Feb. 13, 2012 - State of the City emphasizes long-term sustainability, vision
Contact: Patrick von Keyserling, Communications Manager, 303-441-4959 Sarah Huntley, Media Relations, 303-441-3155
State of the City emphasizes long-term sustainability, vision
City Manager Jane S. Brautigam and Mayor Matt Appelbaum will deliver Boulder’s State of the City presentation at the City Council study session on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The video presentation, which will be broadcast on Boulder Channel 8, highlights strategies the city took in 2011 to reduce city expenses; voter support to explore the city’s energy future and fund critical infrastructure improvements; and initiatives to grow local companies.
Both Appelbaum and Brautigam agreed that 2011 was a year in which Boulder considered issues of enormous scale while taking action to ensure that local government continues to address the daily operational needs of the community.
“The core of Boulder’s long-term sustainability has been the community’s ability to set a vibrant vision for itself while managing those essential functions that maintain a strong foundation on which to build,” said Brautigam. “For the past three years, we have watched the global economy struggle, and Boulder has had to make difficult decisions to implement strategies to reduce expenses and improve efficiencies in how we deliver services.”
She explained that those decisions included transitioning city government to reflect private-sector trends, such as sharing the cost of health insurance with employees, implementing a pay-for-performance compensation model, and adopting a salary structure that aligns with the current employment market.
Mayor Appelbaum emphasized that the city’s focus on core services allowed it to tackle a number of challenging issues that have made Boulder a more vibrant and sustainable community. He said the focus on business retention has helped the local economy endure the impacts of a global recession.
The city’s encouragement of businesses that reflect Boulder’s entrepreneurial spirit gained national attention when the White House selected Boulder as one of the few cities to participate in Start-Up America. Senior officials from the Obama Administration chose Boulder to learn what the federal government could do better and what needed to change at the federal level in order to help companies like those found in Boulder – the gazelle businesses that grow quickly and create jobs – to succeed.
The presentation also highlights priorities in 2012. Voter affirmation of two ballot measures last November allow the city to continue to explore the creation of a municipal electric utility to provide more local control over Boulder’s energy management. That work demands careful analysis to inform future decisions about whether this path is the most financially and strategically viable way to achieve the community's energy objectives.
In 2011, voters also supported the need to maintain Boulder’s infrastructure by voting for a $49 million bond to repair and maintain existing facilities and infrastructure. Those projects began in January and will be completed over the next three years.
Boulder is in a strong position to focus on the community’s long-term visions. City staff is addressing the maintenance issues of city assets, improving parks, adding new trails on Open Space lands and modernizing core functions within the government structure. Both officials emphasized that the city will continue its approach of implementing long-term solutions to providing efficient and effective core services throughout 2012.
The State of the City will be presented on Boulder Channel 8 and in Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway in Boulder, at , Feb. 14. The presentation also will be available for viewing, in its entirety, at: http://vimeo.com/36170801.