Raymond Hull: 2021 candidate for at-large Aurora city council
Voters have a choice for Aurora alderman in Wards 4, 7 and 10 and for the at-large seat in the April 6 election. In the 4th Ward, incumbent William Donnell is facing John Bell. In the 7th Ward, incumbent Scheketa Hart-Burns is being challenged by Saul Fultz. In the 10th Ward, Shweta Baid and Arjun Nair are running to fill a seat being vacated. And Raymond Hull, Brooke Shanley and Ron Woerman are running for the open at-large seat. All are 4-year seats.
Age: Not given
Civic involvement: Youth baseball coach since 1999, homeless shelter Volunteer, youth mentoring at area schools. 2018-2020 Aurora Planning Commissioner
Q: How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state and federal authorities?
A: I believe that the City Council and Mayor should defer to the state health department and federal authorities. I am a believer in the science when confronting COVID.
Q: Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A: Aurora did an outstanding job in providing services to the residents beginning with consistent communication. Public works divisions were put on three shifts in order to be able to social distance and they alternated the staff to each shift. City hall employees worked from a hybrid schedule. Temperature-scanning and masks were required for both employees and the public before entering.
Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A: Public health crisis is a broad term. Having a health professional liaison would be an option. That individual would coordinate with the state and the four county health officials that intersect in Aurora.
Q: What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A: The City Council must act as an independent legislative body they were elected to be. The place to begin would be insisting that the administration delay any and all capital projects and capital equipment not necessary.
Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A: Projects such as the Long Term Control Plan for combined sewers are mandated by the EPA and must continue. The cost is covered by combination of grant and taxes. The construction of a Consolidated Public Works Facility in Aurora must be put on hold due the cost and location.
Q: Do you plan to address businesses that don't adhere to the governor's order to close or restrict business?
A: The administration is charged with the limited actions that can be taken; It is a very complex issue.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the stance your board/council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A: There is nothing recreational about marijuana use. It is hypocritical for the government to participate in marijuana sales revenue when the lives of so many have been ruined by misdemeanor and felony possession. However I would require that distribution mirror the distance required for growth at a half-mile from schools and homes.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A: Community block grant funds and additional revenue should be targeted toward our neighborhood directly adjacent to our central business district. The current and past administrations continue to duplicate a top down model. Neighborhoods are the foundation of any community