Laura Weinberg and Eric Scarbro, candidates for Ward 4, discussed approaches to city issues at a candidate forum on Sept. 19.
Questions developed by the Leadership Golden Board touched on issues such as the western beltway, the formation of the downtown development authority (DDA), and how candidates intend to balance accommodating visitors and resident needs.
Weinberg and Scarbro are both running for the Ward 4 seat, while Ward 3 candidate Pamela Gould is running unopposed. Current city council members Joe Behm for Ward 2 and Marcia Claxton for Ward 1 are both seeking re-election for a second term.
Scarbro and Weinberg agreed the western beltway is a concern that will remain as one primary focus should they be elected. Both support the development of DDA and both are in favor of protecting resident interests while supporting tourism. Their primary concerns reflect one another’s to a degree, but Scarbro was more outspoken about his opinions on the neighborhood plans and vision 2030, which candidates mentioned as one of their priorities.
“There are always drivers behind those plans that have agendas,” Scarbro said. “So I think that blindly following those plans is really not what some of these neighborhoods and what many of the citizens would actually like to see,” he said. Scarbro said he thinks the neighborhood plans and vision 2030 are in general, helpful, but said residents who attended meetings heard what they wanted to hear, and that is what was recorded in the plans. “I know that as a fact because I was at many of those meetings and I’ve looked through the plans,” he said. “Do we take these at face value or do we need to have hearings as we move along?”
Weinberg didn’t question the formation of the plans, and said following through with them is essential.
“I think executing on the neighborhood plans, on the vision 2030 which is the voice of our residents, tells us what they want Golden to look like,” Weinberg said. “I think that is a top priority not just for me but also for the city,”
Weinberg also discussed preserving the city’s small town character and managing residential, commercial and tourism growth with a well-constructed plan, as a top priority for the city.
“I think a planned approach in managing our growth in all those areas is going to be important as we continue to grow as a community,” Weinberg said.
“I am running for city council to maintain what we love and help guide Golden into the future,” Weinberg said. “I don’t want to rest on what has been in the past but continue to manage the changes that Golden faces in a way that respects our joint vision 2030 and our needs of today.”
“I think the city council has led some good directions at times and that other times they’ve made maybe not the best decisions” Scarbro said. “My primary concern with the city right now is one of financial responsibility, is the city spending its money in a way that’s the most effective for the function of city government? I feel that we may have gotten a little off track.”
“We don’t lose easily in Golden, we fight for our principals. I would like the opportunity to continue that,” Scarbro added.