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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 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.
|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
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
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.
Many of us have been rocked by the overwhelming reality of systemic racism and inequality demonstrated so clearly and obviously the last couple of weeks. The death of George Floyd and others have focused our country on these longstanding issues.
Golden City Council Responds
Golden City Councilors and Mayor Weinberg provided a strong response and comments at last Thursday’s City Council meeting (June 4th video at GCo.TV). Statements and moment of silence at the beginning, additional discussion about next steps and committing to action around 2hrs 36min.
(JUNE 12: Mayor Weinberg posts a thoughtful Newsletter Update)
Golden Vigil & March June 7th – Almost all members of City Council, led by Mayor Weinberg and Councilor Trout, joined as many as 1,000 people (almost universally wearing masks) for the Vigil and March in Parfet Park in Downtown Golden, CO in support of Black Lives Matter and in support of action to address inequality and racism. (See Transcript Article).
They coordinated with Golden United in regards to the protest. Golden United has also planned extensive outreach and action regarding the systemic inequities faced by Black Americans. View speeches and video here.
I am sobered by Golden’s history as a home a century ago for Ku Klux Klan members and rallies. I echo Mayor Weinberg’s thoughts:
“It is an ugly part of our past and it does not reflect the Golden of today.”
“However, we would be naive to think that racism doesn’t exist here. It does and now is the time to actively commit to our Golden values — to be a community where everyone is safe, welcome and treated with respect and dignity.”Mayor Laura Weinberg, June 7, 2020 Vigil & March, Parfet Park, Golden CO
Civic engagement group Golden United held a Community Conversation on Fighting Racism Thursday, June 11th.
Update: During our June 11 City Council meeting, City Council discussed and unanimously adopted Resolution 2736 to Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis.
During the June 4th City Council meeting I strongly urged City Manager Slowinski and the Golden Police Department to provide a detailed and transparent response regarding Use of Force policies and protocols pertinent to Citizens of Golden and related to potential upcoming protests and marches.
Golden Police Respond
To provide transparency and information to City Council and all Goldenites, Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick and his team provided the following review of pertinent policies, procedures, and training undertaken by officers of the Golden Police Department.
The Department response includes details regarding: Body-worn cameras, Diversity training, Procedural Justice, Crisis intervention training, Homeless navigation, Use of Force, De-escalation, and more.
(UPDATE: The Police response represents where the Department has been – not where they are going. City Staff and the Golden Police Department will hold an extensive public review with City Council at our Study Session on July 16th)
If you haven’t, please consider reading Police Chief Kilpatrick’s letter to the community published at the end of May.
Thank you for the many varied, thoughtful, and significant thoughts, expressions, and suggestions received by fellow residents of Golden. Let’s continue this conversation – and commit to action.
My prepared comments for the June 4th Golden City Council meeting:
This is not just another general conversation about equality. It is about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and others who died from racial violence and injustice. Their lives mattered. Black lives matter.
All living Presidents have weighed in, a sign that I find promising, and I am moved and guided by their words:
Former President Barack Obama states protest is how our country was founded “And we should all be thankful for folks who are willing, in a peaceful, disciplined way, to be out there making a difference.”
Former President George Bush wrote that he and his wife over the past week actively “resisted the urge to speak out, because this is not the time for us to lecture. It is time for us to listen.” … But “we also know that lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system.”
Former President Jimmy Carter shared this remarkable and sobering thought: “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”
If we want a diverse community, we must create a welcoming community atmosphere for all people in Golden.
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
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
masks. Masks! MASKS!!!!
At the beginning we heard masks didn’t work.
Now we realllllly know better!
- February 2021 Update: CDC provides updated research that shows double masks and tight-fitting masks may prevent up to 96% of COVID-19 transmissions!
- August 2020 Update: Broad and consistent evidence is demonstrating that Wearing Masks and Face Coverings is Working!
Additional studies on mask effectiveness can be found here, here, and here.
- July 2020: Good for Golden ;-). As reported in the July 15th City Coronavirus update, mask wearing has improved in Downtown & along Clear Creek (August note, this decreased somewhat related to people recreating with tubes on the creek).
- Remember that infected Hair Stylist early on? Wore a mask. 140 people did NOT get sick with COVID-19.
- SBD? Silent but Deadly Coronavirus Transmission?
o Studies from our own CSU suggest management for people not showing or having delayed symptoms is critical.
o The US National Academy of Sciences reaffirms critical need to manage silent transmission from non-symptomatic individuals. Masks play a role!
- Want more science? Jefferson County Public Health has Mask Guidance with more than a dozen cited studies for review.
- $$$ Yale University reports on a financial model suggesting mask-wearing is worth $3,000 or more per person in reduced mortality risk.
Don’t forget: Good hand hygiene and physical distancing are the best ways to reduce your risk. Using face coverings when unable to distance is a reasonable (yet imperfect) way to go. Here’s what Johns Hopkins Medicine has to say about masks.
Easy. Understood. Expected.
Thursday July 9, Golden passes mandatory mask requirement.
Order extended County-wide July 14th.
Statewide order expanded for mask requirements July 16th.
Like many health professionals, I’m fielding questions about masks. I research Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines for my Hospice’s 100+ community healthcare personnel and assisted Golden organizations and volunteers stay safer and sort through all the advice.
Masks are demonstrated to be beneficial in supporting our health with improving understanding of transmission through airborne aerosolization (micro droplets), not simply larger droplets and fomite transmission (inanimate objects such as door handles, countertops, utensils, etc.).
June update: A meta study looked at 172 other studies, published in the Lancet in June. The analysis found that face mask use “could result in a large reduction in risk of infection.” It also found reduction in transmission with physical distancing and eye protection.
Masks requirements now in effect for more than 60% of Coloradans.
Re-breathing CO2? DEBUNKED myth.
CO2 rebreathing is not a problem. Surgeons and health care professionals wear tighter-fitting masks 12+hours a day without issue. CO2 goes through the mask, and the mask only holds a tiny quantity of air compared to what we breathe. This BBC article is as good as any in debunking this dangerous myth.
Denver’s response to the 1918 Flu epidemic and mask wearing. A Cautionary Tale and neat photograph by a University of Michigan Medical Historian (who knew that was a thing? 😉
Buckle UP! Let’s save lives (maybe our own) & keep business open.
On Friday April 3rd, Governor Polis urged Coloradoans to adopt a “Strong Mask Culture” when leaving the house. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) now says the same.
Why? How do we make or get one? And how do we wear a mask?
“The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”CDC recommendations on cloth mask use
Disclaimer: Nobody’s an expert on this right now, including me. I’m sharing thoughts (not medical advice) regarding masks and resources to help you make educated decisions about your own health in this uncertain time.
Why wear a mask? Especially cloth masks or face coverings?
- Even a cloth mask or other non-medical face covering provides some protection against virus germs getting into your nose or mouth and infecting you.
- If you have the COVID-19 virus? (more than 25% of infected people do not have symptoms) There is now significant evidence that wearing masks reduces transmission of the virus to someone else.
- Cloth masks and non-medical face coverings allow our community to direct medical/surgical and N95 masks for use by healthcare professionals.
- Finally, new evidence suggests the financial $$$ benefit of wearing masks could be as much as $5,000+ per person! (read more from Yale).
Tip: The CDC and Surgeon General encourage the public to allow HCP (health care personnel) first access to surgical and N95 masks and other personal protective equipment.
How do I make a mask? How do I wear one?
- The CDC has provided new guidance to make and wear a cloth mask (PDF version here)
- The US Surgeon General posted a Youtube video creating a DIY, no-sewing required cloth mask from household items
- Here’s a visual post on correctly donning a face mask from JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).
- Jefferson County Open Space offers advice on wearing masks outdoors. (Hint: if you’re sick, don’t go out).
- A regional health care system provides advice on sewing and donating cloth masks. Want to help locally? The Golden Civic Foundation is working with Golden’s Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum to sew and donate masks.
- The NY Times developed a guide with multiple sew and non-sew templates to help you make masks, and points to evidence on the best materials to use for cloth masks.
- Just as important: How NOT TO WEAR a mask!
- PLEASE! Don’t forget to continue washing hands, practicing good hand hygiene and protecting yourself and others with proven and effective ways to slow the spread of disease.
- I encourage everyone to strongly advocate at regional, state and Federal levels to FIX THE SUPPLY ISSUE. It is distressing as a health care worker seeing patients on the front line to see the richest country in the world unable to supply tested and effective PPE to keep us safer.
Tip: Visit COVID-19 Resources for Goldenites for updated information relevant to residents in Golden.Bill Fisher, BSN, RN, CHPN