WHY ELECT OUR MAYOR?
We propose that Boulder residents vote to elect our Mayor using Instant Runoff (Ranked Choice Voting). The main reason is that Boulder voters deserve the right to elect our mayor. Our Mayor should not be appointed by five people on City Council, that is simply undemocratic. Boulder is the largest city in Colorado that does not elect its mayor. A mayoral election will also give Council and community a true sense of what issues and policies a majority of Boulder residents care about.
The Mayor would be elected to a 2 year term. This election would on the same odd-year election cycle we elect City Council. To avoid the pitfalls of our current voting method, we would use Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Runoff Voting) to ensure a majority of voters pick the winner. This method also disincentivizes negative campaigning, encourages collaboration and provides more choice to voters. A big advantage in using RCV is that cities that use it see up to a 10% increase in voter turnout. The role of the Mayor will be unchanged, yet with a mayor elected by a true majority of voters will give the mayor a stronger position from which to steer the council's priorities.
Democracy Meets Opportunity
The mayor should reflect the values of the city. Without the citizens of Boulder voting directly on the mayor, the mayor often reflects the views of a 5-person council majority. A direct election ensures that a majority of citizens have been heard.
The mayor plays an important role in setting direction for the entire council. A mayor elected by the people will have a clear direction and mission as a result of campaigning for mayor and being selected by the people.
A mayor voted into office by the people will have more political capital and political will than a mayor appointed by the council.
The mayor is the face of Boulder to the larger regional community. A mayor voted on by the people has greater legitimacy and a stronger mandate than one appointed by council.