2020.09.11 – Weeks In Review

/ September 11, 2020

Hello community! I hope you’re all doing well and had a good Labor Day weekend. It’s been a very busy set of weeks covering the 2021 budget, campaign finance reform, and more. I’ll touch on these items and a little more in this update.

2021 Budget

I spent most of the long weekend reading over the City Manager’s proposed budget. Due to COVID-induced shortfalls we’re looking at across the board budget cuts in the form of leaving vacant positions unfilled and reducing hours via furlough days. We had a special study session last Tuesday to hear from the Citizen’s Advisory Budget Committee, the Citizens Advisory Committee for Housing & Community Development, and the Citizen’s Water Advisory Committee. Afterwards we heard a summary overview from the City Manager and our Deputy City Managers about the contents of the budget. All of this is leading up to our Fall Budget Workshop on September 19th where council members will have the opportunity to propose changes to the budget draft.

There is much more detail in the document, which you can find here. I expect there will be a lively discussion about budget priorities especially as it pertains to public safety and public works. If you have any questions about or suggestions for the 2021 budget please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Campaign Finance Reform

Our ordinance has made it out of the Management and Finance committee on a vote of 2-1, with Councilmember Gruber voting against moving it forward. We are waiting on fiscal impact information from city staff and exploring some potential cost savings by partnering with our counties and the state before bringing the ordinance to study session.

City management has expressed to us that they acknowledge the need for additional election expertise for the City Clerk’s office as our city continues to grow and our elections get more sophisticated independent of our campaign finance reform ordinance. They hope to be able to add a new position to the Clerk’s office once our financial outlook improves as we recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

I am very proud of the work we’ve put into this home-grown ordinance, and I believe it will be the gold standard for municipal elections in our state should it pass.

Utah Park Community Meeting

On September 3rd I was invited to meet with a large group of our neighbors at Utah Park (outdoors, masked, and socially distanced!) to discuss community concerns regarding the park, trash, traffic, crime, and nuisance behavior. I want to thank the organizers for bringing so many folks together and inviting me and Officer Buchholz to hear what they had to say and participate in a productive dialogue. I am currently in the process of compiling a rather hefty council request to address everything that was relayed to me during the meeting.

If you and your neighbors have a list of matters you feel have gone unaddressed by the city in the past, please reach out to me and let me know. I am open to meeting in person if we can keep things safe for the attendees (outdoor, masked, and socially distanced), but if that doesn’t work we can meet digitally via WebEx or you can always send consolidated concerns to me via email.

Ward IV Meeting

Our next Ward IV meeting will be on September 17th at 6:30 PM via WebEx and simulcast on Facebook Live. You can register for the meeting ahead of time here. We will have a presentation from Public Works on the process they use for improving traffic safety and improving intersections, where work is slated to take place in Ward IV, and an opportunity for Q/A on this subject afterwards. We will also have a period for open Q/A to discuss whatever you like.

As always, you can reach me by email at jmarcano@auroragov.org or by phone at 720.634.6927 (text preferred). See you all soon!

In solidarity,

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