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July 4th Weekend Council Update
Community Events, Clear Creek crowding and Grant Terry trail paving, a lodging tax, protecting our youth and more…
Happy Independence Day
I hope many of you are finding ways to get out and about this summer or enjoy a peaceful weekend here in Golden.Golden Community Event Highlights
Golden Lions Club again hosts the annual July 4th Celebration in Lions Park on Sunday at 1pm, with Golden’s fireworks display usually around 9:30pm.
Please note that all personal fireworks are illegal in Golden city limits.
Foothills Art Center presents ArtsWeek Golden starting July 8th. A concert by Wildermiss Thursday night (Free, RSVP required) kicks it off with a Juried Art Festival Saturday and Sunday downtown. Yay Art!
Colorado State Senator Tammy Story will host a Golden Town Hall along with Representative Monica Duran (Golden) and JeffCo Commissioner Andy Kerr, July 13th, from 6-7pm in Parfet Park. Bring a chair!
Golden Police Virtual Safety Academy continues monthly! All are welcome to join.Golden City Council meetings July 13, 20, 27th in-person and live stream.
Hot Topics Include:
. New Golden residential waste services contract (with recycling & composting)
. City Strategic Action Plan progress update by City Manager
. Lodging Tax discussion – what should it help pay for?
. Mobile Home park re-zoning to support affordable housing
. Marijuana Excise Tax – should Golden introduce Recreational pot shops?
. Golden Zoning Code rewrite – Draft 2 has been released! Discussion with Planning Commission, share your thoughts.
. City 2nd Quarter financial updateWith July 4th upon us, many are thinking about safeguarding our independence of spirit. I see this reflected in the strong community spirit that drives Golden – within our government, our citizens, our residents and our volunteers.
May you and your family enjoy celebrating and have a peaceful Independence Day weekend.Stay safe and leave fireworks to the pros,
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 City Councilor
Clear Creek Safety & Paving
Summer crowding, safety, and paving part of Grant Terry trail
With warmer weather and bigger crowds, the Clear Creek summer season is upon us. Thanks to all of you who provided feedback from my last newsletter.
At a recent City Council meeting, we received a “thumbs up” to increase oversight and management of the Creek for crowding and safety. Staff will be preparing what this looks like and how City Council, the Parks & Rec & Museum Board, and residents can stay involved.
Safety update: The City has now added a water safety flag system (Red-Yellow-Green) to help visitors using the water stay safer depending on water conditions.
Grant Terry Trail (GTT)
A paving project is underway along Clear Creek just west of Golden by Jeffco Open Space through most of July. I’ve received several questions and comments about this process. This is a Jefferson County Open Space project (not Golden).
Apparently, the original path parallel to US6 is no longer being constructed, hence the desire to improve GTT. The project will result in the loss/change of about 1/3 of a mile of the Grant Terry Trail as soft surface only, but trail users are gaining 1.5 miles of soft-surface only Flume Trail and Welch Ditch trail (where bikes will be prohibited).
I and other City Councilors have requested that Golden and JCOS hold a public tour and discussion to help everyone understand the changes and decision process. FAQ and more details at my website.
Grant Terry Trail paving project update
Lodging Tax discussion
Did you know Golden is one of just a few cities in the U.S. without a lodging tax? Hard to believe, but it’s true!
A lodging tax is a nearly-universal way to ask visitors to fairly and equitably contribute to what brings them to Golden in the first place.
Tourists are drawn here because of our world-class amenities and scenic environment, culturally rich downtown and historic neighborhoods, trails and parks, museums and beautiful Clear Creek. . . all paid for by Golden residents.
It’s a matter of fairness. We pay lodging taxes in other cities, but visitors to Golden do not return the favor.
Who pays a lodging tax? The lodging industry? No. Golden residents? No. Only tourists pay for overnight rentals to help support the services they use and enjoy.
The City is proposing funds generated by a lodging tax be used to offset significant impacts of tourism and help our local businesses remain competitive, with the remainder put in a dedicated Golden Fund.
Other ideas include enhancing our community through workforce housing and affordable living solutions, universal broadband internet access, sustainability, parks and open space, improved food security, public transit options and more.
If Council forwards this for a citywide vote, you get to decide this November whether a lodging tax will improve our financial security and the health, welfare, and safety of Golden.
I share additional thoughts in the July edition of the Golden Informer. Take the opportunity to learn more and share your thoughts with us!
Guiding Golden: Lodging Tax Discussion
Protecting our Youth
City Council is undertaking various initiatives to improve the health and welfare of our children. Councilor JJ Trout and I have introduced a Health Beverages Initiative to support parents wanting to provide healthier guidance and options for kids when eating out.
Did you know an 8 oz ‘child-size’ soda has about 6 teaspoons of sugar? This is the total added sugar the American Heart Association recommends kids consume in an entire day. In fact, the average child in the U.S. consumes over 30 gallons of sugary drinks every year – enough to fill a bathtub. Whoa!
This program may ask restaurants offering Kids’ Meals to package them with water, non-sugary sparkling water, or milk. This would not prevent parents from ordering other drinks (e.g. soda, juice, chocolate milk).
Look for this to come back to Council this summer or fall. Support or have questions about this? Please share your thoughts with City Council!
Learn more about hidden sugar
Some community members are working with Jefferson County Public Health to consider ways to protect our youth from flavored vaping nicotine products
In 2019 Golden City Council took steps to protect youth by raising the age to purchase to 21 for all tobacco and nicotine products. Continuing that conversation around flavored nicotine products is an important next step.
Help shape the future of tobacco prevention in Golden
Monday, July 19th from 12 – 1pm. Zoom Meeting
Please join the Jefferson County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Initiative onJuly 19th from 12 – 1pm for a continued community dialogue about opportunities to strengthen tobacco prevention efforts in Golden.
We invite you to share your story, provide input about the direction of tobacco prevention initiatives in Golden, and discuss ways we can work together over the next several months.
If you are not able to join the meeting but would still like to provide feedback, feel free to touch base with me or contact Kelsey Campbell at email@example.com.
To receive the Zoom information, please RSVP using this link.
RTD Service Changes – Golden public comment needed!
RTD is proposing continued reduced services for Golden area residents.As the region begins to recover from COVID-19, RTD is proposing service changes.
Unfortunately, Golden is not in line for any service enhancements in the new draft proposal. For example, the GS line between Boulder and Golden and on to NREL is a priority to many here in Golden, but is not currently planned for reinstatement.
We also face continued reduced frequency on the RTD West Line Light Rail.
Now is the time to be heard! The final virtual public comment session is July 7th.
Learn more, and log in to attend the meeting to have your voice heard on July 7th at noon.
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.
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.
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
JeffCo Open Space is set to start paving a section of Grant Terry Trail north of Clear Creek. Here’s what to know…
(UPDATE July 2, 2021: I and other City Councilors have requested that Golden and JCOS hold a public tour and discussion to help everyone understand the changes and decision process. Stay Tuned…)
Residents of Golden have recently noticed an electronic signboard along Clear Creek near the 6th Avenue bridge (west side of Golden as it goes into the canyon). It states the Grant Terry Trail will be closed for about a month for a paving project.
This is a Jefferson County Open Space project (not a City of Golden project).
This will result in the loss of about 1/3 of a mile of the Grant Terry Trail as soft surface only, but trail users are gaining 1.5 miles of soft-surface only Flume Trail, and Welch Ditch trail (where bikes will be prohibited).
The Peaks 2 Plains project has been under construction for a couple of years. The final part apparently includes an ADA-accessible paved surface from the edge of Golden to the pedestrian bridge across the creek west of Golden as well as to the new “Gateway of Clear Creek Canyon Park” trailhead / parking lot up on 6th as it enters the canyon.
The original Project Map (above left button) shows the north side of Grant Terry Trail as “existing” (small black hash lines) and does not indicate it is part of the project’s construction scope. The Project Map was updated on 6/23/21 to clarify the alignment changes…
Grant Terry Trail portions in gray to be paved with an adjacent soft-surface trail. Portions in red will remain as the existing soft surface trail with no paving.
I asked City Staff if they would provide additional information related to questions from residents about this project, and need for paving. Here are the responses.
Q: When was this discussed and how?
A: As part of the Peak to Plains project Jefferson County conducted public outreach and it went before the Golden PRAM board (Parks, Recreation & Museums) at both the May and June PRAM meetings during the director’s report. There were not many questions, and no concerns. PRAM gave positive feedback to it and agreed that it was appropriate to move forward. There was support voiced for soft surface trails adjacent to the paved path which is an included element in the project. The typical practice is if there are concerns it would go on the next agenda and because there were not any it did not move forward to that stage. See below for the minutes from the May conversation:
Peaks to Plains – The City owns 2000’ of trail on the west side of 6th Ave. Jeffco is putting in concrete for Peaks to Plains. We did not schedule concrete on the 2000’because of the hydrology in the area; the lines pop up. There is debate about putting a concrete trail on top to see if it would hold it down. Public Works and Utilities have been reluctant to put concrete on the trail. Jeffco and Golden had a meeting to discuss the possibility of putting concrete on that portion of the trail. Jeffco is willing to create an IGA together to pay for it and mitigate/fix issues if they arise. They would also include a soft surface trail alongside if it fits. Craig thinks it makes sense for continuity. Rod explained the concrete will provide continuity as well as making it multi-mobile.
Q: What is the happening with the Grant Terry Trail?
A: The portion of the GTT that connects the Clear Creek Trail and the US6 Regional Trail to the Peaks to Plains (P2P) trail is being improved. A 10’ trail and 5’ soft surface path will be constructed to connect the Clear Creek Trail and US 6 Regional Trail to the P2P trail. The trail width will remain the same, no additional disturbance to the area will occur during construction or afterward. A portion of the existing trail will remain natural surface for runners and those with orthopedic issues or who prefer that type of surface. The natural surface trail width will vary, and the concrete trail will be 10 feet wide. The new concrete trail will also be stained for a more natural appearance and to match the P2P Trail.
Q: Why does the trail need to change?
A: The expected use of the trail will change it drastically and if left in its current state will be an issue to maintain with the large increase in traffic and uses and ability to provide accommodation. With the construction of the P2P gateway section, the Grant Terry Trail is no longer a dead end trail connecting to a handful of recreational trails on Lookout Mountain. It is now connecting the Clear Creek Trail and US 6 Regional Trail to the Peaks to Plains trail.
Q: What are the benefits of a concrete path?
A: With this new connection and consultation with our ADA consultants, there are new standards for the section of the trail between US 6 and the Jefferson County pedestrian bridge. Once this happens, we either need to upgrade the section to meet the standards or add that trail to our ADA Transition Plan and commit to the upgrades in the future. The concrete surface will endure the increased use that will occur as more segments of the P2P Trail are completed. This durable, year-round surface will help address seasonal flooding and muddy conditions, as well as help stabilize the City of Golden main water line below the trail surface.
Q: Will the entire trail be paved?
A: No. Only the section between the US 6 Bridge and the Jeffco pedestrian bridge will be improved. The section between the pedestrian bridge and the Church Ditch headgate will remain a soft surface as will the Church Ditch Trail.
Q: What are the advantages of doing it now?
A: JCOS has enough contingency left in the P2P gateway section that they have offered to make the needed improvements to the entire section at no cost to the city. If we wait, the cost of the improvements could fall to the city and have to be budgeted in the Capital Improvement Program. The current cost of these improvements is $250-300,000.
Q: Why weren’t these improvement included in the original P2P plan?
A: There are a couple reasons. Golden had raised concerns about increased maintenance costs for the raw water line that runs under GTT. Since the original plan included a paved path that ran parallel to US6 west of the bridge up to the parking area, JCOS did not include improvements to the GTT. This does not change that it is now a multi-use path that will eventually need to be improved. The path parallel to US6 is no longer being constructed making the need to improve GTT more apparent. As mentioned above, JCOS has adequate budget to complete these improvements and has offered to make them as part of the P2P project.
Q: I hear that the soft path may only be two feet wide. How wide will it be?
A: The goal is a five foot soft path adjacent to the concrete trail. In some areas, large trees limit the space for a soft trail and a decision was made to preserve the trees and the tree canopy and have portions of the soft trail narrower, but always at least two feet. Additionally, there are plans to add an offshoot section of trail that would be entirely soft surface near this area that is approximately the same length.
Construction is slated to start Monday, June 28th. It’s unclear whether this may change. What is clear is that more traffic is coming to the Grant Terry Trail area.
I am encouraging JCOS and the City of Golden staff to provide additional communication regarding the updates to the project’s paved concrete section on the north side of Grant Terry Trail. I think it would also be beneficial to understand how much traffic (pedestrian, cars, bikes, etc.) is forecast to come with completion of this project.
If you would like to reach out to respectfully share your thoughts, and to learn more and have additional questions about the project answered, here are a few resources:
Jefferson County Director of the Parks and Open Space Division
Deputy City Manager, City of Golden
Deputy Director Public Works, City of Golden
City of Golden Mayor & Council Members
And you are always welcome to reach out to me, I represent Golden Ward 4.
On March 18th, 2021, the Golden Police Department’s Officers Page and Guess joined Mayor Pro Tem Brown and Councilor Dale (Ward 3) and myself (Ward 4) for a virtual community safety update.
o Recent crime trends in Golden, especially changes during 2020
o We were joined by Commander Greenwell of Lakewood from the Colorado Metro Auto Theft Taskforce regarding crime trends related to vehicular theft in the Denver Metro and Golden areas
o Attendees received actionable home safety tips
o Officers Page & Guess provided a Q&A session at the end for attendees.
Note: The various speakers are only on audio. The Presentations on auto theft trends and crime prevention tips show as video as the session progresses.
Thank you to the women and men of the Golden Police Department for assisting with this evening’s presentations and tips, as well as for the daily work you do in keeping our community safe.
Additional Resources from meeting
- CMAT website – lockdownyourcar.org – searchable hotspots for auto thefts.
- Bike recovery: ProtechDNA.com/bicycle to track stolen bikes and return them to owners (Golden has now joined this program)
- Additional Community Policing Resources (Citizen Police Academy, bicycle registration, fingerprinting, records requests and more)
- New! Golden Police Online reporting tool and links to Crime & Traffic Statistics
- Article with list of 2020’s Top 10 Vehicles Stolen in Denver Metro Region
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
|End of Year Council Wrap-up|
|No need to re-hash #2020. Enjoy a few final tidbits from recent Council actions and let’s get ready for 2021!|
|Happy Holidays from the Fishers|
From our family to yours, we hope this finds you safely wrapping up a tumultuous 2020 with eyes to the future. I go into 2021 with feelings of sadness and gratitude, missing time with loved ones, grateful to live in a community with people of good heart and character, and the healthy outdoors at every turn.I am hopeful that scientific and fact-based solutions will see us past this stage of the global pandemic.
Vaccine options are arriving even as I type this: May we have renewed energy to be as safe as possible until widespread immunity is achieved we’ve tamped down the fires of the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus, a.k.a. COVID-19.
In the meantime: Masks, physical distancing, staying safer at home…
Vaccines will be safe, vetted and approved by the FDA. They will be securely managed, and vaccines will be FREE for everyone.
Please, please, please remain safe through the Holidays… and through Winter and Spring. As a hospice nurse seeing patients with COVID-19, I know we remain in the thick of it, with significant mortality rates for fellow residents who remain impacted by this horrific pandemic.
Looking back, I am thankful for the tremendous work accomplished under difficult conditions by our City Staff, Boards & Commissions Volunteers, Residents, fellow Councilors & Mayor and Community Partners (BGoldN, Golden Civic Foundation, Foothills Art Center, our food banks and so many more…).
We addressed issues of a global pandemic, racial equity and an economic crisis – while remaining focused on more traditionally local issues that matter to Golden residents such as parking, historic preservation, zoning and character, safety and more.
And this is why I’m optimistic about Golden’s Future. Let’s enjoy this season to reflect and bid adieu safely to 2020 and get ready for 2021!
Thank you for continuing to engage and keep Golden the community we share and love.A Happy and Safe Holidays to you and your family,
Ward 4 City Councilor
|While our last Council meeting of the year was held this past Thursday, we are gaining traction on many issues going into the new year. . .|
(Note: speaking of City Council meetings, starting January 12th, 2021, Council will begin holding meetings on Tuesdays instead of Thursday evenings.)Holidays Reimagined
|Golden’s Holiday activities and Olde Golden Christmas have been reimagined, and I’m impressed by the creativity and wonderful events to keep our holiday season alive. |
Visit Golden has information on the myriad activities available, starting with Candlelight Nights: FAC Holiday Art Market, Ice sculpture, History Park Holiday Stroll and Lights, Miners Alley Playhouse virtual offerings and more…
|School of Mines & Golden IGAInterGovernmental AgreementAfter years of negotiating, Council has authorized release of a draft IGA for public neighborhood review. |
Mayor Pro-Tem Casey Brown and I will host a virtual public review of the IGA with the City Manager’s office next Thursday, December 17th at 6:30pm. Primary impacted neighbors will receive postcard reminders, and anyone is welcome to join.
|View Draft IGA & FAQ|
|Pro Tip: Normally I don’t recommend reading legal memos, however the November 10, 2020 Attorney’s Memo release by Council is a winner.|
For those interested in joining this meeting, I’ll publish a link to the Virtual Meeting on my website.
|Activating the Astor HouseAstor House negotiations with the Foothills Art Center are successfully coming to a close! I expect Council to approve the agreements at our first meeting in January, thus fulfilling our community’s commitment to preservation and letting this next phase move forward. |
Thanks to so many residents who provided thoughtful input and the energy that will make the Astor House a key part of our Historic Downtown for decades to come.
|Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI)City Council formed the JEDI subcommittee to help guide ongoing actions by our City Government. Our conversations with the Community and Golden Police Department continue to build trust with the men and women of our Police department, and to understand our nation’s legacy and the need to be proactive and anti-racist. |
This past week, with a firm commitment towards justice, the GPD requested and City Council committed nearly a million dollars to accelerate body worn cameras for our police department (who was ahead of the game and investigated this option a few years ago). To stay involved, visit Guiding Golden or consider community organizations such as the Golden Anti-Racist Collective.
Our Golden Fire Department, led by Chief Alicia Welch, has also been working hard on issues of diversity and inclusion:
”Last year the Golden Fire Department entered into a partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs as part of a diversity and inclusion grant program. Five other fire departments in addition to GFD engaged in this process, and the result of the project is the Guide for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Department.”
|View the Full Guide|
|As Chief Welch noted recently to Council, “I am proud of the work we did here, and to have the GFD highlighted as a fire department who is doing the right things to make our profession inclusive and distinct.”|
|#2021 on TapComing into the New Year we have many initiatives focusing on health and safety of Golden. For example, we expect to re-visit the impact of flavored nicotine and vaping products on our children. If you have an interest in getting involved in this discussion, please let me know!|
Look for more information on sustainability initiatives. At this week’s meeting Council approved measures put forth by CSAB (Community Sustainability Advisory Board) to study increased renewable energy usage in Golden and took the GoEV pledge to electrify our transportation system.
The Heart of Golden remains on track for additional action next year, as does the Zoning Code rewrite task force efforts to align construction and growth in Golden with our Vision 2030 and neighborhood plans. This is how we, as a community, help direct and manage change and reflect positive growth in Golden.
Beyond these, sound and air pollution mitigation remain topics for discussion and action due to the presence of the Coors power plant and wastewater treatment plants, as well as multiple highways criss-crossing our valley.
Open Space continues front of mind, supporting local businesses as well as our many schools continues to be a priority… I look forward to joining you in moving the needle on these and so much more in 2021.
|Feedback?Email email@example.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.|
Astor House news, Branch drop-off, Racial Equity Listening Session, Safe Halloween practices, and more!
|Newsletter formatted best for your web browser here.|
|October Weekend Updates: Astor House, Police listening session & moreRegister Here|
At 6pm on Thursday, Oct 29th, Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick and Golden City Manager Jason Slowinski will be participating in a virtual listening session focused on the topic of racial equity.
The primary goal of the session is to listen to questions, suggestions, feedback, and stories from the community to create better understanding between the City and community members, particularly community members of color. This event is one of the first steps in the process to make Golden a more welcoming place.
You may also call to join the conference by phone at +1-408-418-9388.
The next step will be to host a virtual Community Town Hall to take a deeper dive into the topics brought up during the listening session. More details to come. City Council and Staff are taking to heart a focus to improve racial equity and justice, and advocating for more equal opportunity.
Interested in joining this discussion? Keep an eye on Guiding Golden to learn more and get involved.
Golden 2021-2022 Operating Budget
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and even prior to the financial crisis, City Manager Slowinski and City Council (even prior to my election) responded swiftly and appropriately with financial controls and spending and hiring freezes and reductions.
We are the beneficiaries. While revenues (primarily sales taxes) are likely to be down about 8% this year, spending is down more. Our critical reserves, projected to end at a healthy 22%, will likely end the year even higher at 27%. I’ll say that again: our financial cushion will improve during 2020.
So, the City is in good financial shape. This could have been very different!
City Council, during our study session last night, encouraged maintaining a conservative spending outlook. I and other councilors are encouraging our team to find ways to support health and safety needs of our residents and employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and financial crisis.
The City’s Finance Director, Jeff Hansen, expects continued cuts, wage freezes and belt tightening, with 2019 revenues rebounding hopefully by about 2023.
Much of our budget depends on sales taxes, which direct how we focus our energies and limits how we think about spending.
Amendment B directly affects the City of Golden’s flexibility in spending and management of our budget. I encourage everyone to take a strong look at this bipartisan measure. It provides greater flexibility to local communities such as Golden in how we manage budgets, revenues, and expenses, and reduces the need to focus on sales taxes. And FYI – it does not raise taxes.
I can see the headlines now 🙂 Astor House to be Preserved and Enhanced!
Activating an important area of downtown! City Council agrees with residents’ desire to preserve Golden’s History!Literally almost 50 years in the making!
Well, okay, the most recent process has been at least several years in the making, including the Astor House Alliance, West Downtown neighborhoods, involved residents, members of Friends of the Astor House, the Golden Civic Foundation, Golden History Museums, City Council and Staff and more…
The Astor House Moves Forward
City Council voted last week to direct City Staff to move forward with negotiations with the Foothills Arts Center to improve, restore, preserve, and operate Golden’s Astor House and Astor House Park. The City will retain ownership and Council added a Local Landmark status for the Astor House earlier this summer. Visit Guiding Golden for links to the FAC proposal – it’s a fairly large document.
City News You Can Use
Heart of Golden refining process
With a bold relaunch, the Heart of Golden is in full swing. Be a part of the future of Golden’s Clear Creek corridor through Downtown, and make history by providing your input!
I especially like the chance to be a visionary: “Design your own corridor.” Click the button below to get started at the Heart of Golden
City of Golden Special Events policy
Quick review: When I was on Council a decade ago (oh, geez, I promised myself I’d never say that… ;-), we took what was then considered a controversial step: we acknowledged that the City has a role to play with special events (and not just the groups that put them on).
In 2015-2016 the City went further to identify changes and create our current Special Events policy, and ask for event holders to share in the burden of expenses from the event (trash, setup, location fees, etc.).
Fast forward to 2020: During my campaign (and really the last year and more), it’s become clear from almost every resident of Golden that we need to re-evaluate and extend our Special Events policies and process.
Everyone has an event they love, and usually one they don’t love so much. Too commercial? Not Local enough? Too crowded? Too many lane closures downtown? Etc…
I’ve pushed for a more considered conversation, and Deputy City Manager Carly Lorentz has been working this year with Special Events Coordinator Diane Tiberi to address events. Last night Council discussed Special Events at our study session. It’s worth a watch if you have time (I mean, it’s no Ted Lasso, but it’s local). Read the City Council meeting packet here.
Spooky Halloween Reminders
Tips on staying safe from the State of Colorado and Golden:
As we enter the holiday season, Jefferson County Public Health and the CDC are sharing that COVID-19 cases are increasing dramatically. As we gather for small personal events, please remain safe. Gatherings should be no more than 10 people, use physical distancing, and try to be outside when possible. Wear masks. Wash your hands.
October Golden Resident Branch Drop-Off (Today and tomorrow!)
The City of Golden will host a special event for the community to drop off branches broken from the recent storm to assist residents with their yard clean-up on October 16 and 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read details here.
Reminder: Make a plan to vote this year!
Your vote matters. Talk to your college-aged children. Sit down with your high-school seniors turning 18. Have “the talk” with your parents 😉
You can vote in person, by mail, or dropping your ballot off at a local collection drop box. JeffCo Voting Locations
Visit: Jefferson County Voter information
Find: 24-hour secure drop box locations
Last Minute Voting & Registration: In Colorado, you can both Register to vote and Vote in person through 7pm on Election Day!
Golden has four drop-off locations this year! Lots of opportunity to be safe and vote as early as possible to ensure your ballot gets counted. I wouldn’t mail in your ballot after about October 26th to ensure it arrives in time.Pro Tip: Voting early slows the stream of phone calls and political mailers. Have additional thoughts? Continue sharing them via Feedback and Social Media links below.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 City Councilor
“…Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
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 focused on how I perceive issues as they relate to Golden.
I also suggest the excellent descriptions and analysis in the Colorado Blue Book mailed to all voters and available online. Unfortunately, this year it weighs in at an amazing 176 grams (more than 6 ounces) and over 100 pages. The front has a decent quick reference guide at only 6 pages in length.
Overview: “Amendment” vs “Proposition”
- Amendment with Letter: impacts state constitution, added to ballot by CO Legislature
- Amendment with Number: impacts state constitution, added by citizen signature gathering
- Proposition with Double Letter: impacts statutes and/or taxes, added by CO Legislature
- Proposition with Number: impacts statutes and/or taxes, added by citizen signature gathering
Without further ado, this year’s recommendations…
Amendment B: Repeals Gallagher Amendment
Recommendation: Vote Yes
With bipartisan legislative support, this benefits local communities and reduces further cuts to education funding and money for first responders such as EMS, doctors and nurses. It will reduce the focus on sales taxes to fund city operations.
Deeply complicated and embedded in Colorado’s continued property tax and education woes (principally related to TABOR), this would freezes some state property tax rates – which might otherwise go down in part because of the pandemic. It also critically supports businesses who have shouldered the property tax burden in the state of Colorado.
Again, this does not directly address the deeper issue of TABOR, however it begins to add local flexibility (e.g. by the residents of Golden) rather than using a statewide formula for taxes.
Amendment C: Bingo raffles
Recommendation: Vote Neutral
As people know, I do not generally recommend voting in favor of additional gambling or expansion of vices. This feels a bit different, in that it allows non-profits and religious organizations to raise funds through bingo games earlier than they would otherwise (no 5-year waiting period). Golden has organizations that would benefit from this, however this will likely expand an industry around the business of bingo.
Amendment 76: Reinforces existing requirement that only Citizens can vote
Recommendation: Vote No
Sorry, no two ways about this, it’s pure political theater, propaganda driven by out-of-state interests, and inappropriate manipulation of our amendment process (and affects the state Constitution!).
Only citizens can vote now. This Amendment implies otherwise, but changes nothing, and is embedded in the State Constitution. The real impact is to keep 17-year olds from voting in a primary if they would turn 18 by the time of the general election. Locally this reduces Goldenites control of who gets to vote.
Amendment 77: Gaming control of betting limits
Recommendation: Vote No
Casinos are a statewide concern. This gives tiny, mostly casino-controlled towns the ability to change gaming limits for all Coloradans (including Goldenites). As noted above, I do not endorse changes that significantly expand gaming or other vices in exchange for money.
Proposition EE: Vaping & Nicotine taxes
Recommendation: Vote Hell Yeah!
We are in the middle of a pandemic that causes significant respiratory disease. Colorado teenagers already use nicotine and vape products at TWICE the national average. Sadly, Golden’s children mirror this trend of elevated vape use and addiction.
We know that increasing taxes is the number one proven way to reduce teen use.
It’s shocking to realize that even as Big Vape uses COVID-19 to expand their customer base (not kidding), we have NO TAXES on vape and some other nicotine products(e.g as we do on cigarettes currently). We know price is a significant factor in nicotine use.
Prop EE adds taxes to vaping products and also raises taxes on other nicotine products. The money raised will support pre-schools and K-12 education, as much as $275 Million.
Proposition 113: National Vote
Recommendation: Vote Yes
For Presidential elections, this would grant Colorado’s current Electoral College Votes to whichever candidate wins the popular national election (if enough States agree). This may seem peripheral to Golden, however it impacts the power of each of our votes. There is analysis which suggests voters in Colorado have reduced impact nationally because of the Electoral College. If, as I do, you think the person who receives the most votes should win, then vote yes.
Proposition 114: Gray wolf reintroduction and management
I will vote yes on this, however there’s no clear nexus to the City of Golden to provide a recommendation. More generally, I believe we need to responsibly manage endangered species, and this effort provides an opportunity for Coloradans to do this, while continuing to protect ranchers’ rights and property in the state.
Proposition 115: Prohibiting Abortion
Recommendation: Vote No
This is a vote of conscience and I appreciate folks will disagree. This particular proposition is even opposed by many religious organizations such as the InterFaith Alliance, and has significant negative impacts on low-income women and communities of color. It creates criminal repercussions for health care workers, and does nothing to address the root causes related to this concern.
Proposition 116: State Income Tax Rate Reduction
Recommendation: Vote No
This heavily favors the wealthy, and reduces money for education among other important needs. Colorado and Golden schools are already stretched financially. This doesn’t help – which is the point for those who want to further strangle our limited financial resources. Paradoxically, it will create even more “Fees” from the government for everything we do… Fees that disproportionately hurt lower-income people and communities of color.
Proposition 117: (Sibling to 116), requires voter approval for certain state enterprises
Recommendation: Vote No
TABOR already significantly restricts how Colorado and local governments operate. This doubles down on TABOR and reduces flexibility to manage our state. Here’s an example: the Petroleum Storage Tank Fund is an existing enterprise that places a fee on large polluters to help pay for cleanup of petroleum contaminated sites in Colorado. If Prop 117 passes, any similar needs in the future would have to be funded by money from the state (e.g. residents of Golden) rather than charging fees to the group causing the problem. Seems unfair because it is unfair.
Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance
Recommendation: Vote Yes
COVID-19 has exposed gaps in our safety net for many residents (including Goldenites), with even greater impacts for those who are lower-income producing and in communities of color.
Traditionally FMLA has benefited higher income and white-collar workers. This Insurance Pool will help more of our fellow Goldenites take care of an ailing parent or newborn, and supports small businesses while their employee is on leave. Win Win. This isn’t experimental, and is modeled on the many states already providing this benefit.
If you made it through all 11 amendments and propositions, you’re a trooper! One final step: Make a plan to vote. Your vote matters. Talk to your college-aged children. Sit down with your high-school seniors turning 18. Have “the talk” with your parents ;-)You can vote in person, by mail, or dropping your ballot off at a local collection drop box.JeffCo Voting LocationsVisit:Jefferson County Voter information
Find:24-hour secure drop box locations
Last Minute Voting & Registration: In Colorado, you can both Register to vote and Vote in person through 7pm on Election Day!
Golden has four drop-off locations this year! Lots of opportunity to be safe and vote as early as possible to ensure your ballot gets counted. I wouldn’t mail in your ballot after about October 26th to ensure it arrives in time.Pro Tip: Voting early slows the stream of phone calls and political mailers. There are many strong feelings, opinions, and beliefs about who we are as a community, and how we navigate what has turned out to be a game-changing year.
I commit to listening and learning, and engaging with you and the Golden community.
Have additional thoughts? Continue sharing them via Feedback and Social Media links below.
Enjoy the rest of this beautiful Fall weekend!
Bill Fisher, RN
Golden, ColoradoFeedbackEmail firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.Copyright © 2020 Bill Fisher for Golden Ward 4, All rights reserved.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Emergency Ordinance Expands Mask Requirements in Golden
Golden, Colo. — July 10, 2020 — Golden City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance during their meeting last night, which expands current mask requirements to include indoor and outdoor areas of the city. This goes into effect today. Council made this decision in an effort to protect the community against COVID-19 and keep businesses open.
Ordinance 2140 requires face coverings for anyone working or visiting a building that’s open to the public. The order also requires masks in public areas outside, unless you can maintain six feet of separation from others. This includes streets, sidewalks, parks, trails, etc.
Exemptions to the mask order include:
In Golden, follow the Golden Rule and wear a mask to protect others!
This Ordinance expires on Aug. 14 unless City Council votes to extend it. They will re-visit the mask ordinance monthly and make adjustments as necessary based on current health guidelines and pandemic concerns.
Additionally, Council directed staff to look for ways to re-open Clear Creek for limited recreation. Until safe solutions can be identified and implemented, access to the creek will remain closed.
Link to full ordinance
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What’s the deal with masks? Learn more about masks here…
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 email@example.com
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.