April 20, 2018

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.

City Council Adopts 2011 Priorities

On Thursday night City Council formally adopted priorities for 2011.  This is generally a continuation of the priorities we established last year, but it’s worth formally identifying them to help us stay focused and help keep the community informed about what we are focused on.

We adopted five major priorities:

1) Protecting the city’s financial health and sustaining the community’s economic vitality.

2) Supporting and strengthening our neighborhoods (“The Year of the Neighborhood”), including implementing our new neighborhood grant program, completing pending neighborhood plans, and considering all of the policy recommendations in the adopted ones.

3) Maintaining our aggressive efforts to keep the beltway out of Golden and working to protect Golden from the impacts of growing regional through the Golden Plan or similar improvements.

4) Updating the Comprehensive Plan and revamping/updating the land use process to give neighborhoods a stronger voice in shaping their own future and to make the process less adversarial and combative.

5) Revisiting and updating the city’s long-term streets plan.

Other 2011 priorities include:

1) Making sure Golden is ready for light rail in 2013, including our own community bus.

2) Adopting a preliminary strategic transportation plan (in advance of preparing a thorough one in 2012).

3) Finalize our new performance evaluation system for the city and city manager, including performance metrics

4) Review and update the long-term plans for the city’s major recreational facilities.

5) Update the city’s economic development tools, structures, and strategies. This may extend into 2012.

6) Support the Quiznos Pro Challenge Professional Bicycle Race.

And some additional 2011 projects:

1) CSM Master Plan (although the timing is up to Colorado School of Mines).

2) Clear Creek Master Plan.

3) Evaluate and consider sewer/waterline insurance. DONE – Council decided to educate community members about the value of having this insurance but not to enter into a special agreement with any specific insurance providers.

4) Consider adjusting the cost of special use permits for chickens. DONE – Council reduced the special use permit fee for keeping up to six hens.

5) Evaluate and potentially update the strategy for managing amplified outdoor music.

6) Evaluate and consider updating traffic fine schedule.

7) Evaluate and consider updating leash laws.

8) Initiate long-term city financial health evaluation.

9) Evaluate and update medical marijuana regulations.

10) Update noise mitigation priorities.

11) Complete the City of Golden web site revamp.

12) Further development, testing, and training on the new Emergency Operations Plan (primarily staff).

13) Plan for major software updates (finance, planning, police, fire, courts) (primarily

14) Major public works projects: South Reservoir and office building reconstruction (primarily staff).

15) East Downtown Vision and Plan (potentially).

Marijuana Update

Karen Oxman, our mayor pro-tem and district 2 City Councilor, attended a Colorado Attorney General briefing earlier in the week on the medical marijuana issue and shared some background and update information.  I want to pass it on:

  1. Amendment 20 (legalizing medical marijuana in Colorado) was adopted by Colorado’s voters with 54% of the vote in 2000.  It took effect in June of 2001.
  2. The number of medical marijuana users statewide has gone from 1,600 to over 40,000 in that time, with very low numbers initially and an explosion in recent years.
  3. Medical marijuana applications were small in number until two years ago.  The state is now seeing 1,200-1,800 applications per day.
  4. In the first eight years since Amendment 20 passed, approximately 732 of the 17,221 Colorado physicians prescribed medical marijuana (an average of maybe three each).
  5. Now, 75% of the prescriptions are coming from 15 physicians, and 50% of those are coming from just five physicians.  The majority of those are under some disciplinary action from their licensing agency.
  6. There are 390 dispensaries in Denver.

Golden adopted a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries just as the explosion hit, so we’ve only got a handful right now.  We will adopt standards to govern their location and operation, but at this point the state rules are very unclear, so City Council opted to establish the moratorium, wait to see what rules the state legislature adopts this session, and wait to see what the courts say about pending lawsuits.  For example, Centennial just lost a lawsuit attempting to ban dispensaries through its land use code.  Our assumption is that the courts and state law will be clear about the requirement to allow dispensaries but will allow cities to establish strict rules about where they go and how they operate.

Stay tuned.

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

**********
[Read more...]

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

**********
[Read more...]