Mayor John Suthers: 'Our enduring challenge'

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John Suthers takes the oath of office administered by City Clerk Sarah Johnson, with his wife Janet at his side. Mayor Steve Bach and his wife Susie are on the right. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • John Suthers takes the oath of office administered by City Clerk Sarah Johnson, with his wife Janet at his side. Mayor Steve Bach and his wife Susie are on the right.

In a call to action to citizens, new Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers reminded a crowd topping 200 outside Pioneers Museum today to "recognize the great legacy we have inherited and to work together to build upon it as we continue the task of creating a great city."

"Citizens of Colorado Springs, that is our enduring challenge," Suthers, a Springs native, said, closing his eight-minute speech. "To create a society that matches our scenery. Let us embrace that challenge."

In a half-hour ceremony marked with gospel music, a four-part harmony rendition of "America the Beautiful," and delivery of the colors by the Fire Department Honor Guard, Suthers became the city's 41st mayor and the second under the mayor-council form of government installed by voters in 2010.
Colorado Springs Fire Department's honor guard presents the colors prior to Suthers' oath of office ceremony. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Colorado Springs Fire Department's honor guard presents the colors prior to Suthers' oath of office ceremony.

Outgoing Mayor Steve Bach served as master of ceremonies, thanking employees, volunteers who provide the city community service and his wife, Susie, but not City Council.

Suthers hit on themes common to his campaign: collaboration with Council and a need to tend to the city's crumbling infrastructure. 

"The future of Colorado Springs begins today and the citizens of the city have given me the great honor and great responsibility to help lead the city into that future," he said. 

"It will be up to the City Council as the legislative branch of city government, and the mayor, as head of the executive branch, to work collaboratively to address the significant challenges that confront us. And it will be our shared obligation to communicate effectively with the citizens of our community and to enlist their support in meeting those challenges. We must begin to repair our roads and deteriorating stormwater systems and we must create a dynamic that will lead to new job creation in the Pikes Peak region."

Suthers said in a news conference before the ceremony he would meet with all managers on Wednesday and immerse himself in city government. On Tuesday, a job was posted to fill the director of communications — a post left vacant in February with the departure of Cindy Aubrey, who was appointed by Bach without a formal job search and who now works at Pikes Peak United Way.

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