Update on Funding for Transportation

With the end of the state legislative session a month ago, I’m still struggling to positively characterize what happened with transportation funding.

In a show of how important transportation was to legislators, the very first bill introduced during the session was Senate Bill 18-001 (SB 1), aka the Fix Colorado Roads Act. It held great promise. With $1.3 billion of new, unencumbered revenue in the state budget, the Legislature had the opportunity to put transportation back in the budget in...

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Local Issues to Keep Eye on in 2018

This will be a busy year for Fort Collins.

The City Council recently discussed when to ask voters to consider renewing the Keep Fort Collins Great tax. It doesn’t expire until the end 2020, nearly 3 years from now. The early consensus seems to be the election April 2019. It looks like the City has a good story to tell, but it also has to justify the continuation of a temporary tax when the original reason – the Great Recession – is gone. This is a conversation not to rush.

Last week ...

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Can’t We All Just Get Along on Transportation

As I write this I’m supposed to be headed to the Annual BizWest Economic Forecast luncheon in Greeley. Instead, I found out yesterday that the hearing for an important transportation bill is scheduled for today in Denver so I’m getting ready to testify.

The legislative and political landscape in the Capitol is always interesting, but especially when the two legislative chambers are controlled by different political parties, and it’s an election year. Everybody declares their fealty to f...

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We Are All Amazonians Now

“Do you think there’s a good chance Amazon will select Colorado for its headquarters? Are you concerned at all about the impact on the local workforce?”

Since Amazon announced on September 7 it was searching for a location in North America for a second headquarters site, those questions have been asked of me several times. My answers are ‘yes’ and ‘yes.’ But before I elaborate, here’s more background.

Amazon announced that it would make a capital investment of up to $5 bill...

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A Summer Reading List

This summer I am looking forward to reading and rereading a shorter-than-usual list of books. I found in recent years my enthusiasm usually outpaces my time! Anyway, here's what I'm reading this summer:

– American Ulysses by Ronald C. White. This is a biography about Ulysses S. Grant. I have always found Grant to be fascinating. He moved from obscurity to become a national hero back to obscurity and is now making a quiet comeback.

– Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. This book has been a n...

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What’s on Your Mind?

By necessity, my focus has narrowed over the past couple of years to a limited number of big issues, including lobbying for money to widen I-25, workforce development and raising the money to pay for these efforts and others. Fortunately we have a government affairs team of staffers and volunteer members staying on top of other community and business issues.

I bring this up because the Chamber Board is having a planning retreat in the near future. Leaders will be talking about the issues note...

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Council took proactive action on climate plan

Here’s a scenario for you: A neighbor enthusiastically approaches you with an idea he says will improve the community. With great verve he espouses his grand vision of the future. You notice several things: The level of enthusiasm is off the charts, the details are numerous but oddly vague, the costs are eye-poppingly high, and the benefits are not at all clear. Then comes the real zinger: He wants you to "invest" a significant amount of your family budget in all of this for decades to come.

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2016 was Strong Year for Chamber

Happy New Year!

With the books closed on another year, I wanted to give a quick look back on 2016. It was a good year for the community and a very productive one for the Chamber

The Fort Collins community and region continued to prosper. Millions of dollars were invested in private homes, commercial and industrial properties and public infrastructure. Unemployment was low though under-employment remains an issue for area residents.

I haven’t had a chance yet to write the narrative of ...

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A Christmas list for others

Hey Santa!

This is letter No. 55 or so from me! (That assumes, of course, that you counted the seven letters I sent when I was 8 years old as just one! Remember what you said? You called me a serial-Santa-sender!)

The list for me is short but important: I want a good night’s sleep every night. Just 7 hours will do. If every night is too much, could you do three a week? Most of the time I feel like a sleigh crash victim staggering around the tundra!

That’s really all I need, so here...

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The State of American Jobs

Recently I shared information about a talent/labor development plan the Chamber is developing in concert with other community partners. You can find that blog post here. It contains great local data about what is happening with our workforce.

Another report worth reading was published a couple of weeks ago by the Pew Research Center. It is titled “The State of American Jobs: How the shifting economic landscape is reshaping work and society and affecting the way people think about the skills...

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