Mayor’s State of the City address details COVID, homelessness

Online video posted instead to maintain social distancing

Casey Van Divier
cvandivier@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/20/20

As has been the case with many traditions in spring 2020, the mayor’s annual State of the City address went virtual May 15 as Mayor Marc Williams reviewed the challenges and successes of Arvada …

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Mayor’s State of the City address details COVID, homelessness

Online video posted instead to maintain social distancing

Posted

As has been the case with many traditions in spring 2020, the mayor’s annual State of the City address went virtual May 15 as Mayor Marc Williams reviewed the challenges and successes of Arvada this year.

The address was prerecorded and posted to the city’s YouTube page. Alongside footage from Williams’s speech, the video also included clips highlighting Arvada’s best moments — from the establishment of the Community Table’s health clinic for those in need, to resident Susie Montoya’s 102nd birthday, when Arvada officer Dave Snelling brought her a delivery of cherry pies.

The mayor also spent some time outlining how the city responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

When the city heard about the virus in January, “although we hoped it would be contained, our team at the city began preparing even then,” Williams said, including by updating their emergency preparedness plans and taking stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other resources.

The city has also been saved by its notably conservative approach to budgeting, giving it funds to weather the storm, he said.

Williams praised the city’s response and ability to provide remote services throughout the crisis while also thanking Arvadans for the sacrifices they have made.

“For those of you who have lost loved ones, we grieve with you,” Williams said. “For those who have been sickened but recovered, we wish you a speedy recovery. For those of you who have stayed at home, thank you.”

He further stated that even in times of crisis, it is important that Arvada doesn’t lose sight of its successes. This includes three recent awards: the 2019 National Purchasing Institutes Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award, the city’s 28th straight Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and Olde Town’s nomination as a Great Place Colorado, by the American Planning Association.

Other successes included the city’s ongoing approach to solving issues related to homelessness, he said.

In June, the police department established its CORE team, or Community Outreach Resources and Enforcement team, which works to enforce on community concerns related to homelessness and connect the homeless to resources. So far, the team has responded to 643 calls for service and made 116 arrests.

In January, the city launched its Homeless Navigator Program, which has placed seven homeless individuals into permanent housing with five more placements pending.

The city has also benefited from projects such as the launch of the G Line last spring and ongoing work on the Land Development Code. Up for adoption May 18, the code would streamline the approval process for incoming developments from 12 to seven months or, in certain situations, from 12 to four months.

With these projects and others, Williams repeatedly came back to highlighting the importance of the partnerships the city has with Arvada organizations and community members.

“Now is the time,” he said, “to recommit ourselves to working together in the coming year and beyond to build upon all that we have accomplished thus far.”

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