Sep 12, 2014


Pioneering Progress: Harnessing Ingenuity and Innovation for a Resilient, Thriving Colorado

Colorado embodies the pioneering spirit of the West – a positive approach to deal with whatever challenges may beset it, often with innovative techniques. Today, the state and its communities are confronting complex modern challenges in a variety of venues; economic, social, environmental and more. How will the state tap into its natural energy and creative spirit to overcome potential obstacles that arise and cultivate improvements in government?

8:30 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast


9:00 am


Cathilea Robinett, Executive Vice President, Governing

9:05 am  
Opening Plenary

Pioneering Spirit – A Roadmap for Progress

Chief of Staff to the Governor, Roxane White, will focus on the theme of good governance and the role of government in fostering economic vibrancy and prosperity for Colorado. She will discuss accomplishments to date and the many continuing efforts of the Hickenlopper administration. Ms. White will provide insight into the business initiatives that helped to eliminate 1,240 rules and simplify 4,136 rules, the effort to ensure local government input to state regulations, and the new performance management system for Colorado.

Roxane White, Chief of Staff, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper

Followed by Q&A with Zach Patton, Executive Editor, Governing


10:05 am



10:15 am

Pioneering Spirit – New Ways of Engagement in the Face of New Challenges

As Colorado’s communities deal with a whole host of challenges, it is important for local leadership to effectively communicate with citizens about the cost and the value of government and to engage the public in the governance process. Among the issues the state is currently dealing with include water shortages, extreme weather, a changing economy, demographic shifts, and new laws that dramatically loosen the opportunities to purchase recreational marijuana. In an often charged political atmosphere, how may Colorado's leaders partner with the public and the business community to overcome challenges and promote good governance? What are some of the innovative tools and techniques that can facilitate better engagement? 
Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, Governing
Andrew Freedman, Director, Marijuana Coordination, Office of Governor Hickenlooper
Mayor Michael B. Hancock, City and County of Denver
The Honorable John L. Morris, Mayor, City of Evans
Jill Repella, Vice Chair, Douglas County Board of County Commissioners

11:15 am



11:30 am



Common Goals: Smart Data and Strategies to Bridge The Urban-Rural Divide

During last year’s devastating floods, communities collaborated effectively in order to ameliorate the damage done by these natural disasters. Still, Colorado – like many other states – confronts the two-state dilemma: When the wants and needs of the states’ urban and rural areas collide, how can they be encouraged to work out common agendas? However, in Colorado, as in other states, urban-rural rifts often belie the existence of mutual interests and shared goals:  For example, farmland and rural areas are an important economic asset for the state, for agriculture, tourism, as well as potential industry hubs. Innovative projects such as the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy originated by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments in California, produce data in support of transportation and economic strategies that would connect and revitalize rural regions and help bridge the divide. This panel will discuss policy and economic strategies focusing on shared objectives that can promote regional collaboration and mutual benefits.
Elizabeth Daigneau, Managing Editor, Governing
Aden Hogan, Jr., ICMA-CM, City Manager, City of Evans
Benoy Jacob, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director, Center for Local Government Research and Training Buechner Institute for Governance, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver
David Shabazian, Supervising Senior Planner, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)

Finance: Innovative Revenue Generation Tactics & Navigating The New Economy    

In 1992, the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) amendment put limits on government revenue growth and required that excess revenues be returned unless taxpayers voted otherwise. Though this statute has undergone some change over the years, it nonetheless leaves Colorado with “the most restrictive tax and spending limitation in the country,” according to the Bell Policy Center. In late April, for example, the state was hit with the potential that new taxes raised from the sale of marijuana might have to be returned to taxpayers – even at a time when the state is in clear need of more income. In periods when TABOR limits revenues, even though expenditures keep rising, local leaders are pressed to develop new models for financial stability.This panel will explore alternative revenue sources, innovative funding strategies, and ways to tap new economic activity, such as marijuana sales and online retail. 
Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, Governing
The Honorable Matthew Appelbaurm, Mayor, City of Boulder
Tom Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation & Executive Vice President, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Henry Sobanet, Director, Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Office of Governor Hickenlooper

View the recently released Governing Guide to Financial Literacy: Connecting Money, Policy and Priorities >>> HERE

The Road Ahead: P3s, Transportation, and Long-term Infrastructure Investments

Private-public partnerships can easily seem like a magic route to funding expensive infrastructure projects. But, although localities in Colorado have used P3s, the first state-level P3 – just recently put into place for U.S. 36 – has led to contentious debate. The issue is of particular importance since U.S. 36 may well be the first of several proposed public private partnerships including I-25 from Denver to Fort Collins, C-70 in the southwest metropolitan area and I-70 through central Denver, according to the Mountain Town News.
Will P3s be the way of the future for Colorado? What are some of the obstacles to innovative financing models for infrastructure and how might they be resolved? In all cases, what kinds of strategies are most likely to make for successful P3s?
Zach Patton, Executive Editor, Governing
Randy Harrison, Senior Fellow, Buechner Institute for Governance, School of Public Affairs, Univeristy of Colorado Denver
J. Douglas Koelemay, Director, Office of Transportation Public Private Partnerships (OTP3), Commonwealth of Virginia
David S. Zelenok, P.E., Chief Innovation Officer, Colorado APWA Chapter Past President, City of Centennial

12:30 pm



1:15 pm

Luncheon Plenary Discussion

Pioneering Spirit – Solutions for Water Management and Building Resiliency

Colorado has a strong heritage of pride in its environment, which is also a significant source of tourism-based revenues for the state. And yet, climate change and extreme weather patterns have been exacerbating environmental concerns - from draining water supplies, to wildfires, floods and landslides. The Colorado River Basin, for example, is far below capacity, threatening the state’s ability to make certain there’s enough water for both the state’s urban areas and its agricultural regions. Governor Hickenlooper issued an executive order requiring agencies to issue a water plan, but still - droughts and a greater use of fracking might further threaten this vital resource. This panel will examine how the state's municipalities and regions can better plan to deal with the environmental threats specific to their communities, and the tools they can utilize to improve resource management, protect public safety, and preserve environmental assets for future generations.
Zach Patton, Executive Editor, Governing
Jeff Arthur, Director of Public Works for Utilities, City of Boulder
Michael N. Chard, Director, Boulder Office of Emergency Management
Tanya Heikkila, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver
Fred Sargeson, General Manager, Colorado Interactive, LLC


2:10 pm



2:30 pm



Data-Driven Decision Making: Priorities, Performance, and Managing for Results

It’s become a widely accepted notion that data-informed decision making can help states and localities get the most bang out of their buck. And yet, although the use of performance measurement has been a steadily advancing trend, there’s still a gap between developing the data and actually using it for budgeting and management. What can a government do to better utilize and protect the data it collects and maintains? The panel will explore this, and other related issues – for example, how can legislatures and city councilmembers be persuaded that the data they are provided is valid and of genuine use?
Zach Patton, Executive Editor, Governing
Chris Fabian, Co-Founder, Center for Priority Based Budgeting, Denver
Donald Pagel, VP, Professional Services, Kronos
C. Ki'i Powell, Ph.D., Performance Management Director, Colorado Dept. of Human Services
The Honorable Diana S. Urban, Connecticut State Representative, 43rd Assembly District

Investing in Talent:  Workforce Management and Recruitment Strategies for High Performance

In the state of Colorado, as well as its cities, towns and counties, the most important government assets are its people. As jurisdictions are pressed to do more with less, it is critical for governments to be able to hire the best and the brightest – and to retain and motivate talent with leadership development and growth opportunities. Engaging employees and rethinking public sector workforce strategies will be paramount in order to compete with more competitive wages and benefits in private sector. What are some of the techniques Colorado governments can use to make careers in government more attractive and how can they improve public sector performance and workplace appeal?
Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, Governing
Kim Burgess, Statewide Chief Human Resources Officer, State of Colorado Department of Personnel & Adminstration, Division of Human Resources
Bryan Ostler, Director, Human Resources, Adams County
Jill Repella, Vice Chair, Douglas County Board of County Commissioners

Building Robust Communities: Addressing Challenges in Health and Aging

As the population steadily ages, states, cities and counties find it necessary to focus ever more devotedly on the health of their citizenry. The costs of long-term care can be enormous for the infirm, and obesity, asthma other chronic conditions can easily lead to an aged population that requires a great deal of state-funded health care. Fortunately, Colorado has one of the healthiest adult populations in the country. This is true, in part, because of the heavy emphasis in the state on outdoor activities, skiing, hiking and so on. But some of it is attributable to the state’s approach to health, and this panel will discuss some of the effective practices at work in Colorado today – and ways to build and expand on them. For example, Boulder, Colo., officials say 1,000 employees who participated in its wellness program have reduced their blood pressure and have had positive overall health scores. The city has a 75% participation rate. Moreover, there are efforts through the state to integrate behavioral and physical health, which can benefit older adults struggling with the impact of chronic conditions. We’ll explore those and other innovative approaches to health promotion.
Elizabeth Daigneau, Managing Editor, Governing
Reggie Bicha, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)
The Honorable Richard D. Lamm, Co-Founder, Institute for Public Policy Studies, University of Denver; former Governor, State of Colorado
Michele Lueck, President and CEO, Colorado Health Institute


3:15 pm

Closing Keynote:  Resilience for the Road Ahead

Jim Davidson is a climber who shares stories and lessons distilled from a lifetime of mountain adventures and rescues. As a high-altitude mountaineer and expedition leader for 32 years, Jim is an expert in resilience. Jim shares uplifting messages about resilience and perseverance that inspire people to overcome challenge and to reach the summits in their lives.

Jim Davidson, Resilience Expert, Expedition Leader & Author, Speaking of Adventure


4:00 pm