Published on the first Monday of each month by Bob Yates, Boulder City Council
Subscribers this month: 6,090

Help us hire Boulder's next CEO
By Bob Yates

Boulder is not run by the city council or its mayor. Rather, that responsibility falls to a city manager hired by council to manage the day-to-day affairs of the local government and to supervise its nearly 1400 employees. To make a corporate analogy, the city residents are the shareholders, the city council is the board of directors elected by the shareholders to make strategic policy decisions, and the city manager is the CEO, hired by council to run the municipal operations. Or, as the City Charter (our local constitution) dictates: “The city manager shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the city.”
Last month, one of Boulder’s longest-serving (and first female) city managers, Jane Brautigam, retired after serving the community for 12 years. In my opinion, Jane did an outstanding job. She set our expectations high, and it will be hard to replace her. You can read more about Jane and her accomplishments in a
piece that that I published in the Bulletin last November. And, now, it is up to city council to fill Jane’s very big shoes. When Jane announced her retirement in July, city council felt that we should take plenty of time to find her replacement so that our decision, arguably the biggest one we are charged with, is thoughtful and deliberate. We are fortunate that Jane’s deputy, Chris Meschuk, is a skilled and able administrator, and council appointed him as interim city manager until the position can be filled next year. (Chris has announced that he won’t be applying for the job himself.)
The process for recruiting and hiring a new city manager is well under way. It is led by my council colleagues Mary Young and Aaron Brockett, supported by the city’s human resources department and professional municipal recruiter Heather Gantz, who has helped Boulder recruit other senior city staff members. The first thing they did after Jane announced her retirement was to interview city council members and senior city staff to hear what characteristics and experience they want to see in Boulder’s next city manager. Now it’s your turn to weigh in.
You can participate through an online survey, open through November 10, which you can find
here. In the survey, you will be asked several questions, including
... Read more ☞

Weathering the storm
This is the fourth in a series of articles on how Boulder city departments 
continue to provide services to the community during the coronavirus crisis.
Previous pieces were on
ParksTransportation, and Arts.
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. –Willa Cather

As we move from wave to wave in this seemingly endless pandemic, we seek out places that are safe and familiar. Outside of our homes, few things are as safe and familiar as Boulder’s tens of thousands of acres of Open Space, encircling and embracing the city like a warm hug. Most of us live within a mile or so of a trailhead, our portals to the natural world beyond an urban scene suddenly filled with danger. Like Dorothy after the tornado, venturing out of her house into the Land of Oz, when we step into Open Space, we leave behind the gray world of disease and move into a natural haven, vibrant with colorful nature, fresh air, and safety. 

Last spring, when we thought we about had our fill of being cooped up inside, it seems that everyone had the same idea at once: Escape to Open Space. The visitation numbers are astounding; March and April were like July. Open Space trails were filled to capacity and popular trailheads had no parking. Rangers and other Open Space staff were overwhelmed, trying to provide visitors with the most current mask and distancing information from shifting national, state, and county guidelines. “During the first couple of months of COVID, there were lots of questions about whether it was safe to be outdoors and when to wear a mask,” recalls Open Space and Mountain Parks Director Dan Burke. “But, eventually, as word got out from the public health officials, it became apparent that being outside was a high benefit, low risk activity.”

And word did get out. From March through May, Dan’s team saw record numbers of visitors at Open Space trailheads. In May, there were more than 150,000 visitors to the 11 most popular sites, with 40,000 at Chautauqua alone. “These are summer-like numbers,” Dan explains. “This is the first time our society has experienced a lockdown, but the outdoors are still available to us. And, there are lots of newcomers to our system. There are people experiencing Open Space for health and wellness. The lockdown brought out people who were experiencing the power of nature.”
Dan’s team did two things in those early months to help keep visitors safe. First, as the mask guidelines became clear by mid-spring, Dan’s team tried to get out the word about the rules. They posted nearly 100 signs at Open Space trailheads and deployed a half-dozen electronic road signs near the most popular sites. “We devoted a lot of resources to keeping our employees and visitors safe. We blew our annual sign budget in a few weeks,” Dan explains. While the emphasis has been on education, enforcement is sometimes necessary. “Rangers will issue tickets for
 Read more ☞
Recent Votes & Positions:

2021 Budget: At the October 20 meeting, I joined a unanimous council in approving the 2021 budget, with reduction of more than 7% from 2020 spending.  What was I thinking ☞

Teahouse Landmarking: At the October 20 meeting, I joined a unanimous council supporting the landmarking of the Dushanbe Teahouse, including protecting the interior features.  What was I thinking ☞
In the News:

October 6: Boulder residents express concerns about cuts to city's 2021 budget

October 7: Boulder City Council adds money for arts, housing and more in first budget hearing

October 8: Boulder accepts applications for police master plan process subcommittee

October 13: New online petitioning system, charter amendments meant to provide clarity, ease in election process

October 14: Boulder agrees to reconsider occupancy limits

October 18: Boulder City Council planning discussion on rules of decorum to protect staffers from rudeness, threats

October 20: Boulder City Council approves $341.7 million budget

October 24: Boulder to work on language that protects the Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse interior

October 27: Boulder planning transition to new bike share program that includes e-bikes, scooters

October 28: Boulder to consider ordinance changes that designate where bikes, scooters can operate

City of Boulder Community Newsletter

October 2020 issue on ballot measures here
Find other recent past issues here
Next monthly issue December 7

Council Meetings & Study Sessions

Unless otherwise noted, all council meetings and study sessions and other meetings begin at 6:00 at City Council Chambers, second floor, 1777 Broadway. Information current as of first Monday of the month, but subject to change.
Confirm agendas 

Tuesday, November 3: No Council Meeting 
Election Day

Tuesday, November 10: Special Council Meeting 
COVID update; jail report; police committee

Tuesday, November 17: Council Meeting  
Legislative agenda; CU South annexation process

Tuesday, November 24: No Council Meeting 
Thanksgiving break

Tuesday, December 1: Council Meeting  
Macy's conversion; crime report

Tuesday, December 8: Study Session
Parks & Rec master plan; racial equity update

Contact Bob 
Voice Message: 720.310.5829
Office: 1777 Broadway, Boulder (email in advance for appointment)
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