Suthers says state of city is "good"

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Marking his 100th day in office, Mayor John Suthers labeled the state of the city as "good" but its potential as "great" in a speech to about 750 people at The Broadmoor hosted by the Regional Business Alliance.
Mayor John Suthers was the man of the hour at the state-of-the-city address today. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Mayor John Suthers was the man of the hour at the state-of-the-city address today.

Suthers' 27-minute speech drew applause eight times, most vigorously when he said the community values and "cherishes" the military presence here, with its five installations.

There was nothing new, however. The mayor spoke of trying label the city the cyberspace capital of the world, saying he hoped to create jobs to diversify the local economy, which is 50 percent reliant on the federal government through the military and government contractors.

While the city has grown markedly since 2000, the city has 135 fewer employees and spends almost $100 less per resident today than 15 years ago.

Suthers spent considerable time talking about the need for a .62 of a percent sales tax hike, which is on the Nov. 3 ballot, to take care of the city's crumbling roads, and justified his carving out $19 million from existing revenues for stormwater projects as dealing with a public safety issue.

He received impromptu applause when he said he has tried to improve the relationship between the mayor's office and City Counci — his predecessor Mayor Steve Bach built a reputation for sparring with Council — but Suthers drew half-hearted applause when he spoke of the tax measure.

"City Council and I have heard our citizens loud and clear," he said. They want to fix the roads. We're going to give them an opportunity to do that."

He added that fixing the roads is "absolutely vital" to quality of life and economic development. He also promised to work regionally on a way to spend more on promoting tourism but didn't say how.

Suthers, like Bach did during his state-of-the-city speeches, urged citizens to get involved by volunteering in some way to improve the city. "Let's join together to continue building a shining city at the foot of a great mountain," he said.

Those on hand gave him a standing ovation.

Here's a copy of his speech: See related PDF 2015_SOTC_address_slides_to_accompany_speech_for_media.pdf

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