Considering the intense build-up and wild ticket sales (more than 700), the State of the City Luncheon was not exactly first-rate entertainment. However, there was a lot packed into this luncheon.
Among the highlights:
• The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce (which hosted the event) giving an award to its own group, the Colorado Springs Chamber Rising Professionals.
• Amy Stephens, the Colorado House Majority Leader who's been vilified by members of her own party, being named "Legislator of the Year."
• A Colorado Springs promotional video featuring shots of people about town doing serious business things or serious outdoor things, punctuated by random folks stating over and over again, "That's the spirit!"
• A bizarre presentation by two Colorado Springs Conservatory kids, called "Bach to Bach," in which the two verbally and musically sought to compare the mayor to the famed composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
• An actually fairly informative speech by City Council President Scott Hente, on what the future of Colorado Springs Utilities and Memorial Health System looks like, and on how the Council will work with the mayor.
• An absolutely disturbing performance of royal coronation music by a horns section as Bach took the stage.
• And the speech by Mr. Bach. If you weren't lucky enough to be in attendance, here's the summary: The city has shrinking revenue to meet growing obligations and the needs of an expanding population. The mayor's gonna fix it all, so long as everyone "steps up." Stepping up, by the way, might include opening a door for a stranger. OK.
Then there were the usual bullet points that Bach has been outlining since a press conference weeks ago. For the most part, the speech lacked specifics. The most engaging section — though probably not the most relevant — was definitely the mayor's recounting of his experience riding shotgun in a race car for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
[For a more detailed description of Bach's speech, see John Hazlehurst's blog post here.]
• Last but not least, let's not forget the Broadmoor chicken breasts. Got to say, that mushroom and mustard topping was good.