Golden is in an enviable position with a strong economy, safe neighborhoods, and high-quality city services. This position of strength allows us to strategically implement changes that will maintain what we value most and ensure our continued success in the future.
Key Strategic Areas
The city is ever-evolving with changes large and small. Potential developments of a new civic center or new School of Mines projects could change the Golden landscape in large, visible ways. New parking options downtown or a new crosswalk are smaller yet important changes that must be managed too.
Laura understands that no matter the size of the change the city must have a comprehensive process to communicate, engage the public, measure before and after conditions, and learn from past efforts. She will put strategic planning at the front of Council's efforts so that new projects must identify how they fit into the strategic plan and related budget priorities. Her efforts will address how to move from planning to reality, from talk to results. Laura will get things done for Golden.
City Council adopted its first ever Strategic Action Plan in January 2021 and continues to improve and refine the process and the presentation so priorities are aligned with work and actions aligned with plans move forward.
Housing Diversity and Affordability
Laura voted in 2017 to adopt community housing goals into the comprehensive plan in order to focus the city's efforts.
Retaining and creating a mix of housing suitable for diverse residents requires an everything on the table approach. Programs for housing repairs, emergency payments, and down payment support are all partner initiatives Laura has supported to help residents keep their current housing and to make housing attainable for new homeowners.
Additional policies are needed to make preserving housing an attractive option and to incentivize new building to include an affordable component. Laura will be the leader to strengthen local, regional, state, and national partnerships to position Golden favorably in the broader housing efforts.
Laura successfully authorized the first Housing Coordinator position for the city in 2021. She worked with city staff in 2021 to apply for (and was awarded) a DOLA state grant to complete a Housing Needs and Strategies Assessment.
Laura understands first-hand the value of electric vehicle charging stations, streamlined permitting for rooftop solar, and affordable options for composting and recycling. As a lifetime proponent of sustainability efforts, Laura was proud to vote to adopt new sustainability goals for the City of Golden in 2018. She is committed to identifying the strategies needed to reach those goals, collaborating with the Community Sustainability Advisory Board, and allocating necessary budget and resources for success.
Safe, Smart Transportation
During Laura's tenure on Council, the city initiated and completed two major projects, North Washington Avenue and Linking Lookout. These provided safer and improved streets for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Laura recognizes that future projects, such as Highway 93 and the U.S. 6 & Heritage interchange, require leadership to build strong relationships with regional and state partners for funding and support. Goldenites know that a completed Jefferson Parkway will result in major impacts to Golden and Laura will fight for solutions for our roadways.
Additionally, she has been a strong advocate for the creation of the city's new Mobility and Transportation Advisory Board, the development of a new Master Transportation Plan, and future smart technology for our local roadways. Transportation is more than highways and Golden needs local creative solutions to address our multi-modal needs.
Strong, Connected Neighborhoods
Safe, clean and quiet neighborhoods are a core value for Golden and why Laura has worked hard to pass the short-term rental rules to keep commercial businesses out of residential neighborhoods. She has supported permit parking extensions in historic neighborhoods to help mitigate increased pressures from additional tourists. Laura has promoted the formation of neighborhood groups and worked with neighborhood associations on the issues most important to them, from waste hauling contracts to construction at School of Mines. She will continue to improve city transparency and
communication to provide targeted information about neighborhood concerns.
Golden has had a piecemeal approach responding to market dynamics and updated building requirements. Laura has supported the neighborhood efforts for specific code changes and the moratorium to allow for those changes to be finalized. She is supportive of the upcoming update to the city code and a review of the development process and knows that building policy and zoning codes are only part of the approach.
Holding onto what makes Golden special while balancing future needs is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Laura is the leader who works to represent all voices in the community, not just the loudest, and considers all current and future impacts rather than just reacting to immediate concerns. Throughout its 160 year history, Golden has seen periods of rapid development that require more than a one-time revision to our city codes.
The Zoning Code Rewrite project has been an intensive, multi-year effort to adopt a new forms-based zoning code. This code is expected to be adopted in 2022 and serve the community for decades to come.
Valued Cultural Organizations & Schools
Golden residents show strong support for our neighborhood schools with active participation and fundraising. We also appreciate the many cultural institutions bringing history and the arts to our community. The arts are an essential part of building community and connecting people. Golden's arts and cultural organizations have a positive economic impact for the city and an important role in education. The city should invest in arts and cultural programs that deliver authenticity and engage audiences in the unique experience of Golden.
Laura has served on task force groups for museums, is an active member in community organizations, and volunteers and holds leadership positions in our neighborhood schools. She understands the importance of building community, not just through the city’s efforts, but also with non-profit and governmental partners. She will continue to work to strengthen the connections between local community members, organizations, and schools.
A Thriving Business Environment
Golden has never been a bedroom community and businesses are the lifeblood of our town. Laura's work with the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation (she was their 2018 Elected Official of the Year) makes her an experienced leader understanding the importance of attracting and retaining existing businesses in Golden and making Golden a welcoming place for start-up, woman-owned, and minority-owned businesses. She has been a leader in both large corporations and small family start-up businesses and appreciates the vibrancy that local businesses bring to our community