As I write this week’s mayor’s minute, I am reminded that it was exactly a year ago you elected me to the office of Mayor in Cheyenne. I cannot believe it has already been a year since that perfect day. I would like to thank you for this opportunity and tell you that I am loving this experience. The relationships with the city council and the public has been the best part, and I appreciate the patience and support you have shown me. Really looking forward to what the next three years will bring to the job and our city.
I am humbled and appreciative of the support this county gave the Sixth Penny Sales Tax on Tuesday. $128 million was approved by the voters, and it will help us transform our county over the next five years. Commissioner Malm did such a nice job leading our committee. He and Councilman Rinne went all over the community educating folks on what is on the ballot and why they were put there. As I told our staff on Wednesday, now the work begins. We have to perform, and we will. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
One piece of good news for the week is our airport has reopened for commercial passenger service. I stopped by a day before service was restored after the repaving of the runway, and they were busy getting the final touches on everything. While I was there, I recorded a greeting for arriving passengers. Hope to make them feel welcome upon landing. Commercial passenger service is important to our city, and I am happy we are back in the business.
You have all heard about the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the $12 million dollars Cheyenne was awarded to help our city. I have wanted to make sure we are very deliberate in how we invest the money. We have spent some of the money to take care of our employees, and we plan on holding a series of work sessions with our city departments to understand their needs so we can properly deploy these dollars. We had our first one, and heard from our public works department, compliance department, fire department, and police department. They shared some of the deferred maintenance and projects they have prioritized. We have a few more work sessions scheduled and then the governing body will work to prioritize our list.
I always like a celebration, and last Friday we promoted six very deserving police officers. Sergeants Durante and Long were promoted to Lieutenant. I told you about them coming to interview me on my views on how we can prevent property crime. I was so impressed with both officers and their suggestions. We also promoted four officers to Sergeants. Officers Johnson, Reiber, Norris, and Zabriskie were all promoted, and it was fun to see their families and loved ones there to support them.
The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce took over the Christmas Parade many years ago from Marie Crader. Thank you, Marie, for your vision. It is a lot of work and I so appreciate all they have done to grow our parade to be a premier event every year. We met to discuss how we can make it more friendly to the folks coming to watch, and for the Chamber to put it on. I am so proud of our staff for being open to making changes and supporting this great event. I hope you will mark November 27th on your schedule and come enjoy the Christmas Parade in downtown Cheyenne. You can buy a poinsettia from the Chamber to support the parade, please give them a call.
Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) is always looking to improve the visitor experience. Parking has been a challenge for as long as I can remember. We have a dream of using the closed golf course on the west side of the interstate on the Air Force Base and building a bridge over I-25 to CFD. Simple idea, but very complicated to do. We met with officials from CFD, the base, WYDOT, city, and the private sector to get the project started. CFD is one of the largest tourist events in our state, and we want to help it grow and flourish.
I love sports and am ashamed to admit I have never attended a game at Laramie County Community College (LCCC). Judy and I fixed that on Monday. We attended the first home game for the women and men’s basketball teams. The ladies were tenacious and played great team ball. They beat the Air Force Prep Club team. The men were athletic and so dang tall. I felt diminutive standing next to the 6’ 10” guys. They were dominant and beat 24th ranked Northeastern Junior College. If you enjoy good basketball, we have two great teams right here in Cheyenne. Give them a try, it was a blast.
I love our employees, and at times we have to say goodbye to some of them. I was pleased to join in the retirement recognition of Michael Martin who retired from our compost facility. It was great to meet the crew, and to thank Michael and his wife for their service to our community. I wish them much happiness in their next phase of life.
We are preparing to test for the fire department battalion chief positions. I met with Lt. Durante to discuss his assigned project as part of the testing process. Where to place our new fire stations is what he is challenged to answer, and we had a great discussion on the subject. Now that the Sixth Penny proposition authorizing the new stations has passed, it is not just a theoretical exercise. I am impressed with the thoughtfulness of his planning and look forward to the final product.
I had the privilege to join Governor Mark Gordon, Buck McVeigh his chief of staff, and Tom Cobb our city engineer for lunch to discuss a regional grant request Tom is working on that would lead to rail service from Cheyenne to Pueblo, Colorado. This grant involves the cities in northern Colorado and Cheyenne. I am proud of our city engineer for working to get the cities in northern Colorado to sign on in support of this endeavor. If you have driven I-25 south lately, you know how amazing this rail service could be. I will let you know how the grant comes out.
Wednesday was not a red-letter day for me. I had my third colonoscopy. If you have been through the experience, you know the prep is not fun. I will tell you Cori, Matt, and Dr. Kranz made the experience the best it could be. We found a 10mm polyp that if left unchecked could have ended badly. I would encourage everyone to not procrastinate and get checked, it might just save your life!
I have been touring manufacturing plants since I became Mayor. Thursday, I joined the grand opening of TBC Manufacturing in the business park. They moved to Cheyenne from Colorado and are known across the country for manufacturing the tools used to bend tubing that is used in the making of many kinds of products by other companies. I was again amazed by the companies we have here in Cheyenne. The use of technology and computerization is just not something I expected, but it is here and in abundance. It is exciting to hear how much Jeff, Karri, and Madison love Cheyenne and Wyoming.
Heading to Laramie on Saturday to watch our beloved Pokes beat CSU. Go Pokes!!