I am writing to express my concerns about the proposal to change our city of Aurora’s government structure from a city manager system to a strong mayor-run government. While I understand that this change may seem appealing on the surface, I strongly believe that it would be detrimental to our city for several reasons.

Firstly, the city manager structure is designed to ensure professional management and impartial decision-making. Under this system, a city manager, who is typically appointed based on their qualifications and experience, oversees the day-to-day operations of the city. This allows for a more efficient and effective administration, as decisions are made based on expertise rather than politics. In contrast, a strong mayor-run government may lead to a more politicized decision-making process, where decisions are driven by personal agendas or electoral considerations rather than the best interests of the city.

Secondly, the city manager structure provides stability and continuity in governance. City managers are often hired for longer terms, providing them with the opportunity to implement long-term plans and strategies for the city’s development. This stability is crucial for attracting investments, fostering economic growth, and ensuring consistency in policies and programs. On the other hand, a strong mayor system may result in frequent turnover and instability in leadership, which could deter potential investors and disrupt ongoing initiatives.

Additionally, the city manager structure encourages collaboration and consensus-building among elected officials. In this system, the mayor and city council work together with the city manager to make decisions and set priorities for the city. This collaborative approach ensures that multiple perspectives are considered and prevents an excessive concentration of power in the hands of a single individual. By contrast, a strong mayor system often centralizes power in the hands of the mayor, potentially leading to a lack of checks and balances and diminishing the voices of other elected officials and community members.

Lastly, changing the city government structure would require significant time, effort, and financial resources. The process of transitioning to a strong mayor-run government would involve rewriting city charters, amending ordinances, and potentially holding a referendum or special elections. These resources could be better allocated to address pressing issues and meet the needs of our community.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that changing our city government structure from a city manager system to a strong mayor-run government would be a mistake. The city manager structure ensures professional management, stability, collaboration, and continuity, all of which are essential for the well-being and progress of our city. I urge you to carefully consider the potential consequences before making any decisions on this matter.  It’s NOT Aurora.

Bob Dorshimer, via letters@sentinelcolorado.com

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  1. I could not agree more, Bob! You laid out some excellent points!

    In addition, the inaccurate description of the petition content provided verbally to would-be signers (including to myself) …..really created the appearance of intentional deception, and calls the integrity of the whole initiative into question. If this initiative was on the up-and-up, why the apparent misrepresention or omission?

    Or….are the authors of this effort claiming that in fact the term limits proposal was indeed the most important and major aspect of the petition, and the strong-mayor portion was of so little significance it did not need to be mentioned to potential signers?

    Surely not!! If so, there’s a credibility gap here.

  2. What’s missing from this conversation is in strong mayor cities, typically the mayor must be elected by over 50% of the vote. Meaning run-offs or ranked voting. If that were the case in the last election, Mr. Coffman would not be mayor.

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