Aurora, CO

Aurora mayor’s measure to encourage debate fails

David Heitz
The Aurora City Council debates policy in the City Council chambers of City Hall.Photo byCity of Aurora

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman’s proposal to repeal motions to end debate didn’t get much support Monday.

Only City Councilmembers Juan Marcano, Ruben Medina and Karina Murillo, all Democrats, voted for the proposal. The measure included a tinge of irony in that Republicans mostly have used the tool to shut down debate on issues, known as call for the question. But Coffman is a Republican himself.

His Republican colleagues did not support him Monday. Marcano, a Democrat who is running against Coffman for mayor, said he wishes the measure did not have to be considered. “I do feel that this rule has been abused in the past.”

Councilmembers scoff at proposal

During study session last week, the Republican councilmembers expressed distaste for the proposal. “I would be in support of this if there was a caveat that couch heroes weren’t allowed anymore and members had to show up in person to council meetings again,” said Councilmember Danielle Jurinsky, who has been accused by Councilmember Juan Marcano of using “call for the question” more than any other member.

Marcano frequently attends council meetings virtually, as do other members of the council’s Democratic voting bloc. Jurinsky said they create the “standoffs” that lead to call for the question, and they do it “from the comfort of their couch in their own home while the rest of us show up in person.”

Jurinsky only attended Monday’s meeting for just one vote, and she did so virtually. She voted for the appointment of a new fire chief.

‘Not an issue’ prior to current council

“Frankly this has not been an issue in the past prior to the current council,” Marcano said at last week’s study session. “It’s sad that we even have to abolish the rule because I do think it would serve the purpose to end a filibuster.”

Councilmember Francois Bergan said last week she would not support the mayor’s proposal. “I understand the spirit of this but I’m not in favor of just completely getting rid of motions to end debate.”

Councilmember Angela Lawson agreed. “When we’re going tit for tat, and it has nothing to do with the issue I think there does need to be a call for the question.”

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

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