Shay Castle Profile picture
Boulder-based journalist. City Council and sundry.
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Sep 8 76 tweets 12 min read
Hey, Boulder! It's been a while, but it's budget time and I'm back to live-tweet a city council meeting to you.

Starting in 15, we'll be discussing the city's $513.5M spending plan for 2023.… No decisions or public input tonight — that's scheduled for Oct. 6 and Oct. 20. Mark your calendars!
Jul 29 23 tweets 4 min read
Not a long enough break, but moving on to a plan to buy streetlights from Xcel and convert them to LED.… It will cost $7M
- $3.6M to buy 4,540 streetlights from Xcel
(City total is ~5,100, so Xcel owns ~89%)
- $3.4M to convert them to LED
Jul 29 112 tweets 14 min read
Next: Police reform.

This is really an overhaul of the police master plan, last updated in 2013, but it was used instead to implement Reimagine Policing, an Obama Foundation effort.… There have been several period of public input on things like, what do you want your police dept to look like and do? Tonight we have a look at the draft plan in its entirety for the first time.
Jul 29 60 tweets 8 min read
First up: The city's noise/nuisance crackdown on Uni Hill.… BRL did a great story on what the city is planning/doing up here, which includes giving cops more discretion to ticket for noise, including during the day, and removing plea deals for some of nuisance charges.…
Jul 22 21 tweets 3 min read
Last item of the night: An update on the CAN transportation project (Core Arterial Network)… This is a plan to focus transportation improvements along certain arterial streets, where the most serious crashes happen.

Arterial streets: 17% of city streets, 67% of severe car crashes (44% on the 13 CAN corridors)
Jul 22 32 tweets 5 min read
No presentation for this one that I saw, though staff has one. It's about Planning Board denying an application for a Raising Cane's chicken restaurant, with a drive-thru, on 28th Street (3033 28th) There is a drive-thru cattie-corner to this; that was approved in 2008.

I tried to find out when the last drive-thru was OK'd in Boulder; staff told me the McDonald's on Baseline was approved in 2021, but that biz was already there, obviously.
Jul 22 12 tweets 2 min read
It's been a transportation-heavy meeting, and we're continuing on with an update on the proposed expansion of the Downtown Boulder bus station:… Gerrit Slatter, who kinda looks like the bad guy in a '90s movie (though I'm sure is a perfectly lovely man), says "The station is at capacity."
Jul 22 24 tweets 3 min read
Oh, hey, we're talking briefly about even-year elections. There's a new proposal on the table that would do that transition without extending any current terms. Even-year elections would start in 2026. There would be regularly scheduled odd-year elections in 2023 and 2025, but those council members would only get 3-year terms (instead of 4). First mayor elected in 2023 would also get a 3-year term (instead of 2).
Jul 22 8 tweets 2 min read
Or maybe this sounds as ridiculous as it is, because when you attempt to lump an entire group of people together and penalize them for it, it's silly. And, you know, violates their rights. I get it. Some of these crimes are horrible. I myself have been the victim of some pretty heinous, violent crimes. (All the perps were also men, btw.)
Jul 22 55 tweets 7 min read
That meant quite a few cuts for Boulder, or not restoring services that ceased during COVID. We did see more post-COVID service restoration than anticipated in Boulder, Guissinger says.… Guissinger going over the rail study. RTD approved $8M for a 2-year study late last year to look at "peak service" — 3 morning trips Longmont to Denver, 3 pm trips the other direction.
Jul 15 120 tweets 13 min read
Next: A very boring discussion on council process that may be livened up by the aforementioned Drama, which I will now explain.… Briefly, councilman Yates does a monthly newsletter. It's wildly popular; he's got like 4X the readership I do.

He uses this newsletter to talk about what's happening at council.
Jul 15 14 tweets 2 min read
OK, so this is a Speer request: An overview of Housing and Human Services and what they provide. I forget why.… I don't have many notes bc it wasn't in the council packet, but from the presentation:
Jul 15 21 tweets 3 min read
Moving on quickly: How should Boulder allocate 10% of the recently re-upped Community, Culture, Safety and Resilience tax to nonprofits?… Quick history:
The CCRS (then just CCS) first passed in 2014
- $27M to city, nonprofits
Extended in 2017
- $31M to city
- $7.9M to nonprofits
Extended in 2021, can issue up to $110M in debt over 15 years
- Up to 10% to nonprofits, $18.15M
- 90% or $166.5M to city projects
Jul 14 12 tweets 2 min read
Hey, Boulder, are you ready for your first Thursday city council meeting?

It's a pretty boring one (process stuff, tax stuff) but it *might* get spicy... there's some Drama between council members that I'll go into later. I'm reporting from the road: Iowa! I have been gone for 3 weeks and 1 day, and been to or through 21 states so far. I've put over 5,000 miles on Roxie, my trusty '02 Toyota Corolla.
Jun 22 10 tweets 2 min read
Bonus thread! Not super important, but you might want to know about this pending annexation of 302, 334-338 Arapahoe Ave.

There's still a second reading and maybe a public hearing before it's final. This is 1.087 acres near Eben G. Fine
Currently has 3 single-family homes, 1960s construction
(334, 336, 338 Arapahoe) and 1 single-family home, 1900s construction w/additions in 1930s and 1950s
(302 Arapahoe) which has city water but not sewer
Jun 22 28 tweets 4 min read
Next, we're talking e-bikes: Should Boulder do an e-bike rebate program like Denver's?… A member of the Transportation Advisory Board proposed this, according to transportation director Natalie Stiffler, and Community Cycles submitted a proposal for a pilot program.
Jun 22 23 tweets 4 min read
Next: An update from the Fire Department on how their master plan implementation is going.… A couple of big things in this last master plan update was the Fire Dept taking over more emergency response services, referred to as Advanced Life Support.
Jun 22 45 tweets 7 min read
Moving quickly onto tonight's public hearing: A 5-year extension of outdoor dining. In case you need another reminder, we're NOT talking about the West Pearl closure tonight. That's for later.… This has been running since early in the pandemic.…
Jun 22 16 tweets 3 min read
Getting a quick presentation on updates to the Use Tables, work which started in 2018. Prior to that, they were last updated in the 1990s.… What are use tables? Basically, they say what can go where in the built environment (houses, biz, retail, restaurants, industry, etc.)
Jun 21 6 tweets 2 min read
Hey, #Boulder, are you ready for your very last Tuesday night city council tweet thread EVER? Not because I'm leaving or anything; meetings are just moving to Thursdays starting July 14. Summer break is between now and then, so this is the very last Tuesday night meeting.
Jun 15 57 tweets 7 min read
Alright, tonight's main event: Discussing even-year elections; specifically how Boulder might make that switch.

Council last discussed this May 10.… Voters will need to approve this change, of course, but the HOW could greatly impact support for it. CC needs to hammer those details out for the ballot language.