Guiding principles, budget approved by council

A recap of the Dec. 3 Lone Tree City Council meeting

Nick Puckett
npuckett@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/10/19

The Lone Tree City Council approved the proposed 2020 budget and a resolution to adopt “guiding principles” for elected officials on Dec. 3. It also appointed a new arts commissioner. Council's …

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Guiding principles, budget approved by council

A recap of the Dec. 3 Lone Tree City Council meeting

Posted

The Lone Tree City Council approved the proposed 2020 budget and a resolution to adopt “guiding principles” for elected officials on Dec. 3. It also appointed a new arts commissioner.

Council's final meeting of the year is scheduled for Dec. 17, when the city is expected to announce its contract for the adaptive traffic signal program. The project will launch in 2020.

`Guiding principles'

Council approved a resolution adopting “guiding principles” for city councilmembers and mayor. Council unanimously passed Resolution 19-47, 5-0.

The guidelines specify the roles, standards and rules of the city's elected officials. The guidelines for the most part outline ethical standards and the city's mission. It also states certain protocol, like its media policy and roles during emergency disasters.

Councilmember Wynne Shaw took the lead on drafting the document and resolution. City Manager Seth Hoffman said it was council's initiative to “set the standards of how you work together and with the staff with the idea of keeping Lone Tree a better place.”

“Having the privilege of serving city residents and working with a tremendously dedicated staff...I'd say the four of you are among the finest,” Mayor Jackie Millet said. “We would love to see this same level of collaboration, not just among the partners and collective bodies, but with staff and the residents.”

The guideline was approved five months ahead of Lone Tree's municipal elections. On May 5, voters will vote for mayor and two council seats.

The document begins by stating the city's vision, mission and its “Six Big Ideas,” which are more general guidelines for city staff and council. The Six Big Ideas are commitments to strong public safety, transportation network, community identity, cultural and recreational opportunities, business activity and an efficient government.

The guidelines are non-binding. It is a written summary of the city councilmembers' commitment to collaboration with both regional partners and city staff, boards and commissions.

The guidelines include a brief explanation for how councilmembers should approach items like business applications in a “quasi-judicial” role.

The document is “meant to set a foundation for the council, asserting their commitment to work together for the benefit of the community of Lone Tree,” said Austin Good, assistant to the city manager. Good said there was no reason as to the timing, other than council saw this as a chance to “be proactive — setting the tone for how council operates.”

New arts commissioner

The city appointed Tonya Fallows to the Lone Tree Arts Commission Dec. 3, replacing Jennifer Lewis, who did not wish to be reappointed.

Fallows will serve a term on the commission through Dec. 31, 2022. Council also reappointed Commissioners Larry Lovelace and Julie Kemerling through 2022.

Fallows served two years as the president of the Lone Tree Arts Guild, the fundraising arm of the Lone Tree Arts Center, and two years as its president-elect. Fallows got her start as a member of the historian committee of the Lone Tree Arts Guild. Fallows will remain involved with the arts guild organizing the annual gala.

The Lone Tree Arts Commission is the representative body for the Lone Tree Arts Center to the city. It approves various city-sponsored measures, such as the city's annual budget for the arts center.

Fallows said she is most interested in making sure children have access to art and culture. Through her work with the arts guild she learned introducing children to arts at an early age can have a lasting influence their whole lives.

“Anything we can do to make sure that happens for the children and our community as a whole, I think, is extremely important for the health of a community, especially one as small as Lone Tree,” Fallows said.

Council finalizes budget

Deputy City Manager Kristin Baumgartner and Finance Director Ulli Nierling read into the record the highlights of the 2020 proposed budget, recapping for the final time to council the city's projected revenue and expenditures for the year.

Baumgarnter said the city is entering a “planning year” to replenish funds for large capital projects in the future. Projects like the Leaf Pedestrian Bridge, which opened in 2018, and the opening of the Southeast Rail Extension project in May took a lot from capital reserves.

The only change in the Dec. 3 reading of the budget and the first reading Nov. 19 was the timing of the RidgeGate Parkway funds, which will carry over into 2020.

The city has a budget of $74.1 million projected for 2020. The city expects a 0.2% increase in the rate of sales tax revenue growth. To view the whole budget, visit CityofLoneTree.com, search for the Dec. 3 agenda and download the PDF attached to the agenda item for the 2020 budget.

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