city hall council chambers

​Running For & Serving Council

​Running For Council

The city council consists of the Mayor, who is elected at large, and eight council members, two elected from each of the city's four wards. The Mayor and council members serve staggered four-year terms, beginning on the first city council meeting following their election. 

Want to be a city council member? Citizens interested in running for city council positions must meet the following requirements:

  • be a resident of the city of Thornton 
  • have lived in their Ward for at least a year/ or in the city for one year to run for Mayor 
  • be a registered voter 
  • be a U.S. citizen 
  • be at least 25 years of age 
  • not be a convicted felon 

For detailed information about gathering signatures to qualify to run for a city council position, or information about when city council positions are up for reelection, follow the link for Thornton City Clerk’s Election information. For more information, please call the Thornton City Clerk’s Office at 303-538-7230. 

​Get involved with your city: Thornton City Council encourages all residents to become involved in their city in some way, either as a Council member or through one of our numerous Boards and Commissions. For more information, call 303-538-7230. 

Serving on Council

What’s it like to be a Thornton city council member?

Talking with a Thornton city council member is pretty much like talking with your neighbor. That's because council members 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, council members are just like you, and you could be a council member! 

Serving the community as a Thornton city council member is an opportunity only nine people can have at any given time, if one counts the Mayor as well as the two council members 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 council member 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 council member 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 council members 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, council members 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 three 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 council members 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