History of the Organization

In the late 1980's Golden was a small town in transition to a small city. The old downtown was experiencing slow decline as long- time businesses left, leaving empty storefronts. New commercial development was shifting to Old Golden Road or out of town altogether. At the same time, new subdivisions were being constructed on open lands surrounding Golden and older, historic neighborhoods were being discovered, renewed and occupied by a wave of new residents, unfamiliar with how city government in Golden had always functioned. New voters elected City Councilors who questioned the direction and speed of City growth.

In the face of these changes, Directors of the Golden Chamber of Commerce incorporated the Golden Good Government League (3GL) in 1987 as a political committee to promote good governance for Golden. Initially 4 members of the 12 member 3GL Board of Trustees were designated by the Chamber of Commerce, but in 1993 the 3GL became self perpetuating and independent of the Chamber. The initial members of the Board of Trustees were primarily drawn from the Golden business community and were concerned with recruiting and electing City Councilors who were committed to supporting Golden businesses and development.

3GL was immediately successful in electing a slate of Councilors who supported and cooperated with efforts to reverse the decline of downtown. Over the next 5 years a 1% capital sales tax was narrowly approved in a campaign lead by 3GL and the proceeds were applied to renovating downtown and subsequently building the new recreation center in Lions Park. An urban renewal authority (GURA) was established and began promoting new, often tourist oriented, businesses in downtown. More professional City administration was instituted, culminating in the appointment of Mike Bestor and his long and successful tenure as City Manager.

During the 90's, rapid residential and commercial expansion in the City generated a backlash from residents who felt the City was growing too quickly and that City government was too dedicated to promoting large commercial ventures. 3GL took the lead in opposing (unsuccessfully) charter amendment initiatives to limit City residential growth to 1% and to limit City Council's ability to grant tax incentives to commercial developments.

Starting in the mid 90's 3GL began expanding the membership of its Board of Trustees beyond the business community to a wider range of City residents, but continued to emphasize the importance of preserving City Council's ability to make decisions and promote commercial development necessary to support the high level of services Golden residents were coming to expect. 3GL actively supported and promoted downtown redevelopment projects, the golf course, and expansion of City recreation facilities. 3GL was instrumental in defeating initiatives to repeal taxes on groceries in 2002 and on defeating initiatives in 2003 to impose residency restrictions on City employees and to eliminate GURA.

Throughout its existence 3GL has primarily promoted good government by promoting the election of high quality City Council members. Over the years 3GL has recruited Council candidates and provided campaign financial and logistical support. Over the last 20 years 3GL has interviewed every candidate for Council and has published a slate of endorsements for every City election. In making decisions 3GL is completely non partisan and endorses candidates based on their abilities, experience and dedication to what is best for Golden. Good Councilors create good government.


Copyright 2003 - Golden Good Government League

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