Broomfield City Council voted 5-2 in favor of Todd Cohen filling the vacant Ward 5 council seat.
The Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Regis University announced in May that he was running for the seat in the November election. When Ward 5 representative and then-Mayor Pro Tem Guyleen Castriotta was appointed interim mayor last month, leaving her seat vacant, Cohen, along with two others, applied for the opening.
Cohen previously said he believes he can offer a common sense, pragmatic and progressive approach on the council. He said he applied for the vacant seat for the same reason he decided to run in the November election.
Broomfield’s Municipal Code does not offer explicit guidance on how to backfill a council seat outside of a special election. City and county staff directed the council to each vote who they wanted to fill the seat.
There were seven residents who spoke during public comment at the meeting before the vote. Several community members felt the seat should have been voted on by the public since the council represents the community. Commenters said the process didn’t represent democracy and inadvertently “put a foot on the scale” of the November election.
Several residents spoke in support of candidate David Beacom, citing his previous experience on council.
Beacom was previously appointed to a Ward 5 seat in 2015 after former Councilmember Wayne Anderson resigned. He was voted in again that November and served through 2019 when now Councilmember Heidi Henkel won the seat.
Ward 5 candidate Grayson Hofferber deliberately chose not to run for the interim seat, stating voters deserve to have their voices heard to determine their representative.
He said Beacom previously served “with honor and respect, and he knows the ins and outs of City Council and would provide the best transition possible for this interim position until the election in November.”
“Which brings us to our third and final candidate, who is exactly that: a candidate in the upcoming election,” Hofferber continued during public comment Tuesday. “He presumably entered the race to be voted in by the people and to represent their interests. Not by force, but by a democratic process of a majority. But we have seen this play out not only in our community but in those communities around us as well.”
Still, others were in favor of Cohen. They noted Ward 5 voted in Castriotta in 2017, and it made sense that her backfill be like-minded.
Ultimately, Councilmembers Laurie Anderson, Heidi Henkel, Jean Lim, William Lindstedt, and Deven Shaff voted for Cohen. Kimberly Groom and Elizabeth Law-Evans voted for Beacom, and Sharon Tessier and Stan Jezierski were not present.
The third candidate, John Ewalt, received no votes. Ewalt said in his application he became interested in local government after a subdivision development was approved near his home.
After Cohen was elected, he was sworn into the seat by Broomfield Municipal Judge Amy E. Bockman. He then sat down in the vacant seat in the council dais for the remainder of the council meeting.
Cohen will serve through Nov. 16.