Longtime city employee Steve Cox was chosen by Mayor Steve Bach to be the city’s first chief of staff.
Cox, who has served as interim city manager and as fire chief, has been with the city for more than 30 years.
In announcing his choice, Bach emphasized Cox’s deep knowledge of the city, and his eagerness to implement positive change.
“I find him to be very entrepreneurial,” Bach said, “and enthusiastic about reinventing the way we do things.”
Bach characterized the appointment as neither temporary nor permanent.
“I hope that this will be long term,” he said, “but this is new to all of us. We’ll take a look after six months or so, but I hope and expect that it’ll be for a long period of time.”
“I’m a third-generation Colorado Springs native,” Cox said in accepting the job. “I want (to help build) an environment where our grandkids can get jobs, and remain here.”
Bach also announced that Stephannie Finley, who has served for several years as president of government affairs and public policy for the Chamber of Commerce will serve for thirty days as an “executive on loan.”
Finley will be tasked with reshaping the city’s public communications department, which will report directly to the mayor.
Renamed “Communications,” the department will be one of four direct reports, joining the city attorney and newly created “Economic Vitality” and “Spirit of the Springs” functions.
“Economic Vitality” will include improving the business climate, examining the present fee and regulatory structures, building relationships with existing and potential primary employers, and encouraging start-up and growing companies.
“Spirit of the Springs,” while not specifically defined, will encompass efforts and initiatives to build pride in the city, and to reshape the city’s leadership class.
“We’ve got plenty of people like myself here,” said Bach, ”old white guys. That’s fine, but there are lots of talented people in this community. I’d like to see more young people, people of color, and young professionals.”