‘I will work hard every day’ – Steve Bach elected Colorado Springs’ 1st ‘strong mayor’
Steve Bach, a commercial real-estate broker, will trade that job for mayor of Colorado Springs when he is sworn in as the city's first “strong mayor” June 7.
He rolled to a 15-percentage-point victory over business owner and former City Council member Richard Skorman in runoff-election results that were tallied May 17.
“I will work hard every day to be the best mayor we ever had,” Bach pledged in his acceptance speech. The 68-year-old, 45-year city resident also signaled that he does not plan to be wishy-washy. “I will use the best common sense I can and be as thoughtful as I can, but I am going to make decisions,” he said.
Other remarks in his speech reiterated campaign promises to make city government more efficient and helpful to the public, to stimulate the creation of private-sector jobs and to aid the city's cause by “building alliances” with other government and business entities around the state.
Job creation was especially stressed during his campaign. His website (stevebachmayor.com) states that “as mayor, my role will be to lead the charge in improving the business climate and in cultivating the goodwill of existing employers. I will also be extensively involved with the private sector, inviting and encouraging compatible, quality businesses to come here.”
Bach's resume includes experience as a business executive, a leader in the private Economic Development Corporation (which works closely with the Chamber of Commerce) and a founder of the Business Climate Initiatives Group that “saved thousands of high-quality jobs here,” his website states. As a young man in Colorado Springs, he served at Fort Carson in an artillery unit.
He and his wife Suzi have been married 27 years. He has two grown children.
The term “strong mayor” refers to the new definition of the position in voter-approved charter changes last fall. Essentially, the mayor takes on the duties of the city manager, a position eliminated in the new charter. The theory of charter supporters was that this would give more leadership power to the mayor - hence “strong mayor.”
The charter authors also wanted to be sure such a mayor was devoted to his task, including the requirement that he can't hold any other job while holding that elected slot.
Under the charter changes, the mayor will no longer run City Council meetings, but can attend them and interact with the group. The nine-member council is run by a president they elect. Recently chosen for that role is Scott Hente, an eight-year veteran whose District 1 takes in the northern part of the Westside.
Westside Pioneer article