Planning for the Future
There was a pop song from the early 1970s by folk singer Melanie that is apropos for what I have to say in this year-end blog. Maybe you remember some of the lyrics:
I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key
I think we should get together and try them out you see
Well, we have new desk chairs for the CML staff, and we have two new colleagues sitting in those new chairs.
Morgan Cullen is the newest member of our lobbying team, joining Kevin Bommer (who expertly directs our statehouse activity), Dianne Criswell, and Meghan Dollar. Morgan has a very strong background in municipal economic development out of Aurora, and also worked for my old pal and fellow Capitol denizen, former Gov. Bill Owens.
Tami Yellico is our newest chief justice over Colorado municipal law, as our municipal legal services manager. This is a new position I created to provide an even sharper focus on the needs of our esteemed and valued municipal law community in the state. She has a 25-year background in the practice of local government law. As they say, she has the “chops.”
We are lucky to have them join our family, and I am excited to have you meet them.
Here at the League, we join your cities and towns in honoring the past while planning for the future. (Look at what Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe and his great city recently did by buying the iconic Tabor Opera House. Leadville wants to preserve its past by investing in its future. This is what I’m talking about.)
Since 1923, CML has provided advocacy, information, and training for the betterment of Colorado cities and towns. In support of that legacy, we have a strategic plan that guides CML for the future. I am proud of the effort that my staff colleagues and board members have put into it. Honoring our past, we are planning for the future.
I recently shared my 2017 vision with the CML Executive Board, so very capably guided by our president, Montrose City Manager Bill Bell. Not to be presumptuous, I thought you might be interested:
- I am excited to help Tami continue to build a solid foundation for the League within the municipal law area. She has unbounded energy and is brimming with ideas in her efforts to reach out to municipal lawyers statewide, and she will help recommit CML to serve in new and interesting ways the needs of these men and women who we all rely upon for sage advice and direction.
- We plan a remodel of the library area, and are calling the project “building for the future.” This is a high priority for me. We plan to construct additional meeting and office space, as well as a recording studio, where we can record our webinars, produce our videos, and expand into other areas, such as podcasts. The architects are lined up and I expect the project to get underway in June.
- Our strategic plan will continue to be refined and implemented. We are in its fourth year, and have implemented many changes. It has a focus on advocacy, member engagement, training, research, information, and leadership. Our municipal research revamp with Mark Radtke at the helm is but one tangible result of the plan. I remain totally focused on it. Kudos to Kevin in overseeing it all.
- Our municipal research functions should always have a focus on best practices, and I will be searching for new ways to enhance that with our Research Committee, chaired by Buena Vista Town Administrator Brandy Reiter, who is a municipal administrator rock star.
- We have a new federal administration, and I am looking forward to forging new partnerships and seeking new opportunities with President-elect Donald Trump on behalf of our great Colorado cities and towns. I personally wish him all the very best of success in his endeavors. And, I hope over time he gets to meet and know the true problem solvers in public service, all of you!
As we approach the new year of 2017, these are things within the friendly confines of CML that I am looking forward to, and I would love your feedback. As you know, I always enjoy my visits to your communities so let’s plan some in the coming months.
One final thing, I want to remind you about our Municipal Hero awards program. Be sure to make your nominations by March 3.
Enjoy a wonderful holiday season, and the very best to each of you in the new year ahead. I value your leadership and support of CML.