Golden Election 2023 – Voter Recommendations
|Mail your Ballots by Nov. 2nd |
(or hand deliver to a ballot box by Election Day Nov 7th)
New to Golden? Register to vote here by October 31st to receive a mail ballot.
|For more than 15 years I have provided a yearly election roundup at the request of friends and residents subscribed to the Golden Ward 4 Email Newsletter. Recommendations are based on how issues relate to the betterment of Golden.|
To help in your quest to be informed, I also recommend reviewing analysis in the Colorado 2023 Election Blue Book and Jefferson County TABOR Notice of Election booklets mailed to voters. Locally I find the Golden United voter guide to be a thorough resource for Golden and JeffCo voters.
Find your closest ballot box dropoff here. (Usually the JeffCo building drive-up box at 101 Jefferson County Pkwy or walk-up box at Golden City Hall – 911 10th Street)
And with so many candidates, I’ve had more requests than ever! So without further ado, this year’s recommendations…
|Golden City Council|
|The Mayor of Golden and District One and Two Councilor seats are up for election in 2023.|
First let me acknowledge that we as voters are fortunate this year! Many neighbors are stepping up to offer their public service on our behalf and the betterment of Golden. Running for office can be a difficult endeavor, I am grateful for their efforts.
Mayor of Golden: Re-elect Laura Weinberg
I am proud to wholeheartedly endorse the re-election of Laura Weinberg for Mayor of Golden. Over the 15+ years I’ve been privileged to know her, the Mayor has proven to be a dedicated advocate, skilled legislator, and a respected friend.
Mayor Weinberg’s positive vision, tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to the betterment of Golden over more than a decade demonstrates exceptional leadership and speaks volumes about her character, integrity and love for our community.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic the Mayor spearheaded the creation of BGOLDN, a collaborative effort helping fellow Goldenites facing food insecurity while simultaneously supporting our struggling restaurants. Under the Mayor’s stewardship, the City continues to support BGOLDN and Hunger Free Golden in their efforts to help our local residents.
As a small business owner, Mayor Weinberg understands the delicate balance between business growth and the needs of our residents. She has fostered a thriving business environment while ensuring the voices of our residents are heard and respected. Partly as a result of the Mayor’s efforts, Golden businesses are flourishing: New businesses continue to open and restaurant sales tax revenues are projected to grow another 10% this year, and despite COVID are up over 50% since 2019.
Mayor Weinberg has led significant cultural development and preservation of our small-town character and historic buildings. During the Mayor’s first term, the City partnered with the Foothills Art Center and Miners Alley Performing Arts Center to preserve the historic Astor House and Meyer Hardware building as cultural centers which will enrich our city for generations.
Golden faces complex challenges that cannot be solved in isolation. The Mayor has been a driving force to foster regional cooperation with neighboring cities, businesses, Jefferson County, the School of Mines and others to address the issues and needs of our community, including senior services, affordable housing and homelessness, quality schools, tourism and Creek overcrowding, health and racial equity, inflation, and crime.
There is more work to do on all of these issues – and progress is being made. For example, crime in Golden is trending down significantly in 2023 including Motor Vehicle Theft ✅, Assault ✅ and burglary ✅.
Our Mayor’s thoughtful, positive and dedicated public service sets her apart as the candidate best suited to lead us. We are fortunate to have a leader delivering fair, equitable, efficient, and respectful governance.
Our family has been proud to call Golden home for nearly 25 years. I trust Mayor Weinberg to provide the experienced leadership we need for the next 4 years. She has earned our family’s votes, and we hope will earn yours.
Mayor Weinberg has recently been endorsed by Golden’s State Representative Brianna Titone and the Golden Professional Firefighters Association Local 5080.
District 1: Lisa Vitry
District 2: Patty Evans
I listened to the candidate forums, met many of the candidates at city events, and talked with folks that know them. I believe it is important that a strong candidate is one who is focused on a positive and forward-looking vision with practical solutions for the direction they’ll help guide our community.
Note: Both Lisa and Patty have also been endorsed by the Golden Professional Firefighters Association Local 5080.
District 1: Lisa Vitry
For District 1, I am supporting Lisa Vitry. She has been actively engaged in learning about the City over the last year, and has attended many City Council and other local resident meetings to become more informed. Lisa has also served on the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee and gone through Leadership Golden.
Her efforts show that she is the most prepared to step into the role of City Councilor and support our continued efforts to keep Golden moving forward.
Oh, and I’m hoping she’ll bring Mocha, her pet therapy dog to future meetings 😉
District 2: Patty Evans
For District 2, I am supporting Patty Evans. I’ve known Patty since her family moved to the 12th Street Historic District and she became involved in the Golden Vision 2030 efforts nearly 15 years ago. Since then I have appreciated her willingness to stay involved in keeping Golden the town we love.
One of the most important efforts on behalf of Golden that she has undertaken has been as a Planning Commission member for more than 8 years, helping to provide focus for the City on how we can better manage change and direct development.
Maintaining Golden’s character is high on everyone’s list of important challenges to meet, and Patty has been willing to step up and be a strong voice for local residents.
Over the past several years, leading up to and including City Council’s adoption of new zoning codes, Patty has been on the forefront of addressing how we maintain our family-friendly and historic character.
Through Patty’s commitment to Golden on the Planning Commission -possibly the most intensive volunteer public service effort in the City of Golden- I know that Patty is prepared to help bring effective solutions in guiding our community.
|City of Golden Ballot Measures|
Golden Ballot 2K: Golden Fire Department funding
After decades of Golden Fire Dept changes and “fixes” to extend the viability of our volunteer-driven department, and after several years of community involvement, meetings and professional studies, this summer Golden City Council was presented with options for stabilizing and improving fire and life safety services.
We could join a large regional district such as West Metro, try to combine with Fairmount, or continue as a standalone combination Golden Fire Department.
City Council determined a standalone Golden Fire Department will be the best option to present to residents to approve, for the following reasons:
1. Improve medical emergency and fire response times and safety for residents and property owners (currently our response time is TWICE as long as NFPA national standards recommended).
2. Control costs – this is the lowest-cost and most effective option presented to Council.
3. Maintain our small town community character as the GFD, and not give up control to a large metro district
4. Support our volunteers and the safety of all firefighters through a Combination Dept (meaning professional plus volunteer)
What does the ballot measure do?A yes vote will add 6 mills to Golden property taxes -an approximately 7% increase- for most homeowners win an average property tax of about 86.5 mills. This equates to about $270/yr for an $800,000 home. From the Ballot measure, this money will be exclusively used to:
1. Attract, train, and retain the necessary number of firefighters
2. Improve Emergency Response Times (Medical and Fire)
3. Ensure firefighters have appropriate and necessary life-saving medical equipment
4. Provide emergency vehicles and necessary equipment to strengthen local EMS, Fire and Wildfire response
I’ve personally been involved with efforts to keep our GFD going strong for more than 15 years. We’ve done more with less time and again. And during this time Golden has grown significantly, and we now face greater wildfire risks as well.
As I stated in this newsletter years ago, we will soon have to invest new funds to ensure our safety, and the safety of our firefighters. That time is now, and I support this measure. I’m happy to talk in more detail with anyone who has questions or wants to discuss further.
Golden Ballot 2L: Retain Lodging Tax Revenue
The Golden Community discussed a lodging tax for more than a decade and overwhelmingly approved the Lodging tax in 2021. This ballot measure simply allows us to retain additional revenues in full compliance with TABOR.
The money was already collected in 2022 from visitors who came to stay overnight and use the amenities of Golden. Our hotels were actually more successful than expected, to the tune of about $589,000.
The City of Golden has kept their promise to voters. Funds are only used for two purposes – offsetting Visitor Impacts and ensuring a thriving community.
o Clear Creek Corridor and Downtown Golden, Parks and open space (such as the popular Peaks to Plains trail), our Museums, and increased trash pickup. Other examples include funding for children’s playground equipment upgrades and dog park improvements.
o Golden Police Department equipment and enforcement.
o Cultural Alliance Members and community groups, local non-profit organizations and food banks focused on serving Golden residents received nearly $500,000 in grants last year
o Shuttle services for seniors, students and all residents and visitors to improve transit options and reduce parking and traffic conflicts.
And here’s the kicker: A “no” vote will cost us money
Yep, the cost of refunding payments as small as a buck or two per hotel stay to thousands of visitors will likely cost more than the money collected – plus take up enormous staff time by our accounting department to track payors down.
We voted yes overwhelmingly in 2021 and, as someone recently said, it’s a no-brainer to vote yes this time.
Golden Ballot 2M: Update Charter language
This ballot amendment asks if we should update the City charter “to replace terms used to describe city officers and other persons with generally applicable terms (for example, replace “councilman” with “councilor”).
The only concern I’ve heard with voting yes is the potential cost. It’s basically a search and replace of the document, so no real costs associated with this measures.
This is long overdue, and an obvious vote to update the language.
|As I finish writing this I can hear sirens from a Golden Fire Dept truck going to help someone in need, and I’m proud we are supporting them in keeping us safe.|
And if you made it this far, phew… and thank you!
Voting is an important right, opportunity, and civic duty. Thank you for researching the candidates and ballot measures and making your own decisions. The more engaged we are as a community, the better we will be.
Please consider sharing this newsletter with a neighbor and suggest they sign up. Thoughts to share? Email or call me.
William “BilFish” Fisher, RN
Resident | City of Golden