Proposed measure could completely change Aurora's government, prompting opposition from some local and state officials
On the steps of Aurora's City Hall, numerous council members, state legislators and others stood united in opposition to change the city's form of government.
"This is extremely deceptive for the people of Aurora and whoever is behind this, shame on you," said city council member Danielle Jurinsky. "If this makes the ballot, please vote 'no.' I encourage you to vote 'no.'"
A multi-page petition is being circulated throughout the city for a ballot initiative this November. If passed, it would change Aurora to a "strong mayor" government, reducing term limits for council members and the mayor. The mayor would also appoint executive department heads, and it creates a new at-large council member.
It would eliminate the city manager position, and reduce the power of each individual member of the council.
"Actually it would hinder greatly our cities ability to serve our residents at the level they deserve," councilmember Juan Marcano told reporters at a news conference.
The city currently is run by a city manager with the mayor in a less hands-on position.
The ballot measure would give Mayor Mike Coffman considerably more power if he is elected to a second term this fall.
Councilmember Curtis Gardner was asked who he thought is behind this controversial proposal.
"It would benefit whoever is in the mayor's seat. Currently, that's Mike Coffman, so if he were reelected that would benefit him or it could benefit anyone else," he said.
To get on the ballot this fall, some 12,000 signatures are needed on the petition by early June.
CBS News Colorado contacted Coffman's office and was told he will not comment on the proposal unless it reaches the ballot.
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