The City of Boulder has a council-manager form of government. Under this form of government, the elected City Council sets the policies for the operation of the Boulder government. The administrative responsibility of the city rests with the City Manager who is appointed by the City Council.
The City Council consists of nine members, including a mayor and mayor pro tem. In the 2023 November election, the City of Boulder will conduct Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for the first time to elect its Mayor. Starting in 2026, the City of Boulder will transition to even-year elections for all municipal candidate races. In order to transition to even-year elections, in the 2023 election the term length for both the Mayor and City Council members elected will be three years.
No, all City Council members are elected at-large. Each member is elected by and represents the entire city. Council members may serve three terms in a lifetime.
Study sessions give City Council the chance to work on a particular issue or set of issues. While council may give direction to city staff during a study session, no votes are cast during these meetings. Both City Council meetings and study sessions are open to the public, but only City Council meetings have open comment/public hearings.
Open comment is held at the beginning of City Council meetings and provides an opportunity for speakers to address any issue(s) NOT scheduled for a public hearing. The sign-up form will open at 8 a.m. the Friday prior to the meeting and will close at 2 p.m. the Wednesday before the meeting. Special City Council meetings generally do not have open comment.
Public hearings are identified on the agenda and are separate from open comment. The sign-up form will open at 8 a.m. the Friday prior to the meeting and will close at 2 p.m. the Wednesday before the meeting.