top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Boulder currently elect its mayor?

Boulder does not elect its mayor. Boulder City Council appoints the mayor every two years. A Council majority of 5 people determine who is mayor.

Does any other city in Colorado have a system like Boulder's? Why have we continued to hold on to this practice?

Boulder is the largest city in Colorado that does not directly elect its mayor. Of the 20 most popular cities in Colorado, Boulder (#11) is the only one that has an "at-large" Council (no wards or districts) and does not elect its mayor. Our current voting system is common among small cities/town with populations half that of Boulder's (less than 40,000 people). 

Why don’t some people like this ballot measure?

Boulder’s old guard is resistant to change, especially change that may damage their entrenched position and influence. Their opposition is without regard to the measure actually improving our democracy, voter involvement, and social justice. 

What are the term limits established by the ballot question?

The term limits stay the same for council members (a maximum of three terms). The mayor will have a term limit of serving no more than 8-years.

How do I know what elements of the charter are covered by this petition? 


You can find them HERE.

Will this encourage dark money?

Boulder has some of the stickiest campaign finance laws in the Country. It is not culturally acceptable or necessary in Boulder to run an election with a lot of money.

Do other cities have a weak mayor/strong manager system?

Yes, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, and many other cities have a weak mayor/strong city manager system but do directly elect their mayor.

Is direct election of mayor a gateway to strong mayor?

No, just like pot does not lead to heroin. We have specifically not changed the role of mayor in any legal sense. However, it is our contention that a mayor elected by an electorate of roughly 50,000 people (regular council elections see 34,000) after a campaign that lays out their positions and an agenda, has a different validity, both internally and externally, than a mayor appointed by council. Council members are typically elected with 12,000-16,000 votes.

When will voters get to elect our mayor?

The first mayoral election is slated to be held in 2023.

Do you think the mayor will have a better relationship with Council if they are chosen by Council?

There is no proof that this happens. Isn’t it more important to have all of our voters feel represented by our mayor?

Why is Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Runoff) a better methodology?

Read the details HERE.

bottom of page