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Intergovernmental Organizations

City Participation with Intergovernmental Organizations

There are many governmental and quasi-governmental organizations that, although beyond the direct influence of City of Boulder authority, nevertheless make decisions that directly impact the city and its residents. At the highest level this includes:

  • Congress
  • Administrative agencies like the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Colorado General Assembly, and the Colorado Department of Transportation
  • Entities such as the University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Boulder County, neighboring municipalities, and the Boulder Valley School District. 

In order to ensure that the city's interests are represented in decisions made by these organizations, City Council and city staff engage in routine communication with these organizations.

Beyond one-on-one governmental communications, the city also regularly participates in formal coalitions of similarly situated local governments in order to more effectively further city goals and advance understandings and mutually beneficial alliances. City representation to these intergovernmental organizations typically involves an elected official and one or more city staff members.

The following is a list of all intergovernmental organizations which currently have City Council representation, followed by a summary of the organizations and the City Council representatives assigned to each. 

Intergovernmental Organization Partners

Beyond the Fences Coalition

The "Beyond the Fences Coalition" is a collaboration of a constantly evolving set of governmental entities working to implement a regional strategy to address economic, conservation, and transportation impacts associated with proposed development immediately adjacent to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and Highway 93.

2017 City Representative:  Council Members Lisa Morzel; Staff Alternate, Policy Advisor Carl Castillo

Boulder County Consortium of Cities

The Boulder County Commissioners created the Boulder County Consortium of Cities in 1986 as a forum to promote regional communication and cooperation among county, city, and town governments in Boulder County. The Consortium finds common ground and works collaboratively on regional issues by spearheading numerous cooperative programs for affordable housing, energy, revenue stability, open space, regional trails, transportation, solid waste, and more. The Consortium's ultimate purpose is to benefit all Boulder County residents by fostering collaborative action among city, town and county government on issues of mutual concern. The Consortium is comprised of representatives from every city and town in Boulder County, as well as a county commissioner who chairs the organization.

2017 City Representatives:  Mayor Pro Tem Mary Young; Alternate, Council Member Jan Burton

Colorado Municipal League

The Colorado Municipal League (CML) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing 265 of the 270 incorporated municipalities in Colorado. CML is a powerful advocate for local government interests at the Colorado State Legislature and before state administrative and judicial bodies.  CML also weighs in on federal issues of concern to local government. CML provides leadership training for elected officials, and other education and informational services, and hosts an annual conference in June.

CML's Policy Committee provides general policy direction for CML staff in its lobbying efforts. It is the only committee that requires formal appointment by the City Council.  In addition, CML has numerous other committees that focus on specific issues, such as energy, water, and conference planning. City staff participates in many of those committees.

CML is a critical partnership for the city. While Boulder-area legislators are usually supportive of city issues, they account for only a small percentage of the 100 policymakers. With support from CML, the city is able to reach all 100 legislators on issues such as photo radar, energy efficiency, growth, taxation and local control issues.  While there are times when the city and CML are not in complete agreement on policy, many of the issues affecting Boulder also impact other local governments and CML allows the city to work together to make a stronger statement.

2017 City Representatives:

  • Executive Board:  Council Member Matthew Appelbaum
  • Policy Committee:  Mayor Suzanne Jones and Council Member Appelbaum; Alternate, Policy Advisor Carl Castillo

Commuting Solutions

 is a non-profit public/private membership organization working to enhance mobility along the U.S. 36 corridor for today and the future. Members include Boulder, Boulder County, Longmont, Superior, Louisville, Broomfield, Westminster and nearly fifty private sector businesses that support and advocate for the policy direction of the U.S. 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalitions. 36 Commuting Solutions also works to educate corridor employers of their transportation options and to expand Transportation Demand Management services in the corridor.

2017 City Representatives:  Council Member Jan Burton

Denver Regional Council of Governments

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is a voluntary association of 52 county and municipal governments in the greater Denver metropolitan region.  DRCOG is the metropolitan planning organization for the region, responsible for identifying future transportation needs. While DRCOG does not have the authority to dictate land use decisions, it is the designated transportation planning and fund disbursement agency for transportation dollars in the region. The control over federal funds allows DRCOG to influence the shape of regional growth. DRCOG performs other regional services such as coordinating federal support for aging programs, performing regional demographic reports, and developing a regional open space plan.  DRCOG is responsible for creation of Metro Vision 2035, the region’s long-term plan for growth. A major update of the regional plan to 2040 is planned, and DRCOG has initiated a regional sustainability project that may initially update the 2035 plan to include climate change and the reduction in greenhouse gases. DRCOG is also responsible for the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for the region.  Each municipality can request funding for a certain number of projects. Projects are then scored on predetermined criteria, with funding mostly going to the highest-scoring projects.  DRCOG’s Transportation Advisory Committee recommends criteria for funding and scoring.  Through the city’s involvement in the DRCOG TIP process, the City of  Boulder  has received approximately $78 million since 1997. 

2017 City Representatives:

  • Board:  Council Member Aaron Brockett; Alternate, Council Member Matthew Appelbaum
  • Transportation Advisory Committee:  Boulder County Transportation Director, George Gerstle; Alternate, City of Boulder Interim Transportation Director, Mike Sweeney

Metro Mayors Caucus

The Metro Mayors Caucus is a cooperative alliance of the mayors of 37 cities and towns in the Denver metropolitan region  . The Caucus is a unique collaboration of elected officials providing leadership and creative solutions on some of the most challenging issues in the region. The Caucus has emerged as a voice for collective action on issues that affect the entire metropolitan area and cannot be effectively addressed by any one jurisdiction acting alone.

The Caucus is unique among regional organizations because of its commitment to decision making by consensus. Consensus has been the foundation of its success for the past thirteen years.  This practice has enabled the Caucus to develop positions and implement initiatives that have led to positive change in the entire metro area. Among the issues the Caucus has tackled are growth management, multi-modal transportation, affordable housing, regional response to emergencies, and intergovernmental cooperation.

2017 City Representatives:  Mayor Suzanne Jones

National League of Cities

The National League of Cities is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States. Its mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance.

Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, the National League of Cities serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages, and towns it represents.  More than 1,600 municipalities of all sizes pay dues to NLC and actively participate as leaders and voting members in the organization.

2017 City Representatives:

  • Board of Directors:  Council Member Matthew Appelbaum
  • Board of Directors Legislative Committee:  Council Member Matthew Appelbaum
  • University Communities Council Steering Committee:  Council Member Matthew Appelbaum
  • Energy, Environment and Natural Resource Committee  - Council Member Bob Yates

Resource Conservation Advisory Board

Originally formed in 1994 as the Boulder County Recycling and Composting Authority, Resource Conservation Advisory Board (RCAB) was established to oversee the Boulder County Recycling and Composting Tax, building and development of the Boulder County Recycling Center, and establishment of the Boulder County Waste Diversion Education and Infrastructure Grant Program. When the county recycling tax sunset in 2000, RCAB became an advisory board to the Boulder Board of County Commissioners recommending waste diversion policy. This includes overseeing management of the Recycling Center and reviewing Education and Infrastructure Grant applications.

2017 City Representatives:  Council Member Lisa Morzel

Rocky Flats Stewardship Council

The Rocky Flats Stewardship Council (RFSC) formed in February 2006 to provide ongoing local government and community oversight of the post-closure management of Rocky Flats, the former nuclear weapons plant northwest of Denver.

The nearly $7 billion cleanup project was completed in October 2005 and represents an important legacy for Boulder and other surrounding communities. Cleanup significantly reduced the many risks posed by the former weapons site.  There are, however, ongoing management needs that remain vital to ensuring long-term protection of human health and the environment. Those responsibilities lie with the Department of Energy (DOE).  In June 2007, DOE transferred 3,953 acres of the former site buffer zone to the Department of the Interior to manage as the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

RFSC's mandate is found in federal law.  In late 2004, the United States Congress, working with the Department of Energy and RFSC's predecessor organization, the Rocky Flats Coalition of Local Governments (RFCLOG), approved legislation creating a new organization to focus on the post-closure care and management of Rocky Flats. This organization, the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council, includes elected officials from nine municipal governments neighboring Rocky Flats, three community organizations and one individual.

The City of Boulder was a founding member of RFSC and RFCLOG. Its interest in Rocky Flats is tied to the city’s jurisdictional proximity to the site and its ownership of open space along the site’s north and west boundaries. The city shares the concerns held by all members of ensuring that DOE maintains responsibility for the long-term management of its retained lands and conducts all necessary inspections of the monitoring systems and landfill caps, and repairs and upgrades the systems as necessary. The city is also committed to ensuring that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s properly manages the remaining land in a way that ensures its integrity as a functional wildlife refuge.

2017 City Representatives:   Board:  Council Member Lisa Morzel; First Alternate, Council Member Sam Weaver; Second Alternate, Policy Advisor Carl Castillo

The Shed, Boulder County

The Shed, Boulder County is a coalition of governmental and non-profit Boulder County leaders concerned that somewhat less than two percent of food consumed in Colorado is produced locally and who see a need to restore balance to our food system by promoting an increase in production, consumption and preservation of regional and local food options in Boulder County. While from different organizations with varying missions, the members share an understanding that by shortening food chains we rebuild relationships with the land, our food and between ourselves. Accordingly, The Shed encourages practices such as market agriculture in Boulder County, participation in community-supported agriculture and neighborhood gardens and edible landscapes, all which offer the potential benefit of increased stewardship of our open spaces, tastier and healthier food choices, and a more vital economy where we keep as much of our dollars circulating locally as possible. For more information, visit The Shed Boulder County website, linked to on this page.

2017 Representatives  : Mayor Suzanne Jones

Urban Drainage and Flood Control District

The Urban Drainage and Flood Control District was established by the  Colorado  legislature in 1969 for the purpose of assisting local governments in the  Denver  metropolitan area with multi-jurisdictional drainage and flood control problems. The District covers an area of 1,608 square-miles and includes  Denver  , parts of six surrounding counties, and all or parts of 32 incorporated cities and towns. There are about 1,600-miles of "major drainageways," which are defined as draining at least 1,000 acres. The population of the District is approximately 2.3 million people.

The District is an independent agency governed by a 23-member board of directors. The make-up of the board is unique, in that 21 members are locally elected officials (mayors, county commissioners, City Council members) who are appointed to the board. These 23 members then select two registered professional engineers to fill out the board.

2017 City Representatives:  Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Shoemaker

U.S. 36 and Mayors Commissioners Coalition

The MCC was created during the U.S. 36 Major Investment Study (MIS) which was worked on from 1998 to 2001.  The MIS was the first hurdle in making the improvements to the highway eligible for federal funding. The MCC recommended improvements along US 36 in early 2001, then successfully lobbied for the $15 million needed for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to identify multi-modal transportation improvements between Denver and Boulder.  Since then, the MCC has worked on the EIS and on looking for federal, state, RTD and local funds for construction costs. Furthermore, the MCC has supported inclusion of rail and BRT in the FasTracks program and funding of incremental improvements that contribute to corridor build-out. The MCC includes Boulder County and the cities of Boulder, Broomfield, Louisville, Superior and Westminster. A related organization is 36 Commuting Solutions, a non-profit public/private membership organization working to enhance mobility along the U.S. 36 corridor for today and the future.

2017 City Representatives:  Mayor Suzanne Jones


The purpose of WestConnect - The "Western Beltway" Connector Study - is to develop a comprehensive and coordinated plan that will be used to inform Jefferson County residents of the benefits of completing segments of the "Western Beltway" to the rest of the facility, gauge support for completing these connections, determine the best way to fund the improvements, and develop a plan for implementing the improvements.

2017 City Representatives:  Council Member Matthew Appelbaum; Alternate, Policy Advisor Carl Castillo

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