AURORA | A narrow vote Monday night among Aurora City Council members moved along a proposal to give a louder citizen voice to Aurora’s Oil and Gas Advisory Committee.

But with one council member, Francoise Bergan, absent from the meeting, it’s unclear whether the proposed change will see it through to passage. One more opposition vote on the measure would sink the proposal.

Ward II Councilwoman Nicole Johnston, who served on the committee before she was elected last year, is suggesting the committee drop from 11 members to 9 members, and that the make up would require five residents, two industry representatives and two surface property owners. 

Only one resident on that commission would be allowed to be a present or former employee of any oil and gas industry company, receive more than 50 percent of their income from the industry or be a current or former lobbyist for the industry. 

Council members Allison Hiltz, Marsha Berzins, Crystal Murillo and Charlie Richardson joined Johnston in voting for the proposal. 

Monday night, city council members also formally retired mayor Steve Hogan, who died last week after announcing in March he was diagnosed with cancer. 

The city is now taking applications for the seat, which will be filled by a council appointment. Applications must be returned to the city clerk by May 29. 

At a study session earlier in the evening, council members agreed to ask voters whether to keep the photo red light program, which generates and helps fund city and local programs to the tune of about $2 million.

Richardson voiced concerns that a vote would mean the end of the program, creating a bigger financial burden for the city. But other council members said they believe the voters should have a say.

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer