Doesn’t sound very impressive. Yet Senate Bill 213 could become the single most disruptive bill in recent Colorado history.
Take time to get to know it.
It *WILL* affect your community, and your neighborhood… and probably the street you live on. If you live in a city.
Golden City Council has not taken an official position as of yet. As the Councilor for Ward 4, I urge you to understand the potential impacts of this bill. Perhaps start by reading a few articles which hit close to home… so close to home they use Golden’s “Howdy Folks” sign to illustrate it.
* Give power to Developers to put a 6-unit condo in any neighborhood, even ones currently with single family homes. – And Golden can’t require the builder to add any parking for all of these new tenants – Imagine the next-door neighbor’s house being scraped and suddenly becoming a 6-unit rental building owned by a corporate landlord, with the building pushed out to within 5 feet of the property line in all directions, 30-35 feet tall.
* Live in an HOA or PUD zoned area? That won’t matter. The bill eliminates the power of homeowners’ associations to keep out certain types of housing.
* Removes limits in state law on the number of unrelated people who can live together
* ADUs – Golden allows them in many areas, as long as there is an owner on site. That goes away, and ADUs can be built in by companies looking to expand rentals
* Oh, and this only applies to Cities … somehow Counties are exempted. Golden is included as a “Tier 1” city — the most dramatically affected.
Many of us are working diligently to make affordable housing options available. Golden has hired an affordable housing policy coordinator to improve our efforts both locally and regionally, and to be a part of the solution to the housing crisis we face in Colorado.
Being concerned about this bill isn’t a matter of NIMBYism – the bill represents a complete overhaul and functional dismantling of local zoning regulations.
I grew up in Arizona, where developers have traditionally run the state to benefit themselves with explosive growth and unrestrained development at any cost. I’m saddened, and stunned, to imagine a future like that for Colorado.
I support affordable housing changes to our codes, and I support efforts to ensure equitable treatment across our zoning codes. This bill will not achieve that. For further reading, click below!
Voter Recommendations for City of Golden, JeffCo School Board and Colorado ballot measures
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 based on how I perceive issues as they relate to Golden.
I also suggest reviewing descriptions and analysis in the Colorado Blue Book and Jefferson County Notice of Election booklets mailed to all voters (see buttons below).
Last year’s ballot had almost a dozen issues! This year? Three state and three local. Not so bad!
Without further ado, this year’s recommendations…
Golden City Council Four ward councilor seats are up for election in Golden.
Each candidate, including myself, is running unopposed this year. I won’t speculate as to why, beyond encouraging you to review Mayor Weinberg’s October Informer letter to Follow the Golden Rule. Please be kind to people campaigning and acting as your representatives.
Recommendation: Vote FOR the candidate below listed on your ballot.
Ward 1: Rob Reed I have appreciated Rob’s hard work and dedication to supporting our City, and look forward to working with him further. He brings a detailed and welcomed eye towards ensuring Golden’s interests are protected.
Ward 2: Paul Haseman Paul is an inveterate advocate for his Ward, volunteers regularly, and I respect his collaborative nature on Council (part of why Golden’s a great place to live).
Ward 3: Don Cameron Don is a retired school teacher and longtime Golden resident. He has remained involved in Golden since his first run for City Council, and brings new ideas to the table. I suspect he will challenge the status quo.
Ward 4: Bill Fisher (“William BilFish Fisher” on the ballot) People ask: Why bother to campaign when you are running unopposed?
It’s simple: I respect the trust placed in me to represent all residents of Ward 4 and across Golden.
I remain committed to achieving results for us. Holding neighborhood conversations and attending forums helps me understand our shared goals and values.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve, and if you share a positive vision for Golden’s future, please vote for me.
JeffCo School Board Three seats are up for election in Districts 1, 2 & 5
Recommendation: Vote FOR the following candidates District 1: Danielle Varda District 2: Paula Reed District 5: Mary Parker
Analysis Golden’s children and schools benefit from a stable, dedicated and caring group of citizens leading our Public School Board.
You may have noticed these candidates are running as a slate, dedicated to enhancing education across Jefferson County. This locally-based coordination stems from a 2013 election of radical board members funded by out-of-state interests. Low voter turnout in 2013 was also a factor. Each of the radical members was recalled decisively in a recall election in 2015.
The big losers from the 2013 failed debacle were our children.
To help in rebuilding JeffCo School’s reputation and continue recent progress and improved performance, Varda, Reed and Parker are the right choices this year. Reed is a life-long school teacher, Parker has worked with abused and neglected children and foster families, and Varda is a scientist and public health advocate.
City of Golden Ballot Measures Golden voters asked to weigh in on two major ballot measures referred by City Council
2A & 2B: Recreational Retail Marijuana Stores Recommendation: However you vote on 2A, vote Yes on 2B to fund public health initiatives if retail stores are allowed
This is a measure in two parts: 2A asks Golden Residents about allowing Recreational Marijuana shops in Golden – we currently only allow medical marijuana; 2B asks whether we should collect a tax on recreational marijuana to be spent on public health measures. I’m proud to have championed directing funds towards improving health in our community.
Analysis As a health professional and a parent, and based on feedback from constituents, I remain skeptical of the benefits of adding retail marijuana sales to our town. I am voting no on 2A. The principal reasons voiced to vote yes are that marijuana is readily available in nearby cities, so why not have it here and tax it.
Unfortunately, City Council has had to grapple with the reality that the Marijuana Industry has threatened to place the question on the ballot for voters if City Council does not. In keeping with our philosophy to direct and manage change, and to prevent opening marijuana more broadly and less safely across the community, Council placed the issue on the ballot for voters.
Note: 2A and 2B both have to pass for either one to go into effect. If approved, I am committed to focus on implementation to provide the least disruption and greatest safety for our kids and community.
This may include limiting the number of stores, types of signage, distance from schools and parks, keeping them from Downtown, regulating hours of operation, etc. For more on what this might look like, see recommendations from Golden’s Amendment 64 Task Force Report of Findings.
2C: Lodging Tax for visitors & tourists Recommendation: Vote Yes On 2C
Golden City Council has unanimously endorsed a Yes Vote on 2C for Golden. As a resident I also endorse this effort to help offset visitor and tourist impacts and manage crowding and cleanup along Clear Creek and Downtown.
Analysis City Council has referred a lodging tax measure to ask visitors to help pay for all the amenities they use and enjoy, which currently are paid for by Golden residents. The actual language reads that funds “SHALL BE APPLIED TO ADDRESS VISITOR IMPACTS AND FUND COMMUNITY PROJECTS AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS…”
A “have your cake and eat it too” moment for Golden?
This measure is about what we as residents want for our town in the future. Yes, Golden has again balanced our budget with reasonable reserves.
However, we face significant financial challenges, beginning as soon as next year.
For example, a recent study about our Fire Department suggests Golden residents may be asked to pay an extra $1,000,000 to $4,000,000 EACH YEAR to improve response times and keep our career and volunteer firefighters safe.
At the same time, we face costs and crowding and trash from increased tourism, residents are requesting open space purchases and protections and funding of our treasured cultural institutions, and Parks & Rec facilities are aging and require maintenance, improvements and in some cases (Rooney Road Soccer Fields) replacement. This requires new sources of revenue.
If we want more control to direct and manage change and growth in Golden, a lodging tax will help us achieve this goal.
An argument for voting no is that it’s a “missed opportunity” to more explicitly fund certain worthy initiatives (open space, workforce housing, etc.).
City Council directs around $50,000,000 in annual spending and can handle directing these funds, with established guardrails written into the ballot measure.
It feels self-defeating for any one interest group to argue we should missthis opportunity because they are not “guaranteed” perpetual funding. And the money will truly be more transparent and accounted for in an exclusive fund.
Another argument is that by voting no we will keep prices lower and bring MORE tourists to Golden. Hmmm… are we looking to add even more tourists in Golden and along Clear Creek? Vote yes to manage crowding in town.
If we miss out on this revenue, I honestly worry that City Council will be coming back to residents next year with tough conversations about what we can -and cannot- afford to fund.
Asking visitors to help pay for their impacts on Golden is a worthwhile and legitimate request.
(The JeffCo Voter Guide below has more arguments and answers regarding specifics of the lodging tax ballot measure.)
Colorado Blue Book Read about statewide ballot issues. Read the Blue Book City of Golden Ballot Issues Golden voters are being asked about two major issues: Recreational Marijuana stores and a Lodging Tax. Review the Golden Ballot
State of Colorado Ballot Measures Amendment 78 Recommendation: Vote NO This is a complicated-sounding amendment that basically shifts decision-making for various “custodial” dollars that come into the state, such as COVID relief funding, from the Governor’s office to the Legislature.
I am always skeptical when voters are asked to modify the Colorado Constitution further, especially when it could complicate getting funding to the people who need it, and could actually cause our state to lose out on funding.
If a voter wants the Legislature as opposed to the Governor’s office to approve distribution for every custodial dollar, then a yes vote may be appropriate.
I agree with the thought that making government less efficient by having the Legislature vote on custodial dollars, and possibly losing out on some money, does not seem like a win.
Proposition 119 Recommendation: Vote NO This measure feels good because it taxes marijuana sales in order to provide after-school and other tutoring and training opportunities for our kids.
Unfortunately, it also creates another government bureaucracy and organization that is separate from our statewide school systems and funnels the money to private companies.
The goal of improving education access is laudable, the details suggest we will not get the bang for the buck we should, and further complicate our already-convoluted and underfunded public school systems.
Proposition 120 Recommendation: Vote NO This measure purports to lower residential and lodging property taxes.
Based on state law it will likely end up only lowering multifamily property taxes for landlords, and will not benefit renters with lower rents (unless you think the corporations that own apartment complexes will pass along the savings to individuals).
It will also not benefit (lower taxes) for individual homeowners as it suggests. In a state already dealing with the impacts of having one of the lowest property tax rates in the nation, this will further reduce critical services.
As the recent Denver Post headline notes, Proposition 120 is “A Colorado Property Tax Cut That Isn’t What it Seems.”
The same dark money special interest group supporting this has also paid to collect signatures to run an issue just about every election the last several years. This isn’t the way to manage or create fairness for our tax structure. Vote No.
Voting is an important right, opportunity, and civic duty. Thank you for researching the candidates and ballot measures and making your own decisions.
The more engaged we are, the better we will be.Please consider sharing this newsletter with a neighbor and suggest they sign up by visiting WilliamFisher.com. Thoughts to share? Email or call me.
I hope this finds you enjoying the beautiful Fall weather this weekend!
The cooler weather is also a sign of upcoming November elections, and I have enjoyed meeting Golden residents and business owners to better understand and be able to represent our priorities on City Council. I look forward to continuing with a positive vision and neighborhood values.
Please note the following two opportunities to meet myself and other candidates for all the wards for Golden City Council.
Candidate Forum Wednesday October 13th from 6-8pm at City Hall, 911 10th Street, hosted by Leadership Golden Alumni Association.
Coffee with Candidates Sunday October 17th from 10-11am at Lions Park East Pavilion. Rain or shine, meet the candidates and enjoy coffee, donuts and conversation.Ward 4 Golden PrioritiesRead my thoughts in the October Informer about neighborhood values and community vision – and work to be done.
Election Issues for Golden and ColoradoGolden voters asked to weigh in on two major ballot measures referred by City Council.
2A & 2B – Retail marijuana. This is a two-part measure asking Golden Residents about allowing Recreational Marijuana shops in Golden (2A), and whether we should collect an excise tax to be spent on public health measures for our community (2B).
2C – Lodging Tax: City Council has referred a measure to ask visitors to help pay for all the amenities they use and enjoy, which currently are paid for by Golden residents. The actual language reads that funds “SHALL BE APPLIED TO ADDRESS VISITOR IMPACTS AND FUND COMMUNITY PROJECTS AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS…”
Endorsements: Yes on 2C Lodging TaxGolden City Council has unanimously endorsed a Yes Vote on 2C for Golden. As a Golden resident I am also endorsing this initiative to help offset visitor impacts and manage crowding and cleanup along Clear Creek and downtown.Colorado State Blue Book
I’ll share more election ballot thoughts in a future newsletter.Read the Blue Book JeffCo / Golden Ballot Issues
Golden voters are being asked about two major issues: Recreational Marijuana stores and a Lodging Tax.
Review the Golden Ballot I’ll have more information on these ballot measures through the annual voter guide that I’ll share in mid October.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 Golden, Colorado City Updates Join me tomorrow from 11am – 4pm for Golden History Museum’s first Autumn Fest! Located in the downtown History Museum and Park along Clear Creek.Free Family Activitiesincredible chalk arthourly puppet shows (plus hands-on stations to make your own show)4-H petting zoocraft stationsBIG TRUCKS (Streets, Fire, and Police Departments)costumed Civil War interpretationkarate demonstrationhands-on paper-making stationOther FunWesternaires pony rides ($3 per ride)CODA Brewing Company beer garden
City Council October NewsIt’s Budget season! City Council has already reviewed the annual CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) budgets twice in September and will continue our review in October.
Upcoming agenda items include: Community Garden Contract Renewal (Oct 12th) Healthy Beverages for Kids Discussion (Oct 19th) Budget: CIP discussed at two different meetings so far.Operating Budget review is up next, discussion slated for both Oct 19th and 26th. Both budgets will be reviewed again in November Clear Creek Management Update (Oct 26th) Strategic Action Plan Q3 progress (Oct 26th)
State of CO voice hotline:1-877-268-2926, staffed 24hrs a day.And thanks to everyone in Golden for staying safe! Wear masks when appropriate, continue physical distancing, recreate outdoors and use good hand hygiene.
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.
Proven Results. 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 Golden, Colorado
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
Hot Topics Include: . New Golden residential waste services contract (with recycling & composting) . City Strategic Action Plan progress update by City Manager . Lodging Tax discussion – what should it help pay for? . Mobile Home park re-zoning to support affordable housing . Marijuana Excise Tax – should Golden introduce Recreational pot shops? . Golden Zoning Code rewrite – Draft 2 has been released! Discussion with Planning Commission, share your thoughts. . City 2nd Quarter financial updateWith July 4th upon us, many are thinking about safeguarding our independence of spirit. I see this reflected in the strong community spirit that drives Golden – within our government, our citizens, our residents and our volunteers.
May you and your family enjoy celebrating and have a peaceful Independence Day weekend.Stay safe and leave fireworks to the pros,
Bill Fisher, RN Ward 4 City Councilor Golden, Colorado
Council Updates Clear Creek Safety & Paving Summer crowding, safety, and paving part of Grant Terry trail With warmer weather and bigger crowds, the Clear Creek summer season is upon us. Thanks to all of you who provided feedback from my last newsletter.
At a recent City Council meeting, we received a “thumbs up” to increase oversight and management of the Creek for crowding and safety. Staff will be preparing what this looks like and how City Council, the Parks & Rec & Museum Board, and residents can stay involved.
Safety update: The City has now added a water safety flag system (Red-Yellow-Green) to help visitors using the water stay safer depending on water conditions. Grant Terry Trail (GTT) A paving project is underway along Clear Creek just west of Golden by Jeffco Open Space through most of July. I’ve received several questions and comments about this process. This is a Jefferson County Open Space project (not Golden).
Apparently, the original path parallel to US6 is no longer being constructed, hence the desire to improve GTT. The project will result in the loss/change of about 1/3 of a mile of the Grant Terry Trail as soft surface only, but trail users are gaining 1.5 miles of soft-surface only Flume Trail and Welch Ditch trail (where bikes will be prohibited).
I and other City Councilors have requested that Golden and JCOS hold a public tour and discussion to help everyone understand the changes and decision process. FAQ and more details at my website.
Lodging Tax discussion Did you know Golden is one of just a few cities in the U.S. without a lodging tax? Hard to believe, but it’s true! A lodging tax is a nearly-universal way to ask visitors to fairly and equitably contribute to what brings them to Golden in the first place.
Tourists are drawn here because of our world-class amenities and scenic environment, culturally rich downtown and historic neighborhoods, trails and parks, museums and beautiful Clear Creek. . . all paid for by Golden residents.
It’s a matter of fairness. We pay lodging taxes in other cities, but visitors to Golden do not return the favor.
Who pays a lodging tax? The lodging industry? No. Golden residents? No. Only tourists pay for overnight rentals to help support the services they use and enjoy.
The City is proposing funds generated by a lodging tax be used to offset significant impacts of tourism and help our local businesses remain competitive, with the remainder put in a dedicated Golden Fund.
Other ideas include enhancing our community through workforce housing and affordable living solutions, universal broadband internet access, sustainability, parks and open space, improved food security, public transit options and more.
If Council forwards this for a citywide vote, you get to decide this November whether a lodging tax will improve our financial security and the health, welfare, and safety of Golden.
Guiding Golden: Lodging Tax Discussion Protecting our Youth City Council is undertaking various initiatives to improve the health and welfare of our children. Councilor JJ Trout and I have introduced a Health Beverages Initiative to support parents wanting to provide healthier guidance and options for kids when eating out.
Did you know an 8 oz ‘child-size’ soda has about 6 teaspoons of sugar? This is the total added sugar the American Heart Association recommends kids consume in an entire day. In fact, the average child in the U.S. consumes over 30 gallons of sugary drinks every year – enough to fill a bathtub. Whoa!
This program may ask restaurants offering Kids’ Meals to package them with water, non-sugary sparkling water, or milk. This would not prevent parents from ordering other drinks (e.g. soda, juice, chocolate milk).
Look for this to come back to Council this summer or fall. Support or have questions about this? Please share your thoughts with City Council!
Some community members are working with Jefferson County Public Health to consider ways to protect our youth from flavored vaping nicotine products
In 2019 Golden City Council took steps to protect youth by raising the age to purchase to 21 for all tobacco and nicotine products. Continuing that conversation around flavored nicotine products is an important next step.
Help shape the future of tobacco prevention in Golden Monday, July 19th from 12 – 1pm. Zoom Meeting Please join the Jefferson County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Initiative onJuly 19th from 12 – 1pm for a continued community dialogue about opportunities to strengthen tobacco prevention efforts in Golden.
We invite you to share your story, provide input about the direction of tobacco prevention initiatives in Golden, and discuss ways we can work together over the next several months.
To receive the Zoom information, please RSVP using this link.
RTD Service Changes – Golden public comment needed! RTD is proposing continued reduced services for Golden area residents.As the region begins to recover from COVID-19, RTD is proposing service changes.
Unfortunately, Golden is not in line for any service enhancements in the new draft proposal. For example, the GS line between Boulder and Golden and on to NREL is a priority to many here in Golden, but is not currently planned for reinstatement.
We also face continued reduced frequency on the RTD West Line Light Rail.
Now is the time to be heard! The final virtual public comment session is July 7th.
JeffCo Open Space is set to start paving a section of Grant Terry Trail north of Clear Creek. Here’s what to know…
(UPDATE July 2, 2021: I and other City Councilors have requested that Golden and JCOS hold a public tour and discussion to help everyone understand the changes and decision process. Stay Tuned…)
Residents of Golden have recently noticed an electronic signboard along Clear Creek near the 6th Avenue bridge (west side of Golden as it goes into the canyon). It states the Grant Terry Trail will be closed for about a month for a paving project.
This is a Jefferson County Open Space project (not a City of Golden project).
This will result in the loss of about 1/3 of a mile of the Grant Terry Trail as soft surface only, but trail users are gaining 1.5 miles of soft-surface only Flume Trail, and Welch Ditch trail (where bikes will be prohibited).
The Peaks 2 Plains project has been under construction for a couple of years. The final part apparently includes an ADA-accessible paved surface from the edge of Golden to the pedestrian bridge across the creek west of Golden as well as to the new “Gateway of Clear Creek Canyon Park” trailhead / parking lot up on 6th as it enters the canyon.
The original Project Map (above left button) shows the north side of Grant Terry Trail as “existing” (small black hash lines) and does not indicate it is part of the project’s construction scope. The Project Map was updated on 6/23/21 to clarify the alignment changes…
Grant Terry Trail portions in gray to be paved with an adjacent soft-surface trail. Portions in red will remain as the existing soft surface trail with no paving.
I asked City Staff if they would provide additional information related to questions from residents about this project, and need for paving. Here are the responses.
Q: When was this discussed and how?
A: As part of the Peak to Plains project Jefferson County conducted public outreach and it went before the Golden PRAM board (Parks, Recreation & Museums) at both the May and June PRAM meetings during the director’s report. There were not many questions, and no concerns. PRAM gave positive feedback to it and agreed that it was appropriate to move forward. There was support voiced for soft surface trails adjacent to the paved path which is an included element in the project. The typical practice is if there are concerns it would go on the next agenda and because there were not any it did not move forward to that stage. See below for the minutes from the May conversation:
Peaks to Plains – The City owns 2000’ of trail on the west side of 6th Ave. Jeffco is putting in concrete for Peaks to Plains. We did not schedule concrete on the 2000’because of the hydrology inthe area; the lines pop up. There is debate about putting a concrete trail on top to see if it would holdit down. Public Works and Utilities have been reluctant to put concrete on the trail. Jeffco andGolden had a meeting to discuss the possibility of putting concrete on that portion of the trail. Jeffcois willing to create an IGA together to pay for it and mitigate/fix issues if they arise. They would alsoinclude a soft surface trail alongside if it fits. Craig thinks it makes sense for continuity. Rodexplained the concrete will provide continuity as well as making it multi-mobile.
Q: What is the happening with the Grant Terry Trail?
A: The portion of the GTT that connects the Clear Creek Trail and the US6 Regional Trail to the Peaks to Plains (P2P) trail is being improved. A 10’ trail and 5’ soft surface path will be constructed to connect the Clear Creek Trail and US 6 Regional Trail to the P2P trail. The trail width will remain the same, no additional disturbance to the area will occur during construction or afterward. A portion of the existing trail will remain natural surface for runners and those with orthopedic issues or who prefer that type of surface. The natural surface trail width will vary, and the concrete trail will be 10 feet wide. The new concrete trail will also be stained for a more natural appearance and to match the P2P Trail.
Q: Why does the trail need to change?
A: The expected use of the trail will change it drastically and if left in its current state will be an issue to maintain with the large increase in traffic and uses and ability to provide accommodation. With the construction of the P2P gateway section, the Grant Terry Trail is no longer a dead end trail connecting to a handful of recreational trails on Lookout Mountain. It is now connecting the Clear Creek Trail and US 6 Regional Trail to the Peaks to Plains trail.
Q: What are the benefits of a concrete path?
A: With this new connection and consultation with our ADA consultants, there are new standards for the section of the trail between US 6 and the Jefferson County pedestrian bridge. Once this happens, we either need to upgrade the section to meet the standards or add that trail to our ADA Transition Plan and commit to the upgrades in the future. The concrete surface will endure the increased use that will occur as more segments of the P2P Trail are completed. This durable, year-round surface will help address seasonal flooding and muddy conditions, as well as help stabilize the City of Golden main water line below the trail surface.
Q: Will the entire trail be paved?
A: No. Only the section between the US 6 Bridge and the Jeffco pedestrian bridge will be improved. The section between the pedestrian bridge and the Church Ditch headgate will remain a soft surface as will the Church Ditch Trail.
Q: What are the advantages of doing it now?
A: JCOS has enough contingency left in the P2P gateway section that they have offered to make the needed improvements to the entire section at no cost to the city. If we wait, the cost of the improvements could fall to the city and have to be budgeted in the Capital Improvement Program. The current cost of these improvements is $250-300,000.
Q: Why weren’t these improvement included in the original P2P plan?
A: There are a couple reasons. Golden had raised concerns about increased maintenance costs for the raw water line that runs under GTT. Since the original plan included a paved path that ran parallel to US6 west of the bridge up to the parking area, JCOS did not include improvements to the GTT. This does not change that it is now a multi-use path that will eventually need to be improved. The path parallel to US6 is no longer being constructed making the need to improve GTT more apparent. As mentioned above, JCOS has adequate budget to complete these improvements and has offered to make them as part of the P2P project.
Q: I hear that the soft path may only be two feet wide. How wide will it be?
A: The goal is a five foot soft path adjacent to the concrete trail. In some areas, large trees limit the space for a soft trail and a decision was made to preserve the trees and the tree canopy and have portions of the soft trail narrower, but always at least two feet. Additionally, there are plans to add an offshoot section of trail that would be entirely soft surface near this area that is approximately the same length.
Construction is slated to start Monday, June 28th. It’s unclear whether this may change. What is clear is that more traffic is coming to the Grant Terry Trail area.
I am encouraging JCOS and the City of Golden staff to provide additional communication regarding the updates to the project’s paved concrete section on the north side of Grant Terry Trail. I think it would also be beneficial to understand how much traffic (pedestrian, cars, bikes, etc.) is forecast to come with completion of this project.
If you would like to reach out to respectfully share your thoughts, and to learn more and have additional questions about the project answered, here are a few resources:
Tom Hoby Jefferson County Director of the Parks and Open Space Division email@example.com
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 Golden, Colorado
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!
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
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!
From our family to yours, we hope this finds you safely wrapping up a tumultuous 2020 with eyes to the future. I go into 2021 with feelings of sadness and gratitude, missing time with loved ones, grateful to live in a community with people of good heart and character, and the healthy outdoors at every turn.I am hopeful that scientific and fact-based solutions will see us past this stage of the global pandemic.
Vaccine options are arriving even as I type this: May we have renewed energy to be as safe as possible until widespread immunity is achieved we’ve tamped down the fires of the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus, a.k.a. COVID-19.
In the meantime: Masks, physical distancing, staying safer at home…
Vaccines will be safe, vetted and approved by the FDA. They will be securely managed, and vaccines will be FREE for everyone.
Please, please, please remain safe through the Holidays… and through Winter and Spring. As a hospice nurse seeing patients with COVID-19, I know we remain in the thick of it, with significant mortality rates for fellow residents who remain impacted by this horrific pandemic.
Gratitude Looking back, I am thankful for the tremendous work accomplished under difficult conditions by our City Staff, Boards & Commissions Volunteers, Residents, fellow Councilors & Mayor and Community Partners (BGoldN, Golden Civic Foundation, Foothills Art Center, our food banks and so many more…).
We addressed issues of a global pandemic, racial equity and an economic crisis – while remaining focused on more traditionally local issues that matter to Golden residents such as parking, historic preservation, zoning and character, safety and more.
And this is why I’m optimistic about Golden’s Future. Let’s enjoy this season to reflect and bid adieu safely to 2020 and get ready for 2021!
Thank you for continuing to engage and keep Golden the community we share and love.A Happy and Safe Holidays to you and your family,
Bill Fisher Ward 4 City Councilor Golden, Colorado
While our last Council meeting of the year was held this past Thursday, we are gaining traction on many issues going into the new year. . .
(Note: speaking of City Council meetings, starting January 12th, 2021, Council will begin holding meetings on Tuesdays instead of Thursday evenings.)Holidays Reimagined
Golden’s Holiday activities and Olde Golden Christmas have been reimagined, and I’m impressed by the creativity and wonderful events to keep our holiday season alive.
Visit Golden has information on the myriad activities available, starting with Candlelight Nights: FAC Holiday Art Market, Ice sculpture, History Park Holiday Stroll and Lights, Miners Alley Playhouse virtual offerings and more…
School of Mines & Golden IGAInterGovernmental AgreementAfter years of negotiating, Council has authorized release of a draft IGA for public neighborhood review.
Mayor Pro-Tem Casey Brown and I will host a virtual public review of the IGA with the City Manager’s office next Thursday, December 17th at 6:30pm. Primary impacted neighbors will receive postcard reminders, and anyone is welcome to join.
Pro Tip: Normally I don’t recommend reading legal memos, however the November 10, 2020 Attorney’s Memo release by Council is a winner.
For those interested in joining this meeting, I’ll publish a link to the Virtual Meeting on my website.
Activating the Astor HouseAstor House negotiations with the Foothills Art Center are successfully coming to a close! I expect Council to approve the agreements at our first meeting in January, thus fulfilling our community’s commitment to preservation and letting this next phase move forward.
Thanks to so many residents who provided thoughtful input and the energy that will make the Astor House a key part of our Historic Downtown for decades to come.
Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI)City Council formed the JEDI subcommittee to help guide ongoing actions by our City Government. Our conversations with the Community and Golden Police Department continue to build trust with the men and women of our Police department, and to understand our nation’s legacy and the need to be proactive and anti-racist.
This past week, with a firm commitment towards justice, the GPD requested and City Council committed nearly a million dollars to accelerate body worn cameras for our police department (who was ahead of the game and investigated this option a few years ago). To stay involved, visit Guiding Golden or consider community organizations such as the Golden Anti-Racist Collective.
Our Golden Fire Department, led by Chief Alicia Welch, has also been working hard on issues of diversity and inclusion:
”Last year the Golden Fire Department entered into a partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs as part of a diversity and inclusion grant program. Five other fire departments in addition to GFD engaged in this process, and the result of the project is the Guide for Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Department.”
As Chief Welch noted recently to Council, “I am proud of the work we did here, and to have the GFD highlighted as a fire department who is doing the right things to make our profession inclusive and distinct.”
#2021 on TapComing into the New Year we have many initiatives focusing on health and safety of Golden. For example, we expect to re-visit the impact of flavored nicotine and vaping products on our children. If you have an interest in getting involved in this discussion, please let me know!
Look for more information on sustainability initiatives. At this week’s meeting Council approved measures put forth by CSAB (Community Sustainability Advisory Board) to study increased renewable energy usage in Golden and took the GoEV pledge to electrify our transportation system.
The Heart of Golden remains on track for additional action next year, as does the Zoning Code rewrite task force efforts to align construction and growth in Golden with our Vision 2030 and neighborhood plans. This is how we, as a community, help direct and manage change and reflect positive growth in Golden.
Beyond these, sound and air pollution mitigation remain topics for discussion and action due to the presence of the Coors power plant and wastewater treatment plants, as well as multiple highways criss-crossing our valley.
Open Space continues front of mind, supporting local businesses as well as our many schools continues to be a priority… I look forward to joining you in moving the needle on these and so much more in 2021.
October Weekend Updates: Astor House, Police listening session & moreRegister Here
At 6pm on Thursday, Oct 29th, Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick and Golden City Manager Jason Slowinski will be participating in a virtual listening session focused on the topic of racial equity.
The primary goal of the session is to listen to questions, suggestions, feedback, and stories from the community to create better understanding between the City and community members, particularly community members of color. This event is one of the first steps in the process to make Golden a more welcoming place. You may also call to join the conference by phone at +1-408-418-9388.
The next step will be to host a virtual Community Town Hall to take a deeper dive into the topics brought up during the listening session. More details to come. City Council and Staff are taking to heart a focus to improve racial equity and justice, and advocating for more equal opportunity.
Golden 2021-2022 Operating Budget As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and even prior to the financial crisis, City Manager Slowinski and City Council (even prior to my election) responded swiftly and appropriately with financial controls and spending and hiring freezes and reductions.
We are the beneficiaries. While revenues (primarily sales taxes) are likely to be down about 8% this year, spending is down more. Our critical reserves, projected to end at a healthy 22%, will likely end the year even higher at 27%. I’ll say that again: our financial cushion will improve during 2020.
So, the City is in good financial shape. This could have been very different!
City Council, during our study session last night, encouraged maintaining a conservative spending outlook. I and other councilors are encouraging our team to find ways to support health and safety needs of our residents and employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and financial crisis.
The City’s Finance Director, Jeff Hansen, expects continued cuts, wage freezes and belt tightening, with 2019 revenues rebounding hopefully by about 2023.
Much of our budget depends on sales taxes, which direct how we focus our energies and limits how we think about spending.
Amendment B directly affects the City of Golden’s flexibility in spending and management of our budget. I encourage everyone to take a strong look at this bipartisan measure. It provides greater flexibility to local communities such as Golden in how we manage budgets, revenues, and expenses, and reduces the need to focus on sales taxes. And FYI – it does not raise taxes.
I can see the headlines now 🙂 Astor House to be Preserved and Enhanced! Activating an important area of downtown! City Council agrees with residents’ desire to preserve Golden’s History!Literally almost 50 years in the making!
Well, okay, the most recent process has been at least several years in the making, including the Astor House Alliance, West Downtown neighborhoods, involved residents, members of Friends of the Astor House, the Golden Civic Foundation, Golden History Museums, City Council and Staff and more…
The Astor House Moves Forward City Council voted last week to direct City Staff to move forward with negotiations with the Foothills Arts Center to improve, restore, preserve, and operate Golden’s Astor House and Astor House Park. The City will retain ownership and Council added a Local Landmark status for the Astor House earlier this summer. Visit Guiding Golden for links to the FAC proposal – it’s a fairly large document.
City News You Can Use Heart of Golden refining process With a bold relaunch, the Heart of Golden is in full swing. Be a part of the future of Golden’s Clear Creek corridor through Downtown, and make history by providing your input!
I especially like the chance to be a visionary: “Design your own corridor.” Click the button below to get started at the Heart of Golden
City of Golden Special Events policy Quick review: When I was on Council a decade ago (oh, geez, I promised myself I’d never say that… ;-), we took what was then considered a controversial step: we acknowledged that the City has a role to play with special events (and not just the groups that put them on).
In 2015-2016 the City went further to identify changes and create our current Special Events policy, and ask for event holders to share in the burden of expenses from the event (trash, setup, location fees, etc.).
Fast forward to 2020: During my campaign (and really the last year and more), it’s become clear from almost every resident of Golden that we need to re-evaluate and extend our Special Events policies and process.
Everyone has an event they love, and usually one they don’t love so much. Too commercial? Not Local enough? Too crowded? Too many lane closures downtown? Etc…
I’ve pushed for a more considered conversation, and Deputy City Manager Carly Lorentz has been working this year with Special Events Coordinator Diane Tiberi to address events. Last night Council discussed Special Events at our study session. It’s worth a watch if you have time (I mean, it’s no Ted Lasso, but it’s local). Read the City Council meeting packet here.
Spooky Halloween Reminders
Tips on staying safe from the State of Colorado and Golden:
As we enter the holiday season, Jefferson County Public Health and the CDC are sharing that COVID-19 cases are increasing dramatically. As we gather for small personal events, please remain safe. Gatherings should be no more than 10 people, use physical distancing, and try to be outside when possible. Wear masks. Wash your hands.
October Golden Resident Branch Drop-Off (Today and tomorrow!) The City of Golden will host a special event for the community to drop off branches broken from the recent storm to assist residents with their yard clean-up on October 16 and 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read details here.
Reminder: Make a plan to vote this year!
Your vote matters. Talk to your college-aged children. Sit down with your high-school seniors turning 18. Have “the talk” with your parents 😉
You can vote in person, by mail, or dropping your ballot off at a local collection drop box. JeffCo Voting Locations
Golden has four drop-off locations this year! Lots of opportunity to be safe and vote as early as possible to ensure your ballot gets counted. I wouldn’t mail in your ballot after about October 26th to ensure it arrives in time.Pro Tip: Voting early slows the stream of phone calls and political mailers. Have additional thoughts? Continue sharing them via Feedback and Social Media links below.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Bill Fisher, RN Ward 4 City Councilor Golden, Colorado