December 11, 2018

Jacob's Golden Update: Sales and Use Tax Update

Jacob’s Golden Update: July 13, 2009

1. Some Tough Choices Ahead: Sales and Use Tax Update
2. Courts Reject Councilor Weaver’s Lawsuit Against Golden (Again)
3. The New Beltway Proposal: Still a Really Bad Deal
4. Golden Vision 2030 Block Parties Coming Up:  Heritage Road West, Heritage Road East, and Golden Hills/Golden Heights Neighborhoods
5. Golden’s Community Garden Cuts Ribbon and Makes the Denver Post
6. The Junior Arch
7. Emergency Road Repair At Heritage Road and Colfax Under Way
8. Meet Our New State Representative (Representative Max Tyler)
9. Leadership Golden Applications Due 8/1/09
10. The Colorado Municipal League Conference
11. Blog Roundup
12. Other Upcoming Events
13. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, July 16

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[Read more…]

Jacob’s Golden Update: Sales and Use Tax Update

Jacob’s Golden Update: July 13, 2009

1. Some Tough Choices Ahead: Sales and Use Tax Update
2. Courts Reject Councilor Weaver’s Lawsuit Against Golden (Again)
3. The New Beltway Proposal: Still a Really Bad Deal
4. Golden Vision 2030 Block Parties Coming Up:  Heritage Road West, Heritage Road East, and Golden Hills/Golden Heights Neighborhoods
5. Golden’s Community Garden Cuts Ribbon and Makes the Denver Post
6. The Junior Arch
7. Emergency Road Repair At Heritage Road and Colfax Under Way
8. Meet Our New State Representative (Representative Max Tyler)
9. Leadership Golden Applications Due 8/1/09
10. The Colorado Municipal League Conference
11. Blog Roundup
12. Other Upcoming Events
13. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, July 16

**********
[Read more…]

Jacob’s Golden Update: Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole

Jacob’s Golden Update: April 22, 2009
Happy Earth Day!

1. Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole
2. Eliminating the Campaign Finance Loophole
3. All-Ward Town Hall Meeting: May 5
4. Redeveloping the Area Across From the High School
5. Free Horizon Montessori Recognized as a High Performing School
6. Council Approves Golden Community Garden
7. Parks and Recreation Board Opening: Deadline April 30
8. Improving Disabled Access in Golden
9. Council Selects Plan for Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford
10. Creating a “Moderate Housing Pool” Under the City’s Growth Limit
11. Other Upcoming Events
12. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 23

[Read more…]

Jacob's Golden Update: Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole

Jacob’s Golden Update: April 22, 2009
Happy Earth Day!

1. Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole
2. Eliminating the Campaign Finance Loophole
3. All-Ward Town Hall Meeting: May 5
4. Redeveloping the Area Across From the High School
5. Free Horizon Montessori Recognized as a High Performing School
6. Council Approves Golden Community Garden
7. Parks and Recreation Board Opening: Deadline April 30
8. Improving Disabled Access in Golden
9. Council Selects Plan for Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford
10. Creating a “Moderate Housing Pool” Under the City’s Growth Limit
11. Other Upcoming Events
12. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 23

[Read more…]

Jacob’s Golden Update: North Neighborhoods Plan Nearing Completion and Other News

1. North Neighborhoods Plan Nearing Completion
2. All-Ward Town Hall Meeting: Rescheduled
3. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford
4. An Oral History of Golden and the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff
5. Golden Community Garden Decision This Thursday
6. The Pothole Hotline and Pothole Contest
7. Board Openings: Parks and Recreation, Fire Pension Board, and Accessibility
8. “Complete Streets” Update
9. Register Your Phone for 911 Notifications
10. Other Upcoming Events
11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 9

**********

1. North Neighborhoods Plan Nearing Completion

This is the latest in a series of neighborhood plans intended to give members of our community more control over the character of their own neighborhoods.  We’ve already completed one such plan in the 8th and 9th Street Neighborhood and we’ve got two more under way as well, a South Neighborhoods Plan and another for the East Street Neighborhood.  I will support any other neighborhood that wants to develop its own plan.

After a lengthy process including two open houses and two walking tours of the neighborhood, the city staff and the Planning Commission now have a proposed North Neighborhoods Plan.  Some of the priorities in the proposed plan include:

  • improving pedestrian connections, trails, and open space;
  • improving the school zone pedestrian area at Mitchell Elementary;
  • strengthening the “site development standards” and adopting “infill regulations” to help ensure that new buildings and additions fit with the character of the neighborhoods; and
  • encouraging the creation of neighborhood associations.

The feedback so far has been very positive.  At our City Council meeting on Thursday night, we’ll have a public hearing and probably adopt the proposed plan or something like it.  We’d love to hear from you by email before Thursday night or at the public hearing if you support the plan or if you have any concerns or suggested improvements.

2. All-Ward Town Hall Meeting: Rescheduled

The entire Golden City Council is hosting an All-City Town Hall Meeting later this spring.  It’s a great chance to meet and chat with all of your City Council representatives.  It’s also a great opportunity to get updates and ask questions on the beltway, the city’s economic health, and any other city issues.  It was originally planned for this week but we inadvertently scheduled it on the first night of Passover.  In order to accommodate all members of our community we are going to bump it a few weeks.  We will announce and advertise the new date as soon as we finalize it.

3. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford

Ensuring that all of our kids can walk or bike to their neighborhood school is the highest priority of our walkability and bikeability efforts.  Both Kimball Avenue and Crawford Street are scheduled to be repaved this summer, and we are taking advantage of needing to work on these streets anyway to widen the sidewalks, slow down traffic, and in other ways make it easier and safer to walk or bike to Shelton.  The basic tradeoff: the wider the sidewalks, the narrower the street.  We hear quite a bit about cars traveling too fast near the school, and narrowing the street will slow down traffic, but also requires drivers to be more alert and can reduce the amount of on-street parking.  We’ve got a range of options – we’ve got sketches of what the streets could look like under each – and we welcome your feedback.  If you haven’t already weighed in, please send me an email (jsmith@cityofgolden.net) or come to the City Council meeting on Thursday night this week.  We will probably make a decision at this meeting.

4. An Oral History of Golden and the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff

More than 150 people participated in the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff in early March.  It was good fun and many folks contributed great stories and great ideas about the future of Golden.  If you weren’t able to join us, don’t fret . . . we’ve got a series of neighborhood meetings planned all spring and summer long.  Please consider joining us at one of these:

  • May 2 – North Golden (Mesa Meadows, North Ford St.)
  • May 16 – North Golden (Bible Flats, numbered streets, Canyon Point)
  • June 13 – East St.
  • June 27 – Beverly Heights/Lookout Mtn.
  • July 11 – South Golden Road/Rimrock
  • July 25 – Heritage Road West (Heritage Dells/Eagle Ridge) – this may get rescheduled
  • August 8 – Heritage Road East (Golden Ridge/Golden Terrace)
  • August 22 – Golden Hills and Golden Heights

I also hope you’ll take a minute to visit the Community Almanac web site and share your stories and photographs of Golden.

One special treat: we watched Diane Tiberi’s terrific oral history video called “Voices of Golden.”  I know she’s working on getting a higher resolution version online, but this works well and it’s a great compilation of stories about long-time and newer Golden residents.

5. Golden Community Garden Decision This Thursday

In my last newsletter I reported that a new Golden Community Garden looked promising but that we still had some logistical hurdles to overcome.  Well, in just a few weeks we’ve managed to overcome most of those and the new garden looks very much like it will be a reality.  The new garden will be west of the Golden Community Center and south of the Briarwood restaurant on part of the old City Shops land.  The garden, which should open in May, will offer 10′ x 20′ plots to individuals and families or groups.  This is really the product of a terrific group of tenacious, creative, and energetic community volunteers.  City staff also did a great job of working with the community group to sort through the obstacles, and the Denver Urban Gardens has also been really helpful.

The City (through the Sustainability Advisory Board) is contributing some funding, but I know the new garden needs quite a bit more for garden infrastructure, irrigation, soil enhancements, pathway construction, signage, and raised beds for gardeners with special needs.  I know they are very open to in-kind donations of topsoil, tools, and other equipment as well.  You can learn more or get involved by contacting the group by email (goldencommunitygarden@googlegroups.com) or by attending one of the weekly meetings (Friday mornings at 7 am at Windy Saddle and Monday evenings at 8 pm at the American Mountaineering Center).

City Council is scheduled to discuss and vote on a resolution authorizing the use of the old City Shops land at our meeting this Thursday evening.  Feel free to email me (jsmith@cityofgolden.net) any thoughts or comments you might have.

6. The Pothole Hotline and Pothole Contest

Springtime is the season of lengthening days, warm temperatures, and chirping chickadees.  It’s also the time most of our potholes show up after months of freezing and thawing.  We can usually fix potholes within 48 hours of finding them, but it helps the Streets Department a bunch for community members to report them as they show up.  We just launched the 2009 Pothole Hotline and Pothole Contest, which helps us by letting us know where all the potholes are.  You also get a shot at winning a prize – the person reporting the largest pothole each week wins.  You can report a pothole by calling (303-215-8882 x2901) or on the city’s web site.

7. Board Openings: Parks and Recreation, Fire Pension Board, and Accessibility

If you’ve been thinking about contributing to the community, joining one of the City’s advisory boards is one good option, and we’ve got openings on three of them.

One option is the new Accessibility Committee designed to provide input on the accessibility aspects of designs for City of Golden construction projects.  The Committee will also play a role in developing a new Accessibility Master Plan based on the findings of an accessibility audit to be completed later this year.  If you are interested, please contact Dan Hartman, the City’s Public Works Director (dhartman@cityofgolden.net or 303-384-8150).

The Fire Pension Board has a “community member” opening for a two-year term.  The board, comprised of two community members, the mayor, and other people associated with the Golden Fire Department and the City, is responsible for directing the management of the Fire Department’s pension fund.  It is an important role, especially in these challenging economic times.  You can get an application from the City Clerk’s office (clerks@cityofgolden.net or 303-384-8014).

Finally, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board provides guidance to the City Council on the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan, capital improvements, the city’s parks and trails, and other issues related to our parks and recreation system.  They meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.  We will make four appointments to this board, including one alternate, all for four-year terms. You can download the application or get one from the City Clerk’s office (303-384-8014).

I’m not sure of the application deadline for the Accessibility board, but I do know that applications for the other two are due by April 9 at 5:00 p.m. (Thursday this week).

8. “Complete Streets” Update

Many of the recommendations made by last year’s community task forces on walkability and on improving bicycling had to do with how we design streets and sidewalks in Golden.  These recommendations also tied in to some of our Sustainability Initiative efforts, the Downtown Character Plan, and our neighborhood plans.  In order to tackle these recommendations in a comprehensive manner, we are crafting a new “Complete Streets” approach to designing streets from the get-go to accommodate all uses of the street and the sidewalk.  Some of the key elements include keeping the sidewalks wide and protected from the road, safe pedestrian crossings, effective bike lanes and paths, providing safe and adequate parking, providing good access for people in wheelchairs, and the like.  There seemed to be general support on City Council for the idea of having one set of criteria for new street construction, where we can be the most comprehensive, and another approach for street upgrades and renovations, where we usually have greater challenges because of complicated rights of way and other logistics.

In January, city staff provided Council and the community with an extensive briefing on the idea of “Complete Streets.”  In the next few months we’ll dive into more of the details and potentially adopt a formal policy or program later this year.  At our regular business meeting this Thursday night, the Public Works and Planning Directors will provide City Council with an update and briefing on the project.

9. Register Your Phone for 911 Notifications

The City of Golden has an effective reverse 911 notification system, meaning the Emergency Dispatch Center can send a call to individual home phones with critical information about an impending or ongoing emergency.  Jefferson County has now expanded that system to include cell phones for those folks who want to sign up.  The service is free and your information will not be sold to solicitors.  Signing up takes just a few minutes on their web site.

10. Other Upcoming Events

  • Golden Family Easter, April 11.  The event kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with a canned food drive for the Christian Action Guild, a free Easter Egg hunt in Parfet Park (10th & Washington), and other family-friendly events.
  • Opening Night at Miners Alley Playhouse: “Move Over Ms. Markham,” April 17.  The play runs Friday and Saturday nights through May 31, all at 7:30 p.m.
  • Town Hall Meeting with State Senator Moe Keller and State Representative Gwyn Green, Golden City Hall, Saturday April 18.  This is a great chance to hear what’s going on the state legislature and to ask your state representative and state senator questions.  It runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • First Friday, Historic Downtown Golden, May 1.  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).
  • Community Pride Days, May 1-2.  This annual City of Golden event is your chance to get rid of unwanted items and debris for free.  You can drop off construction materials, scrap metal, electronics and computers, tires, and other rubbish at the City Shops facility on the north end of town (1300 Catamount Drive).  The April Informer has all the details as well as coupons for a free appliance pickup and a free hazardous chemicals drop-off.
  • Golden Vision 2030 Neighborhood Meeting, May 2 – North Golden (Mesa Meadows, North Ford St.).

11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 9

Our next city council meeting is a regular business meeting on April 9.  You can download that and review minutes and videos of previous City Council meetings on the city’s web site.  The agenda includes the following issues:

  • First reading on an update to our Ethics Code to remove the “official capacity” potential loophole pertaining to gifts to City officials.
  • First reading of a potential update to the city’s campaign finance rules to clarify the distinction between political committees and issue committees, impose a limit on contributions to political committees, and eliminate a loophole that could allow a candidate to avoid campaign contribution limits.
  • Consideration of a resolution authorizing a new Golden Community Garden on part of the old city shops property.
  • Consideration of a proposal to create a separate pool under the City’s 1% growth system for affordable housing projects.
  • Consideration of the North Neighborhoods Plan, including incorporating the plan into the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
  • Discussion and a possible decision about pedestrian and bicycle improvements on Kimball and Crawford Streets west of Heritage Road.
  • An update on the City’s new Complete Streets Program to better integrate pedestrian and bicycle planning into street improvements.
  • Consideration of a request by Jimmy John’s, the new sandwich restaurant on Washington Avenue downtown, for outdoor seating on the sidewalk.
  • An executive session about an ongoing sales tax dispute with Aramark Educational Services.

**********

Jacob Smith, Mayor
jsmith@cityofgolden.net
(303) 216-168
www.SmithforGolden.org

Jacob's Golden Update: North Neighborhoods Plan Nearing Completion and Other News

1. North Neighborhoods Plan Nearing Completion
2. All-Ward Town Hall Meeting: Rescheduled
3. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford
4. An Oral History of Golden and the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff
5. Golden Community Garden Decision This Thursday
6. The Pothole Hotline and Pothole Contest
7. Board Openings: Parks and Recreation, Fire Pension Board, and Accessibility
8. “Complete Streets” Update
9. Register Your Phone for 911 Notifications
10. Other Upcoming Events
11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 9

**********

1. North Neighborhoods Plan Nearing Completion

This is the latest in a series of neighborhood plans intended to give members of our community more control over the character of their own neighborhoods.  We’ve already completed one such plan in the 8th and 9th Street Neighborhood and we’ve got two more under way as well, a South Neighborhoods Plan and another for the East Street Neighborhood.  I will support any other neighborhood that wants to develop its own plan.

After a lengthy process including two open houses and two walking tours of the neighborhood, the city staff and the Planning Commission now have a proposed North Neighborhoods Plan.  Some of the priorities in the proposed plan include:

  • improving pedestrian connections, trails, and open space;
  • improving the school zone pedestrian area at Mitchell Elementary;
  • strengthening the “site development standards” and adopting “infill regulations” to help ensure that new buildings and additions fit with the character of the neighborhoods; and
  • encouraging the creation of neighborhood associations.

The feedback so far has been very positive.  At our City Council meeting on Thursday night, we’ll have a public hearing and probably adopt the proposed plan or something like it.  We’d love to hear from you by email before Thursday night or at the public hearing if you support the plan or if you have any concerns or suggested improvements.

2. All-Ward Town Hall Meeting: Rescheduled

The entire Golden City Council is hosting an All-City Town Hall Meeting later this spring.  It’s a great chance to meet and chat with all of your City Council representatives.  It’s also a great opportunity to get updates and ask questions on the beltway, the city’s economic health, and any other city issues.  It was originally planned for this week but we inadvertently scheduled it on the first night of Passover.  In order to accommodate all members of our community we are going to bump it a few weeks.  We will announce and advertise the new date as soon as we finalize it.

3. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford

Ensuring that all of our kids can walk or bike to their neighborhood school is the highest priority of our walkability and bikeability efforts.  Both Kimball Avenue and Crawford Street are scheduled to be repaved this summer, and we are taking advantage of needing to work on these streets anyway to widen the sidewalks, slow down traffic, and in other ways make it easier and safer to walk or bike to Shelton.  The basic tradeoff: the wider the sidewalks, the narrower the street.  We hear quite a bit about cars traveling too fast near the school, and narrowing the street will slow down traffic, but also requires drivers to be more alert and can reduce the amount of on-street parking.  We’ve got a range of options – we’ve got sketches of what the streets could look like under each – and we welcome your feedback.  If you haven’t already weighed in, please send me an email (jsmith@cityofgolden.net) or come to the City Council meeting on Thursday night this week.  We will probably make a decision at this meeting.

4. An Oral History of Golden and the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff

More than 150 people participated in the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff in early March.  It was good fun and many folks contributed great stories and great ideas about the future of Golden.  If you weren’t able to join us, don’t fret . . . we’ve got a series of neighborhood meetings planned all spring and summer long.  Please consider joining us at one of these:

  • May 2 – North Golden (Mesa Meadows, North Ford St.)
  • May 16 – North Golden (Bible Flats, numbered streets, Canyon Point)
  • June 13 – East St.
  • June 27 – Beverly Heights/Lookout Mtn.
  • July 11 – South Golden Road/Rimrock
  • July 25 – Heritage Road West (Heritage Dells/Eagle Ridge) – this may get rescheduled
  • August 8 – Heritage Road East (Golden Ridge/Golden Terrace)
  • August 22 – Golden Hills and Golden Heights

I also hope you’ll take a minute to visit the Community Almanac web site and share your stories and photographs of Golden.

One special treat: we watched Diane Tiberi’s terrific oral history video called “Voices of Golden.”  I know she’s working on getting a higher resolution version online, but this works well and it’s a great compilation of stories about long-time and newer Golden residents.

5. Golden Community Garden Decision This Thursday

In my last newsletter I reported that a new Golden Community Garden looked promising but that we still had some logistical hurdles to overcome.  Well, in just a few weeks we’ve managed to overcome most of those and the new garden looks very much like it will be a reality.  The new garden will be west of the Golden Community Center and south of the Briarwood restaurant on part of the old City Shops land.  The garden, which should open in May, will offer 10′ x 20′ plots to individuals and families or groups.  This is really the product of a terrific group of tenacious, creative, and energetic community volunteers.  City staff also did a great job of working with the community group to sort through the obstacles, and the Denver Urban Gardens has also been really helpful.

The City (through the Sustainability Advisory Board) is contributing some funding, but I know the new garden needs quite a bit more for garden infrastructure, irrigation, soil enhancements, pathway construction, signage, and raised beds for gardeners with special needs.  I know they are very open to in-kind donations of topsoil, tools, and other equipment as well.  You can learn more or get involved by contacting the group by email (goldencommunitygarden@googlegroups.com) or by attending one of the weekly meetings (Friday mornings at 7 am at Windy Saddle and Monday evenings at 8 pm at the American Mountaineering Center).

City Council is scheduled to discuss and vote on a resolution authorizing the use of the old City Shops land at our meeting this Thursday evening.  Feel free to email me (jsmith@cityofgolden.net) any thoughts or comments you might have.

6. The Pothole Hotline and Pothole Contest

Springtime is the season of lengthening days, warm temperatures, and chirping chickadees.  It’s also the time most of our potholes show up after months of freezing and thawing.  We can usually fix potholes within 48 hours of finding them, but it helps the Streets Department a bunch for community members to report them as they show up.  We just launched the 2009 Pothole Hotline and Pothole Contest, which helps us by letting us know where all the potholes are.  You also get a shot at winning a prize – the person reporting the largest pothole each week wins.  You can report a pothole by calling (303-215-8882 x2901) or on the city’s web site.

7. Board Openings: Parks and Recreation, Fire Pension Board, and Accessibility

If you’ve been thinking about contributing to the community, joining one of the City’s advisory boards is one good option, and we’ve got openings on three of them.

One option is the new Accessibility Committee designed to provide input on the accessibility aspects of designs for City of Golden construction projects.  The Committee will also play a role in developing a new Accessibility Master Plan based on the findings of an accessibility audit to be completed later this year.  If you are interested, please contact Dan Hartman, the City’s Public Works Director (dhartman@cityofgolden.net or 303-384-8150).

The Fire Pension Board has a “community member” opening for a two-year term.  The board, comprised of two community members, the mayor, and other people associated with the Golden Fire Department and the City, is responsible for directing the management of the Fire Department’s pension fund.  It is an important role, especially in these challenging economic times.  You can get an application from the City Clerk’s office (clerks@cityofgolden.net or 303-384-8014).

Finally, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board provides guidance to the City Council on the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan, capital improvements, the city’s parks and trails, and other issues related to our parks and recreation system.  They meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.  We will make four appointments to this board, including one alternate, all for four-year terms. You can download the application or get one from the City Clerk’s office (303-384-8014).

I’m not sure of the application deadline for the Accessibility board, but I do know that applications for the other two are due by April 9 at 5:00 p.m. (Thursday this week).

8. “Complete Streets” Update

Many of the recommendations made by last year’s community task forces on walkability and on improving bicycling had to do with how we design streets and sidewalks in Golden.  These recommendations also tied in to some of our Sustainability Initiative efforts, the Downtown Character Plan, and our neighborhood plans.  In order to tackle these recommendations in a comprehensive manner, we are crafting a new “Complete Streets” approach to designing streets from the get-go to accommodate all uses of the street and the sidewalk.  Some of the key elements include keeping the sidewalks wide and protected from the road, safe pedestrian crossings, effective bike lanes and paths, providing safe and adequate parking, providing good access for people in wheelchairs, and the like.  There seemed to be general support on City Council for the idea of having one set of criteria for new street construction, where we can be the most comprehensive, and another approach for street upgrades and renovations, where we usually have greater challenges because of complicated rights of way and other logistics.

In January, city staff provided Council and the community with an extensive briefing on the idea of “Complete Streets.”  In the next few months we’ll dive into more of the details and potentially adopt a formal policy or program later this year.  At our regular business meeting this Thursday night, the Public Works and Planning Directors will provide City Council with an update and briefing on the project.

9. Register Your Phone for 911 Notifications

The City of Golden has an effective reverse 911 notification system, meaning the Emergency Dispatch Center can send a call to individual home phones with critical information about an impending or ongoing emergency.  Jefferson County has now expanded that system to include cell phones for those folks who want to sign up.  The service is free and your information will not be sold to solicitors.  Signing up takes just a few minutes on their web site.

10. Other Upcoming Events

  • Golden Family Easter, April 11.  The event kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with a canned food drive for the Christian Action Guild, a free Easter Egg hunt in Parfet Park (10th & Washington), and other family-friendly events.
  • Opening Night at Miners Alley Playhouse: “Move Over Ms. Markham,” April 17.  The play runs Friday and Saturday nights through May 31, all at 7:30 p.m.
  • Town Hall Meeting with State Senator Moe Keller and State Representative Gwyn Green, Golden City Hall, Saturday April 18.  This is a great chance to hear what’s going on the state legislature and to ask your state representative and state senator questions.  It runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • First Friday, Historic Downtown Golden, May 1.  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).
  • Community Pride Days, May 1-2.  This annual City of Golden event is your chance to get rid of unwanted items and debris for free.  You can drop off construction materials, scrap metal, electronics and computers, tires, and other rubbish at the City Shops facility on the north end of town (1300 Catamount Drive).  The April Informer has all the details as well as coupons for a free appliance pickup and a free hazardous chemicals drop-off.
  • Golden Vision 2030 Neighborhood Meeting, May 2 – North Golden (Mesa Meadows, North Ford St.).

11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 9

Our next city council meeting is a regular business meeting on April 9.  You can download that and review minutes and videos of previous City Council meetings on the city’s web site.  The agenda includes the following issues:

  • First reading on an update to our Ethics Code to remove the “official capacity” potential loophole pertaining to gifts to City officials.
  • First reading of a potential update to the city’s campaign finance rules to clarify the distinction between political committees and issue committees, impose a limit on contributions to political committees, and eliminate a loophole that could allow a candidate to avoid campaign contribution limits.
  • Consideration of a resolution authorizing a new Golden Community Garden on part of the old city shops property.
  • Consideration of a proposal to create a separate pool under the City’s 1% growth system for affordable housing projects.
  • Consideration of the North Neighborhoods Plan, including incorporating the plan into the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
  • Discussion and a possible decision about pedestrian and bicycle improvements on Kimball and Crawford Streets west of Heritage Road.
  • An update on the City’s new Complete Streets Program to better integrate pedestrian and bicycle planning into street improvements.
  • Consideration of a request by Jimmy John’s, the new sandwich restaurant on Washington Avenue downtown, for outdoor seating on the sidewalk.
  • An executive session about an ongoing sales tax dispute with Aramark Educational Services.

**********

Jacob Smith, Mayor
jsmith@cityofgolden.net
(303) 216-168
www.SmithforGolden.org

Jacob’s Golden Update: Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff and Other News

1. Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff: Wednesday, March 11
2. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford
3. Golden Community Garden in the Works
4. City Using Solar Energy to Heat Community Pool
5. Council Moves Forward with Jackson Street Corridor Bike and Pedestrian Improvements
6. Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole
7. City Council Adopts Height Limits and Architectural Guidelines for Downtown Golden
8. Beltway Update: Transportation Funding Bill Includes Strong Local Protections
9. Road Closures: W. 44th and Johnson Road
10. Other Upcoming Events
11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, March 12

**********

1. Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff: March 11

Does your vision for Golden include protecting our small town and historic character?  Does it include improved pedestrian and bicycle connections between neighborhoods?  Does it include a thriving downtown and other business districts?  Good transit connections to Denver and other parts of Colorado?  A continued commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency?  Have we protected enough open space in and around Golden or do we want to protect more?

If it includes any of these things, or if you have any other ideas for the future of Golden, I hope you’ll consider attending the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff Event this Wednesday evening at Golden High School.  Golden Vision will give us a chance to clearly define what we want the future of our community to look like and ensure that we move in the right direction.  Everyone in the community is invited to participate on Wednesday and throughout the process, contributing your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

I also hope you’ll take a minute to visit the Community Almanac web site and share your stories and photographs of Golden.  The site just went up, so there aren’t many stories up yet . . . please visit and add anything you like.

2. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford

Ensuring that all of our kids can walk or bike to their neighborhood school is the highest priority of our walkability and bikeability efforts.  Both Kimball Avenue and Crawford Street are scheduled to be repaved this summer, and we are taking advantage of this project to widen the sidewalks, slow down traffic, and in other ways make it easier and safer to walk or bike to Shelton.  The basic tradeoff: the wider the sidewalks, the narrower the street.  We hear quite a bit about cars traveling too fast near the school, and narrowing the street will slow down traffic, but also requires drivers to be more alert.  We’ve got a range of options – we’ve got sketches of what the streets could look like under each – and we welcome your feedback.  Please visit the site and post your comments online, send me an email, or visit the Open House at Shelton Elementary tomorrow evening (Tuesday, March 10, drop by anytime between 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.).

3. Golden Community Garden in the Works

Although we still have some logistical hurdles to overcome, a Golden Community Garden is starting to look a lot more realistic.  The Sustainability Board has been promoting the idea and a growing group of community residents are working hard with the city to make it all come together.  They’ve got two planning meetings on the schedule, and if you are interested in helping to pull this off please consider attending one or both.  One is tonight at 8 p.m. at the Community Center in the Beaver Brook room (8 p.m. – 8:55 p.m.).  The second is Friday morning, March 13 at Windy Saddle Cafe (1110 Washington Ave.) from 7 a.m. to 7:25 a.m.

You can learn more or get involved by sending the group an email.

4. City Using Solar Energy to Heat Community Pool

Great news on the renewable energy front: the City of Golden is now using a new solar hot water system to heat our indoor pool at the Community Center indoor pool.  Installation of a solar water heating system was one recommendation of the city’s energy audit last year and is part of the City of Golden’s effort to improve energy efficiency across city buildings and programs.  The new solar water heating system cost $315,000, more than half of which was paid for with grants.  The grant came out of the city’s partnership with the Governor’s Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.  By using solar energy to heat our pool water, we expect to save more than $22,000 every year.

5. Council Moves Forward with Jackson Street Corridor Bike and Pedestrian Improvements

The Walkability Task Force’s highest priority recommendation last year was improvements on the Jackson Street Corridor.  Jackson is a key pedestrian and bike route to Golden High School and a major connection between the north and south parts of town but it is poorly designed for either people on foot or on bike.

We will reconfigure that entire stretch of Jackson with a “Complete Streets” design, dropping the street down to two lanes (it’s now three lanes wide) and adding bike lanes, some landscaping, and much-improved sidewalks.  Two lanes is more than enough to handle the vehicle traffic (and in fact it is two lanes both north and south of this stretch).  We’ve seen widespread community support for the project, and City Council gave staff the go-ahead to do the design work and get ready to go to bid.  Although the project isn’t budgeted until 2010, given the dramatic drop in construction prices over the past several months we are going to look at accelerating the work if it makes sense.

6. Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole

Although the City Council set extremely high standards last year for accountability and transparency, we’ve promised to set the bar even higher in 2009.  One important step: eliminate the big loophole in our ethics code.  Our code is already quite stringent (as it should be), but a quirk of the language could allow a member of the City Council to accept a gift of unlimited value so long as they accept the gift in their “personal capacity.”  To my mind, members of the City Council should not accept gifts from people that live, own property, or otherwise have interests in Golden (with some limited exceptions, like gifts from family members).  This principle seems very straightforward to me, yet our current code potentially allows anyone – say a developer who periodically asks Council for rezonings or variances – to give large gifts to members of City Council so long as they are “personal” gifts.  I want to fix this.

The concern, of course, is that if members of City Council accept gifts from community members they may give those folks special treatment.  This is exactly the issue that came up in the ethics complaint filed against Councilor Mary Weaver a couple of years ago.  Councilor Weaver accepted a gift (a loan from Marian Olson that she is not necessarily obligated to pay back) to fund her lawsuit against the city.  This seems to violate the ethics code prohibiting City Councilors from accepting gifts (including loans), but Councilor Weaver is arguing that it’s acceptable because she accepted the gift in her “personal capacity.”

This loophole is even more problematic, however, because Councilor Weaver then participated in a City Council decision in which Marian Olson – to whom she is now deeply indebted – had a direct financial interest.  Because of the potential loophole in our ethics code, I don’t know if Councilor Weaver actually violated our code or not, but I want to clarify this language so that there is no confusion moving forward.

We are scheduled to discuss this issue at our City Council meeting this Thursday night.

7. City Council Adopts Height Limits and Architectural Guidelines for Downtown Golden

When I ran for mayor I pledged to get a handle on growth in Golden.  We are doing just that, and our latest effort focused on protecting the historic and small-town character of our downtown.  After a thorough two-year process with considerable community input, City Council two weeks ago adopted architectural guidelines and height limits for downtown Golden.  These “Downtown Design Guidelines” establish the strictest height limits – three floors with an average setback of eight feet on the third floor – for Washington Avenue from about Clear Creek to about 14th St.  Taller buildings are permitted in other areas of downtown, especially to the east of Washington Avenue (between Washington Ave. and Ford St./Coors).  City Council can always issue a PUD allowing for taller buildings, but these new guidelines should mean that additional tall buildings downtown are the exception.

8. Beltway Update: Transportation Funding Bill Includes Strong Local Protections

One of the very first bills introduced in the state legislature this year was Governor Ritter’s package of transportation funding proposals.  The element of greatest concern to Golden was the tolling piece.  In its original form, it would have allowed tolling of existing lanes – like Highway 93 – right up to our boundaries, but despite the impacts we would have had no say in whether it happened or what sorts of mitigation would have to occur.  Through our hard work with the Governor’s office, legislators, and many other folks in the Denver region, we were able to eliminate the harmful part of the bill and replace it with a strong local protection provision that gives every affected community the right to veto any such proposal.  I give a lot of credit to Governor Ritter’s office, the sponsors of the bill, and my colleague mayors around the region for their willingness to negotiate in good faith and come up with a solution that protects local communities like Golden.  I also give a lot of credit to our state legislators, Representative Gwyn Green and Senator Moe Keller.  They both worked extremely hard to make sure that Golden would be protected and their efforts made a huge difference.

9. Road Closures: W. 44th and Johnson Road

Johnson Road will be closed between 10th Avenue and 6th Avenue most evenings and weekends until April 3 for utility line relocation work.  Traffic will be detoured through the Jefferson County complex.  This is an early step in the construction of the new light rail station at the Jefferson County Building.

In addition, CDOT is scheduled to close West 44th Ave between Vasquez and Easley from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. through March 11.  For eastbound traffic they recommend taking Ford St to 13thSt/W. 32nd Ave. to McIntyre.  For westbound traffic they recommend taking McIntyre to W. 32nd/13th St.  The closure is for work on the Hwy 58 overpass over W. 44th.

10. Other Upcoming Events

  • Golden Community Garden Planning Meeting, March 9 (TONIGHT).  This is a planning meeting for a new community garden at the Community Center from 8 -9 p.m.
  • Kimball/Crawford Pedestrian Improvements Open House, March 10.  This is an opportunity to review the range of options for making pedestrian improvements near Shelton Elementary.  Drop by Shelton anytime between 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff, March 11.  The Golden Vision 2030 “Heart & Soul of Golden” process kicks off at Golden High School.
  • Golden Community Garden Planning Meeting, March 13.  This is another planning meeting for a new community garden at Windy Saddle Cafe (1110 Washington Ave.) from 7 to 7:30 a.m.
  • “State of the City Address,” March 19.  The Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Three Tomatoes at Fossil Trace features City Manager Mike Bestor’s “State of the City” address.  You can RSVP with the Chamber at 303-279-3113.
  • Town Hall Meeting with State Senator Moe Keller and State Representative Gwyn Green, Golden City Hall, Saturday March 21.  This is a great chance to hear what’s going on the state legislature and to ask your state representative and state senator questions.  It runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • First Friday, Historic Downtown Golden, April 3.  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).

11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, March 12

Our next city council meeting is a regular business meeting on March 12.  You can download that and review minutes and videos of previous City Council meetings on the city’s web site.

The agenda includes the following issues:

  • Discussion of an update to our Ethics Code to eliminate a potential loophole.
  • Discussion of a potential update to the city’s campaign finance rules to eliminate a loophole that could allow a candidate to avoid campaign contribution limits.
  • Consideration of a potential alley vacation on the Colorado School of Mines campus.  The alley is on the block bounded by 17th Street, 18th Street, Illinois Street and Maple Street.
  • Consideration of a request for setback variances for a residential addition at 2135 Illinois.

**********

Jacob Smith, Mayor
jsmith@cityofgolden.net
(303) 216-168
www.SmithforGolden.org

Jacob's Golden Update: Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff and Other News

1. Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff: Wednesday, March 11
2. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford
3. Golden Community Garden in the Works
4. City Using Solar Energy to Heat Community Pool
5. Council Moves Forward with Jackson Street Corridor Bike and Pedestrian Improvements
6. Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole
7. City Council Adopts Height Limits and Architectural Guidelines for Downtown Golden
8. Beltway Update: Transportation Funding Bill Includes Strong Local Protections
9. Road Closures: W. 44th and Johnson Road
10. Other Upcoming Events
11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, March 12

**********

1. Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff: March 11

Does your vision for Golden include protecting our small town and historic character?  Does it include improved pedestrian and bicycle connections between neighborhoods?  Does it include a thriving downtown and other business districts?  Good transit connections to Denver and other parts of Colorado?  A continued commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency?  Have we protected enough open space in and around Golden or do we want to protect more?

If it includes any of these things, or if you have any other ideas for the future of Golden, I hope you’ll consider attending the Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff Event this Wednesday evening at Golden High School.  Golden Vision will give us a chance to clearly define what we want the future of our community to look like and ensure that we move in the right direction.  Everyone in the community is invited to participate on Wednesday and throughout the process, contributing your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

I also hope you’ll take a minute to visit the Community Almanac web site and share your stories and photographs of Golden.  The site just went up, so there aren’t many stories up yet . . . please visit and add anything you like.

2. Pedestrian Improvements on Kimball and Crawford

Ensuring that all of our kids can walk or bike to their neighborhood school is the highest priority of our walkability and bikeability efforts.  Both Kimball Avenue and Crawford Street are scheduled to be repaved this summer, and we are taking advantage of this project to widen the sidewalks, slow down traffic, and in other ways make it easier and safer to walk or bike to Shelton.  The basic tradeoff: the wider the sidewalks, the narrower the street.  We hear quite a bit about cars traveling too fast near the school, and narrowing the street will slow down traffic, but also requires drivers to be more alert.  We’ve got a range of options – we’ve got sketches of what the streets could look like under each – and we welcome your feedback.  Please visit the site and post your comments online, send me an email, or visit the Open House at Shelton Elementary tomorrow evening (Tuesday, March 10, drop by anytime between 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.).

3. Golden Community Garden in the Works

Although we still have some logistical hurdles to overcome, a Golden Community Garden is starting to look a lot more realistic.  The Sustainability Board has been promoting the idea and a growing group of community residents are working hard with the city to make it all come together.  They’ve got two planning meetings on the schedule, and if you are interested in helping to pull this off please consider attending one or both.  One is tonight at 8 p.m. at the Community Center in the Beaver Brook room (8 p.m. – 8:55 p.m.).  The second is Friday morning, March 13 at Windy Saddle Cafe (1110 Washington Ave.) from 7 a.m. to 7:25 a.m.

You can learn more or get involved by sending the group an email.

4. City Using Solar Energy to Heat Community Pool

Great news on the renewable energy front: the City of Golden is now using a new solar hot water system to heat our indoor pool at the Community Center indoor pool.  Installation of a solar water heating system was one recommendation of the city’s energy audit last year and is part of the City of Golden’s effort to improve energy efficiency across city buildings and programs.  The new solar water heating system cost $315,000, more than half of which was paid for with grants.  The grant came out of the city’s partnership with the Governor’s Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.  By using solar energy to heat our pool water, we expect to save more than $22,000 every year.

5. Council Moves Forward with Jackson Street Corridor Bike and Pedestrian Improvements

The Walkability Task Force’s highest priority recommendation last year was improvements on the Jackson Street Corridor.  Jackson is a key pedestrian and bike route to Golden High School and a major connection between the north and south parts of town but it is poorly designed for either people on foot or on bike.

We will reconfigure that entire stretch of Jackson with a “Complete Streets” design, dropping the street down to two lanes (it’s now three lanes wide) and adding bike lanes, some landscaping, and much-improved sidewalks.  Two lanes is more than enough to handle the vehicle traffic (and in fact it is two lanes both north and south of this stretch).  We’ve seen widespread community support for the project, and City Council gave staff the go-ahead to do the design work and get ready to go to bid.  Although the project isn’t budgeted until 2010, given the dramatic drop in construction prices over the past several months we are going to look at accelerating the work if it makes sense.

6. Fixing the Ethics Code Loophole

Although the City Council set extremely high standards last year for accountability and transparency, we’ve promised to set the bar even higher in 2009.  One important step: eliminate the big loophole in our ethics code.  Our code is already quite stringent (as it should be), but a quirk of the language could allow a member of the City Council to accept a gift of unlimited value so long as they accept the gift in their “personal capacity.”  To my mind, members of the City Council should not accept gifts from people that live, own property, or otherwise have interests in Golden (with some limited exceptions, like gifts from family members).  This principle seems very straightforward to me, yet our current code potentially allows anyone – say a developer who periodically asks Council for rezonings or variances – to give large gifts to members of City Council so long as they are “personal” gifts.  I want to fix this.

The concern, of course, is that if members of City Council accept gifts from community members they may give those folks special treatment.  This is exactly the issue that came up in the ethics complaint filed against Councilor Mary Weaver a couple of years ago.  Councilor Weaver accepted a gift (a loan from Marian Olson that she is not necessarily obligated to pay back) to fund her lawsuit against the city.  This seems to violate the ethics code prohibiting City Councilors from accepting gifts (including loans), but Councilor Weaver is arguing that it’s acceptable because she accepted the gift in her “personal capacity.”

This loophole is even more problematic, however, because Councilor Weaver then participated in a City Council decision in which Marian Olson – to whom she is now deeply indebted – had a direct financial interest.  Because of the potential loophole in our ethics code, I don’t know if Councilor Weaver actually violated our code or not, but I want to clarify this language so that there is no confusion moving forward.

We are scheduled to discuss this issue at our City Council meeting this Thursday night.

7. City Council Adopts Height Limits and Architectural Guidelines for Downtown Golden

When I ran for mayor I pledged to get a handle on growth in Golden.  We are doing just that, and our latest effort focused on protecting the historic and small-town character of our downtown.  After a thorough two-year process with considerable community input, City Council two weeks ago adopted architectural guidelines and height limits for downtown Golden.  These “Downtown Design Guidelines” establish the strictest height limits – three floors with an average setback of eight feet on the third floor – for Washington Avenue from about Clear Creek to about 14th St.  Taller buildings are permitted in other areas of downtown, especially to the east of Washington Avenue (between Washington Ave. and Ford St./Coors).  City Council can always issue a PUD allowing for taller buildings, but these new guidelines should mean that additional tall buildings downtown are the exception.

8. Beltway Update: Transportation Funding Bill Includes Strong Local Protections

One of the very first bills introduced in the state legislature this year was Governor Ritter’s package of transportation funding proposals.  The element of greatest concern to Golden was the tolling piece.  In its original form, it would have allowed tolling of existing lanes – like Highway 93 – right up to our boundaries, but despite the impacts we would have had no say in whether it happened or what sorts of mitigation would have to occur.  Through our hard work with the Governor’s office, legislators, and many other folks in the Denver region, we were able to eliminate the harmful part of the bill and replace it with a strong local protection provision that gives every affected community the right to veto any such proposal.  I give a lot of credit to Governor Ritter’s office, the sponsors of the bill, and my colleague mayors around the region for their willingness to negotiate in good faith and come up with a solution that protects local communities like Golden.  I also give a lot of credit to our state legislators, Representative Gwyn Green and Senator Moe Keller.  They both worked extremely hard to make sure that Golden would be protected and their efforts made a huge difference.

9. Road Closures: W. 44th and Johnson Road

Johnson Road will be closed between 10th Avenue and 6th Avenue most evenings and weekends until April 3 for utility line relocation work.  Traffic will be detoured through the Jefferson County complex.  This is an early step in the construction of the new light rail station at the Jefferson County Building.

In addition, CDOT is scheduled to close West 44th Ave between Vasquez and Easley from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. through March 11.  For eastbound traffic they recommend taking Ford St to 13thSt/W. 32nd Ave. to McIntyre.  For westbound traffic they recommend taking McIntyre to W. 32nd/13th St.  The closure is for work on the Hwy 58 overpass over W. 44th.

10. Other Upcoming Events

  • Golden Community Garden Planning Meeting, March 9 (TONIGHT).  This is a planning meeting for a new community garden at the Community Center from 8 -9 p.m.
  • Kimball/Crawford Pedestrian Improvements Open House, March 10.  This is an opportunity to review the range of options for making pedestrian improvements near Shelton Elementary.  Drop by Shelton anytime between 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Golden Vision 2030 Kickoff, March 11.  The Golden Vision 2030 “Heart & Soul of Golden” process kicks off at Golden High School.
  • Golden Community Garden Planning Meeting, March 13.  This is another planning meeting for a new community garden at Windy Saddle Cafe (1110 Washington Ave.) from 7 to 7:30 a.m.
  • “State of the City Address,” March 19.  The Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Three Tomatoes at Fossil Trace features City Manager Mike Bestor’s “State of the City” address.  You can RSVP with the Chamber at 303-279-3113.
  • Town Hall Meeting with State Senator Moe Keller and State Representative Gwyn Green, Golden City Hall, Saturday March 21.  This is a great chance to hear what’s going on the state legislature and to ask your state representative and state senator questions.  It runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • First Friday, Historic Downtown Golden, April 3.  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).

11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, March 12

Our next city council meeting is a regular business meeting on March 12.  You can download that and review minutes and videos of previous City Council meetings on the city’s web site.

The agenda includes the following issues:

  • Discussion of an update to our Ethics Code to eliminate a potential loophole.
  • Discussion of a potential update to the city’s campaign finance rules to eliminate a loophole that could allow a candidate to avoid campaign contribution limits.
  • Consideration of a potential alley vacation on the Colorado School of Mines campus.  The alley is on the block bounded by 17th Street, 18th Street, Illinois Street and Maple Street.
  • Consideration of a request for setback variances for a residential addition at 2135 Illinois.

**********

Jacob Smith, Mayor
jsmith@cityofgolden.net
(303) 216-168
www.SmithforGolden.org