|Join us on August 28th for an inspiring and fun Celebration of Golden and commemoration of the resilience of the community in partnership with the School of Mines, the City of Golden, Act Locally Golden, and Home in Golden. |
The event will be held from 12pm-2pm on Kafadar Commons (Mines Quad) and offers an opportunity to:
Participate in a community art project that will vividly capture our collective pandemic experiences
Reflect on how the pandemic impacted us
Enjoy rousing musical performances, including local band Alibi
Visit booths of Mines and community organizations
Win prizes from Golden businesses
Enjoy special kids activities with Mines students
Enjoy food and drink options (including from Bob’s Burgers, Basic Kneads Pizza, Golden Poultry and Meats, the Eddy Hotel, and others)
Take a ride on the new Mines-Golden Downtown automated shuttle.
Featured speakers include: Mayor Laura Weinberg, Councilor Bill Fisher, School of Mines executive and a student leader, Kim Mangle, Director of Non-Profit Executive Director Roundtable, Hannah Frey, Undergraduate Student Government President Max Silver, Graduate Student Government President
I hope to see you there. Visit GoldenUnited.org for more details!
|Bill Fisher, RN|
Ward 4 City Councilor
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Community Events update, Clear Creek crowding, affordable housing, street lights, Highway 6/58/93 improvements and more…
While the rains aren’t quite done with us, I can safely suggest we are more than ready to ramp up for summertime. Congrats to our recent 2021 School Grads and all who persevered through this last year and more… now let’s get out and enjoy life!
Before getting to the updates, I want to highlight a few upcoming Golden events many have been waiting for:
. Golden Farmers Market opens June 5th! (runs into October)
. Golden Summer Jam June 24th (at Colorado RailRoad Museum) sponsored by the Golden Civic Foundation. Tickets on sale June 7th.
. BGoldN addresses food insecurity in our community. Look for ways to help at their website, with upcoming June fundraisers in conjunction with the Golden Lion’s Club and Rotary Club of Golden.
. Homestead Open House at Golden History Park weekly on Saturdays…
. The City of Golden is hiring! As the Splash opens, Community Center starts accepting walk-ins, Fossil Trace is in full swing, and Parks & Rec ramps up generally, consider a youth or adult seasonal job with the City!
. Golden Police Virtual Safety Academy continues! All are welcome to sign up, the June 9th topic is motor vehicle theft.
. The Golden Bike Cruise is back in action! Last Tuesday June-Sept. New location near the Armory.
. Foothills Art Center presents ArtsWeek Golden July 8-16. Yay Art!
Note: There is (already?!?) discussion of Fall elections for Golden City Council ward seats. At a later date I will share an announcement on my status as a potential candidate. For now, I continue to enjoy the opportunity to serve you and fellow residents here in Golden and remain focused on the work.
Until then, I look forward to the joys of getting out and seeing everyone in person this summer!
My thoughts are with our troops at home and around the world, and to those who have lost loved ones defending our country. Please celebrate carefully and have a peaceful Memorial Day weekend.
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 City Councilor
City Council Updates
As I noted in the last newsletter, progress with vaccine distribution means I’m excited to share news focused on more traditional city matters. But first…
A shout out to our superb City employees who, over the past year, responded remarkably and with flexibility to maintain critical services such as fire, police, water, plowing and road maintenance and parks access… and so much more during an unpredictable and capricious pandemic. Thank you!
Clear Creek Corridor
Summer crowding, pollution, noise, and safetyThis winter, I joined a group of 20 or so folks invited to participate in a community advisory group to help City Manager Jason Slowinski consider ways to manage crowding and environmental impacts along Clear Creek.
While I think the results may feel weighted somewhat in favor of industry vs. residents, there are dozens of mitigation measures that have been proposed and I look forward to seeing how effective they are. Learn more and review the Council Briefing Powerpoint on Guiding Golden… More importantly, what do you think? Let me know!
2021 Clear Creek Strategies Presentation (1.65MB)
Affordable and Attainable Housing
Nationwide this issue is growing quickly. While there appears to be little momentum nationally, we are seeing interest at the State and local levels.
In fact, Gov. Jared Polis just signed House Bill 1117 allowing local governments such as Golden the ability to require some affordability in housing for new developments, an important step.Separately, City Council, at Mayor Weinberg’s request, held a special working session recently on housing affordability and attainability. From this we are recommending that City Staff consider long-term plans to address this issue.
For example, we have encouraged the hiring of dedicated affordable housing staff to assist in this effort and take advantage of state or federal dollars that may become available.
I’ve joined with several Councilors, led by Mayor Pro Tem Brown, working alongside community organizations such as Golden United’s Housing Task Forceand concerned residents regarding recent events to maintain appropriate access to affordable mobile home parks opportunities. Please let me know if you’d like to learn more or get involved!
Programming Alert: Golden United Presents “Housing is Preventative Medicine” via Zoom on June 3rd at 6pm. Learn more and register.
Highways 58 & 93 mitigation
Many of us in the North Neighborhoods have lived for years with increasing pollution, noise, and accidents along highways 58 & 93.
Even prior to knowing the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve called for two things: shovel-ready projects to take advantage of recovery funding, and a focus on helping North Golden with safety and noise mitigation equal to work already done or in progress for Central and South Golden.I’m pleased to report that multiple important priorities for North Golden are now included in Golden’s Investment Ready Projects list.
View: Golden Investment Ready Project List
We also made it onto the County’s radar for important projects: The Jefferson County Transportation Needs master list was released by the County in March and submitted to our Congress persons, and include the following Golden priorities:
. Highway 93 realignment and safety improvements at the north end of Golden
. Highway 93 multi-use path to Boulder (bike/ped/etc.)
. Highway 6 and Heritage Road interchange improvements (in progress)
I’m also excited that Congressman Ed Perlmutter has included a $2.3 Million request for improvements to Highway 93 in his District Projects Funding Request(not guaranteed, of course).
We are still working to include improvements along Highway 58 and near the Village at Mountain Ridge (such as additional berms and other noise efforts). However, this news gives hope to all who wonder if it’s worth the conversation and effort on improving highways near our homes.
There’s more to be done, and this is a start. If you’d like to talk more about these projects or additional mitigation, please reach out and let’s chat!
City Street Lights update
A couple of years ago Golden purchased all of our street lights from Xcel Energy.
Unfortunately, Xcel has been fairly uncompromising in working with us, and thus I’m not thrilled that Staff presented a $1+ Million adjustment that came before Council last week regarding this purchase.
Being on the forefront of taking ownership of our community has a cost. However, the reality is that we’ll still save money and have more flexibility down the road.
The Good news?
If you happened to see street lights coming down around town, don’t worry! Each of these will be repositioned onto a new pole over the course of the summer. About 125 of the lights we purchased are on Xcel power poles, and the City has to replace them as part of the agreement.
We will be replacing lights with energy-saving LEDs to meet our community energy reduction and climate action goals (along with saving money).
If you have questions/comments about a specific pole, you are welcome to touch base with me (as several residents have already) or speak directly with Public Works.
City Council: Live and In Person starting June 8
No more zoom meetings?
Well, not quite, but I’m excited to announce that City Offices and Golden City Council will be shifting to in-person visits and LIVE City Council meetings starting in June – another chance for us to connect in person.
Meetings will still be broadcast on GCO.TV and online, and we are considering options for hybrid public comment – allowing both electronic comments and live comments from the public.
Misc….Want to have a voice in our future? Golden is undertaking a Tourism Strategic Planning process. If you haven’t taken the survey, consider sharing your thoughts at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/visitgolden
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Everyone 12 and up is now able to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine. There are many same-day walk-in clinics and vaccination sites available and appointments if you’d like to schedule one!
State of Colorado: Where to get vaccinated
JeffCo Public Health: COVID-19 case count and vaccine info
Vaccine Spotter: www.vaccinespotter.org/CO/
JeffCo Public Health Vaccine Clinic information
Mobility Issues? Check here for Denver regional resources. Uber & Lyft are also offering free rides for vaccinations through July 4th.
State of CO voice hotline: 1-877-268-2926, staffed 24hrs a day.
And thanks to everyone in Golden for staying safe! Wear masks if you are not vaccinated, continue physical distancing, and wash your hands.Until then, I look forward to the joys of getting out and seeing everyone in person this summer!
Feedback?Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.Copyright (C) 2021 Bill Fisher for Golden Ward 4. All rights reserved. Update Preferences
Golden Safety, Council updates, School of Mines IGA, District 2 Golden Police Safety Presentation and Q&A, Golden Water Resources, US 6 & Heritage intersection, and more…
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The weather this weekend has me feeling optimistic! Plus, we have more vaccine doses, reduced case trends and opportunities to return to school for more of our children.
City Council has also been able to add back more traditionally Golden-centric issues. It’s great to continue progress from last year and accelerate efforts to enhance and preserve Golden!
I can also share that Golden’s financial condition remains strong and is bouncing back after critical belt-tightening last year combined with our diverse economy. In fact, January 2021 actually saw both increased Sales and Use tax receipts for the City from the year before.
Yet, our economic recovery remains uneven, and Historic Downtown businesses are still facing a road to recovery. To support vitality and a more thriving downtown, City Council recently voted to allow seasonal use of parking lanes by local businesses, based on successful lessons learned this past year.
I want to share a few updates and opportunities to get involved around Golden. NOTE: several items happening or due this week!
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 City Councilor
US 6 & Heritage
Similar to the Linking Lookout project for US 6th and 19th a couple years back, Golden is working with Jefferson County and the state to redesign the US 6th and Heritage Road intersection.The second of several public input sessions was held February 24th.
You may still comment and take the survey here (only through March 10th), as well as watch the Feb 24th meeting presentation and see graphics of the four options presented.
There is funding for the study and design, but no identified funding yet for construction. Hopefully this process creates a shovel-ready option in case Federal funding becomes available.
The Golden Transcript’s Paul Albani-Burgio has a nice article on this process and alternatives.
School of Mines & Golden IGA
After years of input and negotiations, we are expecting to have an IGA come before Council for a vote this Spring.
Mayor Pro Tem Brown joined me and City Manager Slowinski for a public meeting for residents this past December, and the attorneys have made final tweaks to the draft. Along with the IGA there is a second “Operational IGA” Golden and Mines are working on. Click the link below for details.
View Draft IGAs & FAQ
Mines Community Updates: if you want to receive notices about the quarterly Golden community meetings, email email@example.com to be added to the list. Quarterly meeting dates and presentations are here: https://www.mines.edu/operations/community-news/
Zoning “In” – Golden’s Zoning Code Update
We should pay attention to the first major overhaul of our zoning code in 50 years. And more than two years in the making, this may affect what you can do with your property and what your neighbors can do next door.
Watch the video presentations, especially the January 28, 2021 Draft presented to the community. You may still provide comment and feedback via Guiding Golden, or email me or City staff.
Tune in March 23rd for a City Council study session discussion about the draft Zoning language with our Planning Commission.
Read the March Golden Informer article with additional Zoning information.
Remember: There will be more opportunities to provide input throughout Spring and Summer, please stay engaged and share your thoughts!
District 2 Golden Police Safety Presentation
Residents of Wards 3 & 4 are encouraged to join us for a Virtual GPD Community Safety Presentation with Q&A on Thursday, March 18th at 6pm online.
I am co-hosting this community event with Mayor Pro Tem Casey Brown and Ward 3 Councilor Jim Dale with special thanks to our Golden Police Department.
– Get updates on what’s been happening in Golden and Wards 3 and 4 over the past year.
– Learn how we can stay safer, and watch a presentation on auto theft trends by the Colorado Metro Auto Theft Task force.
– Tips for crime prevention will also be offered, followed by an opportunity for community members to ask questions.
Pre-register for the District 2 Safety Presentation
I’m proud of the work our Golden Police Department has been doing on our behalf, no more so than this past year. Thank you to the women and men of the GPD, and I appreciate their participation in this event!
Monthly Golden Safety Academy for residents
from the Golden Police DepartmentDive in deeper and join one or all of this great series of monthly virtual events.
The next meeting is virtual this week! March 10th, 6pm, and covers Residential Crime Prevention Tips. Learn more and sign up here.
Golden Boards & Commissions
Pro resident tip: our volunteers drive much of the progress in maintaining and improving Golden! Consider whether there is an opportunity for you to join in this effort.
Get involved! You have just a few more days to submit an application to be a volunteer on one of our terrific boards and commissions (due this Friday, March 12th). https://www.cityofgolden.net/government/boards-commissions/Apply
City Council recently met with each Board & Commission chair to collaborate on their 2021 Work Plans. Read more about each plan to learn about the tremendous work underway! (scroll down the agenda for specific work plans).
Golden Water Resources
Finally, a note of caution regarding our water resources
We know Colorado remains in a serious drought condition.
Golden continues to have strong water resources and rights, with multiple reservoirs and decades of forward-thinking planning.
To do our part in addressing challenges of drought and continue to think ahead to ensure continued need water supplies, Golden is asking all users to voluntarily reduce irrigation use this year by 10% (e.g. limit outside watering to 3x/week).Read more about Golden’s Water Division and resources here.
Look through a good article in the March Golden Informer.
For a great visual primer on Golden’s water supplies, review the Water Conservation and Efficiency presentation (from our city water website).
Beginning March 5th, people 60+ are now eligible for vaccination. Inclusion for people 50+ as part of 1B.4 starts approximately March 21st (view full vaccine rollout phases and eligibility)
As many of us are seeking more COVID-19 vaccine resources, I’d like to share some additional links worth investigating.
– State of Colorado: Where to get vaccinated
– JeffCo Public Health: COVID-19 case count and vaccine info (Note: JCPH Arvada vaccine location now accepting 65+)
– State of Colorado Vaccination pre-registration: https://www.comassvax.org
– Vaccine Spotter: https://www.vaccinespotter.org/CO/
– Kaiser Pre-registration website (do not have to be a member)
– JeffCo Public Health Vaccine Clinic information
– Mobility Issues? Check here for Denver regional resources.
– State of CO voice hotline: 1-877-268-2926, staffed 24hrs a day.And please remember to Stay Safe Golden! Wear masks, continue physical distancing, limit unnecessary travel, wash your hands.
Feedback? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.Copyright (C) 2021 Bill Fisher for Golden Ward 4. All rights reserved.Update Preferences | Unsubscribe
Labor Day Weekend Update: Racial equity, Clear Creek Crowding, Masks & Heart of Golden
|“…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”–Martin Luther King, Jr. |
I am writing this during a week where we remember MLK’s “I have a dream” speech delivered nearly 60 years ago, and the Golden City Council continues taking up matters of a person’s worth. How far have we come? And where should we go from here?
I would propose a simple and time-honored philosophy: A rising tide lifts all boats.
Lifting up all lives means recognizing specific groups of lives (e.g. Women, LGBTQ, Black people, Latinx) – and does not tear down the lives of others (Men, Police, etc.).
City Council lifted up Black residents and visitors this week. We find this necessary against a national backdrop of violence towards people of color, and a local history of systemic racism that goes well beyond the evil KKK presence to include ongoing racist attacks against Black residents and visitors right here in Golden.
We supported a request for Golden to make a public statement:
Golden Stands with Black Lives.
And Council committed to the long horizon of work to improve racial equity and ensure Black lives don’t just matter, they matter equally.
Over these past months I personally have had to face a realization: Believing I am not racist has been a safe, comfortable, and easy position. But it’s not enough.
Among the scores of comments Council received on the issue of racial equity, especially related to Black Lives, even those people who questioned the worth of a public display of support (such as a banner) voiced a desire for greater equality in Golden.
I am challenging myself to listen, learn, and act towards racial equality and be actively anti-racist. And I challenge each of us to find your own unique way to ensure a rising tide lifts all boats.
This past week’s actions are in conjunction with efforts undertaken throughout the summer: read my blog from June for details, and view Golden Key Dates and timelines including a special Study Session with Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick on July 16th.
Changing the subject, there are additional matters on the minds of Goldenites. And speaking of rising tides, Golden remains committed to stopping another wave of COVID-19 infections: Let’s ensure schools can stay in session so our kids can learn!
To that end we’ve continued to support a mask and face coverings ordinance (along with Jefferson County and the State), which we review monthly and as needed. We’ve also adjusted Clear Creek closures to improve safety.
I realize that requiring masks and closing Clear Creek is far from ideal – it won’t magically make COVID-19 disappear. And we all love nature and know its therapeutic and healthy properties on mind and soul, especially now.
Thus, I look forward to working with Council and City Staff to find ways to manage crowding and safety during #COVIDtimes, with very clear direction to implement a new strategy for Summer 2021. Let’s start planning now for a safe, prosperous, and healthy summer season next year for visitors – and for us residents!
If you are interested in joining an Ad Hoc committee to prepare for and manage the Creek Corridor, please shoot me an email with your interest.
The Heart of Golden is one part of this process, and it’s getting started again… cleverly entitled “The Heart of Golden: Still Beating.” See https://www.guidinggolden.com/heart-of-golden-refining for more ways to get involved.
Finally, a quick note on the financial crisis.
The City of Golden is feeling the hit with reduced revenues this spring and summer. Year-to-date sales tax revenues are down about 8%. Despite this, we remain financially sound through a legacy of conservative investment, a diverse business community, thoughtful leadership, and aggressive action at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
Sadly, cities and towns across Colorado and the U.S. are not faring nearly as well. I hope Federal authorities recognize that local communities are the backbone of this country and critical to the success of America – and take action. We are not out of the weeds yet.
We know that a strong municipal foundation supports our residents, and will continue to focus on tight financial controls along with looking for more opportunities to support our community members. I believe all Councilors and City Mgmt stand ready to take strong action to protect our city.
A couple of examples:
The City recently agreed to extend additional support to BGoldN (formerly the Golden Backpack Program), the non-profit organization providing free food options for Goldenites while simultaneously supporting local restaurants.
We are supporting housing and rental relief opportunities, and last week City Council agreed to hire a Homeless Navigator (a partnership with Wheat Ridge and Edgewater) to support those facing homelessness – many for the first time in their lives.
Interested in helping our community locally?
There are many strong feelings, opinions, and beliefs about who we are as a community, and how we navigate what has turned out to be a game-changing year.
I commit to listening and learning, and engaging with you and the Golden community.
Have additional thoughts? Continue sharing them via Feedback and Social Media links below.
Have a safe and relaxing Labor Day Weekend here in Golden!
Check out these JeffCo Public Health Tips for Celebrating and limiting the spread of COVID-19.Learn more about Racial Equity in Golden & Get Involved
Celebrate Safely in small batches 😉
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Email email@example.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.
Legislative and administrative actions to reduce Clear Creek crowding, encourage masks, and improve safety and comfort in Golden.
Golden City Council discusses Clear Creek access and additional mask and face covering requirements at emergency meeting.
View full City Council meeting video (3+ hrs long). The Mayor & City Manager’s Coronavirus Community Update the next day is easier to digest at around 1/2 hour.
We believe the various legislative and administrative requirements around the Creek and face covering requirements will combine with enforcement and education, education, education to result in the improvement in compliance culture around masks and social distancing that will increase safety, reduce risk of super-spreader events, and allow residents and guests more comfort in enjoying the outdoors.Bill Fisher, Ward 4 City Councilor
- Clear Creek access closed. To be reviewed by City Council July 9th. Paths and trails remain open. Farmer’s Market remains open.
- City Manager requires face coverings in public areas when unable to maintain physical distance.
- City Council agrees to consider comprehensive mask/face covering Emergency Ordinance (1st reading July 8th, 2nd reading July 9th).
- City Council requests emergency authority from Governor Polis to manage Clear Creek water use during pandemic. If granted, this would allow for potential on-creek usage regulation and allowances.
Below are my prepared remarks for the June 30th meeting
I want to acknowledge a concern being voiced by some: Why did we lock down and sacrifice our mental, physical, and economic health to now see the virus again start to rampage through our communities?
The answer – “Safe at home” gave us something we desperately needed: Time.
It truly made us safer and DID save thousands of lives, and allowed us to stock up for a battle that’s poorly understood, get better at the fight and learn new tricks, and prepare ourselves and our families for the 21st Century version of trench warfare.
In Colorado, for example, we have learned that if one of our residents went to the hospital in March with COVID, as opposed to right now, she or he was 50% more likely to die in the hospital then vs now. That’s real. That’s progress.
At every turn during the first few months of the pandemic, officials were behind the curve by weeks or months. In some ways (PPE, testing, and contact tracing), we still are.
In other ways, we are finally catching up here in Colorado – and it is again time to look ahead and make smart, tough choices. We must lead with urgency.
Out of the woods?
- The World Health Organization Director General warns we are not out of the woods. All countries are facing a delicate balance, between protecting their people, while minimizing the social and economic damage.
- “It’s not a choice between lives and livelihoods. Countries can do both.”
- The United States’ top infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci agrees, stating: “Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges…”, noting that if we don’t turn things around, “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 (Illnesses) a day.”
- CDC Deputy Director Dr. Schuchat says, “This is just the beginning of America’s New Coronavirus Surge.”
We are seeing it… Similar to Denver, Adams, Arapahoe… Jefferson County has had the highest number of weekly positive tests since late May.
Many communities across the US also recognize this risk. For example, cities and counties from LA to Miami are closing beaches or starting to require masks to stop repeat problems and reduce transmission, and leadership across the political spectrum is urging masks.
Finally – The Governor of Colorado just announced a return to closures of bars, etc.
So, do we go “backwards” as people are saying into a complete lock down? Or during the past several months have we learned there may be ways to avoid sacrificing our economic and social health while staying safe enough to have a functioning society?
Every person and every community has a role to play. Golden is no different – we are a popular destination and place to live and certainly have a role to play keeping our community and guests safe and on track.
If we found a drug that reduced your chance of getting COVID-19 disease by 5x, everyone would be clamoring to take it. Well, we do. It’s called the “6 Foot Social Distancing Mask” drug. And right now, it’s the only thing we think works while we figure out testing and tracing and develop a vaccine.
It’s time to use it, and in the same way vaccinations help us and our neighbors, it’s a public health issue where it’s time to stand up, and be neighborly, and ensure we can have the opportunity to keep our economic engine humming and keep safe everyone we care about: our families, our elders, people with immune or other disease issues at greater risk, and our community.
Managing crowds on the Creek will be challenging – and require changes. Unfortunately we have to consider the maximum damage from large crowds initially – and then carve out spaces for reduced risk activities. One person emailed that a person sitting on a park bench reading a book isn’t a danger. Probably not. But that image is not consistent with what we are discussing, and honestly if it was me I would sit somewhere else for now.
I’m in for making changes, and I’m in for the long haul to keep adjusting this program to maximize effectiveness and keep a close eye on fairness and equity. I don’t care how many meetings we have to have to do this, I care that we save lives and do the right thing including leadership with urgency.
Let’s keep our economy afloat. Let’s acknowledge real and present concerns of our fellow Golden residents for COVID and general Creek “busyness,” and let’s do so in a way that references the reality of persistent racial injustice, misogyny and financial discrimination so we can be as equitable as this terrible virus allows.
Even as we invite guests, we must also acknowledge the rights of our residents to have a say in access and use of the Creek through our town – crowding is what, in part, we were already focused on with the Heart of Golden Project!
In an abundance of caution, reviewing Creek access is the right move to keep from creating a super-spreader situation while we get the opportunity to creatively make exceptions and open. Unfortunately as a solution it’s more of a hammer than a scalpel… that must be refined with the appropriate openings, exceptions, etc.
Black Lives Matter
Many of us have been rocked by the overwhelming reality of systemic racism and inequality demonstrated so clearly and obviously the last several weeks. The death of George Floyd and others have focused our country on these longstanding issues.
Mayor Weinberg & Golden City Councilors have provided a strong initial response and appear committed to listening, learning and -most importantly- action.
WilliamFisher.com has details and links to responses by the Mayor, City Councilors and Police Department, and ways to get involved.
Key points (see blog for details)
o June 4: City Council responds to George Floyd & many black citizens’ deaths during Regular Meeting
o June 7: Mayor & Council attend Golden United Vigil & March in Golden. Almost all attendees wearing masks!
o June 11: Mayor & City Council unanimously approve Resolution 2736 declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis. Proclamation read for Pride Month (GLBTQ).
o JULY 16: Committed to action – Golden City Council Study Session with Police Department on next steps… stay tuned!
City Finances & COVID-19
Golden Pandemic Financial Crisis Review
The short answer: Revenues are down, but not as much as we predicted. Sales Tax revenues are down about 5.5%, we anticipated 7-8%. Restaurants, retail and lodging has suffered. Groceries, Home Depot, and online sales are up (Amazon, Wayfair, etc.).
As a former City Councilor I faced the 2008-2009 Great Recession with Golden, and we actually improved financial reserves during that time. We worked closely with Golden’s Finance Director Jeff Hansen and his team.
Fortunately, Jeff remains at the helm for Golden. I trust his thoughtful guidance and deep thinking about how to protect and maintain Golden, weather the current storm, and maybe even come out ahead.
City Manager Jason Slowinski has taken a conservative line on spending since March – City Council has approved the following efforts:
- Hold non-critical expenditures (travel, training, upgrades, fireworks, etc.)
- Freeze on employee travel
- Soft hiring freeze (e.g Park Rangers hired for COVID-19 safety)
- The City has identified over $2.6 Million in cuts/holds through the end of the year, which should more than match expected losses. There is a 2nd level of deeper cuts identified if necessary.
- Asphalt/street/sidewalk replacement for this year will be limited, with the ability to make further cuts.
- It’s also (already) time to start planning the 2021-2022 bi-annual budget, and City Council will be reviewing priorities to share with Staff.
- Golden is receiving $1.6 Million from Jefferson County for COVID-19 related expenses. The City Manager and Council discussed plans to ensure it is spent appropriately to benefit our community!
- Listen and watch the June 11th City Council Financial report and discussion.
The City is hoping to partially open the Splash water park. Golden Community Center opening details are still pending. Summer camps for kids are opening.
Want the latest on what’s open or closed in the City? (e.g. parks & rec, Fossil Trace golf course, City buildings and Court, Clear Creak, tubing, etc.). Visit the new Status of City Services webpage.
Jefferson County received a variance from Safer-At-Home orders affecting gatherings, graduations, gyms and other G words, review all variance updates.
Mayor Weinberg & City Manager Slowinski continue video updates: Latest update June 10th with Special Guest Councilor Jim Dale.
The BGoldN program continues serving those in need of food assistance as well as our community businesses.
(NOTE Updated Link) Volunteer Golden website now online.
NEW! Questions, concerns or thoughts on the City’s COVID-19 response and temporary road and parking closures Downtown? Email Recovery@cityofgolden.net
Back in March it was not clear face coverings mattered.
More and More evidence supports the value of Masks and
Face Coverings to reduce COVID-19 transmission!
Education on use of masks is a team effort. Residents, Businesses and the City all have roles to keep us safe and open.
The City of Golden just received a shipment of 5,000 masks! 2,500 have already been distributed to help businesses provide education and masks for visitors.
Along with staying safer at home and social distancing, masks and even homemade face coverings are proving valuable in reducing transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
The more we keep this under control, the more we can open our businesses and get back to life enjoying Golden – and it keeps more people alive. Period.
I’ve been clear that Golden is not some desperate City needing to sell off our heritage. This certainly includes the Astor House!
At the June 11th City Council meeting, City Council reviewed Staff recommendations on a thoughtful process to accept offers from long-standing Golden non-profit and other organizations interested in partnering with the City. We authorized Staff and a subcommittee of Councilors to work with community members to make progress and ensure the Astor House doesn’t end up sitting abandoned and decaying.
Our Community Goals include the City retaining ownership and partnering for the greatest public benefit and access (read the memo for details). This dovetails well with the citizen-led recommendations of the Astor House Alliance (Aha!). Read the AHA surveys and suggestions here.
I’ve encouraged Staff to take a deeper dive this Fall into what we as a community want for Events. They’ve agreed. (To be led by Deputy City Manager Carly Lorentz).
Staff report we will have Movies in the Parking Lot (drive-in) in August and September!
Golden Farmer’s Market had a good start last week with new guidelines and safety measures.
Most event holders through summer have chosen to cancel – notably Buffalo Bill Days and Golden Fine Arts Festival
July 4th – The Lions are going virtual all day on the 4th, check out their Facebook Page for details.
Thanks for everyone who has provided comments on Black Lives Matter, the Astor House, events, the budget, wearing masks and more – keep them coming, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Thank you for supporting and trusting my candidacy during this Special Election. I am honored by the many folks who believe in my vision, values, and plan for Golden. During my tenure I will work to earn the trust of all residents
Zoning Code Audit and Rewrite. As I committed to during the campaign, we are conducting a robust review and rewrite of Golden’s building codes to ensure we maintain our small-town historic character and natural environment.
- Phase 1 was the Audit with Community input. This produced the Diagnostic Report (large file, good read, download here).
- Phase 2 – The Rewrite. Based on the Audit, Council authorized a round of re-writing portions of the Code through the summer, combined with additional points of community input (which may look odd/virtual due to COVID-19). Speaking of Community Input: Check out the City’s new “Golden Building Blocks” initiative for us residents to help visually define Golden’s character for City Planners.
The Diagnostic Report is comprehensive, and clearly outlines the significant concerns expressed by residents across Golden. It does not say whether these concerns can be appropriately managed. The rewrite hopefully will propose effective changes to address our concerns (pop-up’s and scrapes, high-density in the wrong areas, ADUs, parking and traffic flow issues, etc.)
COVID-19 & City Finances
Finances: Council’s June 11th meeting will provide a community update and discussion on the City’s financial outlook. This is not “business as usual.” I want the community to hear and hold that discussion before the City proposes any additional major expenditures.
This is why I voted against approving the non-essential $1 Million sidewalk repair bid, which came in over 10% above last year’s pricing (Note: Council awarded the contract anyway. We will have a chance later to decide whether to initiate any work).
COVID-19: There are SO many updates that I’ll keep it brief.
- What is open or closed in the City? (e.g. parks, recreation, Fossil Trace golf course, City buildings and Court, Clear Creak, tubing, etc.). Visit the new Status of City Services webpage.
- Mayor Weinberg & City Manager Slowinski continue video updates on COVID-19 changes/response
- The BGoldN program continues serving those in need of food assistance as well as our community businesses.
- A new Volunteer Golden website resource is coming online soon!
- Questions, concerns or thoughts on updates or changes in the City? Email COVID19@cityofgolden.net
Street & Parking Changes Support Public Health and Local Businesses
Street lane changes and parking reductions improve social distancing and support local businesses
City Council has acted quickly to continue progress protecting public health and supporting our local businesses. We have authorized the City Manager to make changes in real time to address safety needs. Changes are happening fast: Thank you for your patience and understanding of the need during COVID-19 to be responsive – I appreciate the frustrations this can cause, especially for our West Downtown neighbors and businesses. We have asked the City to communicate through all available channels any updates to road/parking closures.
As restaurants and other businesses re-open, the City will be working with residents to make adjustments based on changing conditions. Council has generally given guidance for Staff to consider Downtown road/parking lane changes and closures, which may look different Monday through Thursday vs Friday/Saturday/Sunday to accommodate safety with increased visitors.
See the detailed City of Golden map of expected closures.
Quick update – Council was briefed on cancelations and updates (watch May 28th meeting video at GCO.TV), and has generally directed staff to avoid events wishing to use Washington Avenue downtown. I have suggested Staff considers not only State & County guidance, but also local Golden needs – for example not pushing more event pressure into our 8th-10th Street and West Downtown historic neighborhoods.
- Staff is looking at options for a “drive-in” version of Movies in the Park in August
- Most event holders through June, July & August have chosen to cancel (e.g. Buffalo Bill Days)
- The Golden Farmer’s Market starts June 6 (with new guidelines and safety measures)
- Not strictly an event… During the May 28th Council Meeting, City Manager Slowinski provided guidance on Clear Creek management for the summer
- I’ve asked and Council and Staff have agreed to take a deeper dive late Summer or Fall into what we as a community want for Events.
- Masks & Face coverings – Lots of community responses on this issue! Council is protecting our businesses by allowing them to require use of face coverings. We’ll have additional discussion at our next Council meeting (June 4th)
Thanks for the great feedback and suggestions we’ve already received! If you have additional thoughts, suggestions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Ward 4 Feedback