With winter in full swing, I hope that everyone is getting a chance to enjoy the season and the peacefulness of an Edgewater finally covered in snow.
At a recent city council retreat, our board got much-needed time to talk about community priorities and strategize on how best to address them. Insights gained during the campaign by our newly electeds, along with updates from returning council members, gave me a clearer perspective of what we need to prioritize, and I am eager to work toward solutions in 2022.
Affordability has been an increasingly important issue in our community and was discussed at length. Edgewater’s average home price has increased from $192,000 in 2012 to $600,000 today. We discussed the impacts we are seeing from this change. Home appreciation is pricing out longtime homeowners as well as working families who rent, which is impacting school enrollment. It was also noted that we have limited intergenerational housing options at a time when Denver metro’s population is aging. Another affordability issue discussed was Edgewater’s minimum wage, currently tied to Colorado’s minimum wage, and the fact that wages have not kept up with our area’s living expenses.
We also discussed our ongoing efforts to improve mobility in Edgewater. There was much excitement around the improvements underway as part of our traffic-calming plan, but we also acknowledged that much work remains. Our sidewalks came up frequently, as many are not wide enough to accommodate residents with impairments or parents with strollers. Additionally, there are ongoing resident concerns about speeding on neighborhood streets.
Community support for those struggling with mental health issues was also acknowledged as a critical priority. Council is committed to having the city hire a mental health professional (police co-responder) this year as well as addressing options for dealing with crises.
City council’s discussion included many more topics, which I have tried to capture in the adjacent word cloud graphic. We recognized that it has been hard to connect in person the last few years. With that in mind, council has committed to more community meetups at various times to continue these conversations when it is convenient for residents with varying schedules. If you have additional priorities you would like to discuss or any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Contact Edgewater Mayor John Beltrone at email@example.com or 720-643-6077.