What’s it like to be a Thornton City Councilmember?
Talking with a Thornton City Councilmember is pretty much like talking with your neighbor. That's because Councilmembers are your neighbors! And just like you, they live in Thornton, have families, have regular jobs or are retired, and are affected every day by the same issues that you are.
They sit in traffic in the car next to yours, sigh as a new subdivision springs up in the field down the street, and would appreciate more work and shopping opportunities close by. In short, Councilmembers are just like you, and you could be a Councilmember!
Serving the community as a Thornton City Councilmember is an opportunity only nine people can have at any given time, if one counts the Mayor as well as the two Councilmembers elected to represent each of Thornton's four wards.
Holding a seat on City Council can be a very rewarding experience, as these dedicated residents have the chance to have a positive impact on our quality of life in Thornton. They work on growth and transportation issues, to improve public safety and recreation opportunities, and try to encourage wholesome economic development to benefit us all.
As satisfying as it can be to participate in the decisions that will affect Thornton now and in the future, the position of City Councilmember is not an easy one.
Besides attending two Council Meetings a month and talking with citizens, there are ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings, conferences, biweekly planning sessions, field trips, community and school events, and often participation on local, regional and even national committees. Talk about busy! It helps to have an understanding employer, if you work outside the home, and an even more understanding family.
So where does a Councilmember fit into the big picture?
The City of Thornton is a home rule city operating under the Council-Manager form of government. This means that the City Manager, who is hired by the City Council, actually supervises the various departments and day-to-day activities of the City. The Council is a policy-making body, responsible for adopting and amending ordinances affecting the City Code, the collection of laws under which the City operates. They determine the annual City budget, approve intergovernmental agreements and conduct public hearings on zoning and other matters.
Rewards of being on Thornton City Council
Serving the community as one of nine Thornton City Councilmembers can be a very rewarding experience.
These dedicated residents have the chance to have a positive impact on our quality of life by working on growth and transportation issues, improving public safety and recreation opportunities, and encouraging wholesome economic development to benefit the community.
Demands of being on Thornton City Council
As satisfying as it can be to participate in the decisions that will affect Thornton now and in the future, the position of City Councilmember is not an easy one. There is a tremendous time commitment involved.
Nearly every Tuesday, Councilmembers participate in meetings that begin at 5:30 p.m. and often last until 10 p.m. or later. They typically work at least one additional event during the week, and spend an average of 3 hours reviewing background information necessary for upcoming Council meetings.
Councilmembers also devote at least six weekends per year to City meetings, community events, and training conferences away from the City. Moreover, citizens often call Councilmembers at their homes to seek information or express concerns about the City projects or services. It certainly helps to have an understanding employer if you work outside the home, and an even more understanding family.
Councilmember duties include...
- attending two evening Council Meetings and two evening Planning Sessions a month on Tuesday
- breakfast and weekend strategic planning meetings
- participating in groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings and grand openings
- attending conferences away from the City
- taking field trips
- attending community events and Student Drug Awareness & Resistance Education (DARE) graduations
- participation in local, regional and national organizations
- sponsoring ice cream socials and ward meetings three times a year in the evening