At-large Aurora City Council candidate list pared from 17 to 6

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AURORA | There are now six in the running for the open Aurora city council at-large position. 

City council members decided on six of 17 total applicants — one applicant, Marc Tachibana, withdrew his application just before Monday’s meeting. 

The applicants who will be interviewed are: Timothy Huffman, Tom Tobiassen, Margaret Sobey, Jonathan Scott, Johnny Watson and JulieMarie A. Shepherd Macklin. 

Huffman and Tobiassen both ran for one of the two open at-large seats in 2017. Current council member Dave Gruber and Tobiassen were less than 50 votes of each other, triggering a recount in that race. 

Tobiassen is a former board chairman for the Regional Transportation District — he served there from 2009 to 2016. He currently serves on the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee for the city and Aurora’s Public Defender Commission. He’s also served on the planning and zoning commission and citizens’ budget committee.

Huffman, a former Aurora police officer, has served on several community boards including on the Aurora Housing Authority and for the Aurora Mental Health Center.

Sobey owns an IT consulting business. She said in her application she wants to be part of solutions in Aurora, and “be in a position to understand all sides of an issue and use that well-rounded knowledge as a member of the decision-making body that shapes the future of Aurora.”

Scott, an associate pastor at Woodside Baptist Church, also submitted an application for the mayor appointment. He did not receive enough votes for an interview then.

“I have enjoyed observing the political closely and am now motivated to engage into the same process,” he said in his application for the at-large seat. “I have worked well with people and programs for several years and would appreciate the opportunity to work well with the rest of the city council.”

Shepherd Macklin, a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, teaches ethics and leadership. She was a founding member of the Aurora Youth Commission and served on the Human Relations Commission. She is a former Aurora Public Schools board member currently sits on the Aurora Public Schools Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. 

“The next few chapters in Aurora’s story book are important and defining,” she said in her application. “Business and workforce development, transportation, and safety and quality of life, are just some of the issues facing our community. I am interested in serving on city council because I believe I can contribute to our story, bringing fresh and innovative ideas, balancing common sense with fiscal responsibility and a commitment to collaboration.”

Watson, an Army veteran, has served on the Aurora Planning and Zoning Commission, which he said in his application is a main driver in wanting to serve as a council member.

Council members will interview the candidates on July 16 and make the appointment on July 23. The chosen applicant is slated to be sworn in on August 6.