The Mayor’s Minute from Mayor Patrick Collins

The week between the Christmas break and New Year’s Day is a quiet one at the Municipal Building. It seems like most of the folks I would normally be meeting with took the week off. I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for a productive new year.

I have been spending my mornings at physical therapy for my shoulders. Erin, my therapist, has been really working me hard to strengthen them and hopefully making a good night’s sleep a reality again. I am amazed by how weak my shoulder muscles are but am dedicated to seeing the program through. Fingers crossed, you will soon see me well rested and raring to go.

I had breakfast again with Councilman Dr. Rinne. We have so much on the city council agenda that I wanted to discuss – ordinances that will help make housing more available and affordable, Title 6 revisions to our animal ordinances, and our love of Nebraska and Wyoming sports. We are blessed by our experienced city council members.

Speaking of the Title 6 revisions, I read the latest version and spent time with our Deputy City Attorney, John Brodie, to discuss the ordinance. John has spent months rewriting the ordinance to make it more readable and easier for folks to understand. It is my hope the city council will pass the rewrite and if they have amendments, bring them later as a stand-alone amendment. I would hate to see it fail as we deal with competing amendments that might foil the final vote. Our council president, Richard Johnson has been shepherding this rewrite from the beginning. It has been a lot of work and much appreciated.

Our Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce recently commissioned a housing study to show the housing needs for the next five years. As expected, we are projected to need more housing units than we are expected to build. I met with a couple of developers, Bill Edwards, and Ed Ernste to discuss the situation and brainstorm ways to build to meet the needs. What I learned is the current interest rate environment has made it exceptionally difficult to meet the demand. Seems like we will need the Wyoming Business Council and State Loan & Investment Board to help spur the housing market. I did spend time discussing the recent rules that the city council passed that will help in the effort.

It seems like I have attended more property closings this past year than at any other timeframe. On Thursday afternoon, the city purchased a small piece of property off Snyder Avenue in south Cheyenne. It is an important purchase as it will be used to help with the regional drainage problems in the area. Our city engineers, Tom Cobb and Wes Bay, have been working to alleviate the many regional drainage problems they have inherited from the past. They are in all parts of the city, and many are in the older parts of the city before our comprehensive drainage rules took place. I have learned they can be very expensive and hard to achieve, but our team’s goal is to do a couple every year until we have them all drained properly.

Judy and I are headed to Tucson this weekend to root on our Pokes against Toledo in the Barstool Bowl. It would be nice to see Coach Bohl go out with a resounding victory and our Cowboys earn their ninth win of the season. Coach Bohl has taken a failing program and brought it to annual respectability. We have some dear friends, the Budds, who live in the area. We get to watch a Poke win and catch up with friends, the perfect way to end my third year as your mayor. If I have not said it recently, I love my job and so appreciate this opportunity. Happy New Year.