AURORA | New Aurora City Council members will officially take the dais Monday evening — actually, nor virtually, on the dais.
Danielle Jurinsky, Dustin Zvonek, Steve Sundberg, Ruben Medina and returning member Crystal Murillo will be sworn in after a ceremony honoring outgoing members Allison Hiltz, Dave Gruber, Marsha Berzins and former member Nicole Johnston.
The City council has been meeting virtually via web interface for more than a year, since the onset of the pandemic. It returns again this week to meeting in person, with numerous restrictions, this week. The meetings, for now, are not open to the public, but instead, are televised live.
The new body leans conservative with the election of Jurinsky and Zvonek in two at-large seats and Sundberg in Ward II, which has been vacant since the summer when Johnston, a self-described progressive, resigned her seat. Remaining council members were unable to agree on appointing a new member, ultimately resorting in a charter violation and several policy impasses.
The new body is slated to continue tackling police reform, though it’s so far unclear what that may look like now. Jurinsky, Zvonek and Sundberg all campaigned on offering more support to Aurora police officers and committed to focusing on a surging crime rate.
It’s also expected that Mayor Mike Coffman will bring back his urban camping ban effort in the new year with colleagues friendlier to the idea. That contentious proposal failed this summer on a tie vote, prohibiting it from returning for six months.
Medina, a Democrat, won by 128 votes, flipping Ward III. His conservative opponent, Jono Scott, launched a recount effort on behalf of Arapahoe County Republicans, despite being beyond the 0.5% margin that triggers an automatic recount.
Last week, election officials from Arapahoe County said the recount resulted in the exact same number of votes for each candidate.