highway 2 to E-470. Design and right-of way acquisition continued for the last segment of 104th Avenue between the O’Brian Canal and Belle Creek Boulevard for which construction is slated in 2010. Commerce City worked with Adams County to preserve right-of way for the future 120th Avenue and Highway 85 intersection improvements. Because of this planning, our citizens are more connected than ever!
• The same foresight that helped us plan Pioneer Park has now been rewarded. We don’t have just a fantastic park, we have an award-winning park. When compared to cities that have turned off street lights or stopped mowing parks and common areas, consider how fortunate we were to be able to add the Prairie Gateway Trail and Overlook to the recreational amenities enjoyed by our citizens.
• Derby continues to see the benefits of our long-time planning in revitalizing our historic core. The City recently launched programs that support façade improvements as well as improve pedestrian connectivity. All of this better enhances the experience our shoppers and others have in this area.
• For some time, we have been working with Wal-Mart to open a store in the Northern Range. I’m pleased to announce we now know that planning will come to fruition. Building permit applications were received by the City on Wednesday, May 5, for a new Super Wal-Mart on 104th and Tower. Total floor area is expected to be about 185,000 square feet. Of that, 11,500 will be grocery (yes, a grocery store!), 3,300 sf will be the garden center and the remainder will be general retail space. I’d like to recognize the executive team at Shea Homes and the team at Wal-Mart for making this project happen. Welcome to Commerce City!
Opportunity also comes to those who listen, those who hear how we can continue to better serve our residents and our businesses. Today, I am thrilled to show you several very exciting programs for the City and for the community we serve.
• We listened closely when builders and developers told us there was a better way to schedule inspections. In October we launched C3Inspect, an automated system to schedule the inspections the City requires as part of the permitting process. Builders can go on-line or call an automated phone line which will tell them the exact inspections their project requires and allow them to schedule those inspections at a time of their convenience.
• For those dying to know the very ins and outs of City Council (and I know there are tons of you!), we have began to stream City Council meetings live on the Internet. Every Monday night you can go to the city’s website at and watch your local government in action. (I’ve heard several folks wish this was available during last year’s football season, as most Council sessions had more entertainment value than the games shown on Monday Night Football.)
In all seriousness, we want to thank Dusty McIntyre for showing us this is of interest and value to the community.
If you don’t want to watch meetings live, you can pull up archived videos of our meetings on our website; just click on an agenda item and watch the section of the meeting that interests you.
• You’ve told us that you still want easier access to information. As a result, finding through the bureaucracy of city government also got a little bit easier with the new interactive map function we launched this year on the Web. Today, you can go to our website, type in your address and find out what ward you live in, what schools and parks are in the area, and what the zoning is on your property, among other facts.
• Listening closely to our citizens also taught us that our website had not kept up with the times. On the screens to my left and right you are seeing a sneak peak of our brand new City website that launches next week. City departments spent the past six months rewriting and updating 350 pages of text and almost 1,500 documents that live on the City’s current site.
o The navigation buttons and drop-down menus provide information quickly – most often within three clicks of your mouse.
o News feeds, customized calendars and Notify Me functions allow visitors to register to receive information right to their in-box.
I’d like to recognize the Web Development Team for completing this project quickly and delivering such a quality product. Will the following people please stand and be recognized.
Brian Laws – Project Manager
Project Managers:
Tawnya Westby
Barbara Getter
Ross Hilker

o Contributors:
Jenny Axmacher
Laura Bauer
Terri Brown
Farrell Buller
Alan Colon
Lynn DeJiacomo
Pam Downs
Kayla Fender
Lisa Gallegos
Amy Hendricks
Michelle Hill
Charles Manes
Laura Marrone
Shirley Messick
Lisa Nordholt
Rae Dawn Olbert
Chuck Saunier
Heather Spencer
Heather Voegele
Your efforts are a fine example of how multiple departments can work together effectively. This project should serve as an example to all. I’m excited for next week’s launch of the new site – it will increase transparency of our government, improve our efficiency and make it easier for the residents we serve to access City services.

• The City has been very active in Economic Development this year. In this very tough economy, we took time to listen to our businesses and their customers. We conducted a Broker Tour to learn more about how we can help each other achieve success. We finalized a Retail Gap Analysis that identified where and what our residents and businesses spend their money on, and we now use this information when actively attempting to attract retailers to fill these gaps.
• This January we hosted the City’s first Commerce City Business and Development Summit which was designed to provide businesses and developers the opportunity to help direct our future business and development efforts. Participants told us what they like about doing business in Commerce City and where they saw room for improvement. The Summit spawned the Business Advancement Taskforce and I am pleased to announce that last night, City Council approved the recommendations of the Business Advancement Taskforce for both short-term and long-term recommendations. The resolution is scheduled next Monday night to officially approve these recommendations. I support these recommendations that will benefit every component of our economy!

This program will benefit new and existing businesses, retail, homeowners, and homebuilders by providing tax rebates and fee waivers designed to spur economic growth. Thanks to the BAT (as we affectionately call them) who have been working with us.
o Les Burch, Sashco
o Jimmy Burds, Colographic
o Maria Carabajal, Commerce City Business and Professionals Association
o Larry Cornell, Phil Foster and Company
o Kristi Douglas, Good Living Real Estate
o Barry Gore, Adams County Economic Development
o Brian Henesey, Rocky Mountain Recycling
o Jenice Houg (H ow g), Houg Special Services
o Bob Loew, Fairfield and Woods
o Ben Martinez, El Jardin Restaurant
o Matthew Noteboom, LG Everist
o Anthony Stelatto, Little Mustard Seed Market
o Mike Wafer, Grub and Ellis
• The long-term recommendations they’ve come up with include:
o Creation of an "Ambassadors Program" where one person in the city works with the business or developer from start to finish in the development review process
o Research to develop a revolving loan fund to assist small businesses with upfront costs
o Host a series of "on the road" workshops for local businesses to learn about the tax auditing procedure and answer questions
o Communicate to the business community in a monthly Economic Development newsletter
o Attract vocational schools that have technical programs that support existing and targeted industries
• The Business and Development Summit also provided the opportunity for the City to look at how it does business. We created the CAT, Customer Service Advancement Taskforce (what is it about government and our love for acronyms!).
The CAT was charged with identifying specific items we could implement to improve the level of customer service we provide to those doing business in Commerce City.

I figured they’d come up with a dozen or so. They came up with more than 100 comments and 47 action items. Of these, more than half were tagged for immediate implementation. They include everything from improving signage at City facilities so people can more easily find what they are looking for, to cross-training staff between departments so that we can better answer the questions someone doing business with us might have. All I have to say is get out of the way of this group, as they are motivated to make the City the most customer-service friendly place in the metro area. I want to recognize their hard work to date. Will the following CAT members please stand:
o Co-Chairs Brian McBroom and John Howard
o Candice Alexander
o Camilla Bradford
o Rita Bustos
o Kathy Dean
o Perry Edman
o Lisa Gallegos
o Paul Hebinck
o Denise Kaza
o Janet Keesey
o Priscilla Moncosky
o Tatiana Meisner
o Shirley Messick
o Chad Redin
o Jeanette Reyes
o Steve Timms
o Lyndsy Willette
This type of bold action is also what defined our year and another reason why opportunities continue to come to Commerce City. And they are not the only ones.

• If you want to talk about bold, let’s talk about Rentech. Rentech is one of Commerce City’s most innovative businesses. They’re in renewable energy, and they’ve been perfecting a process that makes synthetic jet fuel. Rentech reached a major milestone this year when their fuel was tested on a commercial airliner flight. They say there are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots. I’m not sure of the age of the people on the flight deck that day, but renewable energy is a bold new arena. We salute this Commerce City business – just one of many – that are on the cutting edge.

• When the economy was struggling, it would have been easier to sit back and wait for the tides to change. We understand, however, that opportunities are more often made than found. When our developer partners started feeling the pinch, we answered the call. Commerce City created a Developer’s Stimulus Package that purchased water credits from developers, which helped the City by securing water credits for the future and helped developers with their financial burden so they could weather this economic storm. This was a win-win arrangement – something we’d all support seeing more of!
• Speaking of our developer community, we’re grateful that they seem to have survived a very difficult time, indeed. Commerce City was one of the first communities to enter into the recession in regards to housing, and we’ll also be among the first to exit it. How do I know this? In 2009, the City issued a total of 130 building permits. If the trend established in the first five months of 2010 continues, we’ll issue 240 this year. Builders like Shea Homes with their highly popular new product Shea Space, the nearly sold out River Oaks Development, KB Homes, Carapace and others who have joined our community are to be commended.
• To our new businesses like Aaron Rents, Benson’s BBQ, McDonald's, Yum Asian Fusion and Sushi, 7-11, and the Northern Range's first office complex (which recently broke ground and will open later this year, as well as the groundbreaking we expect this summer on the second office building) – welcome! We are thrilled that you have chosen to make Commerce City your home.
• Likewise, we are pleased to have recently completed the annexation of Mile High Marketplace into the City. As long-time neighbors of ours, and as the parcel that serves as the gateway into Commerce City, we were pleased to accomplish this mutually-beneficial annexation.
o My compliments to the Community Development Department, Economic Development, City Manager’s Office and the City Attorney’s Office who completed the annexation in just a few short months. For perspective, typical annexations and annexation zoning processes typically take six months or more.
o We’re excited to add this dynamic flea market, farmer’s market and performance venue to the roster of great Commerce City businesses. Welcome to all of you!
• We are privileged to have other great businesses in our community
o Like Rocky Mountain Natural Meats and Rocky Mountain Urgent Care - named in 2009 as two of 50 Colorado Companies to Watch by ColoradoBiz Magazine.
o Also, Community Interiors Inc. was named as the 29th top ranked woman-owned business.
o It was also announced recently that Commerce City’s own Bob Dineen from Rocky Mountain Natural Meats and John Griffith from Alpine Waste and Recycling are finalists for Ernst & Young’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
o Congratulations to all of you!
• I also want to mention that using City-sponsored incentives we incentivized both Douglas Roofing and FedEx Ground as existing businesses to stay and grow their businesses in Commerce City. Thank you!
• Looking inside the City, the investments we’ve made in our staff are paying dividends. Many have taken leadership positions and/or been recognized by their peers in professional organizations, so I wanted to mention them today.
o Police Chief Phil Baca was recently appointed to two positions by Governor Ritter – the Colorado Gaming Commission and the Governor’s Community Corrections Advisory Council. Stand up, Chief – and congratulations!
o City Clerk Laura Bauer was selected by her peers to serve as the vice president of the Colorado Municipal Clerk’s Association. Congratulations, Laura! Please stand and be recognized.
o Of all the court clerks in Adams County, Lynn Di Jockamo was selected as Municipal Court Clerk of the Year. Lynn, please stand and be recognized. Well done, and keep up the great work!
o Carolyn Keith in our Parks and Recreation Department is the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association's liaison to Colorado Municipal League.
o Community Development Director Brian McBroom is the CML Planning Officials Section Chair, was a presenter at the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association Annual Conference in October of last year and will present at the Colorado Municipal League’s Annual Conference in June. Brian – please stand?
o Heather Spencer, our Human Resource Director was elected by her peers to serve as President of the Colorado Public Human Resources Association. Congratulations, Heather – let’s hear it for her!
o In the Police Department, Detective Derek Aragon and Acting Sergeant Dan McCoy were named officers of the year by Adams County.
o Also, Detective Dave Bores earned his Drug Recognition Expert Certification – advanced training that enables him to identify when an individual may be under the influence of drugs. Congratulations Detective Bores, one of just 100-or-so law enforcement officers in the state and the first in Commerce City to have this skill set. Detective Aragon, Sergeant McCoy and Detective Bores – please stand and be recognized.
• When our staff our honored like this, it validates the work and the programs that we do. Take the significant investment our police department has made in securing your safety. Thanks to our new substation at Holly Park, new training and certification in drug recognition, our new ability to scan license plates and the addition of four staff members, crime rates in Commerce City are down. Comparing 2009 to 2008, crimes against persons were down 14.7 percent, while crimes against property were down 13.6 percent. Thank you Chief Baca and the rest of the Commerce City Police Department for your service and for keeping us safe!
All of this in a year where so many struggled, Commerce City has been defined by new opportunities. But we are not content to rest on our successes. Just as our forefathers had the vision to lay the foundation for the future, we are doing the same.
Planning Beyond 2010
• City Council recently passed our Comprehensive Plan, which creates the guiding principles for future development 10, 20, even 50 years from now.
Imagine a community that considers the job-to-housing ratios in development; a community with a developed strategy for attracting higher education so businesses have the educated workforce they need within our City boundaries. The Comp Plan establishes the sustainable framework in which we will continue to plan for new opportunities for Commerce City residents to live, work, play and learn. While the entire planning staff was involved, Chris Cramer and Steve Timms deserve special recognition. Will the two of you please stand?
Special thanks to the many other divisions such as Parks and Recreation and Communications for their hard work on such an outstanding and time consuming effort. Please stand and be recognized.
• Part of that vision is a community that supplements its current budget by actively pursuing state and federal funding for the projects our city needs. In fact, we are already moving full steam ahead on that one. The four additional police officers added this year were with funding received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

We added a full-time grants position, which will enable Commerce City to be more aggressive (and more successful) at securing coveted grant dollars. As of this moment, Commerce City has received $336,862 in grants in 2010 and has applied for more than $1,831,195.

This is another example of Commerce City making our opportunities instead of passively waiting for them to come our way. The Second Creek Trail, a popular nature area in our City, was made possible thanks to Senator Udall’s request for funding. Additionally Senator Salazar’s involvement in helping fund the access road will make the Visitor Center at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge a reality. Our successes working with our Senators can also be seen in our relationships with our representatives.

Congressman Ed Perlmutter has included two Commerce City projects in his formal 2011 Appropriations Funding Requests, including $700,000 for state-of-the-art equipment to allow our police department to communicate with other jurisdictions. Congressman Perlmutter and Congresswoman Diana DeGette requested $1.25 million for the on-ramp from Tower Road to Pena Boulevard.

Special thanks to both of our representatives for their continued support of our community. While we know these allocations are not guaranteed to survive the legislative process, we appreciate the effort.
• Passing the first ever Commerce City Economic Development Strategic Plan was another monumental moment in the city’s history and again establishes a framework for our future. The document complements the Comp Plan and focuses on business, attraction, retention and job growth in five target industries:
o DIA technology which includes time-sensitive manufacturing/distribution and business facilities that require intense hotel and exhibition complexes.
o Advanced manufacturing like renewable energy, aerospace and medical device manufacturing.
o Logistics and distribution that includes supply chain management and warehousing.
o Businesses and professional services like regional offices and technical support facilities.
o Retail, hospitality and leisure to bring dining, entertainment and sports-related retail to the city.
I want to recognize Economic Development Director Brittany Morris for her work in the past 12 months on the Strategic Plan and other initiatives that are earning Commerce City a reputation as one of the most business-friendly cities in Colorado.
Brittany and her staff – please stand and be recognized. Thank you for your hard work – keep it up!
• The work the city has done over the past year extends beyond our own borders. Whether that includes:
o Our City Manager’s appointment to the Metro Sports Commission (with a focus on the World Cup 2018 and 2022 hopefully coming to our backyard!), or
o Our participation in the Governor’s Regional Air Quality Council, or
o Our focus on the FasTracks North Metro line which will run from 162nd Avenue to Denver Union Station with a Commerce City station,
Each of these regional efforts, if done right, will be very good for our City!
• We also look forward to working closely with the Colorado Department of Transportation to work through many of Commerce City’s concerns that arose with CDOT’s release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the possible realignment of I-70.
o We’re grateful that there is a process in place where the interests of the City can be incorporated before these important regional planning documents become final.
• Commerce City Chief Baca is a little more than half-way into his four-year strategic plan that he implemented when he came on board two and a half years ago. Chief Baca’s strategy implements the concept of Community Policing, has five goals and multiple strategies for accomplishing these goals. Chief Baca’s approach includes decentralizing the police force’s presence across the City, focusing on community-based policing. His officers are more visible, have an increased presence and decreased response times across the City. These benefits will be even more obvious in 2010 when we add a Northern Substation in a Holly Park storefront. Chief Baca’s new plan is having a fantastic effect on lowering crime rates, and the results speak for themselves.
o In 2009, crimes against people were down 14.7 percent from the previous year. Crimes against property were down 13.6 percent during that same period!
• You’ve likely heard the push by governments from the local level all the way up to our friends in Washington D.C. about how important it is to fill out the census. This is true, as information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent. I’m proud to report today that we’ve improved on our response rate over last time – 75 percent responded via mail, which is 11 percent higher than in 2000. Commerce City is tied for the highest response rate in Adams County and exceeds the state response rate of 70% and the national rate of 72%!
• Commerce City also has its fingers on the national front with several elected officials serving on different committees as part of the National League of Cities, including:
o My role as the Vice Chair of the Internal Committee
o Tracy Snyder’s role on the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Steering Committee
o Kathy Teter’s service as a member of the NOISE (Airplane noise to those of us) committee.
• Finally, I wanted to point out that planning for our future has gone global!
Recently I traveled to Nanning China with Deputy City Manager Neelan to further develop the relationship we started with them two years ago. Officials from Nanning are planning to visit Commerce City in July and have expressed interest in exploring opportunities that could bring additional commercial and industrial growth to our community. I look forward to future international committee exchanges, which bring fresh ideas and fresh capital to be invested in our community.

In Closing
Wrapping up this morning, know that all these efforts set the stage for Commerce City’s success in years to come.

While we still face adversity, I think everyone in this room knows that I see challenges as opportunities. I see debate as healthy, and understand engaging in thoughtful discussion of the issues is where solid plans are made and effective public policy is born.

We’re blessed because fortune truly favors the bold; something we’ve no shortage of in our city. I remind you that worthy intent is not enough; we must measure our success by the outcomes of our efforts – understanding all the while that opportunities are not found, they are made.

I challenge everyone in this room and across the City to make the next 12 months more than what you expect. Plan for your personal success and happiness while you work to make our City and community better. Seek and seize the opportunity that would make Sir Francis Baker proud.

Thank you.


  1. not bad, i thought it was going to be all bad news. not bad

  2. booo to detective of the year bad decision but they can get away with everything and so he did lame lame lame thats why i moved out the S#$%^ whole

  3. how could he be detective of the year when he took our loved one from us!! we can never get him back!!!

  4. People who commit crimes must be ready to suffer the consequences. Sadly their families do as well. Criminals never consider the ripple effects of everyone involved, the victims, their families & friends and the criminals families. In most situations they are thinking only about what they want.