Aurora municipal government has hit a wall, and the city’s voters need to make some urgent repairs. The fix can be found on Aurora’s local ballot, now arriving in the mail. Five Aurora City Council candidates on the ballot have the potential to get things moving again. We strongly urge a vote for:
- Bill Gondrez for Ward I
- Steve Sundberg for Ward II
- Jono Scott for Ward III
- Danielle Jurinsky for one of two at-large seats on the ballot.
- Dustin Zvonek for the other at-large seat.
Their first order of business will be mending a house divided and in disarray in Colorado’s third-largest city. It’s no small task, but Aurora voters can rest assured these five are up to the task. Without a doubt, it’s overdue.
Aurora’s City Hall has been a spectacle of bitter, divisive politics for some time now. Several wannabe revolutionaries — alas, rebels without a clue — landed seats on the City Council in the past two elections and have made a hash of things since then. What they brought to the table in enthusiasm, they lacked in experience holding public office. It showed.
They wore the fashionable woke agenda on their sleeves. They tried to inject “equity” provisions into assorted council actions, like ensuring that onetime criminal convicts from the drug trade could go to the front of the line in getting legal retail pot licenses. Supposedly, it rights past wrongs. It’s an upside-down view of justice in which all cops, not just the rare rogues, are regarded as suspects while criminals tend to be viewed as victims.
The council’s left wing ladles out bottomless empathy for addicts and others who choose to live on the streets — and who are swarming parts of Aurora and other larger Colorado cities. They want more spending on the street dwellers and blocked an effort by Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman to ban “camping” — with its crime and squalor — in parks or other public spaces. (Both Denver and Colorado Springs have enacted such bans, by the way).
They came to the council itching for a fight. They’ve locked horns with the mayor and the remaining mainstream council members over a host of issues. Cooperation and compromise — central to lawmaking — are not in their playbook.
They even stalemated all efforts last summer to fill a council seat vacated by a fellow member who stepped down in mid-term earlier in the year. Using their narrow majority, they pushed through a law aimed at the mayor that, unconstitutionally, would have prevented the influential political veteran from even expressing his support for any of their rivals seeking council seats. The provisions were struck down in court last month, and the council had to change the law.
The quarrels and marathon debates have pushed council meetings into the wee hours time and again. It all came to a head at one such meeting the other night in a bizarre outburst by Ward IV Councilman Juan Marcano, one of the radical ring leaders. In a fit of what he called, “radical candor,” Marcano, whose term lasts another two years, launched into a tirade against the GOP, calling it a “sadistic death cult” and “the most dangerous organization that has ever existed on this planet.” Never mind that municipal officials, by law, are elected as non-partisans.
That rhetoric delights the political fringe — Marcano calls himself a Democratic socialist — but it’s a safe bet most Aurora Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliateds have far more pressing concerns that have gone unaddressed by this council.
Reassuringly, there are five council candidates ready and willing to tackle those issues.
Zvonek says public safety will be his “top priority” in the face of a crippling crime wave that has engulfed Aurora and the entire metro area.
Sundberg, a small-business owner, wants to ease, “unnecessary regulations, and unrealistic city mandates” that only drive up prices for customers.
Scott aims to “address our roads, bridges, and aging infrastructure” as the city’s transportation grid struggles to keep pace with growth.
Jurinsky, an entrepreneur, vows to make Aurora “more business friendly” in the wake of the COVID economy.
Gondrez wants more Aurorans to be able “to live where they work…through an increase in workforce housing” amid an affordable-housing crunch.
In other words, they want to serve up the meat and potatoes of city government to a public starved for it. It’s also a public weary of political bickering that accomplishes nothing. It’s supposed to be City Hall, after all, not Fight Club.
We highly recommend Bill Gondrez, Steve Sundberg, Jono Scott, Danielle Jurinsky and Dustin Zvonek for Aurora City Council.
No radical agenda. No chip on their shoulders. Just everyday Aurorans, from every walk of life, who want to work together to make their community work better. What a refreshing change.