My favorite show is on tonight!

City Council - Golden Colorado

City Council has a study session tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  No votes are taken at study sessions, and there is no public comment period.  You can watch by attending, turning on cable TV channel 8, or watching it live on the City’s website.  For more information on any of the following topics, see the meeting packet.

The Police Chief will discuss the Family Justice Center, which is a cooperative venture involving more than 50 agencies, including the DA’s office. It will provide a range of services for victims of family violence.

The Assistant City Manager will describe a new public engagement tool that the City would like to buy, called EngagementHQ. They hope that residents would move their discussions about city matters from Nextdoor to this new tool, where city staff can moderate the conversation and explain city decisions more thoroughly. It will cost about $8K/year and may require that the city hire more staff to support the program.

The Community and Economic Development Director will lead a discussion regarding the responsibilities of the various boards and commissions. Council will soon be voting on an Ordinance that will formalise these responsibilities.

One item that causes recurrent discussion is where the museums fit in. They currently fall within the purview of the Parks & Rec Board, but the board’s responsibilities were not clear, and their managerial role with the museums was minimal. Many people wonder why the History Museums don’t fall under the Historic Preservation Board. The answer, as the Mayor explained to me, is that the museum does a lot of programming, like summer camps and lectures. So the mechanics of scheduling, accepting payment, etc., seemed a logical fit with Parks & Rec.

Still, there is the recurring question of who actually directs museum decisions–what stories are we trying to tell, what exhibits should we be planning, what’s important to the Golden community, and how do we get to weigh in?

The Astor House Hotel Museum, was saved, furnished, and operated by citizens. The museum’s current professional staff evaluated the Museum and its contents and decided that it was not worth preserving. While the building was closed for repairs, they quietly sold off the contents. If the community had been consulted about that decision, they might have agreed that it was a sensible course, but since they weren’t, it remains an open wound in the minds of many.

Councilor Brown plans to suggest some additions to the role of the Parks & Rec board, with the goal of improving transparency in museum operations. The new ordinance might require, for example, that the Parks & Rec Board hold a public hearing before the museum can de-accession artifacts, revise major policies, or start major initiatives (such as a plan to revise exhibits and remodel the museum).

The final topic for tonight’s meeting is what to include in a New City Councilor’s Orientation Guide.