COVID-19 Response: Open Letter to Golden City Council and Manager

UPDATE 3/13/20 6pm: City of Golden announces closure of Golden Community Center and other facilities. www.GuidingGolden.com now online with City’s COVID-19 response and updated closures.

UPDATE: 3/13/20 4pm: Since sending my letter to City Council, the City has agreed to create a section on GuidingGolden.com with COVID-19 information and the city’s response (not yet up as I write this). Mayor Weinberg has also sent out a thoughtful email this afternoon which I encourage everyone to read.

Note: The following letter was sent Friday March 13th to the City Council and Manager only after directly engaging Councilors, the City Manager, the Manager of the GCC and staff at the GCC over the past week via email and in person.

Mayor, City Councilors and City Manager Slowinski,

I am writing to encourage you to consider additional communication, education, outreach, and action. And I encourage you to take action now. 

For those who may feel this is “still developing” and that we need to wait to learn more…  The virus was reported in Seattle nearly a month ago. Colorado cases have more than quadrupled this week alone. Colorado has reached #5 in the country for total reported cases.

Employers and Schools are taking action and making changes daily that affect us all. The following quote reinforces my experience as a community health RN regarding the urgency of need to act:

“A fire on your stove you could put out with a fire extinguisher, but if your kitchen is ablaze, that fire extinguisher probably won’t work,” said Dr. Carter Mecher, a senior medical adviser for public health at the Department of Veterans Affairs and a former director of medical preparedness policy at the White House during the Obama and Bush administrations. 

“Communities that pull the fire extinguisher early are much more effective.” 

(cited from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/coronavirus-deaths-estimate.html)

I know you are already asking about what we can do to help as a City. The limited information released so far after my previous emails does not feel adequate. Here are a few thoughts I have heard from residents and from my own background and experience.

Communicate – 

  • The City of Golden website has no information regarding City-specific responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It simply re-posts County updates. Let’s share information on what city leaders are thinking and doing related to the pandemic.
  • What is City Council doing about this, and why is City Council going two weeks between meeting while this unfolds? And if the City Council cannot meet in person, how can Council make decisions if urgently needed?
  • The Golden Community Center website also has no mention of COVID-19. There was an email sent earlier this week. There is no information regarding thoughts on possible changes to programming at the GCC, which touches hundreds of Golden Residents daily. This becomes especially important as our children switching into Spring Break and remote learning mode.
    • The GCC has added small signs scattered around the facility about staying healthy. As of this morning, there are no warning signs at the two primary entrances directing people with symptoms to remain outside of the GCC. There was (again) no Weight Room Attendant today to help monitor, organize, and maintain hygiene in the facility. At one point there was only one empty spray bottle of equipment cleaning solution on the cubby countertop. Suggesting in an email that cleaning is increasing feels almost disingenuous in the face of these reports.

Education & Outreach

  • The community would benefit from a hosted (virtual or otherwise) discussion regarding COVID-19 and what the City is and can do about it, as well as what residents can and should be doing – and what we should not be worried about. 
  • Speaking of what we should be worried about:
    •  will our water supply remain clean, safe and uninterrupted? 
    • What if we have a snow storm, will we have capacity to plow the streets? 
    • How are Fire and Life Safety services preparing? 
    • What about trash and recycling, could this be affected? 
  • How can the GCC turn programming into sharing information to everyone we touch base with

Action

  • Let’s get creative – and let’s get going! Time truly = health risk.
  • How can the City support residents facing changes or loss of jobs and/or changes in education requiring children to be at home for what will be an undetermined amount of time?
    • JeffCo is releasing 80,000+ students into the community for an extended period of time, what impacts should we be considering? College students are also returning home.
  • How can we ensure appropriate staffing at GCC to support residents and remain as hygienic as possible?
  • Can we finally get the pedestrian path over 8th street to the north neighborhoods re-opened? Now more than ever, residents need ways to get outdoors and stay active and healthy.
  • Gather and share resources for people who may be struggling with food or physical or mental health issues. How can we support them as a community?
  • Financial – the concurrent financial crisis demands we review and begin considering thoughtful, measured changes and updates to our two-year budget cycle and planning.

I look forward to a more visible communication, education, outreach and action from City Council and our municipal government. I am ready to help, as are many residents, and we look forward to opportunities to stay engaged.


Regards,
BilFish

Bill Fisher, BSN, RN, CHPN Resident, City of Golden Ward 4

Golden High School PTA Chili Cook-Off & Serving Golden on Boards & Commissions

Above: Golden High Students Excited to try Ward 4 Chili 🙂
Good morning!

All the news I choose to read suggests coffee is good for us. I hope this is true, because I’m enjoying meeting neighbors around Ward 4 for coffee each week.

…and read on for a great way to enjoy a winter day and support our community…

Ward 4 Election News Flash
The Golden City Clerk’s office reports I am officially on the ballot! 
(Please vote in this mail-only special election in April as I’m facing an opponent for this seat.)

I believe in representing all neighbors and am thankful to have received support and signatures from residents across Ward 4: from Mountain Ridge to Central Neighborhoods between Mines and Golden High School, and our many historic areas: 8-10th Streets, East Street, North Historic and 12th Street Historic neighborhoods. 

Golden High School Chili Cook-Off

Golden High School Chili Cook-Off and silent auction: Tonight, Thursday Feb 20, 6-8:30pm

Help support our school children and join me tonight!
 
Once again I’ll be serving up soon-to-be-famous Ward 4 Chili in support of our local Golden High School PTA. Sample great chili, corn bread, and desserts while bidding for amazing silent auction items (auction open now). I hope to see you there (click for details and tickets).

Golden is made stronger when we enhance community schools. Our family has appreciated the opportunity to be a part of supporting our schools through PTAs, the Golden Schools Foundation and Golden Backpack Program and through my service on City Council in partnership with Golden schools. 


Many Ways to Serve: Golden’s Boards & Commissions
Before City Council, I served on multiple boards and commissions and know the value of having the talents of our diverse community benefit all of Golden.

Please consider applying to help guide us! It sounds like the City is hoping for a variety of applicants for these open positions. Visit the Golden Boards & Commissions page to learn more about the following openings (typically 4 year terms, apply by March 11th):

Community Sustainability Advisory Board
Golden Urban Renewal Authority
Historic Preservation Board
Mobility and Transportation
Advisory Board
Planning Commission
Investment Advisory Committee
Downtown Development Authority 

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate the feedback you have provided!

Cheers,
BilFish

—William “BilFish” Fisher – Candidate for Golden City Council Ward 4

Special Election: Ballots will be mailed out April 6th for this mail only election and must be returned by April 28th.
Email bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com to learn more and get involved.