Fort Collins’ State of The City focuses on innovation, inclusion

Pat Conrey

Fort Collins’ annual State of the City address was held Monday night at the newly remodeled Washington’s music venue in Old Town Fort Collins.

three people sit on a stage and talk to a crowd
Mayor Wade Troxell and City Manager Darin Atteberry address a crowd of about 400 at Washington’s in Old Town during the 2018 State of the City. (Jon Price | Collegian)

In under an hour, Mayor Wade Troxell and City Manager Darin Atteberry addressed a full venue on all of the current focuses of the Fort Collins government.

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“Local government can be great,” Atteberry said.

Innovation was the first important concept of focus. According to the City of Fort Collins website, the City will begin receiving proposals in early February 2018 for the design of high speed broadband access for all Fort Collins residents. The measurement passed with a vote of 57.15 percent.

“The innovation ecosystem in this town is pretty special,” Atteberry said. “Of all the towns in the country, the president of the University of Arizona, his colleagues and the former Governor of Wyoming came to Fort Collins to learn about what our City is doing.”

The City of Fort Collins was also recently recognized by the American Society of Quality for a Malcolm Baldrige award, which was “established by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to raise awareness of quality management and recognize… successful quality management systems,” according to the ASQ website.

“This does not mean that we are the best at everything as City’s go,” Atteberry said. “This means that we have a very very strong focus on continuous improvement.”

Experiences were another topic of focus at the address. Mayor Troxell addressed the recent construction of the on-campus stadium.

“At the end of six football games residents wrote the City Council and said, ‘This turned out better than I ever would have imagined,’” Troxell said.

Troxell said he appreciated the bilateral work on behalf of the City and Colorado State University.

Troxell said Fort Collins traditions, such as the holiday lights of Old Town, the flowers of summer or the 25th anniversary of the Open Spaces, add to the atmosphere of Fort Collins.

“This is all about a sense of place… it’s not by accident,” Troxell said. “It’s really just wonderful people creating a wonderful place for all.”

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Inclusion was the final overarching topic discussed at the address. Issues of mental health and substance abuse are of concern to the City government.

In the address, Atteberry said the City was concerned with the environmental, economic and social well being of the City.

“How is it, that Fort Collins gets recognized by National Geographic as being the fourth happiest city in the United States yet has one of the highest suicide rates in the United States?” Atteberry said.

Acccording to Troxell, the City is very thankful for the efforts put forth by its 2,400 employees who are always striving for excellence and the community members.

“I would say, without equivocation, that the state of the City is excellent,” Troxell said.

Collegian reporter Pat Conrey can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Load_of_Crop.