Virtual Town Board Meeting: May 11, 202012 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Virtual Town Board Meeting, we approved the removal of excessive stop signs from Weldona Way, discussed the potential reopening of Superior pools for the summer, discussed potential events for 2020 (including the Fourth of July, the Main Event, the Wolfpack Ninja Event, Chili Fest, and the Superior Shindig), approved a contract with Goodland Construction for construction of pickleball courts, indefinitely extended our local disaster emergency, and held an executive session to discuss negotiation strategy regarding economic development at 1500 Coalton Road, Resolute Property, Town 15, Downtown Superior, and the Superior Marketplace. Ready to find out more on what happened? As usual, you may read this post in written form, subscribe to the Laura for Superior podcast, 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!
Item 2D – Board Reports
During Board reports, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis brought up the recent discovery around the Rock Creek HOA fence color, which he mentioned at First Friday: namely, that the color in the covenants (Cabot Dune Gray) is actually not the same color that has been mixed / painted throughout Rock Creek. The HOA is considering three options:
1 – Keep the status quo (even though it’s not Cabot Dune Gray)
2 – Revert to the actual Cabot Dune Gray (that is, not the current color that’s painted all throughout Rock Creek)
3 – Take a request to the residents to amend the covenants and remove Cabot Dune Gray from being named, so that the HOA has more flexibility in picking a different color without needing a majority of households to respond
If you are interested in weighing in, the Rock Creek HOA will be meeting on Thursday night from 6pm-8pm via Google Meet to discuss; RSVP here to receive a link to the meeting.
Mayor Clint Folsom reminded everyone that the annual State of Superior will be posted on a video next Wednesday, May 20th. The current plan is to post this video to both the Town website and on Facebook; you may join the event here to be notified when it is posted.
Finally, Town Manager Matt Magley reminded everyone that 88th Street will be closed from Shamrock Drive north to the bridge over 36, starting Monday May 18th and running through August, for the 88th Street improvement work approved at the last Board meeting.
Item 2E – Public Comment
During the opening public comments, one resident spoke up in support of opening the pools (item 4), and another in support of building pickleball courts (item 6).
Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the consent agenda – including meeting minutes, a proclamation for Memorial Day, a liquor license transfer for Rock Creek Bar and Grill (in the space formerly known as Brunelleschi’s), an agreement with PROS consulting for the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) Master Plan, and an agreement with Otak for design services on the US 36 Bikeway Extension.
Item 3G, a resolution amending the meeting time policy, was pulled for discussion. We covered this extensively at our last Board retreat, and I was staunchly against revising our meeting time policy. Instead, I’d like to see us focus on how we can make our current agenda more efficient.
This week, I thought about Parkinson’s Law that “work expands to fill the time you allot to it” – which also implies that if you don’t put a time limit on a meeting or agenda, it will go on for a needlessly long time. With that in mind, I suggested that we consider sticking with the times in our planned agenda; if a discussion is threatening to go over time, we either wrap it up or defer the topic to the end of the meeting and keep moving forward. Right now, our agenda items bleed one into the next, and it’s not uncommon for us to get hours behind because of lots of little overruns. While I agree with the Town Manager’s plan to put most of the “easier” items at the beginning of the agenda (so we can get them done quickly), I think sometimes we tend to spend too much time on those, not realizing we’ll need that time later for the more “difficult” items. If we could make a point of trying to keep the discussion to a set time limit (with the option to come back to it later), I think that might strike a good balance between forcing us to be ruthlessly efficient while also allowing us to take extra time for items that truly warrant it.
When it came time to decide whether we should revise our current meeting time policy to require a 2/3 majority (rather than a unanimous vote) to extend a meeting past 11:00pm, the proposed change failed – with myself, Trustee Neal Shah, Trustee Sandie Hammerly, and Trustee Kevin Ryan as the dissenting votes.
Item 3H, the approval to remove excessive stop signs from Weldona, was also pulled for discussion. In 1999, the Town Board added stop signs on Weldona Way at two intersections to try to slow through traffic; in 2017, a different Board added speed humps with the same goal. In October 2018, the last Board closed Weldona Way at 88th Street, dramatically changing the traffic patterns in this area. Now, Town Staff conducted analysis to determine whether these stop signs are still appropriate (since they are much easier to remove than the speed humps), and determined that if we were making the decision today, Weldona Way would not meet the criteria for all-way stop signs established in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). With that in mind, I voted to approve the removal of the stop signs, and this passed 4-3, with Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis, Trustee Neal Shah, and Trustee Ken Lish as the dissenting votes.
Item 4 – Discussion of Superior Pool Season
If it weren’t for COVID19, May 22nd would be our opening date for the North and South Pools. However, this year, clearly everything is different. Although we know we will not be opening the pools on May 22nd, we want to plan ahead and be prepared to consider opening the pools later in the summer as COVID19 evolves (and perhaps becomes less threatening). Town Staff prepared a presentation with some potential options for the Board to consider, and I kicked off the discussion with my thoughts on ways we might be able to safely reopen the pools:
- Severely limit capacity at both pools (Town Staff noted that guidelines are still being determined but were thinking we’d likely limit to around 25% of normal capacity, or about 50 people at each pool at a time)
- Use an online reservation system to allow people to book one 90-minute window per day; in between each 90-minute window, the pool facility should be cleared of all residents and staff should sterilize the facility (following CDPHE / Boulder Public Health guidelines for best practices)
- Online reservations should only comprise 80% of capacity; the other 20% should be reserved for walk ins, who could queue outside the facility on designated sidewalk squares that are far enough apart
- If someone is late for an online reservation (perhaps a ten minute window?), that spot would be given to a walk in, and the original reservation would marked as a no-show and would have to become a walk-in if they later arrived at the pool
- For no-shows that do not proactively cancel their reservation, all future reservations would be canceled and they would be barred from making future reservations (remember, you can avoid this by proactively canceling your reservation if something comes up)
- Remove all pool furniture (chairs / tables) from the pools and require people to bring their own if they choose, rather than trying to have Town Staff clean those
- Do not prioritize private groups, since I believe the pools will be more heavily used by residents this summer than in years past (with camp cancellations, etc)
Although I gave a lot of feedback on how we might be able to limit risk if we open the pools, I should point out that I think the safest option would be to keep them closed. As a lap swimmer myself, this is disappointing (I haven’t been able to swim in several months!), but I’m concerned about the risk of convening people in one place. Although vitamin D is incredibly important and I am making it a point to get outside for a walk / run every day (usually before 7am so I avoid other people), sunlight does not kill COVID19 – and I’m particularly concerned about people gathering on the pool decks, and even worse, using the indoor facilities. While it’s of course disappointing to have another activity fall victim to COVID19, keeping Superior residents safe is paramount.
Town Staff took all the feedback to develop a potential plan. However, since then, Boulder County Public Health has drafted guidelines that may discourage pools in the county from opening at all. They expect to finalize and publish the guidelines at the end of this week, and at that point we’ll know more about the near-term future of our pools.
Item 5 – Discussion of Superior Special Event Season Update
Town Staff put together recommendations for how we could change our special events this year:
- Fourth of July: The proposal was to cancel our pancake breakfast and parade (which all Board members agreed to), and move to virtual events for the rest. In addition to the virtual options, I suggested that for the Downhill Mile, perhaps we could close a lane of Rock Creek Parkway all day and put clocks at the start and finish, allowing people to run the mile on their own and time themselves for fun. I think as long as this were done all day, and participants were reminded to continue to distance (e.g., don’t start if there is another group starting at the same time), it would be a potential way to move it forward.
We also discussed potentially coordinating with Louisville on a firework display, but the Board was split on whether that’s a good idea. Personally, I would encourage us to cancel the fireworks. I love fireworks, but they are extremely expensive for only a few short minutes of enjoyment; right now, I think we ought to be saving our taxpayer funds rather than spending them on something like fireworks – particularly since it would encourage people to congregate to see them.
- Main Event: The proposal from Town Staff was to delay this August event to coincide with the grand opening of our community center at 1500 Coalton Road; the Board members who spoke up agreed with this recommendation.
- Wolfpack Ninja Event: As much as I was looking forward to this, I don’t think an obstacle course event is prudent at this time; it’s simply too risky with all the surfaces that people would be all over. The Board members who spoke up agreed that we should postpone this September obstacle course event to 2021.
- Chili Fest and Superior Shindig: Many members of the Board discussed taking a wait-and-see approach to these September events. However, one other Trustee and I encouraged our Town Staff to proactively cancel them rather than spending time and taxpayer dollars planning events that are unlikely to happen.
Town Staff took that feedback and will work on a plan to move forward.
Item 6 – Contract with Goodland Construction for Construction of Pickleball Courts
Next, our Board considered a $314K contract with Goodland Construction to build six pickleball courts. Our 2020 budget had $400K earmarked for this purpose. The Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Advisory Committee (PROSTAC) recommended Autrey Park as their first choice for this, given the adjacent facilities / restroom / parking; their second choice was Founders Park. One Trustee expressed concerns with spending this money rather than saving it. I shared these concerns – I think we should be tightening our belts right now and saving our money for the “rainy day” that COVID19 has unfortunately brought here. However, in comparing this to other leisure activity expenses (like the fireworks show), I think that pickleball courts are a much more prudent use of our funds because they will provide a permanent outdoor facility to residents, which may even be used while socially distancing this year and next.
The contract passed 6-1, with Trustee Ken Lish as the dissenting vote.
Item 7 – Resolution Declaring a Local Disaster Emergency
On March 20th, the Board ratified the emergency declaration made by Mayor Clint Folsom, and extended it for sixty days. At Monday night’s meeting, we considered extending this declaration until rescinded by the Board; this passed unanimously.
Item 8 – Executive Session Regarding Economic Development Issues for 1500 Coalton Road, Resolute Property, Town 15, Downtown Superior, and the Superior Marketplace
Finally, our Board went into Executive Session to discuss negotiation strategy regarding economic development at 1500 Coalton Road, Resolute Property, Town 15, Downtown Superior, and the Superior Marketplace.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or to me specifically at email@example.com. 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.