|A Positive Vision. Neighborhood Values.|
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
I’m pleased to officially announce my candidacy for Golden’s Ward 4 City Council position.
Election Day is officially Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021, and Mail Ballots will go out mid-October.
During more than 20 years of living and raising our family in Golden, I’ve seen changes in our small-town community as we grow into a thriving, energetic city designed to meet new challenges.
Along the way, I’ve retained my love of Golden. And I’m thankful for the support of fellow residents who share this belief in who we are, and who we may become.
I am running for City Council to bring this positive vision to how we shape and manage the real problems, concerns, issues, and opportunities on the road ahead.
I commit to provide a shared respect for our historic small-town character and advocate for a greater balance for those of us who already live here – especially in light of the increasing numbers of visitors and those hoping to join our community.
We are not alone in facing the pressures of continued growth and change. Yet how we respond as a community should be unique to Golden’s history, character, and values.
The past eighteen months have proven our community’s resilience: we are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic, critical financial concerns, and issues of equity while supporting residents and improving neighborhood parks and amenities.
We have maintained the City’s financial strength and supported local businesses. Golden has forged new partnerships through an IGA with the School of Mines to support our Historic Neighborhoods, we have invigorated the historic Astor House downtown, and made progress towards meeting critical sustainability goals.
There are issues where we have not made progress as fast as envisioned prior to the pandemic:
Managing tourism and crowding downtown and along Clear Creek
neighborhood parking concerns
updating zoning laws to maintain the vitality of our distinctive housing mix and beautiful natural geography
reducing noise and pollution along highways 6, 93 & 58
fostering diverse and affordable workforce housing
Public health remains a priority, as does supporting residents who remain at risk for financial, food, and housing insecurity.
Bottom line: Golden remains a thriving community. AND there is work to be done.I
respect the trust that has been placed in me to represent residents of Ward 4. With your continued support, I remain committed to achieving results for you and all Golden residents.
The more engaged we are, the better we will be – I want to hear from you!
Please considering forwarding this newsletter with a neighbor and suggest they sign up by visiting WilliamFisher.com. Have thoughts to share? Email me or contact me at 303.588.3389.
|Bill Fisher, RN|
Ward 4 City Councilor
|Join 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
|Easier to read version: View this email in your browser|
Community Events update, Clear Creek crowding, affordable housing, street lights, Highway 6/58/93 improvements and more…
While the rains aren’t quite done with us, I can safely suggest we are more than ready to ramp up for summertime. Congrats to our recent 2021 School Grads and all who persevered through this last year and more… now let’s get out and enjoy life!
Before getting to the updates, I want to highlight a few upcoming Golden events many have been waiting for:
. Golden Farmers Market opens June 5th! (runs into October)
. Golden Summer Jam June 24th (at Colorado RailRoad Museum) sponsored by the Golden Civic Foundation. Tickets on sale June 7th.
. BGoldN addresses food insecurity in our community. Look for ways to help at their website, with upcoming June fundraisers in conjunction with the Golden Lion’s Club and Rotary Club of Golden.
. Homestead Open House at Golden History Park weekly on Saturdays…
. The City of Golden is hiring! As the Splash opens, Community Center starts accepting walk-ins, Fossil Trace is in full swing, and Parks & Rec ramps up generally, consider a youth or adult seasonal job with the City!
. Golden Police Virtual Safety Academy continues! All are welcome to sign up, the June 9th topic is motor vehicle theft.
. The Golden Bike Cruise is back in action! Last Tuesday June-Sept. New location near the Armory.
. Foothills Art Center presents ArtsWeek Golden July 8-16. Yay Art!
Note: There is (already?!?) discussion of Fall elections for Golden City Council ward seats. At a later date I will share an announcement on my status as a potential candidate. For now, I continue to enjoy the opportunity to serve you and fellow residents here in Golden and remain focused on the work.
Until then, I look forward to the joys of getting out and seeing everyone in person this summer!
My thoughts are with our troops at home and around the world, and to those who have lost loved ones defending our country. Please celebrate carefully and have a peaceful Memorial Day weekend.
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 City Councilor
City Council Updates
As I noted in the last newsletter, progress with vaccine distribution means I’m excited to share news focused on more traditional city matters. But first…
A shout out to our superb City employees who, over the past year, responded remarkably and with flexibility to maintain critical services such as fire, police, water, plowing and road maintenance and parks access… and so much more during an unpredictable and capricious pandemic. Thank you!
Clear Creek Corridor
Summer crowding, pollution, noise, and safetyThis winter, I joined a group of 20 or so folks invited to participate in a community advisory group to help City Manager Jason Slowinski consider ways to manage crowding and environmental impacts along Clear Creek.
While I think the results may feel weighted somewhat in favor of industry vs. residents, there are dozens of mitigation measures that have been proposed and I look forward to seeing how effective they are. Learn more and review the Council Briefing Powerpoint on Guiding Golden… More importantly, what do you think? Let me know!
2021 Clear Creek Strategies Presentation (1.65MB)
Affordable and Attainable Housing
Nationwide this issue is growing quickly. While there appears to be little momentum nationally, we are seeing interest at the State and local levels.
In fact, Gov. Jared Polis just signed House Bill 1117 allowing local governments such as Golden the ability to require some affordability in housing for new developments, an important step.Separately, City Council, at Mayor Weinberg’s request, held a special working session recently on housing affordability and attainability. From this we are recommending that City Staff consider long-term plans to address this issue.
For example, we have encouraged the hiring of dedicated affordable housing staff to assist in this effort and take advantage of state or federal dollars that may become available.
I’ve joined with several Councilors, led by Mayor Pro Tem Brown, working alongside community organizations such as Golden United’s Housing Task Forceand concerned residents regarding recent events to maintain appropriate access to affordable mobile home parks opportunities. Please let me know if you’d like to learn more or get involved!
Programming Alert: Golden United Presents “Housing is Preventative Medicine” via Zoom on June 3rd at 6pm. Learn more and register.
Highways 58 & 93 mitigation
Many of us in the North Neighborhoods have lived for years with increasing pollution, noise, and accidents along highways 58 & 93.
Even prior to knowing the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve called for two things: shovel-ready projects to take advantage of recovery funding, and a focus on helping North Golden with safety and noise mitigation equal to work already done or in progress for Central and South Golden.I’m pleased to report that multiple important priorities for North Golden are now included in Golden’s Investment Ready Projects list.
View: Golden Investment Ready Project List
We also made it onto the County’s radar for important projects: The Jefferson County Transportation Needs master list was released by the County in March and submitted to our Congress persons, and include the following Golden priorities:
. Highway 93 realignment and safety improvements at the north end of Golden
. Highway 93 multi-use path to Boulder (bike/ped/etc.)
. Highway 6 and Heritage Road interchange improvements (in progress)
I’m also excited that Congressman Ed Perlmutter has included a $2.3 Million request for improvements to Highway 93 in his District Projects Funding Request(not guaranteed, of course).
We are still working to include improvements along Highway 58 and near the Village at Mountain Ridge (such as additional berms and other noise efforts). However, this news gives hope to all who wonder if it’s worth the conversation and effort on improving highways near our homes.
There’s more to be done, and this is a start. If you’d like to talk more about these projects or additional mitigation, please reach out and let’s chat!
City Street Lights update
A couple of years ago Golden purchased all of our street lights from Xcel Energy.
Unfortunately, Xcel has been fairly uncompromising in working with us, and thus I’m not thrilled that Staff presented a $1+ Million adjustment that came before Council last week regarding this purchase.
Being on the forefront of taking ownership of our community has a cost. However, the reality is that we’ll still save money and have more flexibility down the road.
The Good news?
If you happened to see street lights coming down around town, don’t worry! Each of these will be repositioned onto a new pole over the course of the summer. About 125 of the lights we purchased are on Xcel power poles, and the City has to replace them as part of the agreement.
We will be replacing lights with energy-saving LEDs to meet our community energy reduction and climate action goals (along with saving money).
If you have questions/comments about a specific pole, you are welcome to touch base with me (as several residents have already) or speak directly with Public Works.
City Council: Live and In Person starting June 8
No more zoom meetings?
Well, not quite, but I’m excited to announce that City Offices and Golden City Council will be shifting to in-person visits and LIVE City Council meetings starting in June – another chance for us to connect in person.
Meetings will still be broadcast on GCO.TV and online, and we are considering options for hybrid public comment – allowing both electronic comments and live comments from the public.
Misc….Want to have a voice in our future? Golden is undertaking a Tourism Strategic Planning process. If you haven’t taken the survey, consider sharing your thoughts at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/visitgolden
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Everyone 12 and up is now able to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine. There are many same-day walk-in clinics and vaccination sites available and appointments if you’d like to schedule one!
State of Colorado: Where to get vaccinated
JeffCo Public Health: COVID-19 case count and vaccine info
Vaccine Spotter: www.vaccinespotter.org/CO/
JeffCo Public Health Vaccine Clinic information
Mobility Issues? Check here for Denver regional resources. Uber & Lyft are also offering free rides for vaccinations through July 4th.
State of CO voice hotline: 1-877-268-2926, staffed 24hrs a day.
And thanks to everyone in Golden for staying safe! Wear masks if you are not vaccinated, continue physical distancing, and wash your hands.Until then, I look forward to the joys of getting out and seeing everyone in person this summer!
Feedback?Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.Copyright (C) 2021 Bill Fisher for Golden Ward 4. All rights reserved. Update Preferences
“…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 email@example.com 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.
Labor Day Weekend Update: Racial equity, Clear Creek Crowding, Masks & Heart of Golden
|“…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”–Martin Luther King, Jr. |
I am writing this during a week where we remember MLK’s “I have a dream” speech delivered nearly 60 years ago, and the Golden City Council continues taking up matters of a person’s worth. How far have we come? And where should we go from here?
I would propose a simple and time-honored philosophy: A rising tide lifts all boats.
Lifting up all lives means recognizing specific groups of lives (e.g. Women, LGBTQ, Black people, Latinx) – and does not tear down the lives of others (Men, Police, etc.).
City Council lifted up Black residents and visitors this week. We find this necessary against a national backdrop of violence towards people of color, and a local history of systemic racism that goes well beyond the evil KKK presence to include ongoing racist attacks against Black residents and visitors right here in Golden.
We supported a request for Golden to make a public statement:
Golden Stands with Black Lives.
And Council committed to the long horizon of work to improve racial equity and ensure Black lives don’t just matter, they matter equally.
Over these past months I personally have had to face a realization: Believing I am not racist has been a safe, comfortable, and easy position. But it’s not enough.
Among the scores of comments Council received on the issue of racial equity, especially related to Black Lives, even those people who questioned the worth of a public display of support (such as a banner) voiced a desire for greater equality in Golden.
I am challenging myself to listen, learn, and act towards racial equality and be actively anti-racist. And I challenge each of us to find your own unique way to ensure a rising tide lifts all boats.
This past week’s actions are in conjunction with efforts undertaken throughout the summer: read my blog from June for details, and view Golden Key Dates and timelines including a special Study Session with Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick on July 16th.
Changing the subject, there are additional matters on the minds of Goldenites. And speaking of rising tides, Golden remains committed to stopping another wave of COVID-19 infections: Let’s ensure schools can stay in session so our kids can learn!
To that end we’ve continued to support a mask and face coverings ordinance (along with Jefferson County and the State), which we review monthly and as needed. We’ve also adjusted Clear Creek closures to improve safety.
I realize that requiring masks and closing Clear Creek is far from ideal – it won’t magically make COVID-19 disappear. And we all love nature and know its therapeutic and healthy properties on mind and soul, especially now.
Thus, I look forward to working with Council and City Staff to find ways to manage crowding and safety during #COVIDtimes, with very clear direction to implement a new strategy for Summer 2021. Let’s start planning now for a safe, prosperous, and healthy summer season next year for visitors – and for us residents!
If you are interested in joining an Ad Hoc committee to prepare for and manage the Creek Corridor, please shoot me an email with your interest.
The Heart of Golden is one part of this process, and it’s getting started again… cleverly entitled “The Heart of Golden: Still Beating.” See https://www.guidinggolden.com/heart-of-golden-refining for more ways to get involved.
Finally, a quick note on the financial crisis.
The City of Golden is feeling the hit with reduced revenues this spring and summer. Year-to-date sales tax revenues are down about 8%. Despite this, we remain financially sound through a legacy of conservative investment, a diverse business community, thoughtful leadership, and aggressive action at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
Sadly, cities and towns across Colorado and the U.S. are not faring nearly as well. I hope Federal authorities recognize that local communities are the backbone of this country and critical to the success of America – and take action. We are not out of the weeds yet.
We know that a strong municipal foundation supports our residents, and will continue to focus on tight financial controls along with looking for more opportunities to support our community members. I believe all Councilors and City Mgmt stand ready to take strong action to protect our city.
A couple of examples:
The City recently agreed to extend additional support to BGoldN (formerly the Golden Backpack Program), the non-profit organization providing free food options for Goldenites while simultaneously supporting local restaurants.
We are supporting housing and rental relief opportunities, and last week City Council agreed to hire a Homeless Navigator (a partnership with Wheat Ridge and Edgewater) to support those facing homelessness – many for the first time in their lives.
Interested in helping our community locally?
There are many strong feelings, opinions, and beliefs about who we are as a community, and how we navigate what has turned out to be a game-changing year.
I commit to listening and learning, and engaging with you and the Golden community.
Have additional thoughts? Continue sharing them via Feedback and Social Media links below.
Have a safe and relaxing Labor Day Weekend here in Golden!
Check out these JeffCo Public Health Tips for Celebrating and limiting the spread of COVID-19.Learn more about Racial Equity in Golden & Get Involved
Celebrate Safely in small batches 😉
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
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
# # #
What’s the deal with masks? Learn more about masks here…
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 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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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