In 2024, as I reflect back on my first four years as mayor of Golden, I am proud of how we maintained the character of the town we love, while managing the pressure of growth from both Colorado School of Mines and surrounding communities. Working with citizens, developers, and regional partners, we have cut the shortage of housing for workers. While maintaining growth limits for building, we absorbed the increase in student and resident population – without an increase in traffic. Our circulator bus for special events, summer tourists, and commuters has noticeably cut traffic and opened up parking for residents. Paid for by a lodging tax, the bus is used by many, and continues to gain riders. The new housing, with its pitched roofs, front porches and adequate setbacks have been well received, and fit in with Golden’s character. Patio homes, condos and townhomes, not just high end luxury homes, are expanding options for families in Golden. Residential sustainability standards have been improved so comfort, quality and efficiency are all improved. Broadband buildout is taking place and more and more homes have access to 5G or fiber. We’re making significant progress toward our 2030 goal of 100% renewable energy. Commercial spaces with storefronts that echo our historical character,are adding to our tax base – and enjoyed by all. Our summer events are spread around to Celebration Plaza (Arapahoe St) and Goosetown, taking pressure off Lion’s and Parfet parks. Residents feel welcome downtown, tourists are adding vibrancy, but not scaring away our own citizens and they are using the new remote parking lots. Businesses are succeeding with a balance of visitors and tourists, and they remain accommodating due to improved communications on event planning.
Golden’s citizens feel heard and valued. Our new Open Space Board has developed, and is filling out its open space master plan. As we acquire more open space and put it in trust for the future, people are finally able to guarantee that their views into and out of the city will be protected. A city and citizen collaboration has addressed Astor House and Brickyard Mansion for long term preservation and use, and cultural facilities are thriving. The rich discussion around Goosetown has created a positive set of uses, including remote parking, events, civic needs and partnership with Jeffco government entities. We have taken a stronger role on regional issues and the beltway in a way that works for us.
We have worked collaboratively with the School of Mines to better incorporate students into the fabric of the town. “Host a Mines Student for Thanksgiving” has been popular, and more people are taking adult education on campus. We have partnered with many local volunteer organizations, creating better relationships between students and citizens. The Intergovernmental Agreement signed in 2020 has been a good guiding document for that relationship.
Most importantly, working with motivated council and staff, together as a community we have kept Golden a special place where all who call it home can thrive.