Longmont to Consider Far-ranging Work Plan

October 21, 2018 GMT

If you go

What: Longmont City Council

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Civic Center council chambers, 350 Kimbark St., Longmont

Agenda: tinyurl.com/yd8wal52

Longmont City Council members may take a more active role in working with neighborhood organizations and businesses toward achieving a council goal of ensuring that the community’s most vulnerable residents “have the resources and opportunity to thrive.”

If council members still desire Longmont to be recognized as a center for the arts, culture and entertainment, they may want to have their staff commission a market funding study to determine the viability of a new performance center, possibly in conjunction with a new conference center and hotel complex.

If the council still wants Longmont to eventually have “the highest quality, best prepared workforce in the western United States,” then council and staff members may meet with Front Range Community College, the University of Colorado and Colorado State University to talk about ways to create a more robust higher education presence in the city.

Those are among the tasks and the potential actions that may wind up in a formal “work plan” for the rest of this year and in 2019, a priority-setting document the city council is to discuss on Tuesday night.

During their annual retreat in May, council members informally agreed on vision statements for what they like the community to be like in 20 years’ time, as well as a number of short-term goals for helping achieve or work toward achieving those visions.

By 2038, “Longmont will be the world’s greatest village, where children are most fortunate to be born and raised, where people will have access to food and shelter, and where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and feel that they belong,” according to one of the vision statements.

“Longmont will have a developed Main Street from Pike Road to Highway 66 and a river corridor that stretches from the Sugar Mill to the Fairgrounds, providing a vibrant economic, residential, cultural and entertainment epicenter that is sustainable and respects the natural environment,” according to the second vision statement that emerged from the May retreat.

On Tuesday night, the council is to consider a draft work plan that includes those vision statements and sets goals that could help this and future councils achieve those visions — as well as specific objectives and actions that either area already underway or might be taken by the end of 2019.

Several council members have insisted that any work plan should include specific steps toward reaching the visions and goals, including “metrics” the council, its staff and Longmont residents could use to track and measure the city’s progress.

For example, one of the work plan goals related to the council’s vision of making Longmont a place where children are fortunate to be born and raised would be to work with the private sector, the school district and nonprofit agencies “to provide high quality Pre-K learning opportunities for all our children so that they have a good start in life.”

An objective would be to annually increase the percentage of Longmont 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in “quality preschool programs,” with one of the city’s actions to be to continue providing funding for those programs through human service agency grants.

One role the council could play in that effort, the city staff suggested in the draft work plan to be discussed Tuesday, would be for council member to “partner” with Pre-K programs to become mentors to families with children in those programs, as well as to the children themselves.

Another goal — one that would commit the council to providing the incentives, housing and support services needed to “end the risk of homelessness in our community,” stems from the council’s stated vision of people having access to shelter and the opportunity to thrive.

Making a significant impact on homelessness would require council members “to take an active role in bringing the community together toward a common solution,” the staff suggested in the draft work plan.

The council had been scheduled on July 31 to adopt a version of the draft work plan the staff had prepared from the visions and goals members had informally approved in their May retreat. But the council decided to postpone its work-plan decisions and to have the staff do more work on the document before rescheduling it for renewed discussion.

Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc