Colorado Springs — Mayor John Suthers delivered his last State of the City address on Thursday at the Broadmoor Hotel.

He opened his address by speaking about the growth of the city.

“We’re in literally dozens of other top 10 rankings for places to live,” said Mayor Suthers. “Polls indicate a majority of our local residents also view the city as moving in the right direction.”

In his speech, Suthers focused on the changes to the city of Colorado Springs and plans for the future of the city.

“Perhaps nothing has been so dramatically transformed over the past eight years than downtown Colorado Springs,” said Suthers. “A great city needs a vibrant downtown core, and we’ve got one now.”

Suthers said the city is driven by innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic investment.

When addressing COVID-19, Suthers spoke on the resilience of the city on recovering jobs lost during the pandemic.

“Our city has proven itself very economically resilient, even in the face of a worldwide pandemic,” said Suthers. “The economic loss to Colorado Springs was one-tenth of one percent and we recovered all of the jobs lost to the pandemic faster than any other major city.”

He said one of the future challenges for the city will be keeping the public safety resources aligned with the growth of the city. He emphasized the need for more police officers, new fire stations, and firefighters.

“The most essential responsibility of government is public safety,” said Suthers. “But I believe the future challenge of having our public safety resources keep pace with our population growth and growth in geographic area will be daunting.”

Suthers stated that cities are most successful when focusing on public safety, public works, transportation, and parks.

“I strongly believe, and nothing has occurred over the last eight years to change my view, that cities will be most successful when they focus on the essential functions of municipal government — public safety, public works, transportation, and parks,” said Suthers.

He also addressed the need to invest in city and utility infrastructure.

“While we’ve made great progress over the past eight years, it’s my hope that both our city government and our citizens will not lose sight of the fact that [infrastructure] is an ongoing challenge,” said Suthers.

To close his last State of the City, Suthers left the crowd looking to the future with a quote in his presentation: “The state of our city is excellent. Our future is bright.”

He also reflected on his time in office and serving the city of Colorado Springs.

“It’s not been easy for me or my family, but it has been incredibly rewarding and I’m so grateful to be able to say that thanks to my family, to the people of Colorado Springs, and the state of Colorado,” said Suthers. “I’ve been able to live the life I intended to lead.”

After the State of the City Address, Suthers presented the Spirit of the Springs Lifetime Achievement Award to Lyda Hill.

Hill donated to many organizations in the Colorado Springs community including the Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and more.

To watch highlights of the State of the City address click here.