We had a great holiday weekend. It was very restful and fun. I was able to play a couple nine-hole round of golf and barbequed some steaks. The highlight was looking at wedding venues with my son, Jac, and his fiancé, Whitney. It is so exciting to start the planning for their big day.
The city fireworks display was amazing. I love what Cheyenne Frontier Days and the city do each year to honor the birthday of our great nation.
Speaking of fireworks, they were everywhere over the weekend. Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of the widespread use of fireworks in our city. I have heard from many of you that are disappointed that we cannot stop the use in the city limits. This year, the police department had two officers assigned to just managing fireworks. On Independence Day, our police department had 330 calls for service. Officers responded to 90 fireworks calls. I feel bad for those negatively impacted by fireworks, and hope we can figure out a better way for you in the future.
The Finance Committee met Tuesday, and the big topic for the meeting was three ordinances that would put city liens in first place, ahead of conventional mortgages. The banking world, Realtors and folks in the title business are opposed, as they are concerned with how it could negatively affect their businesses. I followed up with another meeting later in the afternoon to discuss it further. Good news: the group understands and supports our goals. They have asked for time to look for other ways to help support our mission. I hope we can work together to make a difference and clean up our city.
I met with Gordon “Alf” Parks and Ms. Salle on Tuesday to discuss their idea to support our veterans. They would like me to proclaim Cheyenne a POW/MIA city. In addition, they would like to place a monument proclaiming the same along a roadway in our city. They told me that Wyoming has 203 MIAs from World War II through Vietnam. Sept. 17 is National POW/MIA Recognition Day and would be a perfect time to honor our MIA families. I am all in to help!
I met with Rebecca Reid, our county coroner. It was nice to meet her and her assistant, Char. She shared their job description and what they are doing for our community. We discussed ways we can help make their jobs easier and more effective. It is a very important job, and I want to support their mission. I concluded that I could not do their job; it takes a special person. We are so blessed they are called to serve us.
Wednesday morning, I was privileged to join Tom Hirsig at the Governor’s office to discuss tourism and ways we can work together to bring more visitors to Cheyenne. I am always appreciative of how supportive Gov. Gordon and Mr. Hirsig are of Cheyenne and our state. Laramie County is the number two county for visitation in Wyoming, and we are working to move up one spot.
Representatives of the Kiwanis Club stopped by to talk about projects they could do to celebrate their 100th anniversary serving Cheyenne. They are looking for a legacy project they can all get involved in and be hands on in the process. We discussed several city projects that might fit and would make a difference. My last experience with the Kiwanis involvement in a project was the Community House in Lions Park. It turned out great, and I cannot wait to see what this project will be.
Commissioner Malm and I were honored to read and sign a proclamation naming July 14 WyoGives Day. This is a day where we are all asked to go to www.wyogives.org to donate to our local nonprofits that do so much for our city and county. I hope you will choose to give what you can on that day.
NextEra Energy officials stopped by to introduce themselves. NextEra is the company that built the wind turbines on our Belvoir Ranch. You know my desire to build a trail system on the ranch, and they pledged to help us in that effort. The money we get from the wind farm will pay for the upgrades we plan. I am joining a group of about 20 folks on Friday to tour the ranch and look for the best place for a trailhead and route for a trail going south to the big hole. I will report how that trip went next week.
Wednesday night, we had another goal-setting session with the City Council. It has been six months since we first met to set goals after the election and swearing-in. We celebrated what we have accomplished and looked at what we need to do to finish goals not yet completed. The best part for me was getting together and reaffirming our desire to work together. I really like working with this council.
Thursday, I met with representatives working on the development of the Hynds Building. It has been empty for 35 years, and it is definitely my goal to get it redeveloped and back open and serving the public. Good news is there are very smart people working on doing just that. My fingers are crossed that one day soon we will have an announcement.
Thursday afternoon was spent at the new Sweetgrass development across College Drive from Laramie County Community College. They are breaking ground for another 100 housing lots that will be available this fall for builders. All the lots are sold, and this is more good news in our quest to build the 3,000 homes we are currently short. I was taken by the beauty of this area of the Lummis ranch.
Thursday night, we had the annual dinner with CFD and city and county staffs in preparation for the big show. It is very nice to sit down with the volunteers that make Frontier Days go, and the city and county employees that do so much work on the municipal side to ensure the success. You will see our employees out every day supporting the largest tourism event in Wyoming for all 10 days. We appreciate the hospitality.
I am excited to attend the pastoral installation of one of our city employees, Elder Stephen Ganison. I am proud of our employees and am delighted to attend his installation. Steve comes from a line of pastors, and I am sure he will serve his church and its members well. I am a bit nervous speaking to a church crowd, but happy for the invitation.
This week, I received an email from Linda Doering, asking the city to look at adding pickleball courts in the city.
It is funny, but this pickleball thing has really grown in interest and demand for court time. I have received many comments along the same line recently. I have been telling developers that ask that this is an amenity they should consider as they build out the enhancements in their developments. Linda, I am convinced and will work with our staff to see what we can do in the future to add pickleball courts.
If you have a question for me, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll continue to answer them in a future Mayor’s Minute column.