Denver City and County Building

The Denver City & County building, Denver's City Hall.

Denver officials are cleaning up the city’s rules regarding residency for those serving in elected office.

An ordinance was introduced in committee last week that would require all Denver elected officials to reside in city limits for their entire term in office.

As Councilman Kevin Flynn explained during a mayor-council meeting on Tuesday, as city staff and officials were combing through provisions of the city’s charter in preparation for the Fair Elections Fund ballot initiative, it became apparent that the charter only required an elected official to be a resident at the time of his or her election.

“But there was no requirement in the charter or the code that you maintain that throughout your residency [in elected office],” Flynn said.

Per the proposed changes to the current charter provision, council members would have to reside in their respective district, and other officials like the mayor in the city, during the entire term in office. If they move out of the district or city during their term, their office would be vacated. The City Council would have to approve a resolution declaring that a vacancy exists for the office in question.

Troy Bratton, deputy legislative counsel with the city’s attorney office, said the new residency requirement would bring Denver in line with school board, county and state-level elected offices.

If approved, the measure would go before city voters, as all city charter revisions require voter approval. The measure passed the Finance and Governance Committee on Aug. 6 and will now go before the full City Council for final approval for the ballot. 

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