How does a state agency save money? If it's the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, you hire an outside consulting firm, order your employees to do the firm's work in finding ways to cut costs, and then give the firm a share of both the money saved and new money raised -- from fees imposed on Coloradans using this state's natural resources. That was the plan, anyway, under former director Greg Walcher, who left the department early this year with an eye to running for Congress (and no doubt running from critics). In his place, Governor Owens came up with another kind of political animal altogether: former legislator Russell George, whose background as head of the Division of Wildlife, work as an attorney in Rifle, and record as speaker of the House in the General Assembly makes him an ideal choice to forge coalitions to clean up the environment. And that's just the environment inside the Department of Natural Resources. If he can fix that, just imagine what he can do for the great outdoors.
How does a state agency save money? If it's the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, you hire an outside consulting firm, order your employees to do the firm's work in finding ways to cut costs, and then give the firm a share of both the money saved and new money raised -- from fees imposed on Coloradans using this state's natural resources. That was the plan, anyway, under former director Greg Walcher, who left the department early this year with an eye to running for Congress (and no doubt running from critics). In his place, Governor Owens came up with another kind of political animal altogether: former legislator Russell George, whose background as head of the Division of Wildlife, work as an attorney in Rifle, and record as speaker of the House in the General Assembly makes him an ideal choice to forge coalitions to clean up the environment. And that's just the environment inside the Department of Natural Resources. If he can fix that, just imagine what he can do for the great outdoors.
First things first: Mike Feeley is a Democrat -- and how. The lawyer/lawmaker came within 121 votes of grabbing the seventh congressional seat from Bob Beauprez in 2002. But that didn't stop Governor Bill Owens from naming Feeley this year to an open slot on the Colorado Commission of Higher Education, where the former Senate minority leader will be able to give his fellow commissioners a real-life lesson in how to push policy through the legislature.
First things first: Mike Feeley is a Democrat -- and how. The lawyer/lawmaker came within 121 votes of grabbing the seventh congressional seat from Bob Beauprez in 2002. But that didn't stop Governor Bill Owens from naming Feeley this year to an open slot on the Colorado Commission of Higher Education, where the former Senate minority leader will be able to give his fellow commissioners a real-life lesson in how to push policy through the legislature.


With appointment after appointment, Mayor John Hickenlooper has brought a stellar lineup of talent to the city -- and a stellar lineup on the cheap, since he'd vowed to cut the mayor's budget by 25 percent. But even in this embarrassment of riches, Roxane White, the city's new manager of human services, stands out. With the current budget crunch, all jobs are tough -- but hers could be the toughest, since social services have taken a huge hit on both a federal and statewide level, even as the number of those in need rises daily. But White's up to the task. As director of Urban Peak, a nonprofit serving homeless youth, for eight years, she proved herself both a tireless fighter for the underclass and a creative administrator who figured out how to do more with less. Or, in some cases, nothing at all. With White in charge, human services suddenly became a lot more human.
With appointment after appointment, Mayor John Hickenlooper has brought a stellar lineup of talent to the city -- and a stellar lineup on the cheap, since he'd vowed to cut the mayor's budget by 25 percent. But even in this embarrassment of riches, Roxane White, the city's new manager of human services, stands out. With the current budget crunch, all jobs are tough -- but hers could be the toughest, since social services have taken a huge hit on both a federal and statewide level, even as the number of those in need rises daily. But White's up to the task. As director of Urban Peak, a nonprofit serving homeless youth, for eight years, she proved herself both a tireless fighter for the underclass and a creative administrator who figured out how to do more with less. Or, in some cases, nothing at all. With White in charge, human services suddenly became a lot more human.


When Monday Night Football came to town a few years ago, that national broadcast featured shots of Denver's mounted police on the 16th Street Mall. City Councilman Charlie Brown remembered that -- and he's not about to let you forget it. So when budget cuts threatened to put the Denver Police Department's mounted patrol out to pasture, Brown came riding to the rescue. Armed with a great poster of the patrol by artist William Matthews, whose studio/gallery borders the mall, Brown lobbied loud and hard for the four-footed crime-fighters, and two of the five positions were saved.
When Monday Night Football came to town a few years ago, that national broadcast featured shots of Denver's mounted police on the 16th Street Mall. City Councilman Charlie Brown remembered that -- and he's not about to let you forget it. So when budget cuts threatened to put the Denver Police Department's mounted patrol out to pasture, Brown came riding to the rescue. Armed with a great poster of the patrol by artist William Matthews, whose studio/gallery borders the mall, Brown lobbied loud and hard for the four-footed crime-fighters, and two of the five positions were saved.


Colorado Democrats have been looking for energetic new leaders, and they've found a promising one in Romanoff. As leader of the perpetual minority party in the Statehouse, Romanoff's managed to stir things up under the Capitol dome. He's made far-reaching proposals to solve the state's budget crisis and gotten Democrats into the limelight -- not an easy thing to do when Republicans control both the legislature and the governor's office. Romanoff, who represents east Denver, also writes an intelligent, amusing e-mail letter every week for constituents and supporters that's becoming a must-read (subscribe at romanoff@coloradohouse.org). With Colorado in a fiscal mess, we'll need people like Romanoff to show the way out -- and maybe even lead us into the future.
Colorado Democrats have been looking for energetic new leaders, and they've found a promising one in Romanoff. As leader of the perpetual minority party in the Statehouse, Romanoff's managed to stir things up under the Capitol dome. He's made far-reaching proposals to solve the state's budget crisis and gotten Democrats into the limelight -- not an easy thing to do when Republicans control both the legislature and the governor's office. Romanoff, who represents east Denver, also writes an intelligent, amusing e-mail letter every week for constituents and supporters that's becoming a must-read (subscribe at romanoff@coloradohouse.org). With Colorado in a fiscal mess, we'll need people like Romanoff to show the way out -- and maybe even lead us into the future.

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