Candidates for Ward II vacancy slated to address public at virtual forum


AURORA | Aurorans living in the northeastern portion of the city will have a chance to meet their next city council representative at a virtual forum next week.

Residents will be able to ask questions of the six people vying to fill an upcoming vacancy on the council at a virtual meet and greet slated for 6:30 p.m. on June 16, according to a news release.

The upcoming vacancy for the Ward II seat on the 11-member council was announced in April after the current councilperson for the zone, Nicole Johnston, announced her plans to resign and move closer to family in Colorado Springs. She’s set to begin a job with the Community Health Partnership Suicide Prevention Collaborative later this month.

Six people have formally expressed interest in finishing out the final several months of Johnston’s term, and all of them will be at the virtual roundtable next week. A seventh person expressed interest in filling Johnston’s seat but has not been named publicly and is not expected to participate in the upcoming discussion.

The current applicants are: Jessica Giammalvo, Robert Hamilton, Luke Kodanko, Robert O’Riley, Ryan Ross and Steve Sundberg.

Sundberg is the only candidate who has declared his intent to run to represent Ward II for an entire four-year term in this November’s election, according to filing reports released by the city clerk last month. An updated list has not been released since May 11.

Sundberg is the longtime manager of Legends Bar and Grill in Aurora, and he currently serves on the city’s recreation and parks board. He also is chairperson of the Aurora Chamber Leadership Aurora Board, and he and serves on the Pickens Technical College Culinary Advisory Board.

Ross is a community activist who recently facilitated the city’s police reform task force. He boasts a resume with numerous community service citations, including honors from Denver Urban Spectrum, Denver Business Journal, Denver’s Mayor diversity award, 9News leader of the year and COBIZ Magazine.

O’Riley ran for the Ward II seat in 2017, earning 11% of the vote. Then a Denver Deputy Sheriff, O’Riley said at the time that he wanted to bring diversity to the council. The Spanish speaker lists on his LinkedIn profile that he also worked as a Transportation Security Officer and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Kodanko is an information technology consultant, according to his LinkedIn page. He has a mathematics degree from SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree in information technology management from Colorado State University.

Hamilton has spent his career in the financial sector, creating startups and working as a consultant and project manager, according to his website. He currently works in risk and compliance services, according to his application.

Giammalvo is a software engineer, according to her application. She has a physics degree from Stonehill College and a master’s degree from Colorado Technical University.

All of the applicants will answer pre-submitted residents questions for 90 minutes at the upcoming event, which will be broadcast on YouTube, local cable and

Questions and more information on the candidates can be found here.

Ward II covers nearly all of Aurora east of South Buckley Road — which turns into Airport Boulevard —and north of East Hampden Avenue, stretching from Buckley Space Force Base to the far reaches of the Denver border just south of Denver International Airport.

Current council members are expected to interview the applicants later this month and make a final appointment June 28.

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1 month ago

A performative charade, really. I’m sure council members (and their coalitions) have already discussed and decided who they will support for the appointment.