Aurora Police Association lends endorsement to Marsha Berzins for mayor

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AURORA | The Aurora police union made an early endorsement for mayor with the backing of Marsha Berzins, who currently represents Ward III.

“Marsha has been a huge supporter of the police for as I’ve known her and as long as she’s been on city council,” said Aurora Police Association President Judy Lutkin.

Lutkin specifically pointed to Berzins support of allowing the police union’s attempt at trying to get a defined benefit plan. Berzins was re-elected to her post on the city council in 2017, when he faced a throng of candidates who said they supported more progressive policies. 

During Berzins’s mayoral campaign announcement earlier this year, she put public safety and pro-business policies near the top of her agenda.

The union has lobbied the city council to allow them to switch from a locally-controlled defined contribution retirement plan, called the MPPA plan, to a statewide defined benefit plan, the FPPA plan, which comprises 200 other Colorado public safety agencies, including the Aurora Fire Department. 

Last year, negotiations stalled between the union and city nearly forcing a ballot question that would have allowed voters to decide the benefit plan, but that question was quickly nixed from the ballot. APA representatives said they would continue to work with the city. 

In December, council members decided to increase the contribution rate from 10.5 percent to 11 percent for both the city and the employee for 2019. The decrease back to 10.5 percent will be back in effect the first payroll period of 2020, according to city documents.

Berzins voted both for putting the question on the ballot and the contribution rate increase.

There is still time for candidates to declare an intent to run for mayor. Lutkin said the APA decided to endorse Berzins so early because of that previous support.

Lutkin said the APA has not spoken with all of the candidates so far vying for mayor.