LETTER: Aurora’s election is not about guns, it’s about growth and critical budget decisions

EDITOR: In your Sept. 11 editorial, “An Aurora Election Like No Other…”  you say that our local issues have been pushed out by how candidates “weigh in on issues such as gun control, immigration and a host of issues normally reserved for state and national races.”

Who’s doing the pushing?  And why?

Three Citizens’ Committees presented their recommendations to the Mayor and City Council this week. These volunteers take the time to deeply understand the real challenges the City faces and offer solutions. You seem to dismiss the issues they study as “just a given.”  Not so fast.

For years, our street network has been growing faster than the funds available for maintenance.  Maintaining pavement is much like preventive dentistry and many of our neighborhood streets will need costly root canals and implants for no other reason than our financial inability to keep up with the, hygiene. The damage is predictable, preventable, and sure to get far worse. The City is at $20 million in deferred maintenance and that will quickly climb to $60 million.  How do we resolve this before our streets rot and bridges fail?

With nearly 400,000 people, Aurora has virtually no public venues. Residents and visitors alike leave the City to attend major concerts, plays, sporting events, etc. in neighboring towns.  When they do so, those towns reap the economic benefits–not Aurora. Further, no one comes to Aurora for such fun.  How do we achieve a balance in event-related trade with our neighbors? And when we will have a place big enough for our high school graduations?

Venues and saving our streets are only two of the issues on the table.  Engaged members on the Citizens’ committees understand them. Perhaps the Sentinel could do a better job of educating its readers on local issues and press the candidates for their specific solutions.

— Jeff Brown, Citizens’ Advisory Budget Committee via [email protected]