[Published Oct. 22, 2015, in the Golden edition of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in the Golden Transcript]
It’s time for fresh, independent thinking on the Golden City Council, and that’s why I am voting for a new Mayor and new Councilor.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m quite proud of our City government over the past couple decades, especially how it weathered the recession through sound fiscal management.
However, the Council and Mayor have demonstrated excessive confidence in Dan Hartman’s Public Works Department and the City’s Sustainability Committee, rubber-stamping some bad proposals while ignoring the facts and citizen input.
The construction of traffic calming islands on an unpopulated stretch of Eagle Ridge Drive while telling neighborhoods without sidewalks that they’d have to wait a decade or more for funding is a prime example. That block, Hartman reported, had never had an accident, but its average speed of 40+ mph was “not appropriate for a residential neighborhood.” Shortly after the islands were installed, there was a rollover accident, and countless residents have experienced hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damage to their cars’ suspension from collisions with the islands. “It’s been great for business,” the manager of an auto repair shop told me.
The hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on those measures could have built miles of sidewalks where they don't now exist.
Another mindless decision, recommended by the Sustainability Committee, was to not renew the City’s contract with Waste Management — one of our best corporate citizens, which even has an executive serving on the Golden Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors — because another carrier said they’re “open” to recycling Styrofoam and other materials.
Don't get me wrong here, either. I love the idea that the City's new vendor might sometime in the future accept Styrofoam (polystyrene) for recycling. We have been accepting it at Golden Real Estate for over 5 years, taking a truckload of the material each month to a polystyrene factory for reprocessing. If trash haulers started collecting the stuff, it would be a great relief to my company!
The Council is currently trying — again at the behest of the Sustainability Committee — to force HOAs which have their own highly effective trash/recycling contracts to join the city's Pay As You Throw program at double the cost.
These decisions have all been made despite much thoughtful citizen input by me and others. That’s why I urge you to join me in voting for Chris Darr for Mayor and Paul Haseman for City Council. They will think for themselves and listen to citizens.