Today Mayor Michael Hancock will deliver his State of the City speech at the Forney Museum, in north Denver -- an area that's becoming a focus of the Hancock administration. But things aren't looking as rosy in southeast Denver, where the Highpointe development was supposed to be a boon -- but residents of the Holly Ridge neighborhood says it's been a big, messy bust. The construction company working on the project leaves trash and bad feelings...and those bad feelings aren't all trained on the development. City officials have come in for criticism, too.
"I understand why the neighbors are upset," says Denver City Council rep Peggy Lehmann. "It's their front and back yards. Have the contractors been as responsive as they should be? Probably not. We do talk to them. We do what we can. But we can't make them behave. It's just very difficult."
That doesn't satisfy Greta Durr:
Denver taxpayers, Denver City Council recently voted to give themselves another pay raise. We pay Lehmann and our other city council members nearly $100k per year with about one third more in benefits. What are we getting in return? Developers, most of them from out of state, are vandalizing our neighborhoods while Lehmann and her cohorts make secret land deals at our expense, and plan to bulldoze our parks. Turks are fighting and dying in their streets over what we're willing to tolerate with abject complacency.
If the president pro tem of the Denver City Council lacks the power to compel developers and a construction company to obey local laws and ordinances governing their business practices, who does? This story isn't about one neighborhood, it foreshadows the future of our city if we don't get off our asses and take a stand.
What do you think of the current state of our city? Post your thoughts below.
For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.