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City Council Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the City of Boulder governed?

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.

How is City Council structured?

The City Council consists of nine members, including a mayor and mayor pro tem selected by the council members. City Council members are elected to four-year terms or a two-year term depending how many votes they receive. In November 2016, residents approved term limits; council members may serve up to three terms in a lifetime. The City of Boulder conducts its general elections on the first Tuesday in November of odd numbered years.

Are City Council members elected by districts or wards?

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. 

Where can I find information about elections?

Visit Election Information for details about upcoming elections, including seats on City Council.

What's the difference between a City Council meeting and study session?

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.

What's the difference between open comment and a public hearing at a meeting?

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. Sign up online  begins 6 p.m. of the Thursday prior to the council meeting or in person from 5-6 p.m. the day of the meeting. Special City Council meetings generally do not have open comment.

Public hearings are identified on the agenda and you must sign up in person for that topic beginning at 5 p.m. There is no online sign up for public hearings. 

For more information, visit Speaking at City Council Meetings.

How can I contact City Council?

General inquires can be sent to [email protected] . Contact information is available for individual City Council Members.

City Council Action Guide

The Council Action Guide outlines priorities, projects and enhancements to core services that have been identified by City Council.