Photo by Daniel J. Chacón
Hoping to improve communication and build collaboration on issues facing the city, Mayor Steve Bach is holding the first of what is expected to be a series of informal meetings with the City Council this Wednesday.
One of the reasons the mayor initiated the meetings is because several council members told him they didn’t feel involved in the “big issues,” Bach said last week.
“Part of what prompted my thought to begin holding these regular all-hands meetings is that several councilors have told me that they don’t feel included in the overall conversation,” he said.
The meeting is called the “Mayor’s Counsel Meeting.”
“I need counsel from them, and I hope they want some counsel from me,” Bach said about the name of the meeting.
The meeting, in Suite 102 of the City Administration Building, starts at 10 a.m. It is open to the public, but no public comments will be taken.
“It’s really intended for the nine members of council and the mayor to have an opportunity to sit around a table and exchange ideas and hopefully to coalesce out of that process a better dialogue so that everyone is in the conversation at the same time,” said Bach, adding that he hopes to build collaboration among council members.
Bach said he envisioned monthly meetings with council but that he was open to meeting more frequently.
“I’m happy to meet more often if that’ll help in terms of building the dialogue,” he said.
The agenda for Wednesday’s 1 1/2-hour meeting includes more than 20 items.
“We won’t get through probably 10 percent of items next Wednesday, but it’ll be a start,” said Bach, whose agenda items are listed first.
The mayor’s agenda items include Memorial Health System negotiations and the governance of Colorado Springs Utilities, among others.
The council’s agenda items include a discussion about redistricting and “ways for City Council members to interact with City staff,” among others.
That last item probably reflects a frustration among some council members, who say their requests to city employees are being ignored.
Here’s the agenda:
Mayor’s Counsel Meeting
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
City Administration Building, Suite 102
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
I. Background and purpose of the meeting
II. Mayor’s agenda topics
a. Strategic plan (incl. community design)
b. Civilian Workers’ Compensation
c. MHS negotiations
d. CSU governance, letter of credit
e. Boards and Commissions
III. Council’s agenda topics
a. Re-districting status
b. Charter review
c. Legislative priorities – How does Mayor’s office and Council office work
together on legislative issues? Role of current legislative staff.
d. Council-Mayor relationship
e. Council-Mayor roles and responsibilities
f. Communication support from City Communications
g. Strategic planning, essential City services and priorities for the City
h. Spirit of the Springs events
i. Schedule for implementation of the 2012 budget changes
j. Review of Boards and Commissions
k. Mayor-Council trip to Washington, DC
l. Plans for Mayor/Council retreat
m. PPM, compensation study and pension reform
n. A Process for the Mayor getting information/issues to Council. With the latest PERA issue, it seemed PERA was raised “somewhere,” and then suddenly Council gets emails from citizens, with Council having no official information relayed on the matter.
o. The Formal Agenda memo as part of the ALTERNATIVES section Council would like at least 3 options given. It seems we are often given just one alternative/option. Then during the staff presentation, staff brings up other options that could have been included in the agenda packet.
p. Authorized ways for City Council members to interact with City staff. How
is Council to use City staff to research agenda items?
q. The role of Banning Lewis Ranch in the strategic planning for the City.
How does the City want Banning Lewis Ranch to develop?
r. What is the role of economic development and the land use for the City? How are the two intertwined? Since Council’s role is land use, how should land use work with economic development of the City?
IV. Future Meetings
a. Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., CAB 102
b. Frequency and time of day thereafter