Tom NortonTom NortonJuly 31, 20187min184

I’ve been thinking about Colorado’s future.  What will make Colorado a great place to live, raise a family and prosper?  Many ideas immediately come to mind.  I’ve seen many ideas tried through legislative action and government programs.  These efforts are not necessarily all bad, but many have been misdirected, ineffective, overly complex and over-regulated.


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 28, 20173min713

Thanks to the Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy for his solid profile of veteran Colorado politico Tom Norton, who is stepping down after four terms as Greeley mayor — and decades of high-profile public service. The Republican Norton, now 77, has been sort of a marathon man on Colorado’s political scene, having served as Senate president for six years in the 1990s and later as the state’s transportation chief under Republican Gov. Bill Owens, to whom Norton lost the GOP gubernatorial primary.

Silvy offers a lot more than just a thumbnail about the Lander, Wyoming, native who first came to Colorado on a wrestling scholarship at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. For one thing, there’s Norton’s admitted penchant for losing his cool and butting heads:

At city council meetings, he peppered staff with questions about road projects or any other topic. And, occasionally, the swagger of a man that once led the Colorado Senate pushed Norton over the edge. He drew statewide coverage for getting kicked out of a UNC basketball game when he argued with a referee.

He was lambasted this year for yelling at a fellow council member during a discussion of immigrants and refugees.

Norton is aware of the criticism, saying he goes over the line sometimes and has to apologize, even if he says some like his direct style. Any politician needs an ego, Norton said. But they also have to be able to manage it.

He’s also part of a power couple; wife Kay Norton is longtime president of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley — as well as the one who, Tom Norton says, reins him in when he needs it:

“I use Kay as my ego manager,” Norton said. “When I get a little ahead of myself, she can say — as she used to put it, ‘You’re a TIP, a temporarily important person; it will only last until the next election,’ ” Norton said.

An outgoing mayor with an outgoing personality. Read the full Tribune story for more insights into this enduring political figure. Here’s the link again.



Ernest LuningErnest LuningApril 6, 201723min728

Dick Wadhams, who chaired the state Republican Party for two terms and had a hand in electing the statewide officials who set the tone for the Colorado GOP across three decades, has a message for the party: Republicans have never had it easy in Colorado. “This has always been a competitive state; this has never been a Republican bastion,” he told the monthly meeting of the Highlands Ranch Republicans early last Friday morning.


Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 24, 201612min343

Twenty Years Ago this week in the Colorado Statesman ... Too much sun in the Legislature? “Five hits and you’re out,” was the name of the game sponsored by Rep. Vickie Angler (R-Littleton) and Sen. Bill Schroeder (R-Morrison), which also went by its other more legislative moniker — HB 1159. The new law outlined in Colorado Revised Statutes 24-34-104.1 stated, “The General Assembly shall not consider the regulation of more than five occupations or professions in any one session of the General Assembly” — a seemingly timeless pursuit for Colorado's Republican legislators. HB 1159 eliminated the Sunrise-Sunset committee, which reviewed attempts to regulate unlicensed occupations and professions. Proponents of the bill claimed “no” votes by the influential six-member legislative committee on new regulation nearly always seemed to have a chilling effect on the success of new regulations, all but preventing those seeking new regs on unlicensed applicants from ever proceeding any further in the full Legislature.

Tom NortonAugust 5, 20137min326

Many people still think Greeley is a small town with a large cattle population. That is old information and incorrect on both counts. This year Greeley’s population reached 98,000, and not one is of the bovine variety.

That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate cattle or the fact that we have many people in our city who are employed by the industry, we just want people to know that Greeley has grown up and we’re no longer the small town we once were. We’re not leaving our agrarian heritage behind; we’re clarifying the facts and adding new information so that people around the region know more about us.

City council members had been hearing from residents that it was time to take action regarding the old stereotypes and misperceptions. They told us that those outdated perceptions needed to be dispelled and new information about the city disseminated. Not that the council wasn’t already aware of this need, but now it was being talked about as a possible community priority. The council, recognizing the importance of marketing and branding, decided that “improving the community’s image” should be one of its top priorities and then allocated general fund carryover and lodging tax revenue to underwrite an image initiative.

Greeley’s new initiative has four components: outreach to residents, media outreach, social media engagement, and a paid advertising campaign. The overriding objective is to give people something new and different to think and say about Greeley.

Finding those new things to say wasn’t difficult. We have an award winning university, a great community college, one of the top-rated hospitals in the nation, and residents who are being awarded and recognized for accomplishments all the time. There’s plenty to brag about. In fact, the city council has several web pages devoted to recognizing residents, businesses and organizations and twice a month they’re announced at our council meetings.

Research was conducted locally and along the Front Range and from that research it was found that once people visit Greeley, they come away with a whole new and positive perspective on the city. They find that the community is much bigger, more diverse and more appealing than what they ever imagined.

Greeley Mayor Norton says city council members had been hearing from residents that it was time to take action regarding the old stereotypes and misperceptions.

Working with consultants from within and outside of Colorado, a community partnership team developed a concept that recognizes the strength and diversity of our residents alongside the fact that people who visit are pleasantly surprised at what they find here. The research and development stage of the initiative landed on Greeley Unexpected as the campaign theme.

Greeley Unexpected is a great way to tell our story, highlighting the people who exemplify what is unique and interesting about Greeley — in fact, what is surprising. It definitely gives everyone something new and different to say about the city.

Featured personalities in our 2013 campaign include a local muralist and performance artist; a multi-award- winning science fiction novelist; a couple whose business creates monsters for Hollywood and who have their own family friendly Travel Channel reality TV series; a biologist turned crepe shop entrepreneur; British expatriates who after living around the world opened a bed and breakfast here; and other interesting people.

Within the campaign, including the Greeley Unexpected website, we’ve also set out to bust some myths about the city. For example, we’re letting people know there aren’t any feedlots in Greeley and haven’t been for many years, so people will stop blaming Greeley for agricultural odors. We’re touting how safe the city is so that we won’t continue to hear the urban myth that Greeley isn’t a safe place to live. We’re talking about our high achieving students, our blossoming creative district, our 100-year-old Philharmonic, and our new restaurants and businesses.

All of these assets and attributes are part of the long list of bragging points we’re sharing with our target audiences in Greeley, Metro Denver and the North Front Range. Billboards, DIA display ads, cable and broadcast TV, transit advertising including the 16th Street Mall in Denver, regional radio and print, and of course social media are all being used.

We fully understand that changing the community’s reputation will take a substantial and sustained effort. So far, Greeley Unexpected has received exceptionally positive feedback from residents and the effort to expand our community partnerships to support the effort has begun. We’re looking forward to working with everyone to help share the good news about Greeley.

I invite you to experience Greeley through and like us, follow us and see us at, and

Thomas E. Norton, a Greeley resident for more than 47 years, is seeking his third term as mayor of the city. He is a graduate of Colorado State University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil engineering and he spent more than 30 years in the engineering private sector. Norton also served as executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation for eight years during the administration of Colorado Governor Bill Owens.