Split Aurora City Council defeats climate-focused advisory committee; mayor pitches his own

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AURORA | A city advisory committee focused on climate was defeated for the second time by the Aurora City Council, prompting political discourse, frustration from proponents, disapproval from opponents and a vague competing proposal from Mayor Mike Coffman.

The revised proposal from Council Member Alison Coombs further defined the scope of work for the advisory committee, removed a previous section that repealed the city Oil and Gas Advisory Committee and changed two of the membership categories.

In the new proposal, discussed at Monday’s study session, the committee would be made up of five residents, one or two people from an advocacy group, at least one land use expert, at least one transportation expert, one or two people employed in the energy industry, and one or two Aurora business owners. 

The chairperson or majority of the commission could also recommend adding two additional members who have experience working with state and regional governing bodies “that address climate change, air quality, water quality, or environmental protections.”

The original proposal for the Climate Action Committee called to dissolve the current Oil and Gas Advisory Committee, which is constructed of industry stakeholders, residents affected by oil and gas production in Aurora and surface property owners. Coombs removed that wording to appease her conservative colleagues, but it still did not garner enough support.

In the middle of discussion, Coffman announced a forthcoming environmental committee, which he said would encompass more than Coombs’ proposal. 

“I will go forward with the drafting of an environmental committee, where climate change will be a component part of it, as we look at carbon offsets at the local level, but it will accomplish much more and I will put that forward before the end of the year,” he said, not giving any further detail about his vision for a committee that would deal with climate issues. 

Some council members were wary of the pitch, saying that it emulates the work Coombs has already done for the Climate Action Advisory Committee.

“I’m not sure why we would need a competing measure, unless it’s just to be adversarial. Council Member Coombs brought this forward at least a month ago, and was very forthcoming about being open to working with people and their concerns,” Council Member Allison Hiltz said during the meeting. “So I’m just not sure why everybody was not willing to work with Council Member Coombs…I just I hope that you can maybe find it in your heart to try to work together with the person who already brought this forward.”

Council Member Curtis Gardner said he wasn’t in support of the committee because it would have the ability to essentially review any ordinance proposal. He also made note during the meeting of a social media post from Council Member Juan Marcano that called Republican members of council who voted against the original proposal part of a “sadistic death cult.” Coombs liked the post.

“So frankly, I didn’t really feel like it was my place or like, I really wanted to spend the time to get this to a place where I could support it,” Gardner said.

Marcano said he stood by his comments.

“So I do believe in radical candor, and my intent is not to be a career politician. So if you take offense to me being very honest with people, and expressing to them what I see on the inside on the other side of this dais, coming from Republican elected officials, I’m sorry,” he said. “I think you might need to do some soul searching because I do believe, honest to God, that the Republican Party is a sadistic death cult. It is the most dangerous organization that has ever existed on this planet. You ignore science. You obstruct. You refuse to have conversations with people. This is something that I see at the local level all the way up to the halls of Congress.”

Council members Francoise Bergan, Marsha Berzins, Dave Gruber, Gardner and Coffman opposed to moving the proposal to a floor vote. 

Coffman gave few details about a timeline for his own proposal, but said it would be introduced before the end of the year.

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Publius
Publius
22 days ago

Runaway hyperbole proves once again to be a greater barrier to coming together than any physical wall that seperates people.Has constructive dialog ever been facilitated by denigrating those with whom one purports to want to have a conversation? I suppose it is possible if the intemperance of an impassioned moment is walked back sincerely. The difficulty is that there may be lasting suspicion that the intemperant remarks represent true feelings and apologies may well be percieved as insincere and self serving. Perhaps radical courtesy might serve better than radical candor.

Debra MacKillop
Debra MacKillop
22 days ago

One of many examples of chaotic, disruptive management approach of Coffman, which has always been his approach. He is clueless at creating a team, at encouraging compromise and cooperation, at bringing leaders together, at wanting to know what expert data and opinion are on a topic (which means doing some work and really listening and learning), at having real ideas to go after real problems of ALL his constituents.Coffman instead tries viral sensational blaming on Fox (he unveiled his “pretend to be homeless vet for a day on Fox, still dressed in his pretend clothes and blaming the homeless for our problems, but had no ideas but criminalize homelessness and proceeded to focus on that w/o talking to any experts or considering any real facts or data). Coffman hopes distracting with fighting, vitriol and chaos will keep him in power.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
22 days ago

It’s sad that anyone has to appease conservative members, but it is where we are as a country. Everything for ideology, right? How about thinking of doing what’s right for the people? Now that’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?

Everyone should be concerned about climate change and working to slow it down, at every level. Instead, it seems we sally forth, unabated, to our detriment. Arguing and denying are certainly no help. And making it political will assure that solutions are never reached. Juan Marcano is right in his assessment, but I would have phrased the words a little-more diplomatically. But our Council members are beyond civility.

I can’t wait to hear Coffman’s brilliant ideas, hopefully more well thought out than his ideas on homelessness.

Publius
Publius
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

Here’s to hoping mature individauls on each side of this gapping partisan chasm will be able to find their way back to the civility you have suggested and then use that civility to build productive communication to serve their consttiuents, all of their constituents, regardless of political inclinations or party affiliations.

Doug King
Doug King
22 days ago

Council member Marcano is so right on with his comment as shown by the response by the Mayor: Republican Conservatives do ignore science, obstruct and refuse to have conversations with people. ” Coombs removed that wording to appease her conservative colleagues, but it still did not garner enough support.” Then? From the Mayor? ““I will go forward with the drafting of an environmental committee, where climate change will be a component part of it, as we look at carbon offsets at the local level, but it will accomplish much more and I will put that forward before the end of the year,” he said, not giving any further detail about his vision for a committee that would deal with climate issues. ” So, No, the right side of the council refuses to budge, they won’t talk or compromise they just obstruct and it’s so obvious. They need to go. At least one is going by his own accord and it’s time. The folks of Aurora need to get critical thinking representatives in office to support progressive ideas and next month is the month to do that.!!!

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
22 days ago

The Marxist activists on the city council are so predictable it’s almost boring.

First, their water-carrying for the national socialist agenda dished up with smug condescension, then the name-calling and pitching of their little fits when defeated.

Councilmember Marxano needs to go pet his cat. And wash his hair.

FactsNotFeelings
FactsNotFeelings
21 days ago

Your little fit of a comment contains absolutely no facts, just smug condescension and name calling. How boringly predictable. Sorry your little feelings were hurt.

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
20 days ago

Fact: Coombs and Marcano are dues-paying members of the largest socialist organization in the U.S.

Fact: So is Bryan Lindstrom (running for Ward 2).

Fact: So is the leader of the Arapahoe Dems (the machine behind the movement to elect a socialist majority) Kristin Mallory.

Fact: My feelings were not hurt. I’ve never met Marcano, and I am certain his comments were not intended for me.

G W
G W
21 days ago

Believe you’ve “hit the nail on the head.” 🙂

DICK MOORE
21 days ago

Man made or regular climate control is not a local issue. Locally, the City of Aurora has no need to spend political time nor money on this issue. This committee is an unneeded waste and I hope the Mayor drops his idea’s quickly and spends time on local issues that are under Aurora’s control.

What is a local issue is the name calling of Juan Marcano. To call Republicans, roughly one half of US Citizens and Aurora citizens a “sadistic death cult” amongst other nasty traits is beyond comprehension and reason. Seems like he really believes this. To think that someone so filled with hate could be a leader in Aurora politics. Unfathomable!

I hope the voters in Ward IV takes to heart that he states he is not a career politician and make sure he’s gone from Aurora City Council by his next election.

Further, Coombs in Ward V likes his Republican insults and comments. Let’s get her gone as quickly as he is gone.

Brent G Taylor
Brent G Taylor
21 days ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

Man made or regular climate control is not a local issue. Locally, the City of Aurora has no need to spend political time nor money on this issue. “

AMEN!!

G W
G W
21 days ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

Amen!

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
21 days ago

“… my intent is not to be a career politician,” says the only sitting council member who left a job to work as a full-time activist on the city council. Or was he fired? I forget.

Brent G Taylor
Brent G Taylor
21 days ago

I do believe, honest to God, that the Republican Party is a sadistic death cult. It is the most dangerous organization that has ever existed on this planet.”

Sadistic? Death cult? Considering some well known (historically) dangerous organizations that have existed, even some that still do, this is… well Marcano’s entire diatribe borders beyond insanity, diplomacy befitting… since Ward IV doesn’t elect his replacement (anyone from that ward ought to be shocked and ashamed he represents them, regardless of their political philosophy) till 2023… he should be immediately recalled.

G W
G W
21 days ago

Yet another example why we need to remove the radical left wingers and replace with common sense conservative types. The repugnant comments by the radical member appear to come directly from the Marxist playbook. You cannot reason with these type folks, therefore, vote them off the City Council in November.