PRIORITIES

FOR GOLDEN. BY GOLDEN.

Heather Schneider for Mayor

COMMON SENSE FOR THE COMMON GOOD.

I believe in common-sense leadership with a back-to-basics approach that makes our city government transparent and restores credibility.

 

GOLDEN’S PRIORITIES ARE MY PRIORITIES:
Focus on Core City Services
  1. Fund the Golden Fire Department with existing money, not new taxes.

For over 150 years, the Golden Fire Department (GFD) has relied on the selfless service of volunteers. Today, we must fund the GFD to provide critical safety for our residents and businesses. The recent history of Colorado wildfires and the tragic fire in Maui should remind us all how important this issue is. I believe we can and should fund our fire department with existing money in the City Budget instead of another raise to property and sales taxes.

  1. Properly staff the Golden Police Department.

Our police officers do some of our ‘dirty’ jobs for us to keep us safe and they deserve our gratitude and respect. That said, we need to work to rebuild any trust that has been lost in these last few tumultuous years. I will work with Police Chief Harvey to make sure our police department has the proper staffing to keep our streets safe.

  1. Collaborative Clear Creek Management so all can enjoy our creek.

Clear Creek is an important asset to our City. Unfortunately, overuse is not only having an adverse effect on the creek ecosystem and water quality, but also is creating a negative quality of life for our residents. The City has been actively working to solve this problem for over 3 years and the outcome has only increased the overuse and deterioration of the creek. We need a more collaborative approach that includes regulatory agencies, citizens, businesses and Coors involvement to get a better handle on how we can all enjoy the creek and reduce the environmental and traffic impacts that it causes, finding harmony between residents and tubers.

  1. Explore new ways to reduce traffic issues.

Many residents avoid coming downtown because of traffic. Let’s fix that by looking at creative ways to reduce traffic impacts. First, let’s investigate new traffic models and technologies. The current parking and traffic models have not been updated in over 20 years and yet the business mix and increased visitation has changed significantly. Next, a moratorium on permanently closing additional streets until the larger issue is addressed. Then simpler approaches such as checking the timing of lights on Washington and Ford to move traffic along more smoothly. Improve pedestrian and tuber traffic flow to use walks under Washington Avenue. Consider crossing guards on weekend days in summer.  Add more bike racks. There are many things we can try to make everyone feel welcome downtown.

  1. A balanced approach to Homelessness and the Unhoused.

The City has a civic and moral responsibility to provide the necessary resources to help struggling members of our community that want help to get back on their feet. However, the City also has a responsibility to the larger community — children, residents, and businesses — to make sure public spaces like sidewalks and parks are safe and clean for all of us to enjoy. In addition to the public safety component, we also have a number of local non-profits who have great ideas and experience with how to help unhoused people without breaking the bank. Let’s generate ideas with them, balancing taking care of people and making sure the homelessness problem does not grow.

Fiscal Responsibility
  1. Use our General Reserve Fund wisely.

Our General Reserve Fund allows us to navigate through unexpected emergencies or revenue decreases without resorting to drastic measures like laying off staff or cutting essential services. We need to have serious conversations about Golden’s current Strategic Action Plan to make sure it prioritizes our core fiscal responsibility to taxpayers. This includes better stewardship of the new Lodging Tax and Marijuana Tax revenues to best serve the needs of the community.

  1. Use taxpayer funds wisely!

Raising taxes and bills every year is not sustainable. With inflation and rising prices impacting families and businesses, we have to maximize the public’s return on investment. The City of Golden currently wants to increase taxes by $4.6M through either a property tax increase or sales and use tax increases. Other future taxes may be coming down the line as well to pay for the Heart of Golden project.

  1. Build the Heart of Golden plan responsibly.

We need to build responsibly, prioritizing phases of build out as our City budget allows. Now that the City may not build a new City Hall, we need to make sure that alternative uses align with the needs of our taxpayers.

  1. Workforce Housing for Golden

Let’s get back to basics on this and figure out what we’re trying to achieve and who we are trying to house for the betterment of our community. Workforce housing initiatives should focus on current residents and those who wish to live and work in Golden.

  1. Help Small Businesses thrive.

We need to rebuild Golden’s relationship with our small businesses and our Golden Chamber of Commerce. In my work at the Golden Civic Foundation, I have seen the need to connect the goals of large businesses with businesses in downtown, north and south Golden along with nonprofits and schools. I can help us focus on developing an economic development plan that proactively addresses the big picture of what our business leaders and community truly need to thrive — instead of getting lost in the details of ideas like drive-thrus, eliminating food trucks and healthy beverage/milk ordinances.

  1. Ease into Net Zero Standards.

The Community Sustainability Advisory Board and Planning Commission recently adopted a roadmap to net zero so that all new construction and eventually existing buildings will be required to meet these energy standards. While we can all agree that this is a worthy goal, it is rarely technically or financially feasible now and has a significant impact on small businesses, development and affordability of housing in Golden. We need to have a common sense approach on how to ease into this standard while still achieving our sustainability goals.

Service & Leadership
  1. Valuing Golden’s Senior Citizens

Our senior citizens have a great sense of history, volunteerism and stories…and have been left behind. Let’s support more activities for seniors, better services and help keeping them in their homes and in our community!

  1. Conduct Listening Tours.

I believe in building Golden from the inside out, rather than the outside in. Therefore, it only makes sense to take city government and city council directly to our neighborhoods. Regular Listening Tours will make it easier for those who find it difficult to attend meetings at City Hall to have their voices heard. I enjoy getting out and meeting people face-to-face. As Mayor, I will be visible, approachable and plan on getting city leadership out to our neighborhoods!

  1. Promote volunteerism to build strong connections in our community.

We already have an incredibly strong sense of commitment to volunteerism in this town. Let’s invite more! As Marv Kay would say, “Volunteerism is the price that you pay for the space that you occupy.” If elected, you can count on me to personally get out in the community, build bridges, and make the connections that rally Golden together.

Championing Golden’s Character
  1. Keep our events WHERE they are, WHEN they are.

Golden’s signature events are crucial to local business, and we all enjoy seeing our neighbors and friends at Buffalo Bill Days, Lion’s Club July 4th Celebration, the Farmers’ Market,  Fine Arts Festival, the Golden Fire Department’s Annual Pancake Breakfast, the Golden Candlelight Walk and many other events from Golden High School to School of Mines’ homecoming celebrations to youth sporting events. It’s important that we protect these special events since they bring residents together and drive essential tax revenues for the City.  I will not allow our long-standing traditional events to be moved out of the downtown area.

  1. Preserve our Small-Town Character.

Let’s make sure we never lose all that we love best about our town —our historic homes and buildings as well as our trails, mesas, creek and local events!  Let’s look at ways to develop a future “Golden Stewardship Plan” that is a collaboration with our community, the City, businesses, nonprofits and tourism to participate and share in the solution that preserves our small-town character.

With major development projects such as Clayworks/CoorsTek and the Wells Fargo lots (between Ford & Jackson and 12th & 14th Streets) on the near horizon, we need to collaborate with the developers to make sure plans align with Golden’s character as well as look at ways to better connect and advocate for businesses in north and south Golden. Having been a founding team member of the Miners Alley Playhouse acquisition of the Meyer Hardware building, I know how important arts and culture is to our overall community’s health and economic vitality. I will continue to be an advocate for an Arts District in the downtown core as well as a supporter of these organizations. Youth athletics are another important component of our community character, and I will advocate to keep ballfields in both Lions Park as well as complementary sporting uses in the newly designed Ulysses Park.

  1. Create a Future Town Square.

Retail establishments like Meyer Hardware and Foss General Store once served as a natural gathering spot for friends and neighbors. With the new construction of the Miners Alley Performing Arts Center as well as the renovations to the Astor House for the future Foothills Art Center, this may create a great location for a natural town square that would serve the purpose of providing a core local gathering spot for events like “First Fridays” and other key community gatherings.