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We're going to spend hte next 2 hours (or so) talking council work plan: What should they do during a pandemic?
As a reminder, here are there 2020-2021 priorities:…
Brautigam referencing info in the packet, and Idk why my packets keep not including things ....? I didn't see squat on council workplan: Just a placeholder page.
Anyway, here's the presentation:…
First we're going over possible budget scenarios. Refresh your memory here:…
General fund could be down $21.7M from what was budgeted in 2020.
Open space fund: down $6M
Transportation: $6.5M
Recreation fund: $4M
I'mma listen for a bit and take notes and tweet later, or it will get too messy and hard to follow.
Gonna tweet this long list of council priorities, their status and impacts from COVID:
Racial equity plan (plan done, but in-person engagement on hold)
Muni (see:…)
Climate plan (ongoing, in-person engagement on hold)
Financial strategy (maybe done)
Community benefit (update on April 14; still working; no COVID impact)
Use tables (ongoing, on schedule, no COVID impact)
East Boulder subcommunity plan (ongoing but staff furloughs impact it; may reduce funding on consultants)
CU South annexation (ongoing; minimal impact; June 16 meeting for flood control)
Homeless strategy (very impacted by COVID; July 14 discussion)
Middle income down payment pilot (lenders overwhelmed and staff diverted to COVID recovery center; project on hold)
Mobile home strategy (delayed, staff limited; but ordinances will be proposed in July)
Police oversight (update in June; more in the fall)
South Boulder Creek flood mitigation (ongoing; June update)
Twenty is Plenty (done)
Micromobility (COVID impacts; dockless bikes discussion June 2; September meeting on e-bikes)
Comp plan update (ongoing but longer schedule)
Parking / TDM changes (ongoing but without consultants)
Jim Robertson is taking about the bus station planned for sometime in the future at Arapahoe and 55th. I think this came up right before COVID and I meant to look into it but then... COVID.
There's a $200,000 DRCOG grant for studying that but Boulder has to spend $40,000 to get that money.
Weaver: "A station there is much needed."
Where would it go?
Robertson: We don't have an exact location. There would probably be a station for eastbound and westbound. Generally they're located on the far side of the intersections.
They're talking about this bc it falls under the East Boulder sub community plan. But the $$ from DRCOG can't be transferred to that.

This is probably the single most important project for that community plan, Robertson says.
I forgot to say Heather Bergman is facilitating this discussion. She does the council retreats and she is FABULOUS
Weaver asks to punt the down payment assistance program to 2021. Don't know if I already said this, but lenders are incredibly busy and there's not staff for this.
RE: CU South annexation. There will be a revisit by end-of-year. Robertson: "We've always kept annexation agreement moving alongside the flood control project bc the two are inextricably linked." We need to have annexation agreement by time we're ready to start flood control.
Friend asked about timeline for annexation to be done.
Robertson and Joe Taddeucci: We're looking at a couple of years for flood work to go through permitting, etc. Trying to keep annexation on that timeline.
Reminder from Friend: Open Space meeting tomorrow on CU South flood work. 6 p.m.

Guess I should watch that. But it's the same time as Dance Church!!
We're talking a bit about engagement and how/where online = in-person and how/where it doesn't.
"We don't want to minimize our commitment to engagement," engagement manager Sarah Huntley says. "We have to be creative" in trying to reach people and be inclusive.
Joseph had a q about why we're (maybe) deferring down payment assistance to next year.
Kurt Firnhaber, director of HHS, addressing: "We're trying something that hasn't been done before" and the finance industry hasn't been able to help us over the last 2+ months.
"We need their input in developing this innovative program."
"We have more affordable housing being built right now than we have for some time," Firnhaber says. That doesn't make up for what we need to do for middle-income earners, though.
Yates: In addition to that our bank partners are distracted right now, "there probably aren't that many middle-income families buying houses right now." Homes have been pulled off the market.
"I don't think we're going to miss a whole lot of people if we put this on hold for six months," Yates says.
Young q: On mobile home strategy, what ordinances will be brought forward in July? And what is getting delayed?
Firnahber: Cleanup of current codes we'll bring to you. "What we've found is that codes have been difficult to enforce and we want to strengthen protections for residents in these communities."
Second: "requirement for owners" of mobile home parks in how they communicate, etc.
This: Improving requirements for leases, "including how rent increases are communicated and how they are shown over time"
Not happening this year: I missed it because Firnhaber's voice lulls me into a stupor. But maybe something related to the state-level actions that got delayed due to COVID.
Council weighing in on deferring middle income down payment assistance. Weaver, Brockett, Wallach, Yates have all supported that.

Wallach: "We're deferring to reality at this point. ... I do not want us to fail on this."
Everybody else agrees, too, so that will be pushed off the workplan.
Next up: Council thoughts on Community Benefit project. To continue this year or not?

Staff recommends they keep going.
Everybody agrees with that.
Use tables: Same thing
Friend: "I know it's moving us in the wrong direction" but she wants to add something to the transportation work plan: Gather info and "consider current innovations going on" in peer cities in response to COVID with things that may help meet climate and Vision Zero goals.
So basically: Look at what's happening due to COVID that we might continue after to meet those goals.
Cowern: I think there was largely a Vision Zero focus in that?
Friend: I would agree with that.
Cowern: That would have been in the job of a Vision Zero engineer we wanted to hire this year but can't now bc of furloughs/hiring freeze
Cowern: But we do hope to hire a new traffic engineer this year, which is my job. That would hopefully be part of their job. "We don't always agree" with what other cities are doing, but we want to be aware of it.
Friend: Maybe TAB could do it.
Joseph: Are you asking for a specific issue or is more general, broad, look at what's happening in another city? Just everything to do with transportation? Or do you have a specific issue in mind?
Friend: Definitely not a specific issue, but there are like 300 cities responding to use streets creatively. "I don't want to miss out on this time of rapid innovation. We are an innovative city."
"We have been so mired in putting out fires we haven't had a chance to take a bird's eye view of what's going on."
Nagle: Even if it goes to TAB, our staff is really busy and they have to help TAB. I would ask staff if they have the capacity for this.
Brautigam: Cowern would have to tell us what other work could be set aside to do this.
Cowern: That's tough. Having gone through the budget and figuring out how to cut $4.5M....
Cowern: "The vast majority of that $4.5M comes out of a much smaller pot of money.... And came at the expense of 20% of our staff."
"Do we have staff with nothing on their plate? Absolutely not."
BUT we are going to hire a transportation engineer. Vision Zero will be part of that job.
Wallach: I'm fine with tasking TAB to look at a matter like this. "I would have more trouble if TAB is turning to staff and saying help us."
Brockett agrees with that. And maybe it can be "woven in" to the new hire.
Young to Friend: "I'm trying to understand exactly what your ask is."
Friend explaining that it's things that are happening BC of COVID that "might be helpful now or in the long-run."

Example, we're closing streets for outdoor dining. Idk where that came from, she says, but it's good to pay attention to things like that other cities are doing.
Weaver in the same place as many others: Let TAB do it but don't add to staff.
Yates: This is unrealistic. Those of us who have been on boards know staff does "90% of the work."

"If we could somehow suspend reality" it's a good idea.
"If we're going to do this on an amateur basis and throw this to non-experts" then why don't council members do this? "I think we're kidding ourselves if we say TAB go off and do this and don't impact staff whatsoever... it's just not going to happen that way."
Them sound like fightin' words, TAB.
Friend: They're appointed to that board bc they're experts. They're going to do a better job at distilling that info than I would. There are board members on some boards I'm friends with who do a lot of work on their own.
Everybody but Young and Yates OK with that.
To clarify: Asking TAB if they have the bandwidth to research what other cities are doing.
Moving on: Brockett asks that the racial equity work continue as much as possible. Some in-person engagement has to stop, but we should still try and reach some under-engaged communities however we can.
We're doing that, Aimmee Kane says. "This is a high priority, so we will be looping back."
Next up: When/how will COVID briefings fit in?
It was "really important for awhile," Weaver says. "I think we're feeling relatively good about that at the moment."

BoCo Public Health and BCH said "it was feeling a bit repetitive."
I agree. You'll notice I didn't have a COVID story this weekend.
"We can easily start these back up again," Weaver says.
Yates: There has been two parts of that. The briefing from medical folks and the other on the city's response. As we saw this evening, it could just as easily be handled under "matters" from city council or city manager.
"There will always be opportunities to talk about our response to COVID," Yates says.
Joseph: I'm not completely sold on the no-COVID update.
"I just don't think we can completely get rid of any type of COVID discussion." Joseph says. Maybe a 5-10 min update, once a month or something?
Wallach: "I agree. To me, it doesn't have to be every week, but I don't think we're in a position where even a brief or briefer COVID presentation is irrelevant."
"To my knowledge, we haven't met 14 days of declining cases yet."
"I'd like to stay current on where we are" with testing, transmission, new pockets, etc. Wallach says. It doesn't have to be 2 hrs every week.
Swetlik agrees, I think. Also points out that the briefings themselves don't take that long: 30 min. It's council questions that add time.
Friend: Could we get written updates? I think it's a lot of time we're imposing on Jeff Zayach and Dr. Robert Vissers. "We could really winnow the amount of time we spend on it."
Brockett agrees with Weaver, Yates about no regular updates. Except maybe written ones like Friend suggested.

Nagle, too. So that's a majority.
Brautigam: I feel it would be inappropriate for Zayach to write a report for council. He's providing us with up-to-date information. My preference is for him not to have to write a report but to speak for 10-15 min. That would be easier on him.
Weaver agrees RE: no written reports.
Maybe he can send us presentations he's doing anyway, so he doesn't have to redo anything, Weaver says. "I'm really sensitive to not having him do extra work for us."
Suggests maybe having a presentation every other meeting.
Weaver: We've had 15 days of decline. The last peak was May 3. The five-day average of new cases has gone down for 15 days, even with new testing. So I would say we have met the criteria.
Joseph: "These updates are not just for city council.... it's for the public."
Wallach concurs. "Our audience here is not just council. It's the community."

Wants shorter, every-other-week presentations
Young wants once a month with the option to call it off if there really isn't that much news.
Majority OK with monthly updates
I'll still give weekly number updates if you want...?
Cases: 851
152 hospitalized, to date
328 recovered
56 deaths
152 ongoing investigations
You can find those here:…
Facilitator Bergman asking council: How's it going?
This is non-COVID related. Just general council procedures.
Wallach: "I think we're doing pretty well. I've always been an advocate for short meetings, but we're in a crisis. ... There's been a high level of cooperation, we've had great response from staff." Nothing he wants to "dramatically change at this point."
Yates agrees. "I think things are going generally pretty well."
"Because things have been fast and furious here with COVID ... I think we've probably in a few instances let slip some of the rules we've held dear for many year on this council," including no surprises rule.
And "once we've made a decision on something, even if we're on majority or minority, we tend to let it alone. Obviously if facts change significantly, we can certainly bring that back up. But we need to be careful not to revisit things."
Hard not to see that as aimed at petitioning stuff.
Friend: I think it's been a weird time to be a new council member. There's been a lot to learn, and then on top of that learn to do online meetings.
"It's going as well as could be expected."
Young agrees with Friend.
and Yates.
"The no surprises rule is a really important one bc it can take up a lot of time at a meeting at a time when we have not a lot of time to spare" ....
"as well as when we vote, the vote unless there is A.) a material change that is significant and B.) a chance the vote could change ... It takes away from time we could be conducting the city's business."
Again, hard not to read that as about petitioning. Or maybe the road closures thing that was a bit ago.
Brockett on that point: "Obviously it's not an abstract thing." The cases it happened here, it was bc of material changes. And bc of open meeting laws, there's no way to know how council members will vote.
Bergman: And what constitutes a significant change is in the eye of the beholder. "Tread carefully if you would."
Weaver: "This council is working pretty well together. We're collegial. I don't think there have been any rifts or ruptures that we haven't addressed."
This is the youngest council I can remember, Weaver says. When I got on, two members had been here for 14-15 years. Now, he and Young are most senior members: 6.5 years.
And nobody has had to deal with a pandemic. "We have to be gentle with ourselves."
Joseph: Sometimes in the community we talk about being in different camps. Mary has been a really good mentor. Sometimes I call her and even though I didn't agree with her the day before, she's been really great at walking me through things.
I would say I am not surprised by that.
"A lot of times community members think we are so far on the opposite end," Joseph says. We are cordial.
They have been particularly jovial tonight, but they always perk up when Bergman is here.
Everybody giving a goodbye to Lynette Beck, who is leaving for Lafayette, I believe.

I will miss her, too! She has always been so incredibly kind and patient with me.
Beck is the city clerk, btw.
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