The Mayor’s Minute from Mayor Patrick Collins

Judy and I are remodeling our home. This past week they were refinishing our hardwood floors, so we headed to Salt Lake City to visit our son, Sean, and his fiancé, Kaili. The state is still so green making the drive beautiful. A highlight of the weekend was our visit to Sundance. A ski lift ride to the top of the mountain revealed amazing views and beauty. We came home late Sunday to beautiful floors, a happy dog, and a successful weekend.

Creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for our residents is a goal of our Community Recreation & Events Department. Our Junior League fields are the home of our three high school girls’ softball teams, WYCO baseball & softball teams, Cheyenne Extreme girls’ softball, and our Junior League baseball program. We have over 1,000 games and practices each season at the complex and we have maxed out the games the fields can handle. We have just run out of available daylight. We did a ribbon cutting for the new lights we installed that will allow for 30 percent more games to be played on the same fields. I got to meet the 12-year-old softball and baseball teams and watch their games under the lights. I was impressed with the quality of the play. I seriously doubt I could hit the ladies’ softball pitches, wow!! Since 2021, the complex has received $3.2 million in upgrades. We have a first-class place for our kids from 8 to 18 to create memories and live out their dreams.

Cheyenne is blessed to be the home of a National Cemetery where veterans and their spouses may be buried. Veterans who served before Sept. 17, 1984, who served one day are qualified for a free burial site. Folks who served after that date and served their tour of duty also qualify. The Fort Logan National Cemetery director stopped by to update us on the cemetery and address my concerns that the cemetery is not ADA accessible for our veterans. Good news – they have fixes for the ADA concerns and bathrooms out for bid and those will be installed in the near future. They are going to hold a town hall meeting on Aug. 7 to give veterans an opportunity to see the planned expansion and answer questions. They also shared that not enough veterans who qualify take advantage of this benefit. The cemetery is on the west side of the Arboretum, stop by and take a look. It is a beautiful facility.

Angel Maldonado owns The Presidential Barbershop in downtown Cheyenne. He is known as an artist with an electric razor and for his generosity during the Christmas season. His team has inspired the giving spirit of Cheyenne and so many kids and families have benefited. Angel and Richard Johnson stopped by my conference room with an idea to help bring focus to our Cheyenne community. He is asking everyone to wear brown and gold every Wednesday as a visual reminder that we have a great community and we need to cultivate and nurture it. I love the idea and look forward to everyone rocking their finest brown and gold. I also hope it will cause us all to look for ways we can give back to and help those who need it. Thanks for a wonderful idea, Angel.

Judge Thomas Campbell retired from the bench and is enjoying finally having time to do some fishing. I asked him to coffee for advice on our legal system and specifically our Municipal Court. I appreciated his words of wisdom as I don’t have the legal background to mentor and advise our court team. He was so gracious and funny. Our state is blessed to have had his 40 years of service to our legal profession.

The Wyoming Brewers Festival was created to help fund our beautiful and historic train depot. I also think the creators may have liked to brew and drink a bit of beer. Wednesday evening, Brian and the crew at Ike’s Bar & Grill hosted a dinner for the sponsors who make this event happen every year. An Asian salad paired with Freedom’s Edge English Dark Mild with Earl Grey Tea, teriyaki pineapple chicken skewers paired with Accomplice’s Pineapple Pale Ale, black pepper beef tips paired with Westby Edge’s Amber and Black Tooth’s Coffee Vanilla Blond, and dessert of Chronicles Lemon Vodka Mousse paired with Blue Raven’s Coconut Coffee Porter was a four-course menu fit for the most sophisticated palate. Cheyenne is once again showing off its volunteer spirit by putting on a great Brewers Festival on Father’s Day weekend. Please stop by and listen to some great music and support your depot at the event. Brian, thanks for the amazing hospitality.

My friend Ru Hlongwane was the Command Chief of the 90th Missile Wing on F.E. Warren AFB. She turned over responsibility on Thursday to Command Chief Cherise Mosley. Ru is headed to the 8th Bomb Wing in Louisiana. They are getting a great leader, and we will miss her and her mother. Chief Mo was very emotional in taking responsibility and I am so pleased to welcome her to Cheyenne. I know her family will love their experience in the Cowboy State.

I learned the Nature Conservancy is interested in renewable energy. Councilman Segrave and I met with Justin Loyka from the Nature Conservancy where we learned of their interest in decarbonizing the economy. They know energy development must happen and balancing the need for energy with preserving as many natural areas as possible is their big challenge. We learned about partners like the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, Game & Fish, and Terraform that may be able to help guide our efforts to build a solar project on our closed landfill west of town. We have met so many people in our effort to make the project a reality, and I am so appreciative of their willingness to share and help us make one more positive step forward.

Edge Fest was started 10 years ago with the idea of bringing people into the western edge of our downtown. Dave Teubner from Warehouse 21 had the idea and today it has an amazing list of volunteers who work so hard to bring a free music event to the West Edge. Thursday evening the artist’s announcement was held in the perfect location – the Lincoln Theater. On Aug. 24, The Patti Fiasco, Peter Raffoul, Paul Russel, and headliner Bishop Briggs will perform in Civic Commons Park. I want to publicly thank Dave and everyone who has worked for a decade to raise the money, organize and present an amazing evening of free music for our community. We have such a strong music scene each and every summer.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. I hope you get to spend it with loved ones. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!