VOTE ’13 — Ward I candidates Mounier, Busch differ on views for northern Aurora

Neither Busch nor Mounier are supportive of the city amending any gun-related ordinances in the wake of the July 20 theater shooting

By SARA CASTELLANOS, Staff Writer

Ward I candidates Sally Mounier and Eric Busch have differing views on subjects such as surveillance cameras and day laborers, but they do both oppose photo red light cameras.

Incumbent Mounier, who works in career development for Denver-based RE/MAX Southeast, said she supports surveillance cameras along East Colfax Avenue as a way to catch criminals and solve crimes.

“They contribute to lower crime, and I’m very much in favor,” she said. “They are proven to work and proven to catch the bad guys.”

She said she’d support expanding surveillance cameras to other areas in her ward.

Busch, a child welfare specialist for the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services said he doesn’t support more surveillance cameras because it would cost a “significant” amount of money to the city.

“Police has access to video feeds of private businesses,” he said.

Mounier said the day laborers on East Colfax Avenue are looking for daily work in dire circumstances, without bathrooms or shelter.

“My thought is we should find them a place under cover,” she said. Earlier this year she unveiled an idea for an immigrant center, where day laborers could learn English and job training skills. Busch said the larger issue with day laborers is that most of them are undocumented immigrants.

“We need federal legislation for comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. “In the long run, that really needs to be addressed.”

Mounier said she doesn’t support photo red light cameras in the city because they are an infringement on privacy.

“Aurora is on a slippery slope,” she said.

Busch opposes photo red light cameras too, because he doesn’t like how they’re operated. Both candidates stressed the need for more parking at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, though they didn’t specify who would pay for it.

“Aurora does need a comprehensive plan for parking and traffic,” Busch said.

Mounier said she’s pulling back support for a new police and fire training center.

“We have many needs in the city of Aurora and at least one more rec center is of critical importance,” she said. Busch said he thinks there is a way to pay for a new recreation center and a new training center, but didn’t specify how.

“I think we can do both,” he said.

Neither Busch nor Mounier are supportive of the city amending any gun-related ordinances in the wake of the July 20 theater shooting. Busch, though, said he is supportive of any legislation that prohibits people with mental illnesses from obtaining guns.

SALLY MOUNIER- Incumbent

Sally Mounier was appointed to the Aurora City Council in 2012. She works in career development for Denver-based RE/MAX

Sally Mournier
Sally Mournier

Southeast, specializing in recruitment and retention of agents. She has lived in Ward I for 15 years and has lived in Aurora for almost 40 years. She’s a member of several city organizations including the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, the Lowry Redevelopment Authority. In 2010, she lost a bid for state Representative to state Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

Q&A— Sally Mounier

Tax Rebates

Over the past couple of years, city lawmakers have offered tax rebates to several businesses to lure them to the city. Do you support tax incentives as a way to recruit new businesses? Why/why not?

In addition to our climate, our fine mix of housing options, great recreational opportunities, and low taxes, Aurora must offer incentives in order to remain competitive with the rest of the country, so yes, I support the use of incentives but any project must show a strong cost/benefit to Aurora.  I also support the good work being done by the Aurora Economic Development Council where offering tax incentives gives them another tool in their tool box to bring new jobs to Aurora.

Capital projects

Do you support Mayor Hogan’s recent announcement that the city should plan for more recreation centers, cultural arts centers, active adult centers and road improvements? Would you support a bond proposal to voters to pay for all of that in the future?

I congratulate the Mayor on his forward-looking projects.  And despite the fact that there is little for Ward I residents in his list, they all seem worthy objectives.  However, my focus is improving the lives of the citizens in Ward I and for that I think we need to begin at the beginning by reducing crime north of Mississippi and specifically on Colfax.  My goal is safe, stable neighborhoods where people can live, work and play.  In addition I will continue to work to see Moorhead Recreation Center renovated, enlarged and remodeled.  In answer to the second question, I am a proponent of letting the voters decide if they want to go into indebtedness.

Parking

It’s estimated that future light rail stations in Aurora will be strapped for parking and may spill over into city streets or business lots. Would you support a citywide plan to address parking? Does RTD have a responsibility for parking?

RTD does have a responsibility for parking such as the Nine Mile Park-N-Ride. Focusing on a citywide plan is the way to proceed, rather than hit or miss, in slip shod fashion.

Marijuana

A majority of voters in Aurora legalized marijuana in last year’s election. However, city council members are still sorting out which types of marijuana businesses they want to allow in the city. Do you support recreational pot shops in Aurora? If not, would you support other types of marijuana businesses?

Despite my views to the contrary the voters have spoken to allow for recreational marijuana.  To that end I have attended every Amendment 64 Ad Hoc Council Committee meeting to make sure the people in Ward I have a voice in its implementation.  I am proud to say the committee has adopted my suggestion to include hospitals among the zoning restrictions along with schools, churches and day care centers.  We can all agree I am sure that we do not want any part of Aurora, especially Colfax and Havana, to look like Denver’s South Broadway so the implementation has to be done responsibly and with great thought.

Red Lights

Some Aurora residents are peeved by photo-red light cameras because they say the city is profiting from them and acting like big brother. What’s your opinion? Would you vote to extend the annual contract to continue operating the systems for the cameras in Aurora? 

I believe photo-red light cameras are an infringement of our right to privacy as set forth in the U.S. Constitution.  To that end a few months ago I voted against extending the contract for another year.  I was one of four council members who voted against the cameras declaring Aurora has put itself on the proverbial slippery slope and needs to right itself by getting rid of the cameras.  Rest assured I would work hard to get the additional two votes needed to get us out of the contract next year.

What book would you most recommend to a friend?

Atlas Shrugged

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure movie?

Sorry, I do not have a favorite guilty pleasure movie; not even sure what that means

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Crème Brulee would be my choice as the only food I could eat the rest of my life

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

I am a bird person

Which city would you prefer to visit – Portland, Las Vegas, Kansas City or New York City?

Portland as I have never been there.

ERIC BUSCH- Challenger

Eric Busch is a U.S. Army veteran and child welfare specialist for the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau. He plans to retire at the end of the year and, if elected, focus his time on representing Aurora constituents. He

Eric Busch
Eric Busch

is currently a member of the Aurora Citizens Advisory Budget Committee and the North Aurora Neighborhood Association. He has lived in the original Aurora neighborhood for the past seven years and is married to state Rep. Jenise May, D-Aurora

Q&A – Eric Busch

Tax Rebates

Over the past couple of years, city lawmakers have offered tax rebates to several businesses to lure them to the city. Do you support tax incentives as a way to recruit new businesses? Why/why not?

It is important that the city be proactive in supporting the business community and bringing new businesses to Aurora.  Whether and to what extent incentives are offered should be based on careful consideration of cost benefit and future consequences, such as number of jobs created, impact on public infrastructure, fiscal impact on city revenue over time, and whether a project indirectly creates jobs in other businesses or sectors.

Capital projects

Do you support Mayor Hogan’s recent announcement that the city should plan for more recreation centers, cultural arts centers, active adult centers and road improvements? Would you support a bond proposal to voters to pay for all of that in the future?

A vibrant and attractive city that brings new businesses and jobs depends on having recreation and arts opportunities, as well as quality infrastructure.  I would support a bond proposal that helps to reach those goals. Any proposal needs to be fiscally accountable and transparent, have clearly defined economic benefits, and generate public support in the community. It is also important to consider the on-going operating costs of any new city developments.  There are over 100 parks and recreation facilities in the city now and there are issues with maintaining what we have.

Parking

It’s estimated that future light rail stations in Aurora will be strapped for parking and may spill over into city streets or business lots. Would you support a citywide plan to address parking? Does RTD have a responsibility for parking?

Parking is likely to be an issue, not only with light rail, but also with the estimated 40,000 employees at the Anschutz medical campus.  The city does need a comprehensive plan to address parking, and that should include shared responsibility with Anschutz and RTD.

Marijuana

A majority of voters in Aurora legalized marijuana in last year’s election. However, city council members are still sorting out which types of marijuana businesses they want to allow in the city. Do you support recreational pot shops in Aurora? If not, would you support other types of marijuana businesses?

Amendment 64 passed in Ward One with about 65% of the votes. We need to respect the will of the voters and support reasonable and full implementation of the law here in Aurora. Doing so successfully means implementing policies that protect children, crack down on bad actors, and give law enforcement the resources they need to keep our streets safe.

Red Lights

Some Aurora residents are peeved by photo-red light cameras because they say the city is profiting from them and acting like big brother. What’s your opinion? Would you vote to extend the annual contract to continue operating the systems for the cameras in Aurora? 

I am not in favor of continuing the program as is. The system needs to be reformed to make sure we are putting public safety first, and to make it easier for those who wish to challenge a ticket.   Many people have remarked that the photo is taken when you enter an intersection on yellow, leaving no time to safely stop if you are already there.

What book would you most recommend to a friend?

Physics of the Impossible, Kaku

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure movie?

The Bourne Identity series with Matt Damon

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Both

Which city would you prefer to visit – Portland, Las Vegas, Kansas City or New York City?

Portland

AURORA SENTINEL CITY COUNCIL ENDORSEMENTS

  • tom sanders

    LETS BE CLEAR…IF YOU ELECT DEMOCRATS EXPECT MORE TAXES..MORE REGULATIONS..MORE FINES..FEES..REDLIGHTS..MORE NANNYISM.

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