Typically a quiet Monday night at Aurora City Hall wouldn’t be news. But this week the city council chose to cancel a study session meeting altogether because the group couldn’t decide on what it wanted to meet about.
Originally Mayor Steve Hogan had planned for some of the new council members to have an orientation of sorts with the current council members during the study session, which typically takes place Monday evenings.
But Councilman Charlie Richardson had other ideas. He proposed to the group during last week’s study session that a study session was too precious to spend on answering questions for new members. Instead of an entire study session for some of the new members, Richardson said the council should talk important issues, and plan for a usual study session.
The rest of the council agreed and repealed the mayor’s plans, despite Hogan’s claim that the date was the only workable time for a majority of the new members. One at-large seat is still undecided with a recount in the works.
Outgoing Councilwoman Barb Cleland said she was disappointed city staff couldn’t find a time for all new council members to meet together, adding that they should be treated with the same “dignity as the current council.”
“That’s part of the problem around here,” Hogan said. “Everybody assumes and doesn’t try to fix anything.”
During the 45-minute discussion on the next week’s meeting, it seemed a majority of council agreed the orientation didn’t have to be during the study session. It could be held elsewhere in city hall.
After recalling the orientation-slash-study-session, it was up to the council to find something for the agenda. But with a holiday weekend in the works — the city was closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and Friday — it left city staff just two days to gather needed information and put together a backup document for the meeting.
The council was unable to come up with anything to talk about for the meeting with the two days available for staff, so the entire meeting was cancelled.
After the study session let out Richardson said he only got “half of the cake.” While he didn’t want the orientation during study session, he also didn’t want the meeting cancelled altogether.
Hogan said what council had essentially done was “thumbed their nose at the new council.”
Next Monday’s regular city council meeting is slated to be the first for the new council members. A swearing-in ceremony is scheduled, though it isn’t so far clear whether the recount will be finished by then.