An Open Letter about the history of the City & County of Broomfield’s governing documents.

Until the late 1990’s, Broomfield city was shared by four (4) counties (Adams, Boulder, Jefferson and Weld) which was extremely difficult for the city, businesses, and citizens navigating four separate court districts, county seats, and county sales taxes. An amendment passed on 11/3/1998 to transition to a city and a county in a 3-year period.

Broomfield incorporated as a city and county (CCOB) in 2001 as a council-manager, non-partisan governance structure. An elected city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body and appoints a chief executive officer (city manager) to oversee day-to-day municipal operations, draft a budget, and implement and enforce the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. Unfortunately, even though that change was welcomed there were no provisions to account for future headcount or budget needs for those new responsibilities. Nor could they foresee the growth and complexities in our community.

The Broomfield home rule charter details the structure and powers of our local government. Our Charter has been amended ten times in its history. Each time, the Charter amendment was specific to a certain issue or topic. However, Broomfield has not undertaken a full review of the Charter since it went into effect in 1974.

To be clear, that was 50 years ago.

It was time to quit kicking the can down the proverbial city and county lane with amendments and address the long-term needs of our ever-growing community.

On September 27, 2022, City Council approved Resolution No. 2022-106, which established the Charter Review Committee (CRC) to review the Broomfield Charter and make recommendations to Council regarding any changes. Any Charter changes must be put on a future ballot and require voter approval. On March 7, 2023, Council appointed seven members to the CRC: 5 Residents: Leonard Giuliano, Cheryl Lovell, David Mathewes, Seth Patterson, Sam Taylor (Chair) and 2 Councilmembers: James Marsh-Holschen and Austin Ward.

The CRC held 13 meetings – open to the public – along with three town halls, staffed booths at The Taste of Broomfield and at Broomfield Days, and provided avenues for residents to give feedback. The information was displayed on television screens throughout CCOB, included in Community B-in the Loops, available at the Broomfield Library and George Di Ciero City and County Building noting upcoming meetings, webpage location, and contact information.

The CRC had a dedicated email address for public comment with the emails received saved for the record. Interested residents could also submit comments via a form, also saved for the record. A CRC webpage was created and maintained on the City and County of Broomfield’s website. Individual CRC members spoke with, emailed, and met with residents about the Charter.

The CRC team – with Nancy Rodgers, City and County Attorney – did a spectacular job reviewing a 50-year-old document that was so out of date it didn’t even legally list us as a City and a County. The CRC suggested many fixes that should have been done twenty some years ago and looked at CCOB from its current state to its future opportunities. The recommendations were many and putting each one on the ballot in November would be costly and overwhelming for voters. City council proposed bundling the changes into a single ballot item.

The attendees that night were overwhelmingly opposed to the charter recommendations and expressed such aggressively and discourteously, even after being asked to quiet down by the mayor.

Broomfield’s Democrats and Independents were not well represented that night expressing support, and so the motion failed – the raucously loud minority won.

Now there are five ordinance questions in this second reading, each needing to be voted on separately and desperately needing your support:

  • Term Limits (likely the most contentious item on the list IMHO).

    • Four-year term for mayor

    • No change to the four-year term for councilmembers

    • Added term limits for other elected officials – 3 consecutive terms

    • Note: term limits are not currently in Charter; Broomfield follows state law: 2 terms for 4-year elected terms and 3 terms for 2-year elected terms

  • Rezone by Resolution

  • Publication of Ordinances on Website

  • Personnel Merit System

  • Legal & Judiciary

The term limits recommendation – if supported by the Broomfield citizens attending the 7/9/24 meeting – could be approved to go forward to be on the ballot this fall.

We need you and your voice.

Best, Sandy Anderson