Hello Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you had a safe and happy holiday season, and I wish you and your family a positive 2017. I wanted to share with you a few updates below.
Budget– City Council passed a balanced budget for fiscal year 2017. Sales tax revenues have increased the past few years, allowing the City to continue to invest in service and operational delivery. The City also continues to invest in capital funds and reserves as well. Retail marijuana sales remain a significant revenue stream, but the uncertainty of this experiment has kept those revenues outside of our operational fund. With the transition of a new federal administration on the horizon, we shall pay close attention to their policy goals in this area. Over the next year and beyond, below are a few goals that have been discussed that will require significant budgetary allowances.
- Civic Center- The process, maturation, and completion of the civic center will be the prime fiduciary and staffing priority over the next year and beyond. I will expound upon this project in its own section.
- Police Department-The City has increased police department salaries over the past year and has been replacing the patrol vehicle fleet for better performance, efficiency and longevity. A 360 degree assessment was conducted in the fall, and Council will be reviewing the assessment this Thursday. We have an awesome chief in John Mackey and awesome officers that are committed to the safety and well-being of the community. Further investment will allow continued training, recruitment and retention of officers and staff. Consistency and continuity of the entire police department will help us reach our goals. One such goal is expanding Community Policing efforts. I am of the opinion that Community Policing practices are a leading component of criminal justice reform that municipalities can implement to create and strengthen relationships on all levels. For more information on such practices, please visit the website HERE. A new records management system and regional dispatch efforts that are becoming a reality will also fiscally impact the goals and efforts of the department for the foreseeable future.
- Transportation Plan- Council has made it a goal, upon ratification this Thursday, to plan and implement multi-model mobility, accessibility and safety improvements. As the entire metro area and Sheridan corridor experiences substantial economic growth, so shall we experience an uptick in traffic and congestion. From installing crosswalks to implementing traffic calming measures, from parking to upgrading bike lanes, and all the way down to the walkability of our neighborhood streets, these goals can possibly be met incrementally and/or comprehensively over the next few years.
- Bonds/Sale of Property- Two bond obligations of the City shall be ending in 2018 and 2020 and will free up substantial revenue. Upon the completion of the civic center, the impending sale of the current city hall and fire station (25th & Gray St.) will also impact the fiscal outlook of the City. More on these later…..
In summation, Edgewater is in pretty good shape but continues to see significant needs and desires to improve our overall quality of life. Our City Manager HJ Stalf is a budget guru, and his leadership to balance our fiscal needs with our desires has been vital in the progress of our fair city. The Neighborhood Gazette published a good article on the budget and can be seen HERE. Furthermore, you can access the City’s website and review the budget in detail HERE.
As always, the above statements are mine, and only reflect my opinions of discussions and priorities. No official action is taken without the express will of Council, but I look forward to the maturation of the common vision of the community over the next few years.
Upcoming Legislation – Council will be reviewing parking issues this month, in particular the eastern area of 25th Ave. and Ames St. Parking has increasingly become an issue across the entire City, and Council will begin to deliberate on mitigating these issues. This issue will be ongoing and Council desires a measured process, so please be patient as these deliberations continue throughout the year.
Civic Center – The civic center will be the main priority for 2017. The first component of the process is signing intergovernmental agreements (IGA) with our partners. These partners include Jefferson County, Jeffco Public Library, and Jeffco Open Space. The Civic Center design contract will also be another component on the front end of the process. Many community members have expressed a strong desire to include energy-efficient and “green” standards into the design and construction. I do believe it is Council’s desire to include upfront as much as we can fiscally afford, with the idea of upgrading efficiency of the building as technology and funding advances. Please be on the lookout for an official City release of information to give a formative timeline.
Mayor Town Hall and HEALthy Edgewater – I will be hosting a community town hall this Monday, January 9th at the Plaza (2250 Eaton St.) from 5:30pm-7:30pm. We shall be discussing Government 101 (our governmental structure) and citizen “wish list” for Edgewater in the coming year and beyond. As always, this is my event and not an official City event. The intention of this gathering is to promote positive and interactive communication and discussion.
Please join fellow community members at the HEALthy Edgewater meeting on Tuesday, January 9th, at the Edgewater Collective office (5220 W. 25th Ave. next door to Coda Coffee) to discuss this year’s goals and continuing vision.
Lastly, I want to thank everybody who has stepped up to shovel the sidewalks. It’s awesome to see neighbors helping neighbors! Thank you for reading this lengthy e-mail, and I duly appreciate your time. As always, please feel free to contact me. I am always available to meet up as well as conduct correspondence over multiple communicational lines.