For Immediate Release March 8, 2012
Staff Contact: Rigo Leal, Public Information Officer,
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Public Invited to Gordon Pedrow Retirement Reception
MARCH 8, 2012 - At the end of March, Gordon Pedrow’s lifetime of public service will take a new direction when he retires as Longmont’s city manager.
The public is invited to a community reception in his honor on Tuesday, March 20, 4 to 6 pm, Civic Center Mall, 350 Kimbark St. Presentations begin at 4:30 pm.
In his 18-1/2 years at the helm of Longmont’s city government, Pedrow’s leadership has seen the city through both booms and lean times, but his primary goal always has been to provide the best possible customer service to Longmont’s residents.
With a management style described by those who work for him as open, honest, ethical, community-focused, and committed to teamwork, Pedrow declines to personally take responsibility for the successes the City has achieved during his tenure. He gives credit, instead, to the City’s “dedicated, caring, professional public servants.” But the successes are many, and his steady guidance has helped create a sustainable city that today is positioned to take strong advantage of an improving economy.
When Pedrow arrived in Longmont from Glendale, Arizona, in 1993, the population was 52,000 compared to today’s population of approximately 87,000. Along with growth came both great opportunities and great challenges.
Pedrow met them all by empowering City staff to involve the entire community in developing solutions to tough problems and working toward their dreams for the city’s future. Among the significant results of this community-involvement approach are creation of the Police Professional Standards Review Panel; the community’s efforts with gangs, at-risk children and the homeless, which led to Longmont receiving the All-America City Award in 2006; and the Focus on Longmont strategic planning process, which brought together 800 residents from throughout the city to create a vision for Longmont’s future.
At the All-America City Award presentation, Pedrow said this about Longmont: “Other cities have problems, other cities have programs, but our community has every sector working together to tackle difficult, controversial and potentially divisive issues. While our path is complex and challenging, we will not rest until we are all together…”
That collaborative spirit is evident in many Longmont programs created during Pedrow’s service that have confronted difficult community issues. The Multicultural Plan, the Longmont Housing Opportunities Team, the Gang Response and Intervention Program, and support programs for youth and seniors all have strengthened Longmont by bringing its residents together to make the city a better place to live.
Pedrow also has served as an able steward of the City’s finances. Since he came to Longmont there has been only a 0.5 percent increase in the local sales tax. And, a reorganization in 2009 cut costs and increased efficiencies in many City departments and created an Economic Development Department that focuses on promoting Longmont's economic vitality. Longmont’s physical assets have been well served under Pedrow, as well. He’s overseen construction of many millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements, including extensive additions to Longmont’s parks and open spaces – among his particular interests – which have been expanded and designed with community participation.
Former Mayor Fred Wilson, who served on the city council for 13 years and was mayor when Pedrow was hired, said, “The parks and trails initiative was a good idea that has proved itself. When I was mayor there was very little going on in parks and open space. It has been helpful and healthy for Longmont to have a city manager who is so active. Gordon has shared his love of the outdoors with the whole city.”
With his emphasis on customer service Pedrow is pleased that City staff have earned the support of Longmont’s residents. As evidence of this support Pedrow points to repeated voter approval of the street tax, open space tax, public safety tax, and bond issues that have funded everything from storm drainage and wastewater treatment improvements to the Recreation Center, the Museum & Cultural Center, and the renovation of Roosevelt Park.
Recently, the citizens again showed their support of and confidence in the City by passing ballot question 2A giving Longmont the right to use its own fiber optic network to deliver telecommunications services, putting us at the forefront of municipal technology.
Pedrow’s greatest legacy, though, is most certainly the imprint his character has made on the City organization..
“Earning a reputation like his – smart, caring, moral – is not easy for anyone, and it is especially difficult for a city manager who makes tough decisions every day,” says Mayor Dennis Coombs. “Even individuals who disagree with Gordon will say that he is a man of principle and always has the best interest of the community at heart.”
For Pedrow retirement won’t mean slowing down. He will continue the humanitarian work that he has pursued both locally and internationally, and he hopes to “see a lot more of the world than I have.” But you’ll still be seeing him around Longmont. He and his wife Pam aren’t going anywhere, and he intends to stay active in the community as a “fully participating citizen.”