A year of change gives way to a year of possibility

OpEd by Jason Slowinski
Posted 12/31/18

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” This quote by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke reminds me of the new opportunities that await us in the year ahead. As we …

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A year of change gives way to a year of possibility

Posted

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” This quote by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke reminds me of the new opportunities that await us in the year ahead.

As we look forward to 2019, however, we reflect on some of this past year’s achievements. We began the year by launching a new citizen engagement tool, GuidingGolden.com, which has proved beneficial in providing a new avenue for citizens to interact with city government.

In April, the City’s police and fire departments were the first of several Jefferson County agencies to begin 911 emergency dispatch operations from the new centralized JeffComm dispatch center. The new center provides dispatching for most Jeffco police and fire agencies, resulting in improved service at a long-term cost savings to the City.

City Council also adopted new short-term rental regulations. These regulations will help balance the need to protect existing neighborhoods with the benefits that short-term housing brings to a shared economy.

Lastly, significant changes in key City leadership positions occurred this past year. We saw the retirements of long time City Clerk Susan Brooks and Fire Chief John Bales and welcomed their replacements. City Clerk Monica Mendoza joined our staff after serving several years with the city of Lochbuie. Fire Chief Alicia Welch, a Golden resident, took over the reins of the Golden Fire Department after an outstanding career with the Los Angeles Fire Department. Deputy City Manager Carly Lorentz also joined our team after previously serving the city of Wheat Ridge. She plays a key role in helping manage major projects and initiatives.

The city has recently launched a number of new efforts that will be completed in the coming year.

The reconstruction of North Washington Avenue began this past September and is expected to be completed later this summer. The design incorporates a complete streets philosophy with improved pedestrian amenities, bicycle lanes, and safe routes to school.

The city continues to explore how it might help provide more reliable and less expensive broadband service to our community. We recently launched a feasibility study and will be working to assess what role Golden might play in making improved broadband service a reality. We view broadband as critical 21st century infrastructure that plays an important role in everything from education to economic development.

In the first quarter of the New Year, Golden City Council will review proposals on the future use of the City-owned Astor House. A downtown Golden landmark since 1867, the future use of Astor House will certainly draw significant community interest.

The coming year will also feature the bulk of work related to our updated Transportation Master Plan. A critical component to our comprehensive plan, this plan will establish the City’s future vision and priorities for an integrated transportation system in Golden.

Finally, the Community Sustainability Advisory Board (CSAB) will recommend to Golden City Council new community sustainability goals, which will guide our sustainability investments over the next 10-20 years. The new sustainability goals will represent bold actions to build upon the progress made since the first sustainability initiative was launched in 2007.

We continue to build upon Golden Vision 2030 to make our city the best place to live, work and play. I encourage you to learn more about any of these initiatives by visiting www.GuidingGolden.com. Happy New Year!

Jason Slowinski is the city manager for the city of Golden.

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