Council: Ward 4 Inaugural Greeting

by Richard Gardner (local historian) (edited for clarity/length)

I send greetings to Golden City Council and its newest member upon this most unique occasion!  For the first time in 138 years Golden is inaugurating a new City Councilor by remote location, which was last done for the first and only other time way back in 1882.

Special Election

Since Golden first began municipal government 160 years ago, this was just the 7th special election for our City officials.  However, it’s hard to shake some feeling of deja vu here – like we’ve done this and I’ve given Mr. Fisher this greeting before.  Why yes, this is no coincidence, for I welcomed him for the first time in a special election in 2008, and again in 2009.  Mr. Fisher must either really like my speeches or he is one big glutton for punishment!

Indeed, Mr. Fisher, you were and are the 14th person voted to office here in a special election.  Sorry, we don’t do like the Presidents here, you don’t count twice.  If we did that we’d end up having Mayors cloned 6 times over by now!  You are, however, the first person voted into office in two special elections, and you now hold all our special election records, so congratulations!

I’ve told of your esteemed special elected predecessors and they’re well worth sharing today.  They include our 2nd Mayor, Daniel McCleery, who built the Golden Gate Canyon Road, and Mayor Robert Millikin, the future county commissioner who helped carve the woodwork at Calvary Episcopal Church.  Others include George West, founder of the Transcript; Isaac Hardy, our first postmaster whose post office just turned 160 last month; William Sapp who had the resort at Sapp’s Grove, later known as Big Tree; State Representative, Jeffco Sheriff and Astor House owner John Albert Hoagland; downtown businessman James Thomas; Julius Schultz, founder of the Goosetown Tavern which a future Governor Hickenlooper moved to Denver; and in modern times Arthur Chen, Mayor Jacob Smith and Joe Behm.

Exceptional Circumstances

On a somber note, you are not Golden’s first replacement Councilor to take his seat amidst a pandemic.  During the great flu epidemic of 1918 City Council lost a Golden hero, Oscar Nolin, who died trying to save his brother’s life.  It was the second time he’d put his life on the line trying to save others.  In 1905 Nolin saved Golden High School from exploding and with it the lives of over 100 students and teachers.  Because of the bans of that pandemic Councilor Nolin never received a hero’s farewell, but his graveside was attended by the members of City Council.  Councilor Nolin is remembered with honor today.  Taking his place was a worthy successor, Frederick B. Robinson, a prominent downtown bookstore merchant, who in 1918 and 75 years ago this September fired his mini cannon on Washington Avenue in joyful celebration of the ends of both World Wars!

It is remarkably pleasing for me to note today that the one Councilor Fisher takes the place of during a pandemic is alive and well and for a much more joyful occasion, she has been promoted to Mayor by the voters.  Our Mayor during the pandemic of 1918 was Dr. Dennis Garvin, and now today we have another medical professional joining Council.  Mayor Garvin helped save hundreds of lives and I hope his inspiring story serves all of you well today!

Folks might think today is the first time ever a Golden City Councilor has been inaugurated to office outside the halls of our government, yet believe it or not this is not true.  You now have something uniquely in common with your first special elected predecessor, Andrew Holmes, for he was Golden’s first and until now only to be inaugurated remotely as well!  Way back on July 25, 1882, Holmes was elected to City Council, but he did not show up in person to take his seat.  He submitted his oath of office in writing.  So yes, when you do this remotely you do very much count!  Why Councilor Holmes did not show up to do so in person remains a mystery to this day, and Councilor Fisher, you have now accomplished a feat that’s not been done in 138 years!

golden1882.jpg
Golden, 1882.

What were things like here the last time this happened?  First of all I’ll show you a special gift, this illustration of Golden as it appeared in 1882.  If you look closely you can see landmarks still with us today, along with mines, mills, smelters, railroads, and our river as it appeared then. 

Down below is a key telling what several of our key landmarks are.  In the foreground you see what Goosetown looked like, including the Roundhouse which still has a foundation wall along the north side of the railroad tracks, if you know where to look for it.  Among the buildings on the lands the City just acquired there is the home of Councilor Holmes himself, on Archer Street just back of today’s Masonic Temple.  So now our newest Councilor can decide what should stand upon the place of his esteemed predecessor.  Now the rest of Council better listen to what Councilor Fisher has to say; most of your land is after all within Bush & Fisher’s Addition.

In 1882 Golden did not have electricity, let alone computers like you’re using to meet today.  But Councilors could talk by telephone.  If it had wanted to Council could even conference call from multiple locations and the public could listen in.  It was called a party line!  Though if you’re the audience you better keep your own party quiet because everyone else on the line can hear every word you have said.  Back in 1882 you could celebrate your election by buying drinks at the Buffalo Rose, er, Orchestrion Hall.  You could buy hardware at Meyers, er, Sarell Hardware.  If you’ve been locked up and your hair’s gotten way too long you can just go to the Metropolitan but ask for Dick the Barber.  If you’d like to go to the post office you’d need to go in at the Golden Diner’s corner, but the very same door of Calvary Church would greet you all the same.  City Hall was just a rental then, though the City was planning to build a nice new one next to the Astor House.  You could eat dinner right next door there, if you can get in the door to the dining room guarded by Seth Lake.  He’s got to; his new cook’s popular and people have overrun him to get in there!

Finale

You are the 55th of now 56 Councilors of Ward 4, a political division of our city that has existed for 144 years.  You return to represent the legacy of those who have served before you.  The first to specifically serve your Ward was also special elected, George H. Kimball, a prominent builder in the city of Golden.  You can see his work on the Rock Flour Mill Warehouse at 8th and Cheyenne today. 

Yes you can go home again; you are our first Councilor to return after absence in 9 years, since Marcie Miller, and our first to return to the same office in 37 years since our longtime barber Frank Leek in 1983.  And Ward 4 is a home to return to; you’re the 7th Councilor to come back here!  Your predecessors include Swedish immigrant businessman Nels Seaver, who returned twice and whose beautiful home you can see at the southeast corner of 9th and Arapahoe; Samuel Eldridge, a skilled carpenter whose work you can see in the 12th Street Historic District and was Captain of the USS Cactus; businessman Alfred Olson, who returned 3 times; businessman John H. Cooper; bookstore owner Fred Richards; businessman Charles Matthews, and now William Fisher. 

It’s been a little while since your ward showed sequels, however; 81 years, since 1939.  It was a challenging economic time then during the Great Depression, and a challenging time now, but Councilor Matthews and the others overcame theirs, and you will too.  Who knows what else the premiere of Fisher Returns will bring?  It’s time to find out!

Ward 4 Election Results

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 bill@williamfisher.com

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1% Growth Ordinance

Where did Golden’s 1% Growth Ordinance go?

Golden's 1% Growth Ordinance – where did it go?

Golden enacted a 1% Growth Ordinance – where did it go?

Posted by Bill Fisher for Ward 4 Golden on Saturday, April 18, 2020

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.)
  • ADUs
  • 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.

For more on loopholes and caveats, check the City of Golden website here and here.

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.

Golden Ward 4 Election: Vote Now

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:

  1. You can mail your ballot USPS by April 24th with postage.
  2. 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.

I appreciate your input and thank you for your continued support.
 

Cheers,


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.

Email bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com to learn more and get involved.

#goldenward4 #ward4golden @cityofgolden #goldencolorado #specialelection

Election Ballot update from City of Golden City Clerk

This notification was emailed to Ward 4 Candidates Friday April 10th from City Clerk Monica Mendoza:

You may have heard from under-aged voters or their parents who have received a ballot in the mail by error. The City Clerk Office has been working with Jefferson County Elections to address the issue. Please review the talking points below describing the issue and let me know if you have any questions.

Please see the talking points for any incoming questions regarding the mistaken ballots. 


What happened?

  • Due to a staff error, 59 residents of ward 4 who are pre-registered to vote but will not be 18 years old by Election Day (April 28) mistakenly received ballots for the special election.
  • 16- and 17-year-olds are eligible to pre-register to vote in Colorado, even before they are eligible to vote.

Could those ballots be counted even though the voters are not eligible?

  • No. Jefferson County Elections has already marked these 59 ballots as ineligible.
  • If any of these voters accidentally return a ballot, the Jefferson County Elections system will identify the ballot as invalid using the unique barcode on the envelope, and the ballot will not be counted. 

How do we fix this?

  • Jefferson County Elections has already marked all 59 ballots as invalid, so they cannot be counted.
  • Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder George Stern and Golden City Clerk Monica Mendoza are mailing a letter to all 59 residents explaining the error and asking them to discard their ballots.
  • Jefferson County Elections will also call the voters who have phone numbers on file (27 of the 59) to deliver the same information.

Will this problem affect the other elections this year?

  • No. Any of these 59 voters who are eligible to vote in the June state primary and/or the November general election will receive their ballots as normal. However, if they are not eligible to vote in those elections, they will not receive ballots.

How did this happen?

  • Due to current circumstances, Jefferson County Elections was not able to follow standard elections processes in pulling this voter list, which led one elections staff member to erroneously include all registered voters in ward 4, rather than just those 18 and older.

Thanks, 

Monica Mendoza

City Clerk | City of Golden 

911 10th Street | Golden, CO 80401