And So Do Reflections
As we approach the end of the year, and with the holiday season very much upon us, it is a good time to reflect and ponder. And I have been doing that quite a bit as I think about my pending retirement at the end of next March after 40 years on the staff of this great organization.
These 40 years have flown by in an instant. While there will be other opportunities for me to reminiscence with you, I do have a few thoughts I would like to share that may be appropriate as we approach the end of 2018:
- On CML. What a great organization! I know I am biased, but for the size of our staff and our budget, I am constantly amazed and humbled at the quality of our work. It is always cutting edge, thoughtful, and impactful in your daily life as a municipal leader. We are on sound financial footing; we have a talented and committed staff; and have a great Executive Board, and have had for many years. Above all, we have near 100% of Colorado’s municipalities as members.
- On municipal governance. Colorado’s cities and towns are robust thanks to strong state constitutional municipal home rule since 1902; a proud tradition of the council-manager system; non-partisanship by state law for municipal officeholders; and an important reliance upon locally raised revenue to guide our own municipal fiscal destiny. I feel that municipal governance is resilient and its foundation unshaken. The last round of elections a few weeks back proved again that there is support for cities and towns as local voters said yes far more than no on a variety of investment questions. The defeat of Amendment 74 was in large part due to the collective voice and wisdom of municipal leaders speaking in a clear and precise manner about its impacts. All of this heartens me greatly.
- On our state-municipal partnership. We have a wonderful relationship with our General Assembly and Governor’s Office , and I anticipate no difference in this partnership with the new state legislature and Governor-elect Jared Polis. Within the legislature, we have 14 former municipal officials, many of whom were active in CML, now serving. House Speaker KC Becker, Senate President Leroy Garcia, and Joint Budget Committee Chair Dominick Moreno are great examples. Shannon Bird just left the CML Executive Board to become a new member of the House. These former municipal leaders are on both sides of the aisle, work well with each other, and are fine and decent people.
- On public service. I join with so many of you who mourn the passing of President George H.W. Bush, who I heard say that his family considered public service to be a noble cause. Those who serve at the local level do one thing better than most, you solve problems. You look for common ground for the greater good of your hometown. Public service at the municipal level is the highest calling. It is indeed a “noble cause.” You represent the best that there is.
I will have much more to say about the past, present, and future in upcoming blog posts, but for now I would like to hear what your reflections are as we wind down the year. What sentiments would you like to share? I find inspiration in every conversation I have with each and every person who is involved with municipal government in Colorado. Let me know when I can come for visit.
A wonderful holiday and all the best in the new year ahead is what I wish for you!