Despite its central role in the Fort Collins community, CSU was given passing reference during the annual State of the City address given Wednesday night.
â€œThat might have been a perceived weak spot,â€ said Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat in the minutes after the presentation.
She and City Manager Darin Atteberry used the one-and-a-half-hour time window allotted for the speech to discuss three key issues for the city, referred to as the triple bottom line: economics, sustainability and society.
Video clips depicting Fort Collinsâ€™ successes in these areas were played on a giant screen the Canyon West Room at the cityâ€™s Lincoln Center to a crowd of about 200 onlookers. The attendees heard the two city officials expand on each clipâ€™s subject after they finished playing.
A few minutes of the multimedia address were spent talking about how beneficial CSU is to the cityâ€™s economy. The other hour-and-twenty-five minutes of it had no mention of the university.
Atteberry said CSUâ€™s additional contributions to the community were implied throughout the speech. They werenâ€™t explicitly stated because there wasnâ€™t enough time to do so.
â€œIt in no way should be interpreted as a lack of awareness and appreciation,â€ he said. â€œIn fact, I think we can do an entire (address) on the impact the university has and students have on this community.â€
Nonetheless, Fort Collins Councilman Kelly Ohlson felt the absence of CSU references. But he added that the university wasnâ€™t the only aspect of the community largely left out of the eveningâ€™s presentation.
â€œ … Iâ€™m sure that a couple of people in are into the arts and culture in town are going, â€˜That wasnâ€™t mentioned.â€™ And the parks werenâ€™t really mentioned, so there were quite a few aspects that werenâ€™t talked about,â€ he said.
But the councilman cautioned against criticizing city officials too heavily for passing over certain fundamental Fort Collins entities by not discussing them meaningfully in the address.
â€œJust depending on what the theme is and all that, sometimes it might be a major element of the State of the City, and other times, not as much,â€ he said.
Ohlson explained that the city government had recently added on a Department of Sustainability â€“â€“ a bragging right that officials wanted to greatly emphasize and dedicate much of their speaking time to explaining what itâ€™s done for the community.
â€œThereâ€™s not some kind of conscious decision of winners and losers or anything like that. Thereâ€™s no statement behind it. The focus was something different,â€ he said.
â€œ … You just canâ€™t hit on it all.â€
The councilman predicted that the next State of the City â€“â€“ like previous ones â€“â€“ would include far more discussion of CSU and other themes.
After all, â€œ … you donâ€™t want to have the same (address) every year with people coming back,â€ he said.
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at email@example.com.