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2021 Golden Voter RecommendationsMail your ballot by Tuesday Oct 26th (otherwise hand deliver to ensure arrival by Nov 2nd)
New to Golden? Register to vote here by October 28th to receive a mail ballot.
Voter Recommendations for City of Golden, JeffCo School Board and Colorado ballot measures
For more than a decade I have provided a yearly roundup of issues on the ballot at the request of friends and residents subscribed to the Golden Ward 4 Email Newsletter. Recommendations are based on how I perceive issues as they relate to Golden.
I also suggest reviewing descriptions and analysis in the Colorado Blue Book and Jefferson County Notice of Election booklets mailed to all voters (see buttons below).
Last year’s ballot had almost a dozen issues! This year? Three state and three local. Not so bad!
Without further ado, this year’s recommendations…
Golden City Council
Four ward councilor seats are up for election in Golden.
Each candidate, including myself, is running unopposed this year. I won’t speculate as to why, beyond encouraging you to review Mayor Weinberg’s October Informer letter to Follow the Golden Rule. Please be kind to people campaigning and acting as your representatives.
Recommendation: Vote FOR the candidate below listed on your ballot.
Ward 1: Rob Reed
I have appreciated Rob’s hard work and dedication to supporting our City, and look forward to working with him further. He brings a detailed and welcomed eye towards ensuring Golden’s interests are protected.
Ward 2: Paul Haseman
Paul is an inveterate advocate for his Ward, volunteers regularly, and I respect his collaborative nature on Council (part of why Golden’s a great place to live).
Ward 3: Don Cameron
Don is a retired school teacher and longtime Golden resident. He has remained involved in Golden since his first run for City Council, and brings new ideas to the table. I suspect he will challenge the status quo.
Ward 4: Bill Fisher (“William BilFish Fisher” on the ballot)
People ask: Why bother to campaign when you are running unopposed?
It’s simple: I respect the trust placed in me to represent all residents of Ward 4 and across Golden.
I remain committed to achieving results for us. Holding neighborhood conversations and attending forums helps me understand our shared goals and values.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve, and if you share a positive vision for Golden’s future, please vote for me.
Read my thoughts in the October Informer about neighborhood values and community vision – and work to be done and Learn about all candidates running for City Council
JeffCo School Board
Three seats are up for election in Districts 1, 2 & 5
Recommendation: Vote FOR the following candidates
District 1: Danielle Varda
District 2: Paula Reed
District 5: Mary Parker
Golden’s children and schools benefit from a stable, dedicated and caring group of citizens leading our Public School Board.
You may have noticed these candidates are running as a slate, dedicated to enhancing education across Jefferson County. This locally-based coordination stems from a 2013 election of radical board members funded by out-of-state interests. Low voter turnout in 2013 was also a factor. Each of the radical members was recalled decisively in a recall election in 2015.
The big losers from the 2013 failed debacle were our children.
To help in rebuilding JeffCo School’s reputation and continue recent progress and improved performance, Varda, Reed and Parker are the right choices this year. Reed is a life-long school teacher, Parker has worked with abused and neglected children and foster families, and Varda is a scientist and public health advocate.
City of Golden Ballot Measures
Golden voters asked to weigh in on two major ballot measures referred by City Council
2A & 2B: Recreational Retail Marijuana Stores
Recommendation: However you vote on 2A, vote Yes on 2B to fund public health initiatives if retail stores are allowed
This is a measure in two parts: 2A asks Golden Residents about allowing Recreational Marijuana shops in Golden – we currently only allow medical marijuana; 2B asks whether we should collect a tax on recreational marijuana to be spent on public health measures. I’m proud to have championed directing funds towards improving health in our community.
As a health professional and a parent, and based on feedback from constituents, I remain skeptical of the benefits of adding retail marijuana sales to our town. I am voting no on 2A. The principal reasons voiced to vote yes are that marijuana is readily available in nearby cities, so why not have it here and tax it.
Unfortunately, City Council has had to grapple with the reality that the Marijuana Industry has threatened to place the question on the ballot for voters if City Council does not. In keeping with our philosophy to direct and manage change, and to prevent opening marijuana more broadly and less safely across the community, Council placed the issue on the ballot for voters.
Note: 2A and 2B both have to pass for either one to go into effect. If approved, I am committed to focus on implementation to provide the least disruption and greatest safety for our kids and community.
This may include limiting the number of stores, types of signage, distance from schools and parks, keeping them from Downtown, regulating hours of operation, etc. For more on what this might look like, see recommendations from Golden’s Amendment 64 Task Force Report of Findings.
2C: Lodging Tax for visitors & tourists
Recommendation: Vote Yes On 2C
Golden City Council has unanimously endorsed a Yes Vote on 2C for Golden. As a resident I also endorse this effort to help offset visitor and tourist impacts and manage crowding and cleanup along Clear Creek and Downtown.
City Council has referred a lodging tax measure to ask visitors to help pay for all the amenities they use and enjoy, which currently are paid for by Golden residents. The actual language reads that funds “SHALL BE APPLIED TO ADDRESS VISITOR IMPACTS AND FUND COMMUNITY PROJECTS AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS…”
A “have your cake and eat it too” moment for Golden?
This measure is about what we as residents want for our town in the future. Yes, Golden has again balanced our budget with reasonable reserves.
However, we face significant financial challenges, beginning as soon as next year.
For example, a recent study about our Fire Department suggests Golden residents may be asked to pay an extra $1,000,000 to $4,000,000 EACH YEAR to improve response times and keep our career and volunteer firefighters safe.
At the same time, we face costs and crowding and trash from increased tourism, residents are requesting open space purchases and protections and funding of our treasured cultural institutions, and Parks & Rec facilities are aging and require maintenance, improvements and in some cases (Rooney Road Soccer Fields) replacement. This requires new sources of revenue.
If we want more control to direct and manage change and growth in Golden, a lodging tax will help us achieve this goal.
An argument for voting no is that it’s a “missed opportunity” to more explicitly fund certain worthy initiatives (open space, workforce housing, etc.).
City Council directs around $50,000,000 in annual spending and can handle directing these funds, with established guardrails written into the ballot measure.
It feels self-defeating for any one interest group to argue we should miss this opportunity because they are not “guaranteed” perpetual funding. And the money will truly be more transparent and accounted for in an exclusive fund.
Another argument is that by voting no we will keep prices lower and bring MORE tourists to Golden. Hmmm… are we looking to add even more tourists in Golden and along Clear Creek? Vote yes to manage crowding in town.
If we miss out on this revenue, I honestly worry that City Council will be coming back to residents next year with tough conversations about what we can -and cannot- afford to fund.
Asking visitors to help pay for their impacts on Golden is a worthwhile and legitimate request.
(The JeffCo Voter Guide below has more arguments and answers regarding specifics of the lodging tax ballot measure.)
Colorado Blue Book
Read about statewide ballot issues. Read the Blue Book
City of Golden Ballot Issues
Golden voters are being asked about two major issues: Recreational Marijuana stores and a Lodging Tax. Review the Golden Ballot
State of Colorado Ballot Measures
Recommendation: Vote NO
This is a complicated-sounding amendment that basically shifts decision-making for various “custodial” dollars that come into the state, such as COVID relief funding, from the Governor’s office to the Legislature.
I am always skeptical when voters are asked to modify the Colorado Constitution further, especially when it could complicate getting funding to the people who need it, and could actually cause our state to lose out on funding.
If a voter wants the Legislature as opposed to the Governor’s office to approve distribution for every custodial dollar, then a yes vote may be appropriate.
I agree with the thought that making government less efficient by having the Legislature vote on custodial dollars, and possibly losing out on some money, does not seem like a win.
Recommendation: Vote NO
This measure feels good because it taxes marijuana sales in order to provide after-school and other tutoring and training opportunities for our kids.
Unfortunately, it also creates another government bureaucracy and organization that is separate from our statewide school systems and funnels the money to private companies.
The goal of improving education access is laudable, the details suggest we will not get the bang for the buck we should, and further complicate our already-convoluted and underfunded public school systems.
Recommendation: Vote NO
This measure purports to lower residential and lodging property taxes.
Based on state law it will likely end up only lowering multifamily property taxes for landlords, and will not benefit renters with lower rents (unless you think the corporations that own apartment complexes will pass along the savings to individuals).
It will also not benefit (lower taxes) for individual homeowners as it suggests. In a state already dealing with the impacts of having one of the lowest property tax rates in the nation, this will further reduce critical services.
As the recent Denver Post headline notes, Proposition 120 is “A Colorado Property Tax Cut That Isn’t What it Seems.”
The same dark money special interest group supporting this has also paid to collect signatures to run an issue just about every election the last several years. This isn’t the way to manage or create fairness for our tax structure. Vote No.
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, the better we will be.Please consider sharing this newsletter with a neighbor and suggest they sign up by visiting WilliamFisher.com. Thoughts to share? Email or call me.
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Resident
Feedback? Email email@example.com 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.
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Election Reminder: Tuesday, Nov 2nd 2021
Ballots Mailed Friday, October 8thNew to Golden?
Register to vote here by October 28th to receive a mail ballot.
A positive Vision. Neighborhood Values.Visit WilliamFisher.com
I hope this finds you enjoying the beautiful Fall weather this weekend!
The cooler weather is also a sign of upcoming November elections, and I have enjoyed meeting Golden residents and business owners to better understand and be able to represent our priorities on City Council. I look forward to continuing with a positive vision and neighborhood values.
Please note the following two opportunities to meet myself and other candidates for all the wards for Golden City Council.
Wednesday October 13th from 6-8pm at City Hall, 911 10th Street, hosted by Leadership Golden Alumni Association.
Coffee with Candidates
Sunday October 17th from 10-11am at Lions Park East Pavilion. Rain or shine, meet the candidates and enjoy coffee, donuts and conversation.Ward 4 Golden PrioritiesRead my thoughts in the October Informer about neighborhood values and community vision – and work to be done.
Learn about all candidates running for City Council
Election Issues for Golden and ColoradoGolden voters asked to weigh in on two major ballot measures referred by City Council.
2A & 2B – Retail marijuana. This is a two-part measure asking Golden Residents about allowing Recreational Marijuana shops in Golden (2A), and whether we should collect an excise tax to be spent on public health measures for our community (2B).
2C – Lodging Tax: City Council has referred a measure to ask visitors to help pay for all the amenities they use and enjoy, which currently are paid for by Golden residents. The actual language reads that funds “SHALL BE APPLIED TO ADDRESS VISITOR IMPACTS AND FUND COMMUNITY PROJECTS AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS…”
Endorsements: Yes on 2C Lodging TaxGolden City Council has unanimously endorsed a Yes Vote on 2C for Golden. As a Golden resident I am also endorsing this initiative to help offset visitor impacts and manage crowding and cleanup along Clear Creek and downtown.Colorado State Blue Book
I’ll share more election ballot thoughts in a future newsletter.Read the Blue Book
JeffCo / Golden Ballot Issues
Golden voters are being asked about two major issues: Recreational Marijuana stores and a Lodging Tax.
Review the Golden Ballot
I’ll have more information on these ballot measures through the annual voter guide that I’ll share in mid October.I respect the trust that has been placed in me to represent residents of Ward 4.
With your continued support, I remain committed to achieving results for you and all Golden residents.
The more engaged we are, the better we will be – I want to hear from you!Please considering forwarding this newsletter with a neighbor and suggest they sign up by visiting WilliamFisher.com. Have thoughts to share? Email me or contact me at 303.588.3389.
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 City Councilor
Join me tomorrow from 11am – 4pm for Golden History Museum’s first Autumn Fest!
Located in the downtown History Museum and Park along Clear Creek.Free Family Activitiesincredible chalk arthourly puppet shows (plus hands-on stations to make your own show)4-H petting zoocraft stationsBIG TRUCKS (Streets, Fire, and Police Departments)costumed Civil War interpretationkarate demonstrationhands-on paper-making stationOther FunWesternaires pony rides ($3 per ride)CODA Brewing Company beer garden
City Council October NewsIt’s Budget season!
City Council has already reviewed the annual CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) budgets twice in September and will continue our review in October.
Upcoming agenda items include:
Community Garden Contract Renewal (Oct 12th)
Healthy Beverages for Kids Discussion (Oct 19th)
Budget: CIP discussed at two different meetings so far.Operating Budget review is up next, discussion slated for both Oct 19th and 26th. Both budgets will be reviewed again in November
Clear Creek Management Update (Oct 26th)
Strategic Action Plan Q3 progress (Oct 26th)
Covid-19 Vaccine Update
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been officially approved by the FDA. There are many walk-in clinics and vaccination sites available around Golden. Booster shots are recommended for certain people with immune or other health issues.
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.
State of CO voice hotline: 1-877-268-2926, staffed 24hrs a day.And thanks to everyone in Golden for staying safe! Wear masks when appropriate, continue physical distancing, recreate outdoors and use good hand hygiene.
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
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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 email@example.com 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
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
by Richard Gardner (local historian) (edited for clarity/length)
I send greetings to Golden City Council and its newest member upon this most unique occasion! For the first time in 138 years Golden is inaugurating a new City Councilor by remote location, which was last done for the first and only other time way back in 1882.
Since Golden first began municipal government 160 years ago, this was just the 7th special election for our City officials. However, it’s hard to shake some feeling of deja vu here – like we’ve done this and I’ve given Mr. Fisher this greeting before. Why yes, this is no coincidence, for I welcomed him for the first time in a special election in 2008, and again in 2009. Mr. Fisher must either really like my speeches or he is one big glutton for punishment!
Indeed, Mr. Fisher, you were and are the 14th person voted to office here in a special election. Sorry, we don’t do like the Presidents here, you don’t count twice. If we did that we’d end up having Mayors cloned 6 times over by now! You are, however, the first person voted into office in two special elections, and you now hold all our special election records, so congratulations!
I’ve told of your esteemed special elected predecessors and they’re well worth sharing today. They include our 2nd Mayor, Daniel McCleery, who built the Golden Gate Canyon Road, and Mayor Robert Millikin, the future county commissioner who helped carve the woodwork at Calvary Episcopal Church. Others include George West, founder of the Transcript; Isaac Hardy, our first postmaster whose post office just turned 160 last month; William Sapp who had the resort at Sapp’s Grove, later known as Big Tree; State Representative, Jeffco Sheriff and Astor House owner John Albert Hoagland; downtown businessman James Thomas; Julius Schultz, founder of the Goosetown Tavern which a future Governor Hickenlooper moved to Denver; and in modern times Arthur Chen, Mayor Jacob Smith and Joe Behm.
On a somber note, you are not Golden’s first replacement Councilor to take his seat amidst a pandemic. During the great flu epidemic of 1918 City Council lost a Golden hero, Oscar Nolin, who died trying to save his brother’s life. It was the second time he’d put his life on the line trying to save others. In 1905 Nolin saved Golden High School from exploding and with it the lives of over 100 students and teachers. Because of the bans of that pandemic Councilor Nolin never received a hero’s farewell, but his graveside was attended by the members of City Council. Councilor Nolin is remembered with honor today. Taking his place was a worthy successor, Frederick B. Robinson, a prominent downtown bookstore merchant, who in 1918 and 75 years ago this September fired his mini cannon on Washington Avenue in joyful celebration of the ends of both World Wars!
It is remarkably pleasing for me to note today that the one Councilor Fisher takes the place of during a pandemic is alive and well and for a much more joyful occasion, she has been promoted to Mayor by the voters. Our Mayor during the pandemic of 1918 was Dr. Dennis Garvin, and now today we have another medical professional joining Council. Mayor Garvin helped save hundreds of lives and I hope his inspiring story serves all of you well today!
Folks might think today is the first time ever a Golden City Councilor has been inaugurated to office outside the halls of our government, yet believe it or not this is not true. You now have something uniquely in common with your first special elected predecessor, Andrew Holmes, for he was Golden’s first and until now only to be inaugurated remotely as well! Way back on July 25, 1882, Holmes was elected to City Council, but he did not show up in person to take his seat. He submitted his oath of office in writing. So yes, when you do this remotely you do very much count! Why Councilor Holmes did not show up to do so in person remains a mystery to this day, and Councilor Fisher, you have now accomplished a feat that’s not been done in 138 years!
What were things like here the last time this happened? First of all I’ll show you a special gift, this illustration of Golden as it appeared in 1882. If you look closely you can see landmarks still with us today, along with mines, mills, smelters, railroads, and our river as it appeared then.
Down below is a key telling what several of our key landmarks are. In the foreground you see what Goosetown looked like, including the Roundhouse which still has a foundation wall along the north side of the railroad tracks, if you know where to look for it. Among the buildings on the lands the City just acquired there is the home of Councilor Holmes himself, on Archer Street just back of today’s Masonic Temple. So now our newest Councilor can decide what should stand upon the place of his esteemed predecessor. Now the rest of Council better listen to what Councilor Fisher has to say; most of your land is after all within Bush & Fisher’s Addition.
In 1882 Golden did not have electricity, let alone computers like you’re using to meet today. But Councilors could talk by telephone. If it had wanted to Council could even conference call from multiple locations and the public could listen in. It was called a party line! Though if you’re the audience you better keep your own party quiet because everyone else on the line can hear every word you have said. Back in 1882 you could celebrate your election by buying drinks at the Buffalo Rose, er, Orchestrion Hall. You could buy hardware at Meyers, er, Sarell Hardware. If you’ve been locked up and your hair’s gotten way too long you can just go to the Metropolitan but ask for Dick the Barber. If you’d like to go to the post office you’d need to go in at the Golden Diner’s corner, but the very same door of Calvary Church would greet you all the same. City Hall was just a rental then, though the City was planning to build a nice new one next to the Astor House. You could eat dinner right next door there, if you can get in the door to the dining room guarded by Seth Lake. He’s got to; his new cook’s popular and people have overrun him to get in there!
You are the 55th of now 56 Councilors of Ward 4, a political division of our city that has existed for 144 years. You return to represent the legacy of those who have served before you. The first to specifically serve your Ward was also special elected, George H. Kimball, a prominent builder in the city of Golden. You can see his work on the Rock Flour Mill Warehouse at 8th and Cheyenne today.
Yes you can go home again; you are our first Councilor to return after absence in 9 years, since Marcie Miller, and our first to return to the same office in 37 years since our longtime barber Frank Leek in 1983. And Ward 4 is a home to return to; you’re the 7th Councilor to come back here! Your predecessors include Swedish immigrant businessman Nels Seaver, who returned twice and whose beautiful home you can see at the southeast corner of 9th and Arapahoe; Samuel Eldridge, a skilled carpenter whose work you can see in the 12th Street Historic District and was Captain of the USS Cactus; businessman Alfred Olson, who returned 3 times; businessman John H. Cooper; bookstore owner Fred Richards; businessman Charles Matthews, and now William Fisher.
It’s been a little while since your ward showed sequels, however; 81 years, since 1939. It was a challenging economic time then during the Great Depression, and a challenging time now, but Councilor Matthews and the others overcame theirs, and you will too. Who knows what else the premiere of Fisher Returns will bring? It’s time to find out!
Read full Golden Transcript article online
Golden, meet your newest city councilor.
His name is Bill Fisher, a familiar face to many as he previously served on the council from 2008 to 2014. He will once again be representing Ward 4, which primarily encompasses a portion of central Golden west of Washington Avenue. That ward was most recently represented by current Golden mayor Laura Weinberg.
Fisher received more than double the votes of his opponent, Stacy Fowler, in a mail-in election completed on April 28.
The Golden Transcript caught up with Fisher on the day after the election was completed to discuss his return to the council, his goals for Golden and the direction he would like the council to go to preserve the city’s character.
What is your reaction to being elected?
I’m really thankful for the trust of my ward and honored by the fact that even during this time, people in Golden are paying attention and understand the importance of our local community and took the time to get out and vote. I look forward to getting to work.
What are your major priorities?
I think the initial priorities are to continue to make sure the city remains in as good of financial shape as possible as the COVID-19 financial crisis continues to set in and potentially impact city government services and also to address what we can do as a city regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking longer term, I see reviewing the zoning rewrites of our ordinances to ensure that as we start to have more growth again or as we see what growth looks like in this new economy we make sure that it is in line with the character that we want to see in.
How will you approach this role?
I’m going to maintain the principles I developed during my first tenure on city council, which are really a focus on transparent and open communication with the residents of Ward 4. Building trust is so important and communication is a key part of that and has been successful for me in the past. I also think communication is the foundation for how we build a collaborative process so as we get things done we do so with the buy-in of the entire community and we do so with the ideas of the entire community so we are building on all the knowledge and expertise we have among residents in Golden to build better solutions than you or I might come up with on our own.
Are their certain approaches you will advocate?
I feel there is an opportunity for the city to take our time with understanding the critical Heart of Golden project so that we get it right – and don’t simply try to rush to get something on the ballot for November. I’d like to see us reevaluate this and take the time to focus on getting it right because this is a 20, 30, 40 year-type of process and impact, so I don’t feel the need to just get it done in six months.
You’ve been vocal about the city needing to do a better job of maintaining its character. Any specific ideas about how to do that?
Sometimes development feels like a big enough topic that it’s hard to get our arms around. I think we start with pieces of it and really focus on elements of look and feel in a way that we haven’t before. If we combined a zoning rewrite to create the zoning we want and engage residents to say “What does that zoning really look like now and what are the possibilities?” In the past we have not been able to share with people in a way that they can imagine what would happen if a developer built out an area. We need to share that with them so that the community can actually say `oh, you know, maybe that’s not what I thought we were going to allow. And maybe we want something less, whether it’s height and setback restrictions or usage restrictions or number of properties.’ Then we combine that with actually embedding the character that people think we’re getting out of our neighborhood plans into the zoning, which we never really did. We just said philosophically here are things that we want. But we didn’t then put teeth in and say ‘this is how you have to build if you build in the community of Golden.
Thank you for supporting and trusting my candidacy during this Special Election. I am excited to get to work – Golden is worth it!
I am honored by the many folks who believed in my candidacy and vision, values, and plan for Golden.
Vote totals were higher than any time in Ward 4 history. The message is clear: Residents are engaged and care about our community!
This is an opportunity to move forward and hit the ground running – supporting efforts already underway by the City of Golden in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and financial crisis affecting our residents and small businesses.
I applaud my opponent for her willingness and offer to serve Golden. I will work to continue earning the trust of all residents in Ward 4 during my tenure, even as we continue with evolving stay/safer-at/around-home and physical distancing regulations.
Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas for Golden with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where did Golden’s 1% Growth Ordinance go?
Honestly, nothing. It’s still here. It just doesn’t do what we thought – or rather it does, but only kind of.
As we know, Golden is landlocked and a desirable community, which means that any growth will be in-fill, scrapes, pop-ups and re-zoning. And THAT means we sometimes get growth that doesn’t fit the character of the community.
Remember, the 1% is a “PER YEAR” number. If we have a little over 8000 housing units in Golden, then about 80 housing units can be built every year. Actually it’s less than that, Council dropped it to only 0.9% a few years ago. Yup.
The 1% ordinance has been effective in one sense – providing relief from very large 500-1000 unit projects. Unfortunately, because of various limitations in the ordinance – and loopholes, it hasn’t stopped some of the mid-size projects that probably were intended to be reduced or halted.
Loopholes? Oh yeah…
- Senior housing used to be an exemption
- moderate and low-income housing
- School of Mines student housing (they’ve put over 1,000 beds in Golden, yep.)
- Hardship allocations
- Banking units for the future – Huh? Building half a project one year, then build the other half next year. Totally legal.
- And boarding houses. Wait, boarding houses? Yep, they don’t count eiter.
So what do we do?
First, make the zoning fit the character of the neighborhoods we want. We even know what we want – all those neighborhood plans we’ve developed over the past 10 years? Time for them to stop collecting dust.
There’s an opportunity to put teeth behind the 1% ordinance during the re-design of our zoning codes which is going on now.
Taking the neighborhood plans and embedding those concepts directly into the zoning codes, instead of simply having them be “ideas” of what we want to see, will go further to identify and direct developers towards the type of growth that feels to fit the scale, scope, and character of the neighborhoods where projects are going up.
We’ve done it before – in fact, we were successful a decade ago with zoning restrictions for Washington Avenue downtown to restrict heights and protect the charm and character of our downtown main street, and I think we can apply those principles again.
We can do more. I’m running to provide a strong vision encompassing shared respect for our historic small-town character and greater balance for those of us who live here in light of the increasing numbers of visitors and those hoping to join our community.
Let’s work together and see what we can accomplish on the 1% growth ordinance and more.
Thank you Golden!
I have been energized by the generosity and heartwarming spirit of our Golden community coming together in response to the pandemic and financial crisis we are facing.
As a nurse on the front lines taking care of patients in Hospice, I appreciate the warm wishes and expressions of support for me and my family.
If you need help in this time, or you can offer support, please reach out: Locally, visit HelpGoldenNow.org and WilliamFisher.com’s Resources for Goldenites or view JeffCo Public Health and the Jefferson Center for Mental Health.
Special election for Golden Ward 4 City Council
Voting is going on now. I encourage you to read more about my vision, values, and plan for Golden at WilliamFisher.com.
If elected, I am ready to hit the ground running with practical and concrete ways we can respond to COVID-19 and the economic crisis – while enhancing and preserving our way of life and small-town character.
City Councilors should be listening to residents, responding, and then taking action to support our community. It’s not enough to talk about issues, concerns and problems. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
I have been involved in Golden at many levels, and continue to put in the effort we need now:
- Former GURA Commissioner – Golden’s Urban Renewal Authority. I am ready to support our local businesses
- Kathy and I serve and support community school PTAs, I am endorsed by Support JeffCo Kids
- Named Jefferson County Public Health Champion. I supported Radon gas mitigation for residents and served as Director on the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council focused on safe shutdown of the nuclear weapons trigger site and protecting workers. I continue efforts to reduce youth access to marijuana and vaping tobacco and promote safety during COVID-19
- I served Golden’s Sustainability Initiative and Golden’s Campaign Election Board. (The City has many opportunities to serve on boards, commissions, task forces and Leadership Golden – there may be a good fit for your talents and background, consider getting involved!)
- Emergency Response – During the Indian Gulch Fire behind the Village at Mountain Ridge, the Mayor and I spearheaded urgent and frequent communications and responses for affected residents
- HelpGoldenNow.org and BGoldN urgent food assistance – I am providing ongoing technical support for this important effort initiated by Mayor Weinberg and benefitting both our local restaurants and community members in need of food assistance.
And of course I served Ward 4 on City Council previously. My campaign focus remains on Golden’s needs now and for the future – yet perhaps it is appropriate to reflect on what we as a community accomplished during my previous tenure:
- Launching neighborhood Parking Permits
- Highway 93 – Beating the Beltway/raised tollroad and providing noise-reducing berms and walls (we can do more!)
- Engaging Mines to reduce building and stadium heights and expand parking (Let’s complete the IGA)
- Communicating regularly with residents in-person and through WilliamFisher.com and the Ward 4 Email newsletter.
- Purchasing and reserving critical open space (Now let’s protect the Astor House)
- Securing permanent status for our Golden Community Garden with water source and the Golden Bike Park
- Completing Safe Routes to School for our kids and trail connectors for everyone
- Protecting main street with lower height limits along Wash Avenue
- Initiating complete streets (e.g. Jackson St) focused on those with transportation and mobility issues, peds and bikes
- promoting Light Rail & Alternative transit into Golden (The first new RTD line in decades opened here in 2013)
If you share my vision and priorities for Golden, I ask for your vote.
How to Vote:
- You can mail your ballot USPS by April 24th with postage.
- You can drop your ballot at Golden City Hall (911 10th St) by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28.
*Special Note: Share this voting opportunity with your 18-year-old High School Seniors and College Students that may be home! Also, the City Clerk’s office notified us some 16- and 17-year-old residents accidentally received ballots, but are not eligible to vote in this election (unless they turn 18 on or before April 28th). I’ve posted details from the City & County on what happened on my website.
…And if I can ask a favor?
Please pass this along to anyone who might be in Ward 4 – Village at Mountain Ridge, North Historic Neighborhoods around Mitchell Elementary, Historic Downtown neighborhoods by Clear Creek and Mines, East Street area, along 19th street towards Golden High School, etc.
- This mail-only election concludes April 28th (not November). Ballots arrived this week.
- Point people to WilliamFisher.com to learn more and become involved.
- Also, I have a new post on Making & Using Masks which has been well-received.
- Encourage neighbors to sign up for the Ward 4 Email Newsletter online or email me.
- During stay-at-home, I am happy to talk with people about my vision and thoughts on Council and leadership via phone and email – email@example.com or 303.588.3389.
- Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter.
I appreciate your input and thank you for your continued support.
Bill Fisher, RN, BSN, CHPN
—William BilFish Fisher – Candidate for Golden City Council Ward 4
April Special Election ballots arrived this week. Please vote now!
Mail your ballot by April 24th with postage. Drop off your ballot at Golden City Hall (911 10th St) by 7 p.m. on April 28.
#goldenward4 #ward4golden @cityofgolden #goldencolorado #specialelection
This notification was emailed to Ward 4 Candidates Friday April 10th from City Clerk Monica Mendoza:
You may have heard from under-aged voters or their parents who have received a ballot in the mail by error. The City Clerk Office has been working with Jefferson County Elections to address the issue. Please review the talking points below describing the issue and let me know if you have any questions.
Please see the talking points for any incoming questions regarding the mistaken ballots.
- Due to a staff error, 59 residents of ward 4 who are pre-registered to vote but will not be 18 years old by Election Day (April 28) mistakenly received ballots for the special election.
- 16- and 17-year-olds are eligible to pre-register to vote in Colorado, even before they are eligible to vote.
Could those ballots be counted even though the voters are not eligible?
- No. Jefferson County Elections has already marked these 59 ballots as ineligible.
- If any of these voters accidentally return a ballot, the Jefferson County Elections system will identify the ballot as invalid using the unique barcode on the envelope, and the ballot will not be counted.
How do we fix this?
- Jefferson County Elections has already marked all 59 ballots as invalid, so they cannot be counted.
- Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder George Stern and Golden City Clerk Monica Mendoza are mailing a letter to all 59 residents explaining the error and asking them to discard their ballots.
- Jefferson County Elections will also call the voters who have phone numbers on file (27 of the 59) to deliver the same information.
Will this problem affect the other elections this year?
- No. Any of these 59 voters who are eligible to vote in the June state primary and/or the November general election will receive their ballots as normal. However, if they are not eligible to vote in those elections, they will not receive ballots.
How did this happen?
- Due to current circumstances, Jefferson County Elections was not able to follow standard elections processes in pulling this voter list, which led one elections staff member to erroneously include all registered voters in ward 4, rather than just those 18 and older.
City Clerk | City of Golden
911 10th Street | Golden, CO 80401