election 2021

Election Results 2021: City of Golden voters say yes to bed tax, but are a bit hazy on pot

Council seats are uncontested

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Golden will be getting a bed tax. City Ballot Issue 2C will allow the city to cullect up to $2 million in new revenue, by charging a lodging tax of 6% on guests of any hotel or bed and breakfast. The measure was passing by more than 1,500 votes, out of 6,145 cast. 

City voters also approved the taxing of  retail recreational marijuana (2B) at a rate of 6%. Some 58% of Golden voters supported the tax. It could bring in as much as $900 million a year if the city allows retail marijuana stores. 

The measure that would authorize a limited number of retail marijuana stores in the city (2A) was also passing as of the morning of Nov. 3, with 3,116 for and 3,052 against. 

As for city council candidates, no race was opposed, leaving candidates with a stress-free evening. Those candidates are incumbent Rob Reed for the Ward 1 seat, incumbent Paul Haseman for the Ward 2 seat, Don Cameron for the Ward 3 seat and William “Bill” Fisher for the Ward 4 seat.

Ward 1

After initially announcing that he was not planning to seek re-election, Rob Reed announced on May 13 that he had changed his mind and would do so.

“After a lot of soul-searching, conversations with my wife, and receiving encouragement from friends, neighbors, constituents and colleagues, I have decided to seek reelection to Golden city council,” he wrote in an email to the Golden Transcript. “While I initially thought 2022 would be a good year to pass the baton to a new councilor for Ward 1, I now feel that my work is not yet done.”

Reed said there is a lot of work to do with Clear Creek, the Heart of Golden, updating neighborhood plans, the West Colfax complete streets project, regional issues of workforce and affordable housing and open space, and addressing issues relating to the potential lodging tax and licensure of marijuana that Golden voters will decide this fall. He said there will also be kinks that need to be worked out with the new zoning code, which is expected to be implemented by the end of 2021.

“I believe my four years on Council and years as a real estate attorney provide a strong foundation and unique perspective to analyze these issues and to help our town continue to prosper for decades to come,” he said.

Ward 2

In May, Paul Haseman confirmed that he would seek a second term on council.

“I think I’ve done OK with what I’ve been doing so far and I look forward to continuing to work hard for the city,” he said at the time. “I’m totally behind the residents and Golden and want to continue to work for the betterment of our city.”

Haseman is a graduate of West Point who spent 30 years working in law and in the aerospace industry.

Ward 3

Barring an unexpected change, Don Cameron will be the only new face on council in 2022. Cameron, a retired Jeffco teacher and former engineer, ran for Golden mayor in 2019. He lost to Laura Weinberg by about 3.5% and just 226 votes.

While he has never been on city council, Cameron said he pays close attention to council on most of the issues it has dealt with over the past few years. He said he initially tried

to encourage others to run for council but ultimately decided to run after he was unsuccessful in doing so.

He said one of his main goals will be to understand why people are not willing to run for council and do not seem to be engaged in city government so to help to make a change on both fronts.

“That I think is showing a problem, and I’m not exactly sure what the problem is,” he said. “But I think partly it’s frustration and resignation that people feel their input does not matter. So I want to work on getting people more engaged.”

He said another important issue for him is the Heart of Golden discussion and that he would support a plan that would involve moving city buildings to the site of the former Coors office building in order to leave as much of the rest of the creek as possible as parkland.

Cameron is the co-chair of the Golden United Housing Taskforce and said getting more affordable housing built in Golden is another big issue for him.

The Ward 3 seat is currently held by Jim Dale, who announced last spring that he would not seek reelection.

Ward 4

Councilman Bill Fisher was elected in a special election held in 2020 to replace Laura Weinberg after she was elected mayor.

He said this spring that he was likely to seek re-election.

“When I ran last year, it was definitely with the intention of running again if it made sense to do so,” he said at the time. “I didn’t want to come in for a short term because a lot of projects obviously take longer than that.”

Fisher, a Registered Nurse, previously served on city council from 2008 to 2014.

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