May 25, 2019

Jacob's Golden Update: Special "Remember to Vote" Edition

Jacob’s Golden Update: October 28, 2009

Special “Remember to Vote” Edition

If you haven’t received your ballot yet, call the Jefferson County Clerk immediately (303-271-8111) to get a replacement ballot.

If you have received your ballot but haven’t turned it in yet, there isn’t much time left.  Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.  I think you’ll be safe if you get your ballot in the mail by Friday, but after Friday I strongly recommend that you drop your ballot off.  There is a 24-hour ballot drop-off at the Jefferson County building – just follow the signs when you get there.  You can also drop your ballot off at Golden City Hall during regular business hours (and until 7 p.m. on Tuesday).

You can still watch one of the reruns of the City Council Candidates Forum on channel 8 or on the web.  It’s a great opportunity to see most of the candidates face to face (one of the exceptions was Councilor Mary Weaver, who showed up about forty minutes late, so she only answered some of the questions).

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).

I’ve got a rundown on all the candidates and some background on why I’m endorsing each of these folks on my blog.

******

A few other items of note:

  • The Golden Gem Cinema group – working to revive Golden’s local movie house at the American Mountaineering Center – had an organizing meeting last week and has another scheduled for tomorrow night (Thursday, October 29).  You’ll find them at the Foss Auditorium of the AMC (710 10th St. in Golden).  If you are interested in the idea, please consider filling out their Golden Cinema online survey.  It took me less than five minutes.  The Golden Urban Renewal Authority has some more information about the effort on their web site.
  • Don’t forget to set back your clock on Saturday night.  It’s also a good time to change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • I had a bad link in my blog post about Paul Weyrich’s views on transit (“A Conservative Perspective on Transit”).  The link should work now.
  • Remember to vote!!

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 doing the trick-or-treating yourself.  You’ll find the excitement in Historic Downtown Golden this Friday (October 30) 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 film festival 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.

Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, November 5

Our next city council meeting includes both a regular business meeting and a regular study session on Thursday, November 5.  You can download the agenda and packet for that meeting (after Friday of this week) and review minutes and videos of previous City Council meetings on the city’s web site.  The agenda for the upcoming meeting includes the following issues:

  • Veteran’s Day Proclamation.
  • Updating our fire code and our building code.
  • An update presentation by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
  • An update presentation by the Sustainability Advisory Board.
  • A discussion of the Public Works Building renovation project.
  • A review of the proposed 2010 budget.

**********

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

Jacob’s Golden Update: Special “Remember to Vote” Edition

Jacob’s Golden Update: October 28, 2009

Special “Remember to Vote” Edition

If you haven’t received your ballot yet, call the Jefferson County Clerk immediately (303-271-8111) to get a replacement ballot.

If you have received your ballot but haven’t turned it in yet, there isn’t much time left.  Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.  I think you’ll be safe if you get your ballot in the mail by Friday, but after Friday I strongly recommend that you drop your ballot off.  There is a 24-hour ballot drop-off at the Jefferson County building – just follow the signs when you get there.  You can also drop your ballot off at Golden City Hall during regular business hours (and until 7 p.m. on Tuesday).

You can still watch one of the reruns of the City Council Candidates Forum on channel 8 or on the web.  It’s a great opportunity to see most of the candidates face to face (one of the exceptions was Councilor Mary Weaver, who showed up about forty minutes late, so she only answered some of the questions).

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).

I’ve got a rundown on all the candidates and some background on why I’m endorsing each of these folks on my blog.

******

A few other items of note:

  • The Golden Gem Cinema group – working to revive Golden’s local movie house at the American Mountaineering Center – had an organizing meeting last week and has another scheduled for tomorrow night (Thursday, October 29).  You’ll find them at the Foss Auditorium of the AMC (710 10th St. in Golden).  If you are interested in the idea, please consider filling out their Golden Cinema online survey.  It took me less than five minutes.  The Golden Urban Renewal Authority has some more information about the effort on their web site.
  • Don’t forget to set back your clock on Saturday night.  It’s also a good time to change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • I had a bad link in my blog post about Paul Weyrich’s views on transit (“A Conservative Perspective on Transit”).  The link should work now.
  • Remember to vote!!

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 doing the trick-or-treating yourself.  You’ll find the excitement in Historic Downtown Golden this Friday (October 30) 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 film festival 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.

Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, November 5

Our next city council meeting includes both a regular business meeting and a regular study session on Thursday, November 5.  You can download the agenda and packet for that meeting (after Friday of this week) and review minutes and videos of previous City Council meetings on the city’s web site.  The agenda for the upcoming meeting includes the following issues:

  • Veteran’s Day Proclamation.
  • Updating our fire code and our building code.
  • An update presentation by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
  • An update presentation by the Sustainability Advisory Board.
  • A discussion of the Public Works Building renovation project.
  • A review of the proposed 2010 budget.

**********

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

A Conservative Perspective on Transit

As FasTracks sorts through its financial challenges and as FasTracks lines get built out (including our own West Corridor line) over the next few years, I suspect we’ll see sustained coverage of the political fights over transit in the Denver region.  Of course those fights will heat up considerably when RTD asks the voters for additional sales tax to complete the buildout of the system, as I expect they’ll do in 2010.

I recently came across this interesting article about Paul Weyrich (a key conservative thinker and writer and a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation) and his views on mass transit.  His point in a nutshell: the “conservative” arguments against transit seem to be more about an ideological libertarian anti-transit view than based in either real world facts or mainstream conservative doctrine. [NOTE: The original link didn’t work.  I’ve updated it and it seems to work fine now.]

It’s refreshing to recall that support for FasTracks was decidedly bipartisan, and in fact it would not have passed without the uncommon alliance between the business community, local governments, and the environmental community.  And same sort of broad bipartisan support for FasTracks is evident at the Metro Mayors Caucus (composed of all the mayors in the Denver Metro region) and at the Denver Regional Council of Governments (made up of all the cities and counties in the region), Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike.  The politics have become a lot more complicated since that first FasTracks vote, and I don’t know if the coalitions will hold as they did last time, but I’ve been very encouraged that the coalition fissures have been about mechanics and equity issues, not ideology.

New Johnson Road Connection

Last week we officially opened the new Johnson Road connection.

The new Johnson Road/Jefferson County Parkway connection.

The new Johnson Road/Jefferson County Parkway connection (looking Golden South).

This is part of the FasTracks project which will put a new end-of-line station at the adjacent Jefferson County building.  What has been the access to the Taj from Johnson Road will vanish and we’ll use this new access instead (and we’ll need to give Google Maps and Mapquest a heads up).  Construction is moving quickly on the portion of the light rail line itself that connects to the Taj, although it will still be a few years before the entire line is constructed connecting Golden and Denver Union Station.  Even though it will take some time, it’s pretty exciting to watch the progress.

The new light rail line where it will cross Colfax along 6th Avenue.

The new light rail line where it will cross Colfax along 6th Avenue (looking Golden North toward the Taj).

Jacob’s Golden Update: Golden Seeks Stimulus Funding for the U.S. 6 /19th Street Intersection and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: August 13, 2009

1. Golden Seeks Stimulus Funding for the U.S. 6 /19th Street Intersection
2. Golden’s Light Rail Construction Underway
3. New Noise Berm Along 6th Avenue
4. Bachman Open Space Proposal Earns Jeffco Support
5. Community Bus Feasibility Study
6. Refinancing the City’s Drainage Utility Bonds
7. Museum Lawsuit Settlement in the Works
8. City Council Considers Changes to Trash Hauling
9. Golden Marlins Take High Honors
10. Other Upcoming Events
11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, August 13 (tonight)

**********
[Read more…]

Jacob's Golden Update: Golden Seeks Stimulus Funding for the U.S. 6 /19th Street Intersection and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: August 13, 2009

1. Golden Seeks Stimulus Funding for the U.S. 6 /19th Street Intersection
2. Golden’s Light Rail Construction Underway
3. New Noise Berm Along 6th Avenue
4. Bachman Open Space Proposal Earns Jeffco Support
5. Community Bus Feasibility Study
6. Refinancing the City’s Drainage Utility Bonds
7. Museum Lawsuit Settlement in the Works
8. City Council Considers Changes to Trash Hauling
9. Golden Marlins Take High Honors
10. Other Upcoming Events
11. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, August 13 (tonight)

**********
[Read more…]

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Last month Councilor Bill Fisher and I traveled to Washington, D.C. to represent Golden at the Annual Congressional Conference of the National League of Cities.  Bill posted a nice write-up about our trip.  I’ll just add a few more thoughts here.

We focused on three things:

1) Meeting with members of the Colorado Congressional delegation. It is possible to meet with our Senators and Congressman here in Colorado, but it’s usually easier to schedule those meetings in D.C. and, more importantly, it gives us a chance to meet with their key D.C.-based staff, many of whom play critical decision-making roles in those offices.  In our meetings, we emphasized the importance of continued federal support for Colorado School of Mines, NREL, and completing the buildout of the FasTracks transit system.  We talked about the stimulus package and making sure the funding actually gets into the economy as quickly as possible.  Some of this is about ensuring good accountability measures to make sure the money is spent in the way that Congress and the President intended, and some of this is about making sure the processes are streamlined enough that the funding doesn’t get stuck in bureaucratic roadblocks.  If those dollars are going to be useful, they need to get out into communities, creating jobs, and promoting renewable energy and other good projects.  Finally, we talked a bit about issues more directly affecting Golden, including the beltway.

2) Conference panels and keynote sessions. I attended presentations by a range of folks including the new Secretary of Energy, the new director of the Environmental Protection Agency, the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the new Attorney General, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.  I also attended a presentation by and had a chance to meet Cecelia Munoz, the director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Administration’s link to local governments around the country.  I attended panel presentations on the federal stimulus package, on sustaining strong relationships between schools and cities, and other issues.

The punch line: the mood among these top political leaders and in D.C. generally is very different than it has been for the past several years.  The rhetoric feels more pragmatic and less ideological, and there is a palpable sense of both anxiety about the recession and an optimism and energy that I’ve never experienced in D.C. before.  Time will tell what all of this means.

3) Conversations with mayors and city councilors from other communities across the country. I had opportunities to meet and talk with elected representatives from communities all over the country, sharing notes on our respective economic situations, economic vitality strategies, sustainability efforts, and other issues.  In the past year or two we’ve been trying some new things here in Golden: new ways of listening to the concerns and ideas of community members, new opportunities for community members to get involved in important city decision-making, our ambitious Sustainability Initiative.  We are clearly comfortable trying new things here in Golden, knowing that sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but I’m also a fan of learning everything we can from the experiences other communities so we can try to avoid some of the pitfalls and take advantage of things that other folks have tried that have worked.  Opportunities like this to hear about lots of communities’ experiences with improving government transparency and accountability, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy, encouraging more and better public involvement in community decisions . . . it’s very educational and very helpful to me in continuously doing a better job as Golden’s mayor.

One other note: There are many, many communities across the country that are really struggling with steep budget cuts, layoffs, ending community programs, and reducing city services.  Their struggles definitely help put our own situation in perspective: the city’s cash reserves are very strong, our infrastructure is in very good shape, and we have budgeted conservatively enough that we are in a good position to weather the storm.  We have tightened spending and won’t be able to do everything we’d like to do, but we are in excellent shape compared to many communities around the country.

As Bill can attest, we work hard when we are in D.C. representing Golden: we filled the schedule with Congressional delegation meetings, conference events, and other opportunities to share lessons and experiences.  This conference and others like it provide important opportunities to represent Golden with our Congressional delegation and for members of the City Council to continuously improve as elected representatives.

Golden Business Tour: Proterra’s Cutting Edge Hybrid Bus

Golden is home to some amazing companies doing very cool things.  Proterra is among them.  Proterra, which used to be known as Mobile Energy Solutions, is developing the most cutting-edge hybrid passenger bus in the world.

I joined a couple of city staff – our Planning and Development Director and our Sustainability Coordinator – on a visit a few weeks ago to their facility in Golden’s Coors Technology Business Park.  We spent a bit of time learning about the manufacturing process, their business development plans, and riding around in their working prototype.  The bus is very cool: constructed largely with a very lightweight composite material, it is powered by a hybrid battery election engine.  It should get substantially better mileage than a comparable bus and can hold more passengers than a conventional bus of the same length because the engine compartment is so much smaller.

They pointed out some of the small details that still need work but the bus appeared to be very much a near-finished product, it seemed to handle well even at highway speeds, and with its hybrid engine it was no louder than my Civic.

In the first photo, you can see the full profile of the bus at their Coors Technology Center facility.  In the second photo, you can see the bus pulling up to a model recharging station.  The copper plates connect to bars on the roof of the bus that are visible – looks something like a roof rack – in the first photo.

Proterra's high-tech hybrid bus.

Proterra's high-tech hybrid bus.

The bus pulling up to the recharging station.

The bus pulling up to the recharging station.

Golden Business Tour: Proterra's Cutting Edge Hybrid Bus

Golden is home to some amazing companies doing very cool things.  Proterra is among them.  Proterra, which used to be known as Mobile Energy Solutions, is developing the most cutting-edge hybrid passenger bus in the world.

I joined a couple of city staff – our Planning and Development Director and our Sustainability Coordinator – on a visit a few weeks ago to their facility in Golden’s Coors Technology Business Park.  We spent a bit of time learning about the manufacturing process, their business development plans, and riding around in their working prototype.  The bus is very cool: constructed largely with a very lightweight composite material, it is powered by a hybrid battery election engine.  It should get substantially better mileage than a comparable bus and can hold more passengers than a conventional bus of the same length because the engine compartment is so much smaller.

They pointed out some of the small details that still need work but the bus appeared to be very much a near-finished product, it seemed to handle well even at highway speeds, and with its hybrid engine it was no louder than my Civic.

In the first photo, you can see the full profile of the bus at their Coors Technology Center facility.  In the second photo, you can see the bus pulling up to a model recharging station.  The copper plates connect to bars on the roof of the bus that are visible – looks something like a roof rack – in the first photo.

Proterra's high-tech hybrid bus.

Proterra's high-tech hybrid bus.

The bus pulling up to the recharging station.

The bus pulling up to the recharging station.

Jacob’s Golden Update 11/17/08: City Council Votes to Keep Holiday Displays and Other News

 1. City Council Votes to Keep Holiday Displays
2. North Neighborhoods Plan Meeting This Week
3. City Council Expresses Support for FasTracks and for South Golden Neighborhoods
4. City Asks Courts to Resolve Museum Ownership Disagreement
5. Americans with Disabilities Act Review
6. Golden Fire Department Receives National Award
7. Campaign Election Board Vacancies
8. Other Upcoming Events
9. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, December 4

[Read more…]