Manager paints optimistic view in State of the City presentation

Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/18/21

If there were underlying themes to Brighton’s annual State of the City address, they were  optimism and gratitude. City manager Jane Bais DiSessa delivered the address earlier this month. “We …

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Manager paints optimistic view in State of the City presentation

Posted

If there were underlying themes to Brighton’s annual State of the City address, they were  optimism and gratitude.

City manager Jane Bais DiSessa delivered the address earlier this month.

“We started this year with hope. The first COVID vaccines were under way,” she said. “This glimmer of hope came after months of uncertainty. COVID didn’t discriminate. Brighton’s own police chief, Paul Southard, battled the virus for several weeks on a ventilator. He was fighting for his life. We are very fortunate to have him back.”

DiSessa touched on the personal toll from the virus. More than 130 residents died. She also touched on the impacts on business and the city’s response. The city set aside more than $4 million for such things as household grants, COVID tests and online marketing classes

for businesses. The Brighton Economic Development Corp. began a promotion encouraging local shopping and purchases.

“It trickled down to the livelihoods of many. People were struggling to pay their mortgage, pay for food,” she said. “That’s not what we want to see.”

There were mental health impacts, too. Two of the city’s school resource officers, Mario Hernandez and Jodie Avery met a young man who was having difficulty with quarantine issues.

“They made a pact. If the young man behaved, they’d return and go on a bike ride with him,” DiSessa said in her remarks. “The young man exceeded expectations, and they took him on a bike ride and ate lunch with him. That warms my heart, knowing we are keeping an eye out for the well-being of others. 

Brighton City Council put $500,000 in this year’s budget for COVID response issues.

“This, alongside future funding from the state and federal government, will support our efforts to get a healthy economy in this community back on track,” she said.

Many of last year’s cancellations are returning this year, such as the use of the Oasis waterpark, the gradual reopening of the Eagle View Adult Center and Summerfest. This year’s Christmas event will include a plastic tree in the new Founders Plaza. Last spring’s derecho wiped out several trees in town, including the Christmas tree outside Historic City Hall. DiSessa said several tree planting events will take place to replace the lost trees.

DiSessa credited council with taking a step forward in long- and short-term strategies. It added sustainability to a list that includes a safe, active community, financial responsibility and strong regional partnerships.

“We have a ways to go and so much to accomplish,” DiSessa said. “The staff is ready to make that happen. We are on a path forward. Economic recovery is on the horizon. By working together, we will emerge stronger.

“To a new year, a new chapter and all we will accomplish.”

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