City Council expands mask requirements in Golden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020

For more information, contact:
Communications Manager/PIO
Karlyn Tilley
Office: 303-384-8132
ktilley@cityofgolden.net

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:

  • Children under 3 years of age
  • People with existing medical conditions that make mask-wearing unsafe to their health
  • Anyone undergoing a medical procedure (ex. Dentist or doctor appointments)
  • When you are seated and eating or drinking
  • Schools
  • Organized sports leagues that are already in compliance with health guidelines

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
Emergency Ordinance 2140: Mask requirements in Golden

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What’s the deal with masks? Learn more about masks here…

Emergency City Council Meeting 6/30/20

Legislative and administrative actions to reduce Clear Creek crowding, encourage masks, and improve safety and comfort in Golden.

Golden City Council discusses Clear Creek access and additional mask and face covering requirements at emergency meeting.

View full City Council meeting video (3+ hrs long). The Mayor & City Manager’s Coronavirus Community Update the next day is easier to digest at around 1/2 hour.

Clear Creek and mask update
Clear Creek Access and Mask Update

We believe the various legislative and administrative requirements around the Creek and face covering requirements will combine with enforcement and education, education, education to result in the improvement in compliance culture around masks and social distancing that will increase safety, reduce risk of super-spreader events, and allow residents and guests more comfort in enjoying the outdoors.

Bill Fisher, Ward 4 City Councilor

Actions Taken

  • Clear Creek access closed. To be reviewed by City Council July 9th. Paths and trails remain open. Farmer’s Market remains open.
  • City Manager requires face coverings in public areas when unable to maintain physical distance.
  • City Council agrees to consider comprehensive mask/face covering Emergency Ordinance (1st reading July 8th, 2nd reading July 9th).
  • City Council requests emergency authority from Governor Polis to manage Clear Creek water use during pandemic. If granted, this would allow for potential on-creek usage regulation and allowances.

Below are my prepared remarks for the June 30th meeting

I want to acknowledge a concern being voiced by some: Why did we lock down and sacrifice our mental, physical, and economic health to now see the virus again start to rampage through our communities?

The answer – “Safe at home” gave us something we desperately needed: Time. 

It truly made us safer and DID save thousands of lives, and allowed us to stock up for a battle that’s poorly understood, get better at the fight and learn new tricks, and prepare ourselves and our families for the 21st Century version of trench warfare. 

In Colorado, for example, we have learned that if one of our residents went to the hospital in March with COVID, as opposed to right now, she or he was 50% more likely to die in the hospital then vs now. That’s real. That’s progress.

At every turn during the first few months of the pandemic, officials were behind the curve by weeks or months. In some ways (PPE, testing, and contact tracing), we still are.

In other ways, we are finally catching up here in Colorado – and it is again time to look ahead and make smart, tough choices. We must lead with urgency.

Out of the woods?

  • The World Health Organization Director General warns we are not out of the woods. All countries are facing a delicate balance, between protecting their people, while minimizing the social and economic damage. 
    • “It’s not a choice between lives and livelihoods. Countries can do both.”
  • The United States’ top infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci agrees, stating: “Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges…”, noting that if we don’t turn things around, “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 (Illnesses) a day.” 
  • CDC Deputy Director Dr. Schuchat says, “This is just the beginning of America’s New Coronavirus Surge.”

We are seeing it… Similar to Denver, Adams, Arapahoe… Jefferson County has had the highest number of weekly positive tests since late May. 

Many communities across the US also recognize this risk. For example, cities and counties from  LA to Miami are closing beaches or starting to require masks to stop repeat problems and reduce transmission, and leadership across the political spectrum is urging masks.

Finally – The Governor of Colorado just announced a return to closures of bars, etc.

So, do we go “backwards” as people are saying into a complete lock down? Or during the past several months have we learned there may be ways to avoid sacrificing our economic and social health while staying safe enough to have a functioning society?

Every person and every community has a role to play. Golden is no different – we are a popular destination and place to live and certainly have a role to play keeping our community and guests safe and on track.

If we found a drug that reduced your chance of getting COVID-19 disease by 5x, everyone would be clamoring to take it. Well, we do. It’s called the “6 Foot Social Distancing Mask” drug. And right now, it’s the only thing we think works while we figure out testing and tracing and develop a vaccine.

It’s time to use it, and in the same way vaccinations help us and our neighbors, it’s a public health issue where it’s time to stand up, and be neighborly, and ensure we can have the opportunity to keep our economic engine humming and keep safe everyone we care about: our families, our elders, people with immune or other disease issues at greater risk, and our community.

Managing crowds on the Creek will be challenging – and require changes. Unfortunately we have to consider the maximum damage from large crowds initially – and then carve out spaces for reduced risk activities. One person emailed that a person sitting on a park bench reading a book isn’t a danger. Probably not. But that image is not consistent with what we are discussing, and honestly if it was me I would sit somewhere else for now.

I’m in for making changes, and I’m in for the long haul to keep adjusting this program to maximize effectiveness and keep a close eye on fairness and equity. I don’t care how many meetings we have to have to do this, I care that we save lives and do the right thing including leadership with urgency.

Let’s keep our economy afloat. Let’s acknowledge real and present concerns of our fellow Golden residents for COVID and general Creek “busyness,” and let’s do so in a way that references the reality of persistent racial injustice, misogyny and financial discrimination so we can be as equitable as this terrible virus allows.

Even as we invite guests, we must also acknowledge the rights of our residents to have a say in access and use of the Creek through our town – crowding is what, in part, we were already focused on with the Heart of Golden Project!

In an abundance of caution, reviewing Creek access is the right move to keep from creating a super-spreader situation while we get the opportunity to creatively make exceptions and open. Unfortunately as a solution it’s more of a hammer than a scalpel… that must be refined with the appropriate openings, exceptions, etc.

Weekend Update: Black Lives Matter, City Finances, Astor House Options & More…

Marchers walk along 11th street in Golden, CO on June 7th, 2020 to protest the killing of George Floyd among others – Black Lives Matter.

Weekend Update

Black Lives Matter

 Many of us have been rocked by the overwhelming reality of systemic racism and inequality demonstrated so clearly and obviously the last several weeks. The death of George Floyd and others have focused our country on these longstanding issues.

Mayor Weinberg & Golden City Councilors have provided a strong initial response and appear committed to listening, learning and -most importantly- action.

WilliamFisher.com has details and links to responses by the Mayor, City Councilors and Police Department, and ways to get involved.

Key points (see blog for details)
o June 4: City Council responds to George Floyd & many black citizens’ deaths during Regular Meeting
o June 7: Mayor & Council attend Golden United Vigil & March in Golden. Almost all attendees wearing masks!
o June 11: Mayor & City Council unanimously approve Resolution 2736 declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis. Proclamation read for Pride Month (GLBTQ)
o JULY 16: Committed to action – Golden City Council Study Session with Police Department on next steps… stay tuned!

City Finances & COVID-19

Golden Pandemic Financial Crisis Review
The short answer: Revenues are down, but not as much as we predicted. Sales Tax revenues are down about 5.5%, we anticipated 7-8%. Restaurants, retail and lodging has suffered. Groceries, Home Depot, and online sales are up (Amazon, Wayfair, etc.).

As a former City Councilor I faced the 2008-2009 Great Recession with Golden, and we actually improved financial reserves during that time.  We worked closely with Golden’s Finance Director Jeff Hansen and his team.

Fortunately, Jeff remains at the helm for Golden. I trust his thoughtful guidance and deep thinking about how to protect and maintain Golden, weather the current storm, and maybe even come out ahead.

City Manager Jason Slowinski has taken a conservative line on spending since March – City Council has approved the following efforts:

  • Hold non-critical expenditures (travel, training, upgrades, fireworks, etc.)
  • Freeze on employee travel
  • Soft hiring freeze (e.g Park Rangers hired for COVID-19 safety)
  • The City has identified over $2.6 Million in cuts/holds through the end of the year, which should more than match expected losses. There is a 2nd level of deeper cuts identified if necessary.
  • Asphalt/street/sidewalk replacement for this year will be limited, with the ability to make further cuts.
  • It’s also (already) time to start planning the 2021-2022 bi-annual budget, and City Council will be reviewing priorities to share with Staff.
  • Golden is receiving $1.6 Million from Jefferson County for COVID-19 related expenses. The City Manager and Council discussed plans to ensure it is spent appropriately to benefit our community!
  • Listen and watch the June 11th City Council Financial report and discussion.

COVID-19

The City is hoping to partially open the Splash water park. Golden Community Center opening details are still pending. Summer camps for kids are opening.

Want the latest on what’s open or closed in the City? (e.g. parks & rec, Fossil Trace golf course, City buildings and Court, Clear Creak, tubing, etc.). Visit the new Status of City Services webpage

Jefferson County received a variance from Safer-At-Home orders affecting gatherings, graduations, gyms and other G words, review all variance updates.

Mayor Weinberg & City Manager Slowinski continue video updates: Latest update June 10th with Special Guest Councilor Jim Dale.

The BGoldN program continues serving those in need of food assistance as well as our community businesses.

(NOTE Updated LinkVolunteer Golden website now online.

NEW!  Questions, concerns or thoughts on the City’s COVID-19 response and temporary road and parking closures Downtown? Email Recovery@cityofgolden.net


Masks

BilFish with face covering along Clear Creek

Back in March it was not clear face coverings mattered.
More and More evidence supports the value of Masks and 
Face Coverings to reduce COVID-19 transmission!

Education on use of masks is a team effort. Residents, Businesses and the City all have roles to keep us safe and open. 

The City of Golden just received a shipment of 5,000 masks! 2,500 have already been distributed to help businesses provide education and masks for visitors.

Along with staying safer at home and social distancing, masks and even homemade face coverings are proving valuable in reducing transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

The more we keep this under control, the more we can open our businesses and get back to life enjoying Golden – and it keeps more people alive. Period.

Read updated Mask and Face Covering guidance.


(image: Wikipedia)

Astor House

I’ve been clear that Golden is not some desperate City needing to sell off our heritage. This certainly includes the Astor House! 

At the June 11th City Council meeting, City Council reviewed Staff recommendations on a thoughtful process to accept offers from long-standing Golden non-profit and other organizations interested in partnering with the City. We authorized Staff and a subcommittee of Councilors to work with community members to make progress and ensure the Astor House doesn’t end up sitting abandoned and decaying.

Our Community Goals include the City retaining ownership and partnering for the greatest public benefit and access (read the memo for details). This dovetails well with the citizen-led recommendations of the Astor House Alliance (Aha!). Read the AHA surveys and suggestions here.  

Community Events

I’ve encouraged Staff to take a deeper dive this Fall into what we as a community want for Events. They’ve agreed. (To be led by Deputy City Manager Carly Lorentz).

Staff report we will have Movies in the Parking Lot  (drive-in) in August and September!

Golden Farmer’s Market had a good start last week with new guidelines and safety measures.

Most event holders through summer have chosen to cancel – notably Buffalo Bill Days and Golden Fine Arts Festival

July 4th – The Lions are going virtual all day on the 4th, check out their Facebook Page for details.

Thanks for everyone who has provided comments on Black Lives Matter, the Astor House, events, the budget, wearing masks and more – keep them coming, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.  

Cheers, 
Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Golden, Colorado

Ward 4 FeedbackEmail bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.

George Floyd, Police policies, and Golden’s response

Marchers walk along 11th street in Golden, CO on June 7th, 2020 to protest the killing of George Floyd among others – Black Lives Matter.

I’ve provided a June 13 weekend update with additional detail on the Ward 4 Email Newsletter, subscribe 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.

Ward 4 Update: Zoning Code Audit, Events, COVID-19, Street/traffic changes

Weekend Update

Thank you for supporting and trusting my candidacy during this Special Election. I am honored by the many folks who believe in my vision, values, and plan for Golden. During my tenure I will work to earn the trust of all residents

Interested in the election results? Visit this blog update
Note: The WilliamFisher.com Blog is updated regularly between email newsletters. 


Council Updates

Zoning Code Audit and Rewrite. As I committed to during the campaign, we are conducting a robust review and rewrite of Golden’s building codes to ensure we maintain our small-town historic character and natural environment.

  1. Phase 1 was the Audit with Community input. This produced the Diagnostic Report (large file, good read, download here).
  2. Phase 2 – The Rewrite. Based on the Audit, Council authorized a round of re-writing portions of the Code through the summer, combined with additional points of community input (which may look odd/virtual due to COVID-19). Speaking of Community Input: Check out the City’s new “Golden Building Blocks” initiative for us residents to help visually define Golden’s character for City Planners.

The Diagnostic Report is comprehensive, and clearly outlines the significant concerns expressed by residents across GoldenIt does not say whether these concerns can be appropriately managed. The rewrite hopefully will propose effective changes to address our concerns (pop-up’s and scrapes, high-density in the wrong areas, ADUs, parking and traffic flow issues, etc.)


COVID-19 & City Finances

Finances: Council’s June 11th meeting will provide a community update and discussion on the City’s financial outlook. This is not “business as usual.” I want the community to hear and hold that discussion before the City proposes any additional major expenditures.

This is why I voted against approving the non-essential $1 Million sidewalk repair bid, which came in over 10% above last year’s pricing (Note: Council awarded the contract anyway. We will have a chance later to decide whether to initiate any work). 

COVID-19: There are SO many updates that I’ll keep it brief.


Street & Parking Changes Support Public Health and Local Businesses

Street lane changes and parking reductions improve social distancing and support local businesses
City Council has acted quickly to continue progress protecting public health and supporting our local businesses. We have authorized the City Manager to make changes in real time to address safety needs. Changes are happening fast: Thank you for your patience and understanding of the need during COVID-19 to be responsive – I appreciate the frustrations this can cause, especially for our West Downtown neighbors and businesses. We have asked the City to communicate through all available channels any updates to road/parking closures.

As restaurants and other businesses re-open, the City will be working with residents to make adjustments based on changing conditions. Council has generally given guidance for Staff to consider Downtown road/parking lane changes and closures, which may look different Monday through Thursday vs Friday/Saturday/Sunday to accommodate safety with increased visitors.

See the detailed City of Golden map of expected closures.


Community Events

Quick update – Council was briefed on cancelations and updates (watch May 28th meeting video at GCO.TV), and has generally directed staff to avoid events wishing to use Washington Avenue downtown. I have suggested Staff considers not only State & County guidance, but also local Golden needs – for example not pushing more event pressure into our 8th-10th Street and West Downtown historic neighborhoods.

  • Staff is looking at options for a “drive-in” version of Movies in the Park in August
  • Most event holders through June, July & August have chosen to cancel (e.g. Buffalo Bill Days)
  • The Golden Farmer’s Market starts June 6 (with new guidelines and safety measures)
  • Not strictly an event… During the May 28th Council Meeting, City Manager Slowinski provided guidance on Clear Creek management for the summer
  • I’ve asked and Council and Staff have agreed to take a deeper dive late Summer or Fall into what we as a community want for Events. 
  • Masks & Face coverings – Lots of community responses on this issue! Council is protecting our businesses by allowing them to require use of face coverings. We’ll have additional discussion at our next Council meeting (June 4th)

Thanks for the great feedback and suggestions we’ve already received! If you have additional thoughts, suggestions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. 

Cheers,

Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Golden, Colorado


Ward 4 Feedback

Email bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.

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!

Golden Transcript: Q&A with Bill Fisher after election

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com

Read full Golden Transcript article online

Golden, meet your newest city councilor.

His name is Bill Fisher, a familiar face to many as he previously served on the council from 2008 to 2014. He will once again be representing Ward 4, which primarily encompasses a portion of central Golden west of Washington Avenue. That ward was most recently represented by current Golden mayor Laura Weinberg.

Fisher received more than double the votes of his opponent, Stacy Fowler, in a mail-in election completed on April 28.

The Golden Transcript caught up with Fisher on the day after the election was completed to discuss his return to the council, his goals for Golden and the direction he would like the council to go to preserve the city’s character.

What is your reaction to being elected?

I’m really thankful for the trust of my ward and honored by the fact that even during this time, people in Golden are paying attention and understand the importance of our local community and took the time to get out and vote. I look forward to getting to work.

What are your major priorities?

I think the initial priorities are to continue to make sure the city remains in as good of financial shape as possible as the COVID-19 financial crisis continues to set in and potentially impact city government services and also to address what we can do as a city regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking longer term, I see reviewing the zoning rewrites of our ordinances to ensure that as we start to have more growth again or as we see what growth looks like in this new economy we make sure that it is in line with the character that we want to see in.

How will you approach this role?

I’m going to maintain the principles I developed during my first tenure on city council, which are really a focus on transparent and open communication with the residents of Ward 4. Building trust is so important and communication is a key part of that and has been successful for me in the past. I also think communication is the foundation for how we build a collaborative process so as we get things done we do so with the buy-in of the entire community and we do so with the ideas of the entire community so we are building on all the knowledge and expertise we have among residents in Golden to build better solutions than you or I might come up with on our own.

Are their certain approaches you will advocate?

I feel there is an opportunity for the city to take our time with understanding the critical Heart of Golden project so that we get it right – and don’t simply try to rush to get something on the ballot for November. I’d like to see us reevaluate this and take the time to focus on getting it right because this is a 20, 30, 40 year-type of process and impact, so I don’t feel the need to just get it done in six months.

You’ve been vocal about the city needing to do a better job of maintaining its character. Any specific ideas about how to do that?

Sometimes development feels like a big enough topic that it’s hard to get our arms around. I think we start with pieces of it and really focus on elements of look and feel in a way that we haven’t before. If we combined a zoning rewrite to create the zoning we want and engage residents to say “What does that zoning really look like now and what are the possibilities?” In the past we have not been able to share with people in a way that they can imagine what would happen if a developer built out an area. We need to share that with them so that the community can actually say `oh, you know, maybe that’s not what I thought we were going to allow. And maybe we want something less, whether it’s height and setback restrictions or usage restrictions or number of properties.’ Then we combine that with actually embedding the character that people think we’re getting out of our neighborhood plans into the zoning, which we never really did. We just said philosophically here are things that we want. But we didn’t then put teeth in and say ‘this is how you have to build if you build in the community of Golden.

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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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