THORNTON, CO… In a six-hour Thornton City Council meeting that started at 7 p.m. on February 8, City Council voted 5-to-4 to declare a vacancy in the Ward 1 seat held by Jacque Phillips. The council heard several hours of public comment, most of which addressed the residency action item also on the agenda. After public comment, council members provided evidence, on the record, and voted after several rounds of discussion. Thornton City Attorney Tami Yellico and outside counsel Geoff Wilson advised council on the Thornton Charter requirements, pertinent case law, and state statutes that should be considered for determining residency. Jacque Phillips had her own attorney present who also provided evidence and answered questions.
Thornton's City Charter language, which addresses a vacancy, is as follows:
C. A vacancy shall exist when an elective officer fails to qualify, dies, resigns, is removed from office, moves from the City, moves from the ward from which elected, is incapacitated or is absent continuously therefrom for more than three (3) months, is convicted of a felony, or is judicially declared mentally incompetent. That such cause of vacancy exists shall be established by competent evidence thereof and placed on record in the Council minutes. The Council shall determine the validity of the evidence and, based on its determination, decide when a vacancy exists.
Thornton City Council Members Adam Matkowsky, David Acunto, Mayor Pro Tem Jessica Sandgren, Tony Unrein and Mayor Jan Kulmann voted in favor of a motion declaring a vacancy based on the evidence presented. Council Members Kathy Henson, Julia Marvin, Karen Bigelow and Jacque Phillips voted against the motion.
Thornton City Council will begin taking applications to fill the vacant Ward 1 seat and they have 30 days to appoint a person to fill the seat.
For more information visit www.ThorntonCO.gov.