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Kulmann v. Salazar.

2022 CO 58. No. 22SC135.  Statutory Interpretation—Municipal Government—Election Law.

December 19, 2022

In this case, the Supreme Court reviewed a district court’s order that declared, as a matter of law, that the offices of mayor and councilmember in the City of Thornton constitute the same office for purposes of Colo. Const. art. XVIII, § 11(1), which restricts a “nonjudicial elected official” from serving “more than two consecutive terms in office.”

The Court concluded that the phrase “in office” in § 11(1), which refers back to the phrase “nonjudicial elected official,” plainly and unambiguously refers to a specific office and not to an institution or governing body. The Court further concluded that, according to the plain language of the Thornton City Charter and Thornton Municipal Code, the mayor and councilmembers in Thornton serve in distinct offices for purposes of section 11’s term limitations. Accordingly, the Court reversed the district court’s order.

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

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