In the City: Thank you to everyone who has helped Fort Collins through 2020

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Darin Atteberry

We have come through an incredibly trying year, unlike any most of us have ever experienced. In the midst of the ongoing response and recovery, I would like to take a moment to express gratitude.

First and foremost, thank you to each of my city colleagues for responding to the community’s changing needs while continuing to provide the everyday municipal services we all depend on.

Our emergency operations team has worked tirelessly to respond to this crisis and the vast ways it has impacted community members, local businesses, and city operations.

Hundreds of city staff shifted to remote work and digital programming, finding new ways to provide seamless community services. Hundreds more have worked on-site every day since this started, modifying practices to keep themselves and others safe while continuing to provide police and fire response, keep water and electricity flowing, drive Transfort buses, inspect buildings, maintain vehicles, install Connexion service and more.

The behind-the-scenes teams in information technology, human resources, communications and facility operations have provided crucial equipment and services to make it all work, keep our staff and customers informed and safe, and support our colleagues personally and professionally.

It is snowing as I write this column — a vivid reminder that even amid a global pandemic, the city’s daily work doesn’t stop. To my colleagues, I remain so inspired by your dedication and perseverance. I know it hasn’t been easy, and I am deeply grateful.

Thank you also to the mayor and City Council for your decisive leadership this year. Your support for the community and the city’s response has provided much-needed assistance for local businesses, front-line workers and community members who have been disproportionally affected by this crisis.

Thank you to our community leaders: to Tom Gonzales and his health department team for their expert guidance; to the elected officials and staff at all levels of government for sharing information and best practices, and coordinating millions in relief dollars; to our partners at CSU, Front Range Community College, Poudre School District, nonprofit organizations and health care systems for working every day to find creative solutions and protect our most vulnerable.

Finally, I’d like to thank each of you: the businesses that have shifted operations and adjusted to changing regulations, the teachers who have reworked every lesson plan, and neighbors who have looked after each other. Thank you to everyone who has worn their masks, kept their distance and canceled their plans. Even through some disagreement about the appropriate response, I have seen most everyone in Fort Collins doing their part for this community.

I don’t know if we have ever, collectively, been so relieved to turn a calendar page. While we likely have several more months before things start to feel a little more normal, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I remain optimistic about our future. We will get there, together. Thank you, Fort Collins.

Darin Atteberry is the Fort Collins city manager. He can be reached at 970-221-6505 or datteberry@fcgov.com.