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John Hickenlooper's letter to city employees: It's (sort of) business as usual

How will John Hickenlooper be able to serve as mayor of Denver even as he campaigns for governor? In a letter sent to city employees earlier today, Hick doesn't say -- but he does emphasize that it has no intention of bailing on his current gig.

The guv race "does not change my position as Mayor, nor does it lessen my commitment to Denver or involvement in the day-to-day operation of the City," he writes, adding, "We are moving forward as a City, and no one wants this campaign to change that."

To underscore this point, Hickenlooper lists a slew of priorities for the coming year, which he hopes to accomplish with a lot of help from his friends. Eyeball his entire message below:

Jan. 14, 2010

Dear City Employees:

My family and I announced this week that we will run for Governor. This does not change my position as Mayor, nor does it lessen my commitment to Denver or involvement in the day-to-day operation of the City. For me to resign as Mayor would disrupt much of the positive momentum in the City you have worked so hard to create and would require a special election costing at least $750,000. We are moving forward as a City, and no one wants this campaign to change that.

The chance to represent all of Colorado is appealing because -- not unlike recent years in our City -- the state faces significant financial challenges today. Perhaps someone with a background like mine in business, public service and creating jobs can help all of Colorado work our way out of this difficult economy. This opportunity is a tribute to the hard work, innovation and results that all City Employees deliver.

We have accomplished a great deal together, but there are still many goals to reach, ideas to implement and exciting opportunities to create. A few of the priorities that come to mind include:

* Completion of Denver's first zoning code update in more than a half-century and capitalizing on new transit-oriented development opportunities to enhance our economy, mobility and quality of life.

* Redevelopment of Denver Union Station as a mixed-use, multimodal transit hub and construction of FasTracks -- the nation's most ambitious transit initiative.

* Continued work on the $550 million Better Denver Bond Program, which continues ahead of schedule and under budget throughout the City.

* Building momentum of Development Services, the City's new one-stop-shop for land development that streamlines and enhances the permitting and inspection processes from start to finish.

* Continued expansion of sustainability opportunities through Greenprint Denver and our City-wide commitment to environmental and economic health.

* Continued success of Denver's Road Home, creating a national model for success in ending chronic homelessness.

* Hosting Denver's first Biennial of the Americas in 2010, bringing together art, ideas and social action from North, Central and South America.

* A shared service model for our internal support functions that improves services and reduces costs so we can focus more resources on core business goals.

* Continued commitment to the success of Denver Public Schools, with an ongoing emphasis on early childhood education, after-school programs and college access.

* Continued crime reduction and public safety innovations that contribute to safer, healthier neighborhoods.

Of course, this is not a complete list. These are just a handful of Denver's projects or initiatives that are improving our City. All of your departments are engaged in transformational work that will make Denver -- and our region -- an even better place to work, live and visit in the decades ahead.

Thank you for your continued service to our City and your commitment to our team. It is an honor to serve with you. Please know that our successes and innovations have the power to benefit cities across the state and the nation. Working together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish on behalf of the Mile High City.

Sincerely,

Mayor John Hickenlooper

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