August 14, 2018

Jacob’s Golden Update 12/2/08: Facing the Economic Challenges of 2009 and Other News

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1. Facing the Economic Challenges of 2009
2. Moving Forward With Golden Vision 2030
3. Council Considers Green Building Standard for Municipal Construction
4. Sales Tax Refund Program Resumes in January
5. Free Tree Recycling
6. Scouting in Golden
7. Subscribe to Ward 4’s Other Newsletter
8. Other Upcoming Events
9. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, December 4

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1. Facing the Economic Challenges of 2009

We know 2009 is likely to be a challenging year, but one thing you can have confidence in is the city’s financial condition. As a result of steady, prudent management for many years now, the City of Golden is in excellent financial shape and is in a good position to weather the storm. We have very strong reserves, the community’s infrastructure (including our roads, water and wastewater system, and our parks and trails) are in good shape and improving every year, and we have maintained a conservative debt policy, borrowing money for major capital projects only where doing so saves the community money and only within tight limits.

Several weeks ago we adopted a 2009-2010 budget that maintains this degree of caution and fiscal discipline. We’ll continue to maintain our high quality public safety services, we’ll continue maintaining the community’s infrastructure (our roads, our water system, etc.), and we’ll continue to make key investments in Golden’s economic health and quality of life. But our 2009 budget will be even more conservative than usual: freezing most hiring, cutting expenses, and delaying many projects until we are confident we can afford them. And despite a very cautious approach focused on core services and improving quality of life, next year’s budget still maintains a safety reserve of over 17% (the City’s long-held policy is to be between 10% and 20%).

This budget is the result of many months of discussion, paring down expenses, hard choices, and some great work by the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (open to anyone interested in serving, by the way). There are no guarantees, of course, but know that the city is in very good shape to weather the financial challenges ahead.

2. Moving Forward With Golden Vision 2030

The coming year will include a particularly important community process: Golden Vision 2030. We’ll be asking the entire Golden community to answer a deceptively complicated question: “What’s your vision for Golden in 2030?” On Thursday night City Council will consider moving forward with two important Golden Vision 2030 items. The first is a contract with the Orton Family Foundation. The City received a $100,000 grant from the foundation for our community visioning and planning process, and we are now considering finalizing the contract with specific expectations and deadlines. As proposed, we’ll formally kick off the process in January and should have completed the main part of the process by the end of the year. The Golden Vision 2030 process will energetically invite participation from everyone in the community. We’ll also create a diverse “Local Advisory Committee” to help guide the process. This is the focus of the second Golden Vision 2030 resolution on Thursday night’s agenda. As proposed, it would include someone from the Chamber of Commerce, the Golden Cultural Alliance, the school district, Jefferson County, Colorado School of Mines, and a representative from each of most of the city’s boards and commissions.

3. Council Considers Green Building Standard for Municipal Construction

Among the Sustainability Advisory Board’s recommendations to City Council in previous months was the adoption of a green building standard for new city construction. Thursday night’s agenda includes a resolution that would establish LEED Silver as the standard for all projects in excess of 5,000 square feet. The United States Green Building Council developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) code as a way to establish consistent standards for green construction. The system is widely used across the country and seems to fit our needs in Golden quite well. There is some additional construction cost associated with meeting the standard, but as the size of the building increases the vast majority of the additional cost goes to features with measurable economic and environmental benefits.

4. Sales Tax Refund Program Resumes in January

Golden has a rebate program for sales tax paid on groceries intended to help seniors, low-income residents, and disabled residents of our community. You must have lived within the city limits for at least 90 consecutive days in 2008, and the refund amount is $50 (or pro-rated if you lived in the city for less than the full year). You can get the form on the city’s web site beginning January 2 and you must submit it by April 15.

5. Free Tree Recycling

The City of Golden is providing free tree recycling this year. You can drop off your tree at the Golden recycling center just off of Golden Gate Canyon Road from December 26 to January 25. After you remove the decorations you can leave your tree at the south end of the recycling center. Free mulch is available at the same location.

6. Scouting in Golden

I had the great pleasure last week of meeting with both Cub Scouts Pack 48, Den 10 and with Boy Scout Troop 130. The Cub Scouts visited City Hall, asked great questions about city government and serving as mayor, and had the opportunity to watch the swearing in of Golden’s newest police officer. Councilor Sloan joined me at the Troop 130 meeting, and we both fielded a wide array of thoughtful, sometimes tough questions about city policy, politics, and citizenship. It was great fun and inspiring to meet with both groups. We’ll sometimes get Boy Scout and Cub Scout visitors at City Council meetings, as well. They are always welcome, and I’m happy to meet with any other groups in Golden.

7. Subscribe to Ward 4’s Other Newsletter

Councilor Bill Fisher, the city councilor representing Ward 4, has his own web site and electronic newsletter. You’ll find his website at www.williamfisher.com, and I believe to subscribe to his newsletter all you have to do is send him an email. If you live in Ward 4 I recommend it.

8. Other Upcoming Events

* Candlelight Walk, December 5. The walk begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends up by the Golden Visitors Center. I think this is one of Golden’s most exceptional events.

* Olde Golden Christmas on Parade, December 6. The Christmas parade through Historic Downtown Golden begins on 10th Street and includes floats, clowns, Christmas characters, music, and Santa. After the parade you’ll fine entertainment on the Avenue and in the businesses along with free horse drawn carriage rides. The parade will also ramble down Washington Ave. on December 13 and 20.

* Holiday Art Market, through December 30. This is Foothills Art Center’s annual holiday gift sale (809 15th St.). They’ve also got fresh baked cookies and hot cider.

* Golden’s First Friday, January 2. First Fridays in downtown Golden continue with entertainment and carriage rides.

* Looking Forward Presentation Series – Climate Change, Rising Energy Prices, and Peak Oil: Implications for Golden and the Region, January 8, 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS RESCHEDULED FROM ITS ORIGINAL DATE.

* Looking Forward Presentation Series – Sustaining Golden’s Economic Vitality, January 22, 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS RESCHEDULED FROM ITS ORIGINAL DATE.

9. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, December 4

Our next city council meeting is a regular business meeting on December 4. You can download the agenda (as well as minutes from previous meetings) on the city’s web site.

Key agenda items include:

* Two resolutions on Golden Vision 2030, one approving the contract with the Orton Family Foundation to help coordinate this community visioning and planning process, and the other establishing a diverse “Local Advisory Committee” to help guide the process.

* A resolution establishing LEED Silver as the standard for all municipal construction projects in excess of 5,000 square feet.

* A resolution to continue Golden’s involvement with the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council.

* A resolution renewing the city’s contract with the marketing firm CCT Advertising, continuing to rely on the Community Marketing Fund (funded by the vendors fee).

* A proposal for monitoring progress on the recommendations made by all three task forces.

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Jacob Smith, Mayor
jsmith@cityofgolden.net
(303) 216-1680