So much has happened since my last newsletter! This newsletter will recap some of that activity and provide more information, but first the usual:
As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas. Please share this email with others who might be interested (they can then request to be added to the list). If you do not wish to continue receiving updates from me, please let me know and I will remove you from the list.
I am having office hours at Animas Chocolate. Please join me and bring your friends. I am looking forward to hearing from you all and having many great discussions!
As a follow-up to my last newsletter concerning safety on 32nd St and my desire to take a holistic approach to safety in that area and not just safety for Animas River Trail users I have attached two renditions of the proposed bridge to my email. I had requested elevations of the bridge plans so that the height of the bridges would be apparent to all. What I received was a design rendition, but I thought that it would be interesting to all of you.
Probably the most challenging event in the last few months has been the City budget for 2020. The financial reporting for the City is very complex and was presented in a format that made it extremely difficult to see the big picture and to verify the accuracy of the numbers.
I voted against the budget and the appropriations ordinance which were riddled with errors (Council passed both 3 – 2). There were several critical and significant aspects to the budget that were a concern to me and were not addressed prior to adoption:
Changes will be made in the coming year both in the budget process and the format of the budget itself. These changes will allow for timely & accurate financial information to be available to the community and to City Council in our quest to make informed decisions that will have a positive impact on the future of Durango.
Thank you to everyone in the community who has applied for a City Advisory Board or Commission! The work that these groups do is invaluable to the Council and to the City. This includes our newest board – the Strategy & Long-term Finance Committee.
City Council hired Slavin Management Consultants, a national search firm, to guide Council in the search for a new City Manager. The consultants have met with Council, individually and as a group. They also met with management level staff and will be engaging the community for input into what the qualities are that will support a successful hire for City Manager. This coming week (and until Jan 20th), the City website will list a link for the community to send ideas directly to the consultants. The next step will be for the consultants to create a profile of the ideal candidate and begin the search for top-level candidates.
The search may take 2 – 3 months, including reviewing applicants, narrowing the field down to the best 8 – 10, doing further research and interviewing to come with the top 3 – 5 candidates. At that point, interviews would occur here in Durango, include “meet & greets” with the community, and a final decision would be made by Council. This is an exciting process and a great opportunity for the community and for the City!
The City will have an Interim Finance Director joining the team in the next few weeks and a search will also be conducted for a Finance Director. It would be most advantageous if the timing allows for the new City Manager to be a decision-maker in that selection.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the misappropriation of City funds is still in progress. The CBI has not released any information to City Staff or Council, but has been thoroughly researching and scrutinizing City records.
City Council will use the results of that investigation to inform a review of policies and procedures for the organization so that the City has systems in place to prevent such activity in the future.
I am sure that it is surprising to everyone how long the investigation is taking (it is to me) – however, we all want it to be thorough and to find everything possible. Council will be very happy to receive the results and be able to move forward to make the City finances more transparent.
Please continue to reach out to me with your ideas, thoughts and concerns; I fully appreciate that I was elected by the people to represent the people. The vitality, health, & prosperity of our community is my priority.
Passion, Patience, and Persistence