In this Thursday, June 20, 2019, people walk past a pride display at the Loft store in New York's Times Square. For Pride month, retailers across the country are selling goods and services celebrating LGBTQ culture. They range from Macy’s same-sex wedding registries to the Times Square digital billboards beaming apparel sold in shops below. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

AURORA | Aurora lawmakers allowed a proposal to move forward Monday that would install large, digital signs on city property, allowing the city to benefit from advertising revenue but also requiring changes to the city’s rules on billboards.

Most council members did not oppose the item moving out of study session Monday, even as the mayor insisted the proposed contract with a billboard company should have been obtained through a competitive bidding process rather than negotiated behind closed doors by one City Councilmember, Danielle Jurinsky.

“I feel like these signs would be a great addition to our city as a revenue generator,” Jurinsky said. “I’ve heard two council members tonight agree that the city is awful at communicating with constituents, especially maybe in certain parts of town that they feel are left out.”

Allowing the digital billboard would conflict with the city’s current rules regarding signs, according to information in the council’s agenda packet, and so the council would have to lift the restriction at least on city property to allow the billboards.

Steve Cecil, a representative of Lamar Advertising Company, told the council that the city would have control over the seven advertisements that would be displayed one after another on the billboard, in addition to an image produced by the city.

The billboards would be installed on city property such as parks or next to fire and police stations. Cecil estimated six billboards would be worth between $471,000 and $707,000 per year to the city, including between $300,000 and $450,000 from the city’s cut of advertising dollars and the rest reflecting the value of the in-kind advertising. Lamar Advertising Company would build and maintain the billboards.

Assistant City Attorney Kim Skaggs warned that Aurora could face a First Amendment challenge if it tried to restrict the message of an advertisement on city property and other staffers said it was unusual for a deal such as this not to go through a competitive process so the city could determine which company was able to offer the best deal to taxpayers.

However, senior assistant city attorney Dave Lathers also said it wasn’t unheard of for the city to award a single-source contract for a pilot program. Cecil said his company would be open to a pilot program.

Jurinsky blamed city staffers for not explaining the city’s rules on bidding to her. Mayor Mike Coffman opposed the item moving forward, saying it violated the city’s rules regarding purchasing.

“I think it needs to be rewritten,” Coffman said. “This clearly violates our contracting rules.”

Ultimately, Coffman joined progressives in opposing the item moving forward from Monday’s study session. Because the rest of the conservative majority supported the item, it was scheduled to move to a regular meeting regardless.

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  1. Jurinsky is inept and someone is clearly greasing her palms. Lack of advertisements in Aurora is a good thing and I hope this fails.

  2. Just a money grab, soon they will be everywhere and we won’t be able to get rid of them. Stupid idea by stupid people.

  3. I came from Houston (sign city) to Aurora. Ubiquitous signage is not pretty as a drive through Houston on I45 will show you. A single council person pushing a single company is outrageous!

    Jurinsky blamed city staffers for not explaining the city’s rules on bidding to her. Mayor Mike Coffman opposed the item moving forward, saying it violated the city’s rules regarding purchasing.

    Once again, we are treated to Jurinski’s crap excuses for her behavior. If her necessary ouster is not evident to residents, it should be by now. Who blames others for their ignorance, especially when they hold public office? Who doesn’t possess the common business knowledge that a city should get competing bids? I have no words for this level of incompetence! VOTE HER OUT OF OFFICE!

    1. A friend of mine described her as Aurora’s Marjorie Taylor Greene. Ms. Jurinski may take this as a compliment. Not my intent.

  4. No mention of how large these billboards will be or specific locations. I think they will be an eyesore and a safety hazard. The revenue sounds attractive, but not worth cheapening the image of our city.

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