DENVER (KDVR) — Mayor Michael Hancock gave his last State of the City address on Monday. He highlighted some of the city’s successes since he took office in 2011, mainly economic, but there are other aspects he wants to improve.
There was no shortage of pomp and circumstance for the mayor’s final State of the City address.
Hancock highlighted the city being able to move past the 2008 recession and uncertainty dealt by the pandemic during his tenure. He has got some key focuses moving forward.
“We want to deliver a healthy, financially well-tuned city to the next mayor,” Hancock told FOX31 on Monday. “We also want to make sure all the macro-projects we have on board are moving forward on time and on schedule and on budget in the City of Denver. Aand third is that we don’t lose sight or our efforts, our aggressiveness, to address the challenges that our city is facing,” Hancock said.
Hancock: Local governments ‘can’t do it by themselves’
Speaking of who’s next for his seat, many of the rumored potential candidates were in attendance. Hancock was not quite ready to talk about who that could be but he had some advice about how they should approach the role.
“Be willing to seek, learn, in terms of how things operate and what is necessary to go forward. I think one of the things I tried to peel back today were really the truths about a lot of things,” Hancock said. “You know, people say, ‘Well, you’re not investing in affordable housing.’ Well, we try to talk about the fact that we are rehousing people as rapidly as we can, and we are making tremendous investments.”
One of those investments is the American Rescue Plan Act money used to house people in former hotels.
An area where progress could be made is crime. Since 2010, violent crime in Denver has slowly increased. The mayor said it will take collaboration to solve it.
“We gotta talk about the opiate and fentanyl crisis in America. We gotta talk about the unchecked mental illness that’s on our streets. We gotta talk about the fact that the government kind of turned its back and says it’s left you to you, local government. Even states, and I think you see our governor even turning his attention to issues of housing and homelessness, is because we’ve kind of left local governments to their own devices. Now, we’re all realizing, they can’t do it by themselves,” Hancock said.
The mayor said he doesn’t know what’s next for him but he says there is a lot that still needs to get done between now and his departure.