October 20, 2018

Jacob’s Golden Update: The Home Stretch on City Elections and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: October 19, 2009

1. City Council Elections: The Home Stretch
2. Golden Adopts Temporary Moratorium on New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
3. New Bike/Pedestrian Connector to the Rec Center in the Works
4. Kyffin Elementary Wins Healthy Schools Grant
5. Jefferson County Board of Education Elections
6. Political Campaign Sign Violations
7. Smith for Golden Blog Roundup
8. Other Upcoming Events
9. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, October 22

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1. City Council Elections: The Home Stretch

The ballots are out and it sounds like most folks who are registered to vote at their current Golden address have received theirs.  I posted on my blog a full list of everyone running for office as well as contact information.  I strongly encourage you to learn about the candidates running in your ward and make an informed choice.

My endorsements: Marcia Claxton in Ward 1, Joe Behm in Ward 2, and Bill Fisher in Ward 4.  I didn’t weigh in on the Ward 3 race.  There are very good reasons to support all three of these folks which I outline in a recent newsletter.  There is also at least one very good reason not to vote for their opponents: Marian Olson is endorsing them.  It’s always great to see a lot of interest in serving on the City Council, but Marian’s support should frighten any potential candidate away.  Marian Olson has never won a lawsuit against the city, but her serial frivolous lawsuits (including Councilor Mary Weaver’s lawsuit against the city, which Marian funded) have cost the Golden taxpayers nearly a million dollars.  Rather than engage in honest discussion and debate, Marian smears and slanders everyone she disagrees with in her opinion mailings.  And Marian supports candidates she thinks will follow her marching orders but if they ever don’t she throws them under the bus.

Yet another reason to avoid anyone endorsed by Marian Olson: her latest issue of “The Voice of Golden” is yet one more in her long-tradition of fact-challenged and mean-spirited mailings.  This latest issue is mostly a rehash of inaccurate and previously discredited claims.  In case anyone wants to double-check the facts, I’ve posted some info and some links on my blog.

One way to learn more about the candidates is the City Council Candidate Forum.  If you missed it two weeks ago you can still watch one of the reruns on channel 8 or on the web.  It’s a great opportunity to see each of the candidates face to face (with two exceptions: Councilor Mary Weaver was about forty minutes late, so she only answered some of the questions, and candidate Art Erwin had a family emergency and couldn’t attend).

Finally, if you haven’t seen it, the Golden Transcript endorsed Marcia Claxton in Ward 1 (“It is time to bring civility and council representation that does not lean toward narrow interests”), Joe Behm in Ward 2, Diane Chesbro in Ward 3, and Bill Fisher in Ward 4.

Remember: your ballot must be received by November 3rd at 7 p.m.  I suggest that either you mail it by the Friday before or hand deliver it to Golden City Hall or the Jefferson County Building by 7 p.m. on Tuesday the 3rd.

2. Golden Adopts Temporary Moratorium on New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Medical marijuana dispensaries are the locations where individuals can fill prescriptions for medical marijuana related to painful chronic or terminal illnesses.  I think most medical marijuana use is associated with painful chronic or terminal illnesses like some cancers.  Golden has never had a dispensary, so when the first two applications were submitted in recent weeks we looked closely at our code and decided that our current code already imposes substantial limitations on where they can locate.  We did not anticipate the flood of applications that is now sweeping across the Front Range, and our count now totals four new businesses and another half-dozen or more people who’ve expressed an interest.  When Colorado’s voters adopted Amendment 20 (“The Medical Use of Marijuana Act”) in 2000, they clearly said they believe medical marijuana dispensaries should be legal, and the City is going to honor that constitutional amendment, but we want to make sure we have thoughtful, responsible rules governing their location and use.  Staff is doing research on how other cities are handling dispensaries, and within a few months they will report back and City Council will figure out a long-term approach.  In the meantime, City Council adopted a temporary moratorium on any new dispensaries.

3. New Bike/Pedestrian Connector to the Rec Center in the Works

Councilor Bill Fisher has been championing a small but important project on 8th Street just west of the Community Center.  As everyone who walks or bikes from there north across the pedestrian bridge over Highway 58 knows, there is no sidewalk connecting the path with the Community Center along 8th.  It’s a short stretch, but it’s a key stretch for parents, kids, seniors, and everyone else that is now forced to walk on the street.  I’m pleased to say that we’ve given the project a green light.  It should be finished by the end of the year.

4. Kyffin Elementary Wins Healthy Schools Grant

Although Kyffin isn’t within the city boundaries, many of its students live in town and those students mostly end up at Bell and Golden High, so I’m happy to pass on the news that the school was awarded a Healthy Schools Grant through the Healthy Schools Colorado program.  The funding and support will allow them to establish a Coordinated School Health program – one of ten in Jefferson County – at the school.  Congrats to Principal Braginetz and the entire Kyffin team.

5. Jefferson County Board of Education Elections

In addition to the four Golden City Council seats up in this year’s November election, three of five Jefferson County School Board seats are up as well.  Golden is represented by Sue Marinelli, who also happens to be the Board President at the moment.  I don’t know Laura Boggs, who is challenging Sue for the seat, but I can say that Sue has been friendly and supportive in my interactions with her.  I know also that she works hard and seems to be respected among teachers and parents.  The school district has short candidate profiles for each.  Sue’s phone is listed as 303-982-6769 and I believe her email is marinelli_65@msn.com.  Laura’s is listed as 303-988-2484 and rounder@aol.com.

6. Political Campaign Sign Violations

Political signs are as much a part of elections as hot dogs are to baseball, and candidates usually do a pretty good job of following the rules.  We had some violations this weekend, however, so I’ve asked the city manager to send a notice to all the candidates alerting them to the problems and reminding them of the rules.  Although the city code doesn’t normally allow people to place political signs in city rights of way along streets, it does allow for temporary weekend permits to do just that so long as they aren’t too close to intersections or driveways.  What happened this weekend?  Art Erwin and Mary Weaver (on behalf of herself and Bob Szulczewski) applied for permits to place their campaign signs in city rights-of-way, and those signs went up.  The problem: the candidates or their proxies put them up illegally, placing them too close to street corners.  And I know of at least one other candidate (and heard about others) with signs up illegally as well.

It might make sense to just keep political signs of the public right-of-way (the medians in between streets or along sidewalks) altogether, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to change a rule like this right before an election.  Instead, I am going to recommend to the City Council that we hold off on considering this change until after November 3.  We had one other problem this weekend as well: staff erred in issuing the weekend permits in the first place since none of the candidates showed proof of liability insurance, which the code clearly requires.  Whether we should require insurance is another issue we’ll want take up as well, and the city manager is planning to bring this up at our City Council meeting on Thursday.  If you have any thoughts on this issue I’d love to hear them: should political campaign signs be permitted in the public right-of-ways and, if so, with what restrictions?

7. Smith for Golden Blog Roundup

Posts on my blog since my last newsletter include:

8. Other Upcoming Events

  • Halloween Crazy Days, October 30, 3 – 6 p.m.  This is the place to be if you’ve got kids wanting to trick or treat or if you are the one doing the trick-or-treating.  This year the downtown merchants are hosting this great family event in Historic Downtown Golden on Friday, October 30th from 3-6pm.
  • Colorado Environmental Film Festival, November 5 – 9.  This terrific event is hosted once again by the American Mountaineering Center in Golden.  You’ll find details on their web site.
  • First Friday, November 6.  Many of the downtown shops, stores, and restaurants stay open late, often with treats and specials.  You’ll also find entertainment and free horse drawn carriage rides (weather permitting).
  • Golden Civic Foundation Auction and Banquet, November 14.  This is the Civic Foundation’s 34th annual event, this year honoring graduates of Golden High School from the 1930s (“Then and Now”).  The silent auction starts at 5 followed by the dinner at 6:30 and the live auction at 8.  For more information call 303-278-9697 or visit the Civic Foundation website.

9. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, October 22

Our next city council meeting is a regular business meeting on October 22 (this Thursday).  You can download that and review minutes and videos of previous City Council meetings on the city’s web site.  This week’s agenda includes the following issues:

  • 3rd Quarter Financial Report.
  • Public Hearing on the 2010 Operational and Capital Budgets.
  • Discussion and possible decisions on fee changes for historic “certificate of appropriateness” reviews, review and inspection of water and wastewater extensions, site inspection fees, and other fees.
  • Report to City Council on the 2009 Sustaining Golden’s Retail Economy Summit.

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Jacob Smith, Mayor
jsmith@cityofgolden.net
(303) 810-6017
www.SmithforGolden.org