I am so proud of the art found all over our community. The large boots so colorfully painted, the wide variety of murals decorating buildings in our historic downtown, and more recently the large number of bronzes on the corners of our downtown intersections. The folks from the Old West Museum came to my office to introduce the concept of adding bronzes in the area around the museum and how we might be able to coordinate their efforts with the Capitol Avenue Bronze project already underway. First, I love these groups are looking for ways to work together so both projects will be enhanced. Second, I am in awe of what is happening in Cheyenne to advance public art. Take a minute and find the recent Forbes article on the art scene in Cheyenne, they rave about what is happening.
I was invited by Dr. Kathy Emmons to speak with the team at the Cheyenne Laramie County Public Health staff. I was pleased at the opportunity because I wanted to personally thank them for their work over the past few years. They guided us through Covid, help so many folks with their personal health care, make sure our restaurants are safe to eat in, and so much more. I shared some of our city council goals, challenges, and encouraged them to continue the amazing customer service they provide all of us in Laramie County. It is truly an impressive organization.
The Board of Public Utilities (BOPU) has a division called the Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP). They are charged with helping the restaurants and industry prevent putting grease and pollutants into our sanitary sewer system. Grease builds up and causes the sewer to back up into basements. I can’t begin to describe how horrible that is. BOPU does this under the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and works hard to keep our businesses in compliance. Our city council is working on a rewrite of the rules and regulations of Chapter 13 that covers these activities. I have been working with the BOPU staff reviewing the rewrite from the perspective of someone with fresh eyes. We have met a couple of times and I think we have the new language that will make our process fair and enforceable.
I have been sharing our meetings with a company we have code named Cosmo that we are recruiting to come to Cheyenne. Cosmo will be a huge data center that will bring great jobs and be one of our top taxpayers in Laramie County. The whole Cosmo team was in Cheyenne this week and I think we have made huge progress on the development agreement and other necessary items that I hope gets us closer to getting them to say yes. More to come. Keep your fingers crossed.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I did a short video for Safe House to share my support for the great work they do. Today they have 42 people in their facility; they are busting at the seams. Especially when you see the large number of young kids running around as kids do. Giving people experiencing violence from a domestic partner a safe place to go is critical in the short term. Supporting them and getting them ready to restart their lives is a longer-term goal. For me, getting the children out of those violent situations and maybe stopping generational violence is one of the most important missions Safe House makes happen. Love the staff and their passion for the clients they serve.
Last month I shared we met with the Greater Chamber of Commerce to talk about the customer service the city and county provide to our building and development communities. The results of the chamber survey were disappointing. We got a dose of that disappointment at a meeting with a Colorado developer who has been trying to get a building permit in the county but needs approvals from the city and county health. The good part is now that Commissioner Malm and I understand the concerns, we can work to get them solved. Wish this could have been handled in a timely manner way before we heard about it.
The Wyoming Business Council held a reception at the Governor’s house where we could meet five site selectors from around the country. Site selectors are the people companies hire to help them find a new location for their company or an expansion. For me it was fascinating to talk with the people who help make the decision where the business we want to attract actually end up moving. Getting their impression versus what they expected was gratifying. They were impressed by Cheyenne and southeast Wyoming. They shared that we have a lot and need to brag about it in our marketing. We need to make sure all our partners are available in the first meetings, especially the electric utility as electricity is paramount in manufacturing and technology recruitment. They said we need to create more high-density housing developments as today’s young college graduates want that kind of housing. I found it funny but a site selector that works in technology said getting a Trader Joe’s is a bellwether for technology companies to follow. With our small population it could be tough, but it is now high on my list. They stressed quality schools, and things for families to do are things that in the end tilts the final decision on where companies locate. I learned a lot and appreciated the Business Council making this opportunity happen.
I want to end this week’s Mayor’s Minute with a short remembrance of a fallen Airman from F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Airman Trinity Reinhardt was killed while on deployment in the missile field serving as a member of her security forces unit. Her job was to help secure the 9,600 square mile missile field that surrounds our base. She was 19 years old and from talking with her coworkers, a force of nature. I attended her memorial service at the base theater on Wednesday morning. I was impressed with the dignity the men and women of the base showed Trinity’s family and the way they honored her service to our country. I know it seems trivial, but I was amazed at the small size of her service boots and helmet that were part of the memorial display. Such a small person who served her country so largely. It was so emotional being in the presence of her mom and the wingmen she served with. Their pain brings home the cost of keeping our country free and safe. I ask for your prayers for Trinity and her family.
If you have a question for me, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll continue to answer them in my following Mayor’s Minute column.