Working together, Thornton council begins term

Mayor urges colleagues to disagree without being disagreeable

Scott Taylor
staylor@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/11/19

Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann urged her colleagues to work together to help make the city better in her first statement as the city’s new mayor. “Our city wants us to work together, to disagree …

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Working together, Thornton council begins term

Mayor urges colleagues to disagree without being disagreeable

Posted

Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann urged her colleagues to work together to help make the city better in her first statement as the city’s new mayor.

“Our city wants us to work together, to disagree without being disagreeable,” Kulmann said Dec. 3 after she swore her oath of office. “They want us to be better in a way that they can be proud of. Civility, honesty and respect still matter. So let’s build each other up and support each other. We truly are one Thornton.”

Kulmann and the four others on the City Council that won their races last month swore their oaths of office at the Thornton Council’s Dec. 3 meeting. Two incumbents — Ward 1’s Jacque Phillips and Ward 4’s Adam Matkowsky — reaffirmed their oaths while newcomers Julia Marvin, from Ward 2, and Ward 3’s David Acunto swore their oaths for the first time.

Kulmann said her campaign brought her all over the city to talk to residents.

“I learned a lot,” she said. “People care tremendously about this city. Most don’t know what ward they live in, and they don’t care. In every corner of the city, I had great conversations about traffic and roads and revitalization.”

Kulmann and other councilors acknowledged that debates among them could get heated.

“My strength is not harmony,” Ward 1’s Phillips said. “My strength is to get it done.”

But Phillips lauded outgoing Ward 3 Councilor Eric Tade, a frequent sparring partner.

“We can walk away after we spar and we are still buddies,” she said. “The best part is just knowing that even when we went head to head — and we have — we can walk away and be friends. That is the best way to make a decision.”

In their first official act, councilors selected Ward 2’s Jessica Sandgren to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. That’s the councilor who agrees to run council meetings and represent the city if the mayor is unavailable or unable to attend.

Swearing out

Before the new council taking their oaths, the former council hosted their last meeting — something outgoing Mayor Heidi Williams called a “...swearing out.”

Williams urged councilors to work together and urged residents to work with the new group.

“Please give this new mayor and city council grace,” Williams said. “Offer your opinions, agree to sit down and have a cup of coffee or a beer and talk about your issues. Let’s stop polarizing behavior at the local level and agree to disagree. Or even better, come up with a compromise where everyone hurts a little but everyone wins in a way as well.”

Ward 4 vacancy

Now the city is looking for a new councilor to fill the Ward 4 seat that Kulmann left. Potential councilors must be registered voter and U.S. citizen that has lived in Ward 4 for at least one year and must be at least 25-years-old and have a clean criminal record.

The city has posted an application on its website. Applications can be emailed to the City Clerk, clerk@cityofthornton.net, faxed to 303 538-7224 or brought in or mailed to the City Clerk at “City of Thornton, City Clerk’s office, Second Floor, 9500 Civic Center Drive, Thornton, 80229.”

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