The Fort Collins community and CSU are closely connected. Weâ€™re all vested in making the university and the community as good as they can be. That depends on strong relationships.
Together, weâ€™ve made great strides in strengthening the relationship between students and neighbors. The Associated Students of CSU takes an active interest in city policies that impact students and works to assure your point-of-view is represented in decisions.
There are several good ways in which you, as individuals, can impact city actions. Citizen participation is a part of every single City Council Meeting agenda. We set aside 30 minutes for members of the public to share their thoughts and feedback directly with council.
You can always contact your council representative directly. Visit fcgov.com/leadership for a list of sitting council members and their district representation.
I encourage you to use city staff as a resource. My e-mail and phone number appear at the bottom of every one of my columns; I would love to hear from students about current issues, concerns and ideas about how to make this community better.
This is a particularly important time to get involved. The city council is currently considering the 2011-2012 City Managerâ€™s Recommended Budget. As you might have read, Fort Collins is facing a General Fund revenue shortfall of $4.5 million in 2011 and $5.4 million in 2012.
In the past, budget shortfalls were addressed primarily through increased efficiency and cuts to internal services.Â However, the 2011-2012Â budget gap cannot be filled without real impacts to the community.Â Here are a few highlights that might interest you:
Transfort service will continue. However, to balance the budget, my recommendation includes cutting three hours of service on Saturday and eliminating staff at the CSU Transit Center (at the Lory Student Center) while CSU is not in session.
The Community Liaison Program will continue at its current level. The program, which is jointly funded by the city and CSU, is an effort to create positive relationships between students and neighbors. It focuses on helping students transition from the dorms to Fort Collins neighborhoods. While this program will remain the same, I am recommending eliminating the Community Mediation Program, a free service that offers professional mediation to resolve disputes between neighbors, landlords and tenants.
Parks and recreation services are particularly impacted by this budget. While the majority of services will continue, the budget proposes decreased hours and programming at the Northside Aztlan Center, the Senior Center, the Gardens on Spring Creek and the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center. The Recommended Budget also includes closing Mulberry Pool.
Developing the 2011-2012 Recommended Budget has not been easy. We are cutting resources to even our most basic services, including police and fire. Limited resources require that we make difficult choices. At the same time, Fort Collins will continue to be a great place to live. For a complete picture of all the funded and unfunded services visit fcgov.com/budget.
The 2011-2012 Budget is an important issue, as it will shape the services our city offers to its community in the next two years. The city is gathering feedback about what our community should be like in the next 20 years, and we want to hear your thoughts about that, too.
Plan Fort Collins is a community-wide visioning effort to update and refine City Plan and the Transportation Master Plan. These plans guide the way our city looks, feels and develops.
Join us at our upcoming open house events and weigh in on specific strategies and priorities that will help us achieve our community vision.
Plan Fort Collins Open House/Workshops
- Tues., Oct. 12, 4 to 6 p.m. â€“ Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St.
- Thurs., Oct. 14, 7 to 9 p.m. â€“ Northside Aztlan Center, 112 E. Willow St.
You play an important and valuable role in making Fort Collins an attractive, vibrant and award-winning community and for that I want to say thanks. I hope youâ€™ll continue to engage in city issues so that we assure Fort Collins remains a world-class community.
Darin Atteberry is the Fort Collins city manager. You can reach him at email@example.com or 970-221-6505.