The Mayor’s Minute from Mayor Patrick Collins – April 16th
Published on April 16, 2021
CHEYENNE – I am smiling in relief as I write this paragraph. I enjoyed the ribbon cutting at Powers Field last Friday evening. The new field looks great, and the players are excited for the season. The relief part came from surviving my first pitch experience. Got the ball to the catcher, all the way with no bounces. Whew!!
On Monday, we met in our Governing Body Chambers for the first time in over a year. Getting to meet in the Civic Center was a big step back to normalcy but finally getting to meet in our home setting of our Chambers is another mental health step back. Hope you would take the time to come visit and watch a council meeting, we would love to see you. Who knows, you may find it interesting.
I had a Zoom meeting with Andy Pierucci from Northup Grumman on Monday. He is the Manager of State and Local Government Relations for the company that is going to be upgrading our Minuteman missiles to the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). It was nice to finally be talking with the vendor, and hearing assurances that this project is really going to happen. It is great news for Cheyenne and F.E. Warren Air Force Base as it secures our mission and partnership for decades.
I have shared with you my excitement regarding our new Police Chief, Mark Francisco. This week I started taking him around town to introduce him to folks he needs to know. On Tuesday we visited Tim Thornell at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and Tom Hirsig and the security team at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Wednesday, we ventured to Laramie County School District #1 (LCSD1) to meet Dave Bartlett (our police provide the school resource officers) and Stephen Latham from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It is important to make sure our chief has all the connections to be successful as I know he will be. Next couple weeks will be busy finishing the community introductions.
I was invited to the Boys and Girls Club on Thursday to read a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. It was sobering to see the kids in the gym eating their afternoon meal, while we were discussing the prevalence of child abuse in Cheyenne and Wyoming. It is estimated that 1,077 children are victims of abuse each year in Laramie County. I would encourage you to report any suspected abuse, it is the law. One child was afraid due to the presence of law enforcement. I took Sheriff Glick over to meet them. We learned one third grader wants to be President, and another wants to be a gunsmith. Amazing what a positive interaction can do. Nice job, Sheriff.
We will be finishing our 6th penny sales tax project list in the next two weeks. This week we heard from the Police Department. They are in need of new radios as the vendor will not support the 10-year-old system they are currently using. We are also going to buy a few radios for our Street and Alley crews so our snowplow drivers can communicate with our emergency responders. Lesson learned in the recent snowstorm. We also heard from the Community Recreation and Events department. They are interested in a remodel and upgrade of the 40-year-old Civic Center. It has not had much love since it was built. Friday, we heard from our City Engineer on how we can invest in our roads. This is a high priority for me and from the campaign I know it is very important to you. We receive $4,500,000 a year from the 5th penny sales tax. I am so grateful for the support. Unfortunately, it is not enough to get the 350 miles of roadways the attention needed. I hate potholes! I hope to convince the City Council to add money to the pavement management program to make up the difference.
I met with Gretta Morrow, one of the founders of the Cheyenne Day of Giving. We are planning a four-day event in May. One thing I am very excited about is the opportunity to clean up our city. After a winter of high winds, trash has accumulated everywhere. I hope to see many of you out on May 15th ready to beautify our hometown. We will be sending out information on how you can get involved in the next couple of weeks.
I am looking out my office window and our Facilities staff is again moving our flags to half-staff. I am halfway through my fourth month as Mayor, and I do not remember a full week with the flag at a normal position. I am reminded of the tragedies that are happening across this country every time I look out my window, a reminder to tell those close to you that you love them every day. Who knows??
Last item is my thanks to all of you sending me letters and cards telling me that you are praying for me and our city. It is much appreciated and humbling. Please keep the prays coming, all of us in government leadership need the support. A special thanks to Element Church, your 10 cards this week rocked!!
I did not get any questions to answer this week, so I will have to wait until next week to answer one.
If you have a question, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll continue to answer them in my following Mayor’s Minute column.