A $1.8 Million Surprise From Our City Government

1000 10th St. – Golden Colorado

If you look at the very last item on this week’s City Council agenda–item #13, Resolution #2543–you will learn that we’re about to buy the office building across the street from City Hall for $1,782,500.

Long-time readers of What’s Happening in Golden? know that I follow city business closely, so I was surprised that this could have crept up on me.  Resolutions generally appear in the consent agenda of a previous city council meeting, and a future date is set for public comment,  formal discussion and a vote.

That didn’t happen in this case.  Instead, the December 8th Council meeting included an Executive Session (not open to the public).  The stated topic was “Executive Session re Potential Purchase, Acquisition Or Lease Of Real Property For Municipal Administrative Purposes.”  No property address or price was mentioned.

As a result of that Executive Session, the City Manager made an offer on the property and has signed an agreement to purchase it.  The agreement awaits Council’s consent at tonight’s meeting.

While this may be a great price and a fine investment, there are several disturbing points about this sudden, unheralded purchase.

  1. We just finished an 8 month budget process, and the need for a new city building was not discussed and was not budgeted.
  2. The suggestion to purchase the building arose right after the final 2016 meeting of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, so that group never had the chance to evaluate the proposed deal.
  3. We recently remodeled the city shops to provide several new offices.  Shortly after, we began leasing office space in the Visitors Center.  Now we’re buying a facility that will provide “at least 12 private offices, 2 conference rooms, a kitchen, and two patios.”  How much has our city government grown in the past five years, and how much more will it grow?

Why is this purchase being made so quickly, with no attempt at public outreach?