Guest Column: Fort Collins City Manager Kelly DiMartino

In January, it will be six months since I was officially appointed as the City Manager. It’s an honor to be serving in this role, and I appreciate the opportunity to share a few highlights of what we’re focusing on as a City organization. Delivering on Council priorities is always at the forefront. In addition, our City leadership team has identified three key focus areas.

The first is moving from pandemic recovery to community resilience, creating a more vibrant and inclusive community that can withstand future disruptions. Part of that effort includes leveraging federal recovery dollars to achieve community and Council priorities around small business support, affordable housing and helping our most vulnerable community members, as well as making progress on goals identified in City Plan, Our Climate Future, and the Housing Strategic Plan.

We know the economic impacts from the pandemic are still being felt and many businesses are still struggling due to lost revenue, increased costs, workforce challenges and supply chain issues. The City is supporting economic recovery through a variety of different programs, including the establishment of a Multicultural Business and Entrepreneur Center, and issuing recovery grants to several local small businesses.

I’m proud to share the City of Fort Collins recently received a 2022 EDIE Award from the Economic Development Council of Colorado. The award reflects the extensive work the City’s Economic Health Office and community partners such as you have conducted to support our local businesses and workforce, especially through the pandemic.

A second area of focus is digital transformation. We are working to modernize digital City services with a lens on providing efficient, customer-focused, accessible, and equitable technological solutions. The recently adopted budget includes funding to implement modern and streamlined community-facing technology solutions in areas such as Utilities, agenda management, development review, building licensing and permitting services, and recreation class registration. We know those of you who utilize these services are anxiously awaiting these upgrades!

The third area of focus is talent. The City is not immune to the challenges facing many employers in workforce recruitment and retention, and we are striving to remain an employer of choice so that we can deliver the high level of service our community expects and deserves. We are making consistent progress in our efforts to develop, recruit, retain, support, and value our employees. This includes implementing flexible work practices, examining, and adjusting our pay and benefits structure to remain competitive, adding HR staff dedicated to recruitment, and implementing hiring incentives and other strategies for some of our hardest-to-fill positions, such as bus operators and certain skilled trades.

An overarching theme through all areas of focus is renewed attention on the customer experience. We are actively working to identify areas where our systems and processes have gotten too complex or too fragmented, where customers are being sent to multiple departments to get answers, and where we can make small (or large) shifts that will make things more clear, simple, and user-friendly for our residents and businesses.

This focus on customer is reflected in our updated vision: To foster a thriving and engaged community through our operational excellence and culture of innovation. The updated vision maintains a strong emphasis on providing high quality, forward-thinking services, while shifting the outcome from world-class municipal services to the “why” behind our existence, which is all about building community.

I look forward to working in partnership with you and welcome any feedback or suggestions! I can be reached at [email protected].

 

Source: Fort Collins City Manager Kelly DiMartino 
Date: December 14, 2022

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