Now that Mayor Steve Bach has submitted the 2013 budget to the Colorado Springs City Council for consideration, he hopes the public will weigh in.
Thursday, residents of the Springs had the opportunity to provide input at a town hall meeting. The city is still taking ideas through e-mail and social media. E-mail ideas, questions and comments to email@example.com, post to Facebook.com/springsgov, or tweet @springsgov.
Bach says he has met with over 200 groups and individuals to get ideas as he and City Council tinker with the submitted budget. In his conversations with the greater community, he tells 11 News that public safety and fire protection are the biggest priorities. The mayor's budget seeks to answer these concerns by putting more police officers on the street and strengthening the Fire Department.
"The trend that I've seen here over the past month...people want public safety. They want to feel safe. We are increasing the number of officers on the street and firefighters significantly," Bach said in an interview with reporter Patrick Nelson Thursday.
The mayor is also looking to turn back on more than 3,500 streetlights and bring back evening buses. Park maintenance is also being factored into the budget.
Bach told 11 News he also wants to reinvigorate downtown Colorado Springs.
"I want downtown to be a friendly place that people want to be," Bach told Nelson in Thursday's interview. Among the ways he is seeking to do this: installing security cameras, increasing the time limit on parking meters and providing some free parking. The downtown area, as well as southeast Colorado Springs and the North Nevada corridor near UCCS, are also being looked at as areas to stimulate job creation.
In all, Bach says he thinks the budget is very strong and responsible. He is striving to provide the city with the things it needs while staying within a balanced budget. He tells 11 News he also feels very optimistic about the direction the city is moving in.