Michael Hancock begins his term as mayor with considerable good will and facing significant challenges.
His campaign highlighted his exceptional life story and his good temperament. He promised more continuity than change and emphasized that his long government service experience put him in position to begin on day one.
Except for the Stock Show imbroglio, his start has been smooth and appointments appear satisfactory. But, Michael campaigned on the economy and inherits a process to get Denver’s fiscal house in order. Those will be the two big tasks he must address before the end of the calendar year.
• Hancock made the point the city budget must be balanced and will. The contrast with Washington D.C. will be welcome. But, he is also committed to some structure reforms, which will come out of his transition group and the Vidal financial task force. Most will require council action. Some will require charter changes and voter approval in November 2012.
• Denver has been without a serious economic development team or strategy during a good part of this recession. Pulling together the players and a list of opportunities is critical.
• The National Western Stock Show has needed help for more than a decade, while the recent effort was poorly executed, there is broad recognition something must be done and public sympathy to help. Hancock has some room to maneuver if he’s prepared to take the bull by the horns and be bold.
See 9News article: Hancock: ‘This is a marathon Denver, not a sprint’