AuroraHot SheetLocal government

Aurora appoints at-large councilman, city manager

Author: Kara Mason - July 24, 2018 - Updated: July 24, 2018

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Aurora’s City Council in session. (aurora.gov)

Aurora City Council is back at full capacity. An at-large city council member was appointed along with a new city manager Monday night. 

Johnny Watson, a 16-year resident of Aurora, was chosen to fill the at-large seat vacated by now-Mayor Bob LeGare. LeGare was appointed to his new seat last month after the death of Steve Hogan.

Watson made the short list of 17 applicants. Council members whittled that list down to six, then Tim Huffman, a former Aurora police officer, withdrew his application. That left five: Watson, Johnathan Scott, Margaret Sobey, JulieMarie Shepherd Macklin and Tom Tobiassen. 

Tobiassen, a former Regional Transportation District board chairman, had lost to at-large council candidate Dave Gruber by less than 50 votes in the November election.

Even so, Tobiassen only earned the vote of LeGare during the appointment. Shepherd Macklin, a former Aurora Public Schools board member, ultimately earned four votes, making her the runner up for the seat.

Watson, who received six votes for the council seat, is set to be sworn in at the Aug. 6 meeting. While the Army veteran has never served as an elected city official before, Watson does sit on the city’s planning and zoning commission — a reason he said in his application he wanted the council seat. He’s also the president of his metro board in southeast Aurora for six years.

During interviews, Watson told council members he would run for the seat in 2019.  

Meanwhile, Jim Twombly, the former city manager for Tulsa, was chosen to fill the city’s top administrator position. He was one of four finalists interviewed earlier this month. They came from a pool of nearly 200 applicants after the city launched a nationwide search to fill the position. 

Skip Noe retired from the job last fall — he spent seven years at city hall.

It’s unclear when Twombly will start the job. 

Kara Mason

Kara Mason

Kara Mason covers southern Colorado, Aurora and statewide issues for ColoradoPolitics.com. She also writes for the Aurora Sentinel.