Boulder City Council Wants More Transparent Mayoral Election

In Boulder, unlike other municipalities around the region, the mayor is selected by the City Council immediately following the November election in which the new City Council members are chosen. This has led to concerns in a lack of transparency about the process because the Council votes without discussion or any formal presentations by the candidates. The election generated controversy last November when four Council members supported Matt Appelbaum and three Council members supported Suzy Ageton. Afterwards Ageton argued that her opposition to the hotly contested municipal utility ballot question was the reason Appelbaum won.

Recently a Council member from each side met to discuss the issue. They agreed that one way to add transparency would be to extend the time period in the process of selecting the new mayor. They are suggesting a two-step process in which the mayoral candidates would make presentations at one public Council meeting followed by the vote at the next meeting. This proposal appears to have the support of the Council and will be discussed in a future public hearing. Note: There is general support among the Council for a November ballot question to increase the Council’s salary but not, sadly, for an amendment to the City Charter that would allow the voters to choose Boulder’s mayor.

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