October 19, 2017

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Golden’s Economic Future Presents its Final Report to Council

During last week’s study session, members of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Golden’s Economic Future presented their final report to City Council.

I think the most important conclusion from the panel’s report is also the starkest: the cost of doing everything that we in Golden have identified as our vision for the future far exceeds the revenue we are likely to have available to pay for it. The city will presumably continue to find new efficiencies, and I’m sure we’ll continue finding clever ways to do more with less, such as the public-private partnerships that produced the Golden Community Garden and the Bike Skills Park. But the gap between what we want and what it will cost to provide all of that is in the tens of millions of dollars; there is no way to avoid the uncomfortable fact that in the coming years we will either have to scale back our ambitions, increase our revenues, or a combination of both.

Council’s direction to the group (I was one of the 11 members) was very explicit: brainstorm a wide range of ideas for reducing expenses, increasing revenues, and otherwise closing the gap between the cost of the community’s vision and the resources available to implement it. We were directed not to evaluate or prioritize those ideas, but instead just focus on creating a diverse list of potential options. The ideas range from modest to extreme, and from simple to very politically charged. The panel was pretty diverse in terms of politics and perspective, and we had some vigorous discussions about the challenges facing the city and some of the ways we might tackle those challenges, but in the end we agreed to present Council with an expansive list of ideas.

It’s important to emphasize that the panel isn’t endorsing any of the ideas we presented. In fact, our individual reaction to each of the ideas varied widely, and in many instances people felt they couldn’t evaluate specific ideas, anyway, without a great deal more information and analysis. City Council asked us to come up with a wide-ranging list of brainstormed ideas; that we did.

On August 16, City Council is scheduled to formally accept the panel’s report. The next steps are up to City Council, but expect they’ll take some time to digest it and then figure out a good way to kick off a bigger community conversation about these issues. Learn more about the panel and download the final report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Golden’s Economic Future.

What’s Happening in Golden

August 9, City Council Business Meeting and Study Session
City Hall at 7 p.m. The agenda includes appointment to the Golden Urban Renewal Authority, a resolution in support of funding measures for Jeffco schools, amendments to the Rooney Road Sports Complex and recycling center agreements with Jefferson County, a presentation to City Council by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Golden’s Economic Future, GURA’s quarterly report to City Council, and a discussion about the creation of a Downtown Development Task Force. City Council is meeting with Colorado School of Mines representatives for dinner before the official meeting starts. You can review the complete agenda, download the packet, and watch the live screencast, all on the city’s website.

August 10, Movies & Music in the Park
The next Movies & Music in the Park event features Dwight Mark at 7pm followed by The Muppet Movie at about 8:30. If the weather holds, you’ll find Movies & Music in the Park on 17, as well (with Tommy & the Tangerines and the movie Dolphin Tale).

August 11, Golden Farmer’s Market
The Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday from 8am – 1pm through October 6. If you haven’t been down yet this year, you’ll find it’s even bigger and better than last year.

August 18-19, Golden Fine Arts Festival
Golden’s premier art fest – the Golden Fine Arts Festival – runs all weekend long on 11th Street alongside the Clear Creek History Park.

August 23, City Council Business Meeting
City Hall at 7 p.m. You can review the agenda about a week before the meeting, and you can watch the live screencast, all on the city’s website.

August 25, USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Golden is hosting the start of Stage 6 of this year’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Just like last year, Golden is hosting a bunch of great events all weekend, including the “King of the Mountain” Lookout Mountain Hill Climb, the Taste of Golden block party, the movie Breaking Away at the Lions Park ballfields, and more.

August 28, Golden Cruise
The Golden Cruise is always the last Tuesday of the month, which means the next one is August 28. The action starts at Woody’s in downtown Golden at around 5:30pm with beer, free bike tune-ups, and plenty of frivolity. The Cruise starts at around 7pm.

September 1, Coffee With a Councilor
For folks living in the southern half of Golden, this is a chance to hear and ask questions of Councilor Saoirse Charis-Graves and other members of the City Council representing your part of town.

September 1, Golden Super Cruise
The Golden Super Cruise is cruising’ this summer, with official festivities running from 5-9pm. This is Golden’s car cruiser classic (not to be confused with the Golden Cruise, our bike cruiser event). There is one more Super Cruise evening scheduled for October 6.

September 7, First Friday Street Fair
Golden’s First Friday Street Fair continues in September. You’ll find inexpensive food, beer, music, kid-friendly entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more in historic downtown Golden from 5 – 10pm.

Two good websites for looking up other events in town are the city’s community calendar and Golden.com.

Radio Golden #10 – July 27, 2012: Jeffco school funding measures, Golden’s Blue Ribbon Committee, and more

The Radio Golden crew hit a nice milestone on Friday, recording our tenth Radio Golden podcast. We spent some time talking about the upcoming final report of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Golden’s Economic Future (currently scheduled for the August 9 City Council meeting). We also had a couple of terrific guests, Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman, to chat about the Jeffco Schools funding measures on the ballot this November. Both are members of the Jeffco School Board and have been active in Jeffco Schools for a long time.

You can listen to the episode on the Radio Golden website, download the mp3 from iTunes, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (for free!).

Also, a special shout out to our two sponsors, Debbie Johnson & Brian Q. of Re-Assurance Real Estate and our newest sponsor Buglet Solar.

The City Manager’s State of the City: 2012

City Manager Mike Bestor presented his annual “State of the City” address last week to the Chamber of Commerce. The short version of Mike’s talk: the city is in great shape.

He spent some time highlighting city efforts from last year that he was particularly proud of, including the Golden Police Department’s role in breaking open a very difficult multi-state serial rapist case (the rapist was recently sentenced to 327 1/2 years, an outcome for which GPD gets a lot of credit). His highlights included the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (40,000 visitors in Golden!), wrapping up the Golden Vision 2030 project, and the national recognition earned by multiple city departments (including the Parks and Recreation Department’s “Gold Medal” award).

He mentioned some issues that are likely to take some time later in the year, including medical marijuana, the beltway fight (“a legal rodeo that will go on most of this year”), and the Blue Ribbon Panel’s upcoming work on Golden’s economic future.

Nothing particularly controversial and no surprises.