Looking back on his first 100 days as the chief executive of Denver, Mayor Michael Hancock Tuesday said he is pleased with the job he’s done.
Despite a few stumbles, most recently involving the battle for the National Western Stock Show and the ongoing conflict with members of the Occupy Denver movement, Hancock said he’s set a “solid foundation” for the city’s future.
In a press conference to mark his first 100 days in office, Hancock pointed to several of his accomplishments, such as submitting a balanced budget to the City Council and creating an Education Compact that brings together business and education experts to improve Denver schools.
“We’ve hit the ground running by advancing a proactive agenda that includes an extraordinary level of community outreach and public input,” Hancock said. “Together, we have closed a $100 million budget shortfall, increased economic opportunity throughout the City and ensured that our diverse neighborhoods are involved every step of the way.”
Those two objectives and others were part of Hancock’s mayoral campaign, a 100 Days Plan he created prior to his election that set forth goals for his first three-and-a-half months in office. The plan citied general and specific milestones he hoped to reach in the first 100 days of his tenure in the areas of economic development, fiscal sustainability, education, social services and public safety.
Among the highlights of his first 100 days in office, Hancock said, include:
- Submitting a balanced budget to the City Council and creating plans to cut another $30 to $50 million from the city’s budget deficit in 2012.
- Creating an “all-star” economic development team with the mission of designing a job creation plan for the city;
- Holding more than a dozen business roundtable discussions with local business leaders, women and minority entrepreneurs and young business professionals to support the growth of small and start-up businesses;
- Creating Denver Seeds, a program that aims to create a fresh-food economy within the city;
- Creating “Peak Performance”, an initiative that seeks to streamline city government.
- Appointing Alex Martinez as the city’s new Manager of Safety and launching a national search for a new Chief of Police.
But despite his accomplishments, Hancock has also collected his share of detractors in his first 100 days. His opposition to Initiative 300, which seeks paid sick leaves for all Denver employees and goes to the voters on November 1, has angered some health advocates and professionals in the city. He has a flinty relationship with members of Occupy Denver, who called their meeting with him over their presence in Civic Center Park “politics as usual”. And should the National Western Stock Show leave the city, there are many who will place the blame right at his feet.
Also, Hancock has yet to name a new chief of police, a decision that is key to his goal of restoriing (some might say establishing) trust in the Denver Police department.
But even those dissenting voices are part of the process of turning Denver into a “world class city,” Hancock said.
“We have heard from the people of Denver and we are responding,” Hancock said. “While we have only been in office for a short time, the Administration is taking action in order to deliver a world-class city where everyone matters. We’re setting a strong foundation for the next four years of progress.”