Being a mayor is a bit like scaling a towering mountain, navigating its ever-shifting terrain while keeping a firm grip on the practicalities of governance. You stand as a sentinel on the summit of your city’s dreams, surveying its issues and potential like a climber embracing both the weight of their gear and the awe-inspiring grandeur of the mountain. To be a mayor is to be a guiding star, always attuned to your city’s changing landscape, challenges and boundless opportunities. It is a role that demands commitment, resilience, and dedication.
This month I’m glad to share some of what it’s like to be mayor, the good, the not-as-good, and the very busy.
Early Monday morning (Aug. 13), I sat down for breakfast with City Manager Patrick Goff. In a focused setting, we discussed all things Wheat Ridge, from development to infrastructure to personal concerns of our residents, especially emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
By noon, it was time for a lunch meeting with Laura Kroeger, the executive director of the Mile High Flood District. We met for a sandwich on Green Mountain with a full view of the Denver basin, a perfect setting to discuss the District’s stormwater safety activities. As board chair, we had plenty to go over in preparation for the week’s upcoming board meeting.
The next day, I headed to the Vista at Applewood Golf Course, where I emcee the Wheat Ridge Business Association (WRBA) breakfast. Spending time with local business leaders helps me stay informed on their challenges and opportunities within the city.
That afternoon I attended back-to-back ribbon-cutting ceremonies – one at Jet’s Pizza on Wadsworth and another at APTO Physical Therapy Wellness, a place dedicated to integrated holistic health and wellness.
Wednesday morning, I had a board meeting of the Metro Mayors Caucus, a gathering of 39 mayors from cities in the Denver metropolitan area. I have the honor of serving as the current past chair and a member of the Executive Committee. Additionally, I chair the Housing, Hunger and Homelessness Subcommittee, a responsibility I fully embrace.
That evening, I attended a committee meeting and board meeting for the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), where we discussed the upcoming annual awards banquet. Our “Let’s Talk” initiative has won the prestigious Metro Vision Award for Community Engagement, a moment of pride for all of Wheat Ridge.
Thursday I chaired the Mile High Flood District Board of Directors’ first meeting in our brand-new headquarters on Green Mountain. After leasing for half a century, we had finally purchased a building and retrofitted it to serve as our offices and collaborative gathering space for regional stormwater management activities.
Friday was all about shaping the future of Wheat Ridge. I had a meeting with a new business owner who had exciting plans for a building project in our city. We discussed the possibilities and the positive impact it could have on our community.
My commitments outside and within the city all work in tandem, toward the shared goal of keeping Wheat Ridge the premier place to live, work, and play.
Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-235-2800.