Taxpayers should be outraged and demand restitution
By Karen Oxman
First, I wish to point out that I am writing this on Nov. 1, five days before the ballots are counted for the Nov. 6 election. Second, I am fully in support of free speech and of understanding the government under which we live.
I also support constructive criticism of government, and willingness to be a “watchdog” of the budget. Third, I am addressing this opinion piece to all Golden’s taxpayers. We have about 18,000 residents. We have about 5,000 adults who pay taxes.
Are you, as a taxpayer, outraged that your tax dollars, each year, are going to defend the city from frivolous lawsuits, filed in abundance by a very unhappy resident of Golden who has spent the past 10 years as a negative force in an otherwise happy and thriving community?
Are you aware that this person, who is the writer, financier, and editor of the Voice of Golden, has filed more than 19 lawsuits against the city, the City Council, and most of city staff, and lost all of them? Are you aware that the cost of staff time and legal fees have approached a million dollars? Are you happy that the city must budget $100,000 a year in the event of yet another frivolous lawsuit by this person? How does that make you feel? Should we ask her to return the money to the city coffers? She has lost every lawsuit she has filed. Shouldn’t she quit filing them?
I feel outraged.
Let’s look at the history. The occupant of 203 Iowa Drive only contributes to the community in negative ways. She is very quiet for about 18 months, and then, about six months before an election, she surfaces and begins bombarding the community with misinformation and rabble-rousing rhetoric. This has gone on long enough. This year, she has spent nearly $20,000 with her political venom. This has included many postcards and issues of the newsletter known as Voice of Golden. She uses scare tactics to try to get her candidates elected to City Council so that they will carry out her bidding, and accuses 3GL of doing what she is actually doing. 3GL is a registered political committee that works to find good folks willing to serve Golden … and has never tried to control council. After the election, she finds something to file frivolous lawsuits about, and we start all over. Why would you even want to live here if this community is so evil and corrupt?
Let me tell you the truth.
The City of Golden is in great shape. Our infrastructure and water needs are met. We have excellent fire and police departments that care about the health and safety of our residents. Our Public Works Department has had numerous awards for excellence. Our Golden Informer has had many awards for being a great communication tool. Council meetings are live on Channel 8 so citizens can stay tuned to what is happening from the comfort of their own couch.
Our finance department yearly is commended on our budget process and fiscal responsibility to the community. Our city manager has been an international speaker on local government. Our planning department has worked out historic neighborhoods and neighborhood plans, and promotes citizen input. Our Parks and Recreation Department has just completed a master plan which will be coming to City Council.
Can we get even better? Sure! We are always striving to get better, more efficient, more communicative. But, are we an evil entity that is ruining the town? I think not.
So, where is our outrage and disgust at this person, who lives here, but is never seen in a grocery store, or shopping downtown, or attending events, or pouring beer for a festival, or at the Community Center, Splash, or golf course, or walking the trails and smiling at kids and dogs and happy folks who love it here? What can we do as a community to improve this person’s outlook of life in Golden into something positive? How can we help her to spend her money on positive impact items of good for the community? Does she buy in Golden to add her sales tax to the city budget? Look at her campaign finance reports. She doesn’t use Golden businesses for her supplies and printing. She uses sources outside the city. Boulder and Lakewood, to name two, collect her tax dollars.
She does have the right, of course, to say and print whatever she likes. We have the choice to read it or not. Maybe we should gather up all of the Voice of Golden and mailings and return them to her doorstep for recycling – unread.
As to the lawsuits, I believe it is time to ask the courts to let her know that she may no longer file frivolous lawsuits against anyone or any entity in Golden, and that she needs to stop writing “legalese” pretending to be an attorney.
It is time to encourage the occupant of 203 Iowa Drive to move in a more positive direction in her life in Golden. We always can use more volunteers at events.
Her phone number is 303-279-7479 and her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Or write to her at 203 Iowa Drive, Golden, CO 80403. Let her know if you are tired of your tax dollars going to defend the city against her. Take a stand against what this person is doing to Golden by distorting truth and using scare tactics to manipulate folks. Tell her to take you off her mailing list.
City Councilor Karen Oxman was re-elected to another four-year term Nov. 6.