Westminster City Summit is a good idea

Column by Bill Christopher
Posted 3/15/17

Last week, the Westminster City Council hosted a "City Summit." The stated purpose was to invite citizens to come to City Park Recreation Center "for a productive discussion about our city and its …

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Westminster City Summit is a good idea


Last week, the Westminster City Council hosted a "City Summit." The stated purpose was to invite citizens to come to City Park Recreation Center "for a productive discussion about our city and its future. They want your thoughts on what our community does well and how we can build on that to make things better for everyone."

A light meal and child care were included in the planned 2 1/2-hour event. My wife and I were out of the country when the event took place and I was sorry to miss the opportunity. I mention the summit, not to recap or summarize the highlights of the event, but to commend the city council on reaching out to the citizenry to gain its input. Coming on the heels of the trash-hauling issue (which is yet to be decided), this input session was a good opportunity for citizens to share their views as well as for councilmembers to gain insight.

Key is to follow up with action

Whether it is a telephone town hall meeting or 24-7 electronic input opportunities like the city's "Westy Connects" or city council outreach events that are publicized in advance, the key in effective representation of the citizenry is follow-up action. Validity in asking for people's input is shown by the action subsequently taken after receiving the input. The governing body, whether it is a city council, school board, board of county commissioners or a special district board of directors, should be prepared to reflect the public's input on an issue or topic in deliberations and decision-making. To merely use the various tools inviting public input and then ignoring the feedback is disingenuous.

Ditigal documents are a "no brainer"

Our state Legislature continues to play games with proposed state legislation that should be a "no brainer." I am referring to Senate Bill 40, which would require the release of documents and data from governmental entities in the useable digital formats in which the information already exists. The basic intent of this legislation was killed last year and now is getting amendments hung on it with dubious motivation. Why can't the Legislature and governmental entities face up to the justification of public access to most governmental documents? Such tactics by legislators creates question and doubt as to sincerity of "openness in government." Come on, as the TV commercial says, "Just get this one done."

Broomfield says no moratorium

Scratch the idea of a five-month moratorium on fracking oil and gas wells in Broomfield. After marathon council meetings and an information session held at 1st Bank Center with 1,000 people in attendance, the Broomfield City Council voted to postpone indefinitely a vote on the proposed moratorium. The quid pro quo was the oil and gas exploration company pursuing 140 wells agreed to withdraw its applications with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Extraction Oil and Gas said it wanted to participate in the upcoming comprehensive plan update, which will add a section on oil and gas exploration. So, it seems like a win-win after an intense public process.

March Madness is upon us!

OK, college basketball fans, it is our time to "dance." March Madness is upon us. You best have already filled out your brackets and entered the office or local bar pool. Oh, all managers from the largest corporations to the small mom-and-pop businesses should get ready for REDUCED productivity. Bracketology is king now until the Final Four teams have played on April 1 and 2 to determine the NCAA men's basketball champs.

As for me, I am going with my Kansas Jayhawks. They recently finished first in the Big Twelve for their 13th consecutive title either undisputed or co-champs. Their 28-3 record with a 16-2 conference record speaks well for them. Senior guard Frank Mason III is likely to be named the NCAA men's most valuable player and coach Bill Self is a given on being voted into the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame. What else can I say? Rock Chalk Jayhawk K.U.!

Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

Bill Christopher


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