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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Golden Mayor

On November 5, 2019, Golden voters will elect a new Mayor and Councilors for Districts One and Two.All municipal elections are nonpartisan.The City of Golden is a Council-Manager form of City Government. The council is composed of seven members, one member from each of the existing four wards of the City, one member from each of two new districts set up on the basis of two wards per district, and one member to be elected as Mayor.

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    Don Cameron

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    Laura Weinberg

Biographical Information

In your opinion, what makes the City of Golden a ‘great place’ to live?

What do you see as the major issue facing Golden and what do you think the solution is?

What changes, if any, would you like to see concerning how the city is run?

Why are you running for mayor?

Background Recent During my time in Golden, I have been heavily involved in civic and community activities. As part of the initial community-wide discussions about sustainability in 2007, I’ve served on the Waste and Recycling Citizens Committee where I knocked on doors and collected feedback on our pay-as-you-throw proposal. I was active on the Energy and Conservation Committee where I helped push for creation of the citizens sustainability board. I still serve on the Golden Planning Commission, was chair from ‘15 to ‘16 and led the charge to have the city hire a housing expert, and helped set goals for affordable housing put in our comprehensive plan. Recently, I’ve been working with a steering group for Golden Community Land Trust, an active group of citizens working to implement plans to protect open space and also to ensure workforce housing can be created and enhanced. (I have stepped away as I campaign for mayor) I was also a member of the Golden Investment Forum Task Force where I did all the data analysis for the 400+ surveys about community priorities. I helped edit the final report to city council. I served on the Utility Rates Task Force as a representative of the Golden Planning Commission. We created an equitable water rate plan that shares the costs, the capital investments, and encourages conservation. The breadth of my civic service has given me the knowledge of the issues and the experience of dealing with the tough problems that will serve me well as Mayor. Many of you have seen me demonstrate preparedness, bring hard questioning, recommend intelligent improvements to city codes, and introduce suggestions to resolutions to help guide our city’s growth in a smart and commonsense manner. History I moved to Colorado in 1996 to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. After exploring Boulder and Denver, where I played Ultimate Frisbee (I was in the 1997 Nationals’ and Worlds’ at the Master level) I chose Golden because it had the right “vibe.” After having lived in Golden since 1996, I know that I made the right choice. While mountain biking west of Golden in August of 1998, I met my wife Carol who’s a retired United Airlines pilot. In 2000, we bought a house on East Street. In 2008 , we bought the cottage next door, and turned its yard into the East Street Community Garden. After a career in engineering (I worked for 19 years at IBM, Lockheed Martin, and others) I received a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Colorado, and in 2001 started a teaching career. I taught physics, chemistry and earth science at both the University of Denver High School and Lakewood High School, retiring in 2017. My hobbies include reading, gardening, biking, and civic affairs. My book club has been going for over 8 years and I’m proud of our reading list which includes Between the World and Me, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, And the Mountains Echoed, Why Nations Fail.
Contact phone 720-295-4370
I chose to live in Golden due to its unrivaled access to the outdoors and the Denver/Boulder metro area. By being tucked against the foothills, and somewhat geographically isolated, it has a mountain town feel, but is close to vibrant culture which it also has right in town. As a place to raise families it is peerless, with great schools, outdoor and cultural activities, and sports. As a place to work it has amazing views, which egg on the creative spirit of workers and attracts visitors to keep businesses vital. As a place to retire it offers many housing options, and again, the access to the mountains and local culture are awesome.
A top priority is guiding our development to be in character with our town and meeting our sustainability and housing goals in our comprehensive plan. We can also have better coordination of activities with CSM for housing options which will lower traffic, and reducer parking impacts. We must also ensure development is done sustainably, both energy wise and environment wise. To get there we need to have an effective overhaul of our city code to include elements of Vision 2030, our comprehensive plan, and all the neighborhood plans. We need to engage earlier in the development process to ensure the proposals are in line with our vision, not just our code. It will take lots of open and honest communication to get there, and that will be a hallmark of my efforts as mayor.
Golden can do a much better job on transparency. As mayor, I would help us implement a comprehensive approach to communications and sharing data that is robust and open. A communication plan that documents input from citizens, is trackable, and reportable will allow citizens and staff alike to be informed, and act proactively and strategically. Our open communication will address the full array of City services: safety, budget, events, streets, code enforcement. With better and clearer input we can then be sure to drive the strategy from the mission-driven city council, to city staff. Get them the resources they need to do their jobs efficiently, then hold them accountable to the outcome. Also, a problem that faces many municipalities including Golden is an aging workforce. I would want to make sure we are working on succession planning for our senior staff, workforce development, and ensuring Golden is a great and desirable place to work.
I think the city needs strong leadership to deal with the many problems impacting our citizens. We need to provide clear direction to city staff to deal with parking, code enforcement, traffic and visitor impacts. We need to provide clear direction on implementing our comprehensive plan, our sustainabiilty goals, maintaining a diverse housing stock, and ensuring changes that take place match our town’s character. We need to do all those things while working with and communicating with our local businesses in a way that is collaborative and constructive, not burdensome and onerous. And we need to build capacity in our city government to lead internally and regionally on issues that affect us. Provide the resources for our staff to do their jobs, create a robust and transparent communication process and budgeting process, and make the council accountable to citizens with improved public engagement. We need to work with CSM, the county, and the state to get the best outcome we can.
Background I am originally from South Florida and moved to the northeast for college at Brown University. After graduation, I moved to Chicago to begin my professional career. My husband, Mike, and I decided to move to Colorado in 1998 and after settling in, I attended the University of Denver where I received my MBA specialized in Information Systems while I continued to advance my career as a Director of Business Systems Analysts. In those years of learning and working and traveling, we were not putting down roots, but that changed once we had children. We chose Golden for our home and the place to raise our daughters partly for the beautiful surroundings, wonderful amenities, and downtown that we all love, but also because of the amazing sense of community here. We felt so welcomed that I began to get involved in my neighborhood HOA, in our local schools, and in the city as a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. I was elected to City Council in 2013 and am currently serving my second term as the Ward 4 City Councilor. It has been my honor and privilege to serve Golden.
Contact e-mail
Contact phone 303-241-9823
The City of Golden is a great place to live because of the people here and the sense of community that we share. We all appreciate our beautiful natural surroundings, high-quality services provided by the city, abundant recreation opportunities, vibrant arts and culture scene, and thriving downtown. These are wonderful attributes of the place where we live, but the character and special nature of Golden lies in how connected its people are. For every interest, there is a group to join to meet like-minded individuals or an organization providing volunteer opportunities to help others. The people of Golden step up and get involved because they care about each other and they care about Golden.
The biggest issue facing Golden today is how to manage the change brought by the impacts of metro-area growth and our own popularity as a city.

The metro-area growth has put pressure on Golden’s diverse mix of housing as housing costs continue to increase. Golden has always been a town where we have people of all income levels including students and professors, employees and business owners. The housing goals that I voted to adopt focus on maintaining that housing mix. I want to create a dedicated group in the city to take ownership of the goals to bring forward specific policies, partnerships, and programs for Council to take action.

Golden has also seen a tremendous increase in visitors over the past decade. I have proposed using a new lodging tax to fund a Visitor Impact and Improvement Fund to provide the resources needed to keep our city safe and clean and to better manage the congestion from additional people and cars in our downtown and creek corridor.
The city does a great job delivering high quality municipal services. However, I believe there are too many differing priorities and groups working independently which can lead to conflict or inaction rather than building toward our vision and aspirational goals. City Council needs to do a better job setting and communicating the strategy for the city so the city manager can task city staff and Council can direct its volunteer boards and commissions to execute on the strategy. A cohesive strategic plan and defined priorities will result in greater progress on our goals than we have seen.
I am running for mayor because I love our community, and I know that the experience I've gained will help me to make a positive impact for Golden. The mayor sets the tone for the city, and I am honored to have the endorsement of our current mayor who has set a great example for us. As your next Mayor, I will continue our productive civil discourse and bring greater collaboration between council, staff, boards and commissions, and the community. I have demonstrated during my years as a Councilor a willingness to listen and to work hard, the ability to analyze tough issues and to advocate for better solutions. It has been my honor to serve on City Council, and I hope that I have your vote this election to allow me to bring my experience and leadership to a new role as your next Mayor.