Friday, September 21, 2018

Mayor John Suthers: Let us become the good ancestors to future generations

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 2:58 PM

click to enlarge City communications staff monitors Mayor Suthers speech at The Broadmoor on Sept. 21. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • City communications staff monitors Mayor Suthers speech at The Broadmoor on Sept. 21.
Mayor John Suthers, who will seek a second term next year, delivered a state of the city address at a luncheon on Sept. 21. His speech was packed with cited accomplishments, but also a warning that challenges remain.

Some 850 people attended, a record high for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC event held at The Broadmoor.

Notably, affordable housing and dealing with the city's homeless population top Suthers' list of items that still require attention.

While he drew applause for the "booming local economy," he noted that such prosperity has brought rising housing costs, and that Colorado Springs hasn't kept up with demand for affordable housing.

He vowed to work with nonprofits to secure federal grants and other means to spur developers to build more housing for lower-income residents.

"I am pleased to report that 485 affordable units have recently been completed or soon will be," he said. "While this is admirable, we need to step up the pace. I would suggest we make it a community goal to build, preserve and create opportunities to purchase an average of 1,000 affordable units per year over the next five years."

Suthers recounted major accomplishments in infrastructure funding — roads and drainage; progress on the City for Champions tourism attractions, including the Olympic Museum under construction downtown and due to open next year; and impact on the local economy of healthy educational institutions and the military.

But Suthers, who's 66, obviously is taking stock of his and the city's impact on future generations.

"It’s a tribute to our predecessors that even after 147 years and a population of almost a half million people Colorado Springs is the most desirable city in America to live," he said. "Our job is to ensure it remains so far into the future. As I say repeatedly, our challenge today, as citizens of this great city, remains the same that General Palmer embraced. We must continue the task of building a city that matches our scenery, a shining city at the foot of a great mountain. Let us also embrace the challenge and let us all resolve to become the good ancestors that future generations of Colorado Springs residents need us to be, because we are writing their history. Thank you, and may God continue to bless the City of Colorado Springs."

Read his entire speech here.

click to enlarge Suthers honored Chuck Murphy with a special lifetime achievement award. Both met with reporters after the luncheon - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Suthers honored Chuck Murphy with a special lifetime achievement award. Both met with reporters after the luncheon
Suthers awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Chuck Murphy, 83, owner of Murphy Constructors, with whom Suthers grew up. Both attended Pauline Chapel during their adolescent years, he noted.

Read more about Murphy's contribution to Colorado Springs, of which he is a native, here.

One of the more touching moments of the luncheon came when Suthers invited the audience to wave signs at every table as a tribute to Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel, who's recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, suffered in a shootout on Aug. 2.
click to enlarge The crowd was happy to send a group message to Police Officer Cem Duzel, who was injured in the line of duty and is recovering in a Denver hospital. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • The crowd was happy to send a group message to Police Officer Cem Duzel, who was injured in the line of duty and is recovering in a Denver hospital.

click to enlarge This was one of hundreds of signs hoisted as a tribune to Officer Duzel. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • This was one of hundreds of signs hoisted as a tribune to Officer Duzel.
 

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