Fresh off his victory in the Denver mayor’s race on Tuesday night, Mayor-Elect Michael Hancock appeared on CBS4 Morning News Wednesday morning to talk about his vision for the city.
In the lengthy and somewhat candid interview, Hancock fielded questions about the police department, jobs and rec center fees. He also shared his thoughts on how the race has changed him.
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The following are some of the excerpts of the interview. Watch it in its entirety here.
CBS4 News: How has the campaign changed you?
Hancock: As a candidate, I went through a lot of things. There was a lot thrown at us. I had a chance to test my own fortitude. I had to worry and wonder about my own steadiness. It’s good to know that I can weather some things. So it has prepared me to have thicker skin as the mayor.
CBS4 News: Is (opponent) Chris Romer getting a job in his administration?
Hancock: Chris and I will talk. Just like all the other people who want to be part of the administration we’ll step back and take a look at everyone. But he’s a very talented guy. Very smart. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve met. If Chris is interested in being part of the administration then we will have that conversation.
CBS4 News: Do you have a plan for keeping big employers in town?
Hancock: Obviously one of the first things we have to do is stop the bleeding. I’m going to get with as many businesses as I can over the next 100 days to really focus on how we can retain them and just to say thank you.
At the same time, we have to grow small businesses in Denver. Those are really the job creators. That’s the sector that’s creating jobs and will become the sustainable element of your economic system if you do it right.
CBS4 News: What about those rec center fees?
I want to make sure it’s fair. I want to make sure we don’t create a bigger problem for ourselves. It’s more expensive to deal with kids who are idle and have nothing to do and become destructive than it is to opt them into our rec centers. So I’m going to meet with (current Mayor Bill Vidal and make sure we’re doing the right thing so we’re not creating barriers for our young people.
CBS4 News: What’s next for Vidal?
Hancock: Mayor Vidal is prepared to retire. He’s a good friend, someone I respect. I think he and the first lady want to travel around the world so that’s what I expect they’re going to do. And I expect to keep a number in my pocket for Mayor Vidal.
The Denver City Council approved another big settlement this week to a man who claimed excessive force by the Denver Police Department. It’s the city’s third payout stemming from excessive force allegations this year.
CBS4 News: Will things change inside the police department?
Hancock: Yes, but it will not be a sprint. It will be a journey. Changing any organizational system takes a while and we have to start with the leadership and inoculate the system with some guiding principles.
We’re all here … police officers, sheriffs … all sworn to serve and protect and uphold the trust of the public. And we must never ever do anything to betray that. And that’s been what’s most bothersome. There have been some intentional acts on our streets.
I believe most of our officers are good men and women who want to get home safely and serve and protect the public. And with that energy, we’re going to work toward really adjusting that culture and we’re going to start with a change in leadership.