The Mayor’s Minute from Mayor Patrick Collins – June 7, 2024

Published on June 07, 2024


This is a very important week in our history. Eighty years ago, the brave members of our armed forces joined our allies in the invasion of Europe at Normandy. June 6, 1944, began the liberation of France. I was so fascinated with the news networks showing the few remaining veterans who came back to Normandy. Today they are all around 100 years old and I found myself reflecting on them as teenagers demonstrating the unbelievable courage it took to take the beaches, giving the Allies a toehold that would soon see the end of the conflict in Europe. We have so much to thank this generation for. They were the greatest generation.

I attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony for the 20th Air Force Command Chief. Chief Gamez has served in the role serving the more than 12,000 Airmen located over three missile wings, a helicopter group, Kirtland AFB, and a squadron in Omaha, Neb. Chief Nicholas Taylor is taking over. He was the Command Chief for the 90th Missile Wing here in Cheyenne and is coming back after an assignment in Guam. It was the first time for a Change of Responsibility ceremony on our base. It is proper that the Air Force is showing respect for these important positions by holding a ceremony. It is great to have Nick back in Cheyenne and I wish Rodolfo great success in his new assignment.

I love our city parks. Our team does a great job of keeping the parks in great shape and I appreciate all their efforts. Every decade or two, we spend time envisioning what the city parks and facilities need to look like in the future to meet our changing needs. This week we held a public meeting in the Kiwanis Community House with the consultants charged with developing our new Parks and Recreation Master Plan. It was awesome to see so many people show up to hear the ideas, see the maps, and give us input on what they would like to see. There will be more opportunities for public comment in the future and I would challenge you to take part. We really want to develop a park system that meets the needs of all our community.

I am the honorary commander of the Mission Support Group on the base. The 90th Contracting Squadron is part of the MSG. They also had a change of command. Lt. Colonel Ogonowski is leaving to go to the Pentagon, and Major Enslen took command. They have so much responsibility but watching their kids run around the Trails End Club reminded me how young they are. Good luck in D.C. Charlie, and welcome Patrick and family.

We introduced a new ordinance during the Public Services Committee meeting this week designed to help slow down traffic in our neighborhoods. One of the most common complaints our city council members hear is safety fears due to speeding cars. This ordinance would allow neighborhoods to sign a petition to ask the city to study their neighborhood roads for safety concerns. We will spend time doing a traffic study to learn what is going on, and if the study shows safety concerns, the area could be designated a “Critical Neighborhood Speed Zone.” This would allow for speeding tickets to be doubled like construction zone tickets. The city could also install temporary traffic calming devices or other means designed to slow down traffic and make the area safer. This ordinance will be discussed over the next couple of city council meetings. I wish we did not have to take this action. For the safety of our neighborhoods, please slow down.

I traveled to Pinedale this week for the Wyoming Association of Municipalities annual summer conference. On Wednesday I was part of the resolutions committee. Cities and towns across the state send in resolutions that could become part of WAM’s legislative priorities. It was fun. Resolutions on liquor license prices, cannabis, defining public works employees as emergency personnel, condominium laws, flexibility in municipal revenue generation, changes to mandatory newspaper notice requirements, transient guest definitions, nullification of covenants prohibiting water wise landscaping, and animal control districts were all discussed. Friday morning the WAM body will vote on the recommendations. It will be interesting to see how the cities and towns decide.

I attended a housing discussion put on by the WCDA at the WAM conference. Scott Hoversland did a nice job showing the huge needs across our state. WCDA just released a 300-page report showing statewide needs and then a more focused report on individual counties and cities. The next step for WCDA is to study and publish a plan for how we can work our way out of this crisis. I am proud of the work City Council has done to update our UDC regulations to make building attainable housing easier. Much work is left to do, but I am sensing a real desire across the state to build more housing.

The next session I attended was given by Wendy Wollner from Work Partners. She talked about how to improve employee engagement, driving passion, and performance. She is from New York and her in-your-face kind of presentation was perfect to take us out of our comfort zones. I am looking forward to reading some of her books and publications with the hope it will make our team stronger.

Last meeting was with the Wyoming DEQ sharing the SPURR Program. Across the state we have buildings and properties that may have contamination like asbestos, lead paint, or other perceived contaminates. This free program helps communities identify problems and plan for ways to clean them up and redevelop the areas. Our staff is well versed in brownfield programs like these, but it was good for me to get an understanding as well. We have many properties that I know could benefit from this help, especially downtown. I want to see them redeveloped, adding to the vitality of our city.

This is the first time I have spent time in Pinedale. It is a beautiful town. I really enjoyed our dinner on Thursday night at the Mountain Man Museum. Wow, it was awesome to see the exhibits and learn about the history of the mountain man. Having dinner while looking at the Wind River mountain range was amazing. I am a homebody, but I really do enjoy hanging out with the elected officials from municipalities across the state.

I know we have challenges here in Cheyenne. After spending time talking with other mayors, I am feeling blessed with all that is happening in our city. I want to thank you all for your support and for all you do to make our city a great place to live and work. Thank you!