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Is Denver’s mayor too friendly with developers?

Author: Adam McCoy - December 18, 2017 - Updated: December 18, 2017

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HancockDenver Mayor Michael Hancock arrives at KBNO 97.7 FM studios in Denver for an appearance on Fernando Sergio’s talk show to discuss the city’s bond measures on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Is Denver Mayor Michael Hancock too cozy with the development community? A Denver councilman questioned the mayor’s philosophy toward developers following a recent news story on the topic.

In an interview earlier this month, the Denver Post asked Mayor Michael Hancock what he thought of the perception that he is too friendly with developers. Hancock defended himself, arguing in reality he would never falter in his integrity to the office — and his family and he’s not even part of the the city’s permitting process.

“…If people understood the process, they would realize that the mayor does not decide where development goes and does not engage in the permitting process,” Hancock told the Post, in part. “Someone may bring a design to me and I may offer an idea to them, but this is their project, and we stay out of that.”

But it was one statement in particular that Denver Councilman Rafael Espinoza leaped on in a Facebook post over the weekend.

“What’s wrong with these two statements in the same response,” Espinoza asks, quoting Hancock’s response in the Denver Post article in the following paragraph:

“Because what that (debrucing) [debrucing referring to reducing the restrictions associated with Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights authored by Douglas Bruce] did was that it showed the people who would develop that we were willing to invest in the infrastructure and were willing to invest in our city to get it moving again…So it is off-base — and actually, it lacks academic sense — to say the mayor is influencing this development or is too development-friendly, when in reality it’s the market that’s driving the development,” Espinoza wrote.

“I’m not sure what ‘academic sense’ is, but I know that ‘common sense’ makes these two statements incompatible, even in context of the full response,” Espinoza said.

The Post noted the criticism centering on Hancock’s relationship with the development community could factor into the mayor’s probable re-election bid in 2019.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.