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Sunday, October 26, 2014

LOL! Did You See the Mayor on Social Media?

Location: 1144 Sherman Street, Denver, CO 80203, USA
Mayor Gierlach discusses blogging with Lisa White
at the Colorado Municipal League (CML)
Nederland Mayor Joe Gierlach gave a presentation for the Mayor's Summit at the Colorado Municipal League (CML) called, "LOL! Did You See the Mayor on Social Media?" That slide presentation is displayed below.

About a year and a half earlier, (April, 2013) Mayor Gierlach stopped by the CML offices, and met with Membership Services Manager, Lisa White, for a Q&A about his blog. A summary was included in CML's quarterly "Colorado Mayors' Connection" e-newsletter.

So, as part of Cities and Towns Week, here is the Q&A, and the presentation:

[CML] Does your town use social media?
[JOE] We have a website and Facebook & Twitter accounts. As a town, we didn't use them much, but at a CML meeting, I remembered that both Fort Collins Mayor, Karen Weitkunat and Colorado Springs Council President Pro Tem, Jan Martin, had mentioned how important Twitter was at getting information out to the public during the forest fires in their areas.

[CML] So, you increased social media use in your town?
[JOE] It happened organically. One of our citizens started a Facebook page called Nedheads. At first, it became popular for residents to post road conditions in the Boulder Canyon. Then, because it was a closed Facebook page, people felt free to discuss town politics on a variety of topics. At times there were heated debates, and eventually they created a set of self-governing guidelines for conduct on the page.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

American Planning Association Honors Ned Plan

Location: Crested Butte, CO 81224, USA
The APA Award for Sustainability and
Environmental Planning in Crested Butte
I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Conference for the American Planning Association, Colorado Chapter, in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Few other trade organizations have an eight page strategic plan, updated bi-annually by the president of the association, with detailed Goals, Implementation Strategy, Assigned Responsibility, Timetable, and Budget. What else would you expect from professional planners?

Of course one of my favorite Benjamin Franklin quotes, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail," is a great reminder of the importance of planning, which has been the focus in Nederland for the past several years.

I was scheduled to participate on a panel discussing sustainability. The panel included two other talented City Planners and champions of sustainability; Chris Meschuk, from Boulder, and Jonathan Wachtel, from Lakewood. I felt honored to review our town planning process, with an audience of professional planners, earning educational credit hours to maintain their professional license. (See the presentation at the bottom of this post)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Old School Hardwood Floor – ReSource

Location: 6400 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
The reclaimed wood floor adds character to the room
A few years ago, I seized the opportunity to reclaim a hardwood floor. It was the old performance stage from Broomfield Heights Middle School. The contractor was cutting the floor along with the plywood sub-floor and stacking it up outside. I asked the Project Manager and Job Superintendent if I could take the material, so that they didn't have to pay to haul it off. They said that they wouldn't do any extra work to preserve any of it, but I was welcome to take it after their shift was over so that I wouldn't bother the workers, which were on a tight schedule. I agreed.

For the next three years, this whim of an idea, gradually evolved into a hobby, then became an obsession, ultimately occupying much of my free time as a driven mission, until it was complete.

First, I hauled it up to my home in five trips using the back of a Jeep Wrangler. They were large squares roughly one meter on each side. I felt good about rescuing this beautiful old material from the landfill. But then, it sat stacked-up on the side of my garage for several months before I took the time to address what to do with it. Every now and then, I would grab a square and carefully pry the oak plank away from the plywood backing. Then pull out each nail individually. This took about a year, but each square meter was randomly done in my spare time, so it didn't seem like work that took away from my lifestyle.