Thornton City Council voted 5-to-4 to declare a vacancy in the Ward 1 seat held by Jacque Phillips City Council after a six hour meeting February 8, according to a press release.
According to the statement from the city, councilors 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.
Phillips had her own attorney present who also provided evidence and answered questions.
The statement cited Thornton’s City Charter section 4.5 regarding vacancies. According to that section, 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…”
Phillips was under fire from some councilors for purchasing a house in Alamoosa, where she works as executive director for the San Luis Vally’s Board of Cooperative Education Services, an Alamosa-based group of 14 southern Colorado school districts.
Phillips said she lives in Thornton full time.
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.