Council ponders city’s future
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Could city manager Mike Copp stay longer than seven months before retiring?Should the city’s future revenues focus on chasing sales tax dollars or on strengthening the tourism economy?These are just two of the forward-looking questions raised Wednesday during the Glenwood Springs City Council’s strategic planning meeting. Shortly after the meeting started, Mayor Don Vanderhoof suggested that city manager Mike Copp be asked to stay longer than his April 30, 2004, retirement date.Vanderhoof said that with major changes possible for City Council in the Nov. 4 election and, as always, big decisions facing the city, Copp should consider delaying his retirement until later in 2004 or even into 2005.”I think we should kneel down and beg Mike Copp to stay for another year,” Vanderhoof said. Even though Vanderhoof’s suggestion was echoed by other City Council members several times throughout the course of the meeting, Copp, who seemed surprised by the suggestion, didn’t make any decisions. “I really don’t know at this point,” he said at the end of the meeting. As for longer-range issues, the overarching questions pondered by council could affect every decision made by the city’s leadership from now on. Should the city focus on chasing sales tax dollars by trying to hold on as the region’s shopping hub? Or should city leaders work to preserve the rural atmosphere of Glenwood Springs while neighboring cities and towns let new shopping centers spring up unhindered?”I feel 10 to 20 years down the road, all the surrounding cities are going to have meetings on how to keep their sales tax in,” City Councilman Dan Richardson said. “I think Glenwood has more potential as a tourist town than as a regional shopping center.”Councilman Larry Emery said by building a golf course, kayak park and a swimming pool, City Council is headed in that direction. “This entire recreational package we’re looking at, it fits in with all our goals,” he said. Other topics touched on at the meeting included: -Following in the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s footsteps by trying out the use of “policy governance.” This, Richardson said, could set a list of rules for city staffers that could help City Council avoid micromanaging. -Receiving less specific reports from city department heads – and less often – so council could more easily get a general overview of what’s happening in each department without getting bogged down in the details. -Making City Council’s yearly goals a more visible and important part of monthly business. -Combating leakage of city sales tax.-Making a plan in case the city needs to cut services. Contact Greg Mass: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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