Town Board Work Session and Meeting: June 10, 2019

Town Board Work Session and Meeting: June 10, 201910 min read

Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Work Session and Meeting, we held a working session with the Superior Historical Commission and discussed using technology to allow remote participation in meetings, heard from residents championing pickleball courts, heard from residents opposing a playground at Riverbend Park, reviewed the annual audit of our 2018 financial statements, heard an update from our economic development consultant and reviewed a work plan detailing goals for different business centers in town, approved appointments / reappointments to citizen committees, signed an agreement with Davinci Signs for our first of three town monuments, and held an executive session to discuss Rocky Mountain Fire District, ongoing litigation, and the Resolute property. Ready to find out more on what happened? As usual, you may read this post in written form, or scroll to the bottom for a video recap.

Disclaimer: While I do my best to represent an honest and accurate portrayal of meetings and events, the following should be considered an editorial that represents one person’s interpretation of the meetings. At the request of my fellow Board members, I am keeping their points anonymous rather than trying to attribute my interpretation to them personally. For the most unbiased and complete information, I would encourage residents to watch the meeting video itself and draw their own conclusions – visit the town website at SuperiorColorado.gov for the official meeting video and meeting minutes. Finally, I’d also encourage you to check out EngagedCitizens.us, which is a fantastic free tool created by one of our own residents. Engaged Citizens includes a repository of agendas, documents, and meeting videos, and allows you to search within a video to jump to critical parts. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!

Work Session

Monday’s Board Meeting kicked off with a working session with the Superior Historical Commission (SHC). The first topic was the Board’s policy of not allowing committee members to call in for meetings they are unable to attend in person. This was discussed at the Board’s March 11th meeting (recap here), and leveraging technology to encourage participation is something I’m really passionate about.

On March 11th, some members of the Board commented that remote call-in doesn’t work, as there are delays and people are unable to hear each other. On Monday night, a SHC member refuted that point, noting that she has called in for SHC meetings for over a year without issue. Another member of the SHC asked the Board to consider soliciting committee input when we set policies like this, rather than making decisions that are based on supposition – which I agree with. If allowing members to dial in is working for the SHC, how can we say it’s impossible for it to work due to technology limitations? Conference calls and WebExes are certainly not new technology; in my personal day job, I work with clients all over the country (and beyond), and I’d waste a lot of time and money if I never communicated via phone or WebEx and always had to meet in person.

I hoped that we might revisit our remote call-in policy for all committees, since I believe it’s limiting our talent pool by only allowing residents to join committees if they are physically able to attend every meeting in person. If we allowed people to join via phone / WebEx, we might have an easier time filling committee vacancies, and we may also be able to attract candidates who are in demand with hot skills and fresh ideas. Unfortunately, the rest of the Board felt that we should make an exception for the SHC but still bar other committees from using phone / WebEx when they are unable to attend in person. I wholeheartedly disagree with this decision, but as always, I am just one vote of seven and must abide by the decision of the Board.

Next, we discussed the Cemetery Restoration project. Our cemetery improvement plan was covered at our April 22 meeting, which I recapped here. This week, we discussed whether the improved cemetery should be locked (to preserve it / protect against vandalism) or open (to allow easier community access). We also talked about the possibility of re-opening the cemetery so more residents can be buried there.

Finally, we briefly discussed potential names for the new trailhead. The SHC passed on their name suggestions to OSAC, who is going to select a top three to go to the Board for a final decision.

Board Reports

During Board reports, I congratulated the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) on their very successful 6th annual National Trails Day event on Sunday June 2. I hosted guests from Switzerland at the event, and kids and adults alike loved the activities. I am eager for more annual events like this in Superior to bring the community together.

During Reports, one Trustee noted a program that Golden has called Singletrack Sidewalks, where the town builds a soft single track trail next to each sidewalk to give people the option of which trail to take. With the number of paved trails increasing throughout Superior, I think this idea could be worth considering here.

Public Comment

During public comment, several residents spoke up urging the Town to build permanent pickleball courts in town, including one resident who collected 50 signatures from Superior residents wanting courts in town and non-Superior residents who said that if pickleball courts were here, they’d come to Superior and spend money. I’ve had the opportunity to play pickleball at Wildflower Park twice, and had a blast both times! If you’d like to give it a try, it sounds like there will be a regular group meeting there on Thursday evenings during the summer – I’ll do my best to make it as often as possible, and hope to see you there.

Several other residents spoke up opposing Riverbend Park as a location for a playground for Zone 3 (north of Rock Creek Parkway / east of McCaslin). In all, I’ve heard a lot of opposition to locating a playground at Riverbend Park, and I haven’t yet heard clear support from residents asking for a park in Zone 3. At June’s First Friday, a resident suggested that for future projects, it would be beneficial for residents to first coalesce on their own and formally support a project, before a committee takes up the mantle to move it forward. This would help avoid the perception that a committee or Town Staff are pushing something that residents don’t want. To date, I haven’t seen a formal request from residents for a playground in Zone 3, and while we asked in our engagement survey whether there is a need for a playground in Zone 3, I think it’s problematic that this was asked after lots of preceding questions about Riverbend as a location. If a playground for Zone 3 is to move forward, I’d like to see residents put their name to supporting the initiative; even better, I’d like to first see a town-wide survey on which amenities are most desired in each zone, rather than immediately prioritizing a playground. (Thank you to a resident for a great conversation this weekend suggesting this idea!)

Finally, a resident of Original Town complained about Second Ave being torn up, and asked the Board not to issue any more building permits until developers fix the road they’ve damaged.

Presentation – Annual Audit

Jim Hinkle from Hinkle and Company presented the results of the 2018 audit of the Town of Superior financial statements. The Town received a rating of “unmodified” (the highest rating), indicating that the financial statements fairly present the financial position of the town and are in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Presentation – Better City Economic Development

Next, consultant Adam Hughes from Better City presented an update on the interviews / research he’s done so far, covering regional trends and updates from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) conference.

The ICSC conference took place in Las Vegas in May, and Mr. Hughes attended along with Mayor Clint Folsom and Town Manager Matt Magley. The full write up from the conference is here – definitely worth a read if you have the time! In summary, our delegation met with representatives from numerous hotel chains, food & beverage locations, recreational vendors (e.g., climbing gyms, surf simulators, indoor skydiving facilities, ropes courses), and services that facilitate pop-ups in vacant retail spaces.

Mr. Hughes also put together a report showing the available space / land and vacancies in town, and a workplan with suggested next steps for each of the five primary locations in town for attracting new businesses: Superior Marketplace, Downtown Superior, Discovery Office Park, Resolute, and Coalton Road. I am especially excited by the goal to attract a cidery/urban winery/distillery to the Coalton Road corridor, “that can provide a unique atmosphere
and environment to attract from the surrounding region as well as the ability to export
their goods outside of the local area”. With this area being at the heart of the majority of our population, I would love to see a gathering spot and programming to activate the space and bring the community together.

Consent Agenda

On the consent agenda, we unanimously approved item 3C, approval for Superior to join the Trust for Public Land’s “Ten Minute Walk to a Park” campaign. I wanted to point out to residents that Superior already has a park within ten minutes walk for almost all residents, which is pretty outstanding! The Trust for Public Land has a cool tool, Parkserve, which shows the percent of residents that live within 10 minutes of a park; it currently shows us at 97%, while the national average is only 54%. Additionally, 27% of Superior’s city land is currently designated for parks and recreation, compared to a national median of 15%. You can read more about the Parkserve tool and the benefits of having parks nearby in this New York Times article.

The rest of the consent agenda (approval of meeting minutes and appointment of Sara Miller to PROSTAC) also passed unanimously.

Item 4 – Reappointment of Committee Members

Each year, the Town Board considers appointments / reappointments to the various citizen committees. The Board voted unanimously to approve all appointments / reappointments to the Advisory Committee for Environmental Sustainability (ACES), Cultural Arts and Public Spaces Committee (CAPS), Superior Historical Commission (SHC), Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC), and the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Advisory Committee (PROSTAC).

Item 5 – Agreement with Davinci Sign Systems for the Town Monument Sign

Next, the Board considered an agreement with Davinci Signs to build / install monument signs announcing when visitors are entering the Town of Superior. These designs were reviewed / approved by the CAPS committee in October, who also identified the placement locations. One vertically-oriented sign would be located at McCaslin and 36 ($36K), a horizontally-oriented sign would be located on Coalton Road east of Tyler Drive (estimated at $47K), and another horizontally-oriented sign would be located at Highway 128 and McCaslin (estimated at $60K). The 2019 budget included $40,000 for this project, which would cover the first sign.

One member of the Board suggested that rather than only approving the first sign, we try to adjust our budget to approve all three signs. The Davinci Sign Systems owner said he would not be able to give an additional discount if we moved forward with all three this year. However, all the Trustees who spoke expressed a desire to move forward with all three signs. While we could not sign an agreement for all three without the exact costs, we unanimously approved the first sign and agreed to come back in the future to try for the other two sooner rather than later.

Item 6 – Executive Session with Town Attorney

Finally, the board went into executive session with Town Attorney Kendra Carberry regarding three separate topics: Rocky Mountain Fire District, ongoing litigation, and the Resolute Property. The meeting ended at 10:30pm.

Wrap Up

Thank you so much for taking the time to read / listen to this recap – I hope it is helpful! Our Board is always open to hearing your comments, questions, and concerns – you may always email your feedback to townboard@superiorcolorado.gov, or to me specifically at lauras@superiorcolorado.gov. As a reminder, any messages sent to a government email are part of the public record and will have your name attached; if you feel the need to write in anonymously, you may always comment at the bottom of my blog post recaps.

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