A report card for Golden

Mayor Marjorie Sloan, Guest Column
Posted 1/7/13

Golden City Council is at a halfway point in its term — a good chance to measure 2012 progress and set 2013 expectations. In other words, it’s …

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A report card for Golden


Golden City Council is at a halfway point in its term — a good chance to measure 2012 progress and set 2013 expectations. In other words, it’s report card time.

A few caveats: This is my own self-reflective progress report, based on the priorities set by council for 2012-13. For a more complete and balanced picture, watch council’s Jan. 17 organizational meeting when we review 2012 highlights then look ahead to the coming year. And, to be clear, council sets policy, but Golden’s hardworking and talented staff and board members merit straight As on implementation.

Progress in priorities and goals

1) Support schools and libraries

Council has cemented relationships with school and library officials, provided unanimous support for the successful school-financing ballot issues, added a part-time position committed to working with schools, and devoted time to visiting Golden’s schools. Meets Expectations, Continue on Course.

2) Enhance public spaces

Council has been diligent in overseeing the Central and East Downtown Neighborhood Plans, which feature vibrant public gathering places in the heart of Golden. Council is exploring public/private cooperation to make the downtown streetscape even more inviting. In contrast, the Clear Creek corridor became a little too inviting last summer. Look for protective management efforts this year. Incomplete.

3) Improve health and wellness

Golden added staff resources in this area and it also won national recognition as a healthy community. The health, fitness, and well-being of community members of all ages will continue to be considered in every decision, relating to areas such as land-use planning, parks and recreation, road design, sustainability initiatives, and events. Incomplete.

4) Plan and develop transportation improvements

To protect Golden from effects of the proposed Jefferson Parkway, we improved regional relationships in order to reach agreement on the need to preserve Golden’s unique setting; created an updated 6/93 corridor plan incorporating residents’ comments; and vigorously, but unsuccessfully, litigated claims in the federal court. On our city streets, we re-striped Ford Street to provide a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly environment while still allowing traffic to flow freely. Next year brings the opening of the West Line Light Rail, in tandem with a circulator bus and (hopefully) a pedestrian bridge over US 6. Inaugural parties will be held throughout the weekend of April 26. Incomplete but Efforts Meet Expectations.

5) Maintain and improve our neighborhoods.

The ongoing i-Golden neighborhood grant program boosts community-building. Responsive elected officials have demonstrated a fierce interest in addressing neighborhood concerns. Incomplete.

6) Broaden and strengthen town’s relationship with the Colorado School of Mines.

The Colorado School of Mines is a downtown and historic-district neighbor, a source of youthful vigor, and an intellectual resource. Our focus this year has been on deepening the economic development ties between town and gown. Incomplete.

7) Encourage economic development

Successful economic development efforts have raised Golden’s profile, created jobs, contributed to the city’s revenue base, and connected investors to businesses. This emphasis will continue to bear fruit. Incomplete but Efforts Meet Expectations.

9) Strive to meet community sustainability goals

We dedicated a remodeled, LEEDS-certifiable Public Works Building; received an expert panel report on renewable energy, a guideline to the future; launched the Resource/Smart program; and supported various community projects. This priority requires more attention next year. Incomplete.

10) Improve communication

Golden’s Internet presence is an evolving effort to serve our engaged but time-constrained residents. The launch of a revamped website, a weekly subscription e-newsletter, an electronic vision forum, a transportation website and councilors’ and mayor’s blogs all contribute to this goal. In addition, council and staff hold community meetings, respond to emails, answer telephone calls, and generally thrive on opportunities for person-to-person contact. Incomplete but Efforts Meet Expectations.

Attendance, behavior, organization and social skills

No report card is complete without scoring attendance and conduct. In this area, I am confident that council deserves an Exceeds Expectations. In report-card parlance, council as a whole works hard, focuses on the task at hand, treats others with respect, comes to meetings prepared, displays enthusiasm for the job, shows perseverance, shares insightful ideas, uses common sense, and doesn’t run with scissors. We all understand that it is a privilege to serve the residents of Golden and look forward to a great 2013.

marjorie sloan, golden


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