NICOLE JOHNSTON: Half of Aurora City Council’s dereliction of duty is shameful

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Last night, I watched half of the Aurora City Council led by Mayor Coffman and reinforced by Council members Marsha Berzins, Francoise Bergan, Dave Gruber and Curtis Gardner try to justify their dereliction of duty.  The many instances of hypocrisy and personal attacks leads me to speak on it.

You see, Aurora has a City Charter.  It is like our constitution.  It provides rules for different situations such as appointing a representative to the vacancy who will serve until the upcoming election. A change to the charter can only happen by putting the language on the ballot and the people of Aurora voting on it.

Last night, half of the council wanted to discard the charter mandate. They want to carve out a special exception to council members violating the charter by not appointing a representative to Ward II. Shameful to anyone who is elected to carve out special treatment to protect themselves.

Violating the charter means civil and criminal charges. While that may not be enforced, it also puts the city at risk for countless lawsuits challenging any vote that happens after the vacancy appointment deadline of July 29. Any development, zoning, incentive, policy that happens after July 29 could be legally challenged. This is because the votes after July 29 are connected to a charter violation of not having a tenth councilmember appointed. The repercussions include taxpayer money used to defend lawsuits as well as overturning and essentially halting important city business.  

Motions were made “Let the people decide.” Of course, the people will decide.  There is an election in November and votes will be made. If I could have made a motion, it would have been: “I move for Ward 2 to have the same representation as the city’s other five wards.”

Abdicating their responsibility brought up the ugliness of why people hate politics. It is shameful, unethical and Aurora deserves better.

Call it as it is. Have the courage to say, the way we get a conservative in Ward II is through lots of money and appointing them so they have the incumbency advantage. But don’t be the definition of the favorite word of the last two years…”disingenuous.”

Nicole Johnston is the former Ward II Aurora City Council member for the seat local lawmakers are attempting to fill. 

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Max
Max
1 month ago

This is not a monarchy or dictatorship where the former council member gets to select her replacement. You are saying that half the council members are intentionally violating their charter by not selecting THEIR CHOICE!

It comes down to a Vote which our Council did and they came to a stalemate. That is not a dereliction of duty. That is their responsibility to the public. The dereliction I observed came from candidates repeatedly filing motion after motion to vote yet again. Shame on our Counsel members who think the public is unaware or not informed. And shame on this publication for publishing a deeply disingenuous portrayal on the events.

Pat Dunn
1 month ago
Reply to  Max

when the republicans on Council were asked why they didn’t support Dr. Ryan, not one of them made a comment.

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
1 month ago
Reply to  Pat Dunn

They made their opinion known many times. The four council members and mayor do not support Ross because they feel Sundberg is a better replacement — a long-time, involved member of the community, someone who cares about the safety and security of Aurora residents. Not to mention he wouldn’t have to start from scratch should he be elected in November. I’ll add this: Ross is merely a social activist who will enable the taxpayer-funded, anti-police social agenda pushed by Coombs and Marcano.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
1 month ago
Reply to  Pat Dunn

Probably because it’s been hashed out over and over and over again already, and Marcano and Coombs, being the emotionally stunted diaper-babies that they are, think they can get their way in the same manner that my three-year-old thinks screeching for a cookie after being told “no” several times will bring up a different result.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago
Reply to  Max

I wonder if you felt and responded this way when DT was having his way.

DICK MOORE
1 month ago

Such harsh words from the person who created this problem. Why should any Aurora citizen listen to Johnston’s opinion on these matters. She could have stayed on until November and avoided this. She deserted the Council and left our City and now wants to have her thoughts considered and reviewed by using this letter and newspaper. Now that’s what is shameful!

Please stay out of Aurora politics now that you are no longer a citizen. I, for one, care not what you think about Aurora. You voted by leaving.

FeelingsAreNotFacts
FeelingsAreNotFacts
1 month ago

Why is it dereliction for these five yet not for the others? Seems anyone on the council could eliminate the stalemate. You resigned, Johnston. You are not only no longer a council member, you are no longer even a resident of Aurora. Your opinion is irrelevant. Sit down.

Roslyn
Roslyn
1 month ago

Dereliction of duty?? Interesting choice of words coming from you? If I’m not mistaken you abandoned your Ward (dereliction of duties) leaving Aurora in the lurch!! Forgive me but your whole article feels incredibly hypocritical!!

As far as the charter goes there’s nothing outlining a split decision. Again you abandon your duties and left the city in a situation where there’s not to direct next steps in a tie. Send it to the people to vote on!!!

Dale G Nichols
Dale G Nichols
1 month ago

The last time the will of Ward II voters was expressed was in the 2017 election when they chose Johnston. Her replacement should be someone who reflects their values and policies then. Preferably it should also be someone who is committed to filling the gap by serving only until the election, instead of using this as a springboard to election to a full term three months frm now. The person who qualifies both ways, as well as by his education and experience, is Dr. Ross.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago

Everyone in the City knows exactly what’s going on here, and what those conservatives who respond are advocating: This is all a ploy for the conservative faction, probably at the behest of republican operatives, to take advantage of what they see as a God-given opportunity. It will obstruct, as is its MO, until the issue is either dead or the republicans get their way. What we think as citizens makes absolutely no difference to them, at any level of government. But they are not making points or winning over voters. Soon, their party will be irrelevant, and then they will be even madder than they are now, not stopping to think for one minute that they themselves brought this all on.

Nicole resigned appropriately, because she moved out of the City, and that is not dereliction of any sort. The current Council has the obligation under the City Charter to appoint a replacement, if even for a few months. They need to do their jobs. But they do need to be influenced by the person who resigned.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago

Everyone knows what the conservatives are up to here, and it is most certainly not representing the will of the voters. They will obstruct, as is their MO, until they get their way.

One day, their party will be irrelevant, and they will be even madder than they are now. But they won’t even consider that they brought this upon themselves, so they take it out on the rest of us.

May I ask what issues they are tabling until they get their person on Council? Is there anything that is of paramount importance coming before them between now and November? At that time, they know the voters will elect whomever is supported by their previous representative. That is why her opinion counts.

None
None
1 month ago

Why would you even let this liar submit something

Dean
1 month ago

Meantime- while over 100 attempts to replace Johnson’s seat rather than let it go back to where it logically should go, and thus let the voters end this mess. They are incapable to recognize this act of insane motions that go nowhere. And Johnson pipes in with her ostensible, and professed unbiased analysis…great and so-so typical. Curtis Gardner is affected by the community’s appearance of troubled citizens. His answer, he will offer to now cooking up a “Mental Health” ballot issue for the voters to deal with this perceived epidemic.  How ironic… the real mental unhealthiness is right at city hall for all of us to watch the ongoing insanity. https://sentinelcolorado.com/orecent-headlines/curtis-gardner-aurora-city-council-should-give-voters-a-chance-to-decide-on-vital-mental-health-funding-measure/
All this from the pros- This is perfect !