Aurora swears in new council member, appoints council liaisons

Seth Kinker
Aurora Advertiser

The Aurora City Council officially welcomed new council member Tony Kennedy at the Apr. 13 city council meeting.

Kennedy and Doyle Ferguson, who has been on council and re-ran for a city council seat, were the two candidates that ran for the two open council seats.

Kennedy and Ferguson were sworn in by City Clerk Kimberly Breedlove before the Mayor and Chairman Pro-Tem were elected.

Dawn Oplinger, a council member since 2016, was elected as Mayor and Jason Lewis, a council member since 2020, was elected as Chairman Pro-Tem.

After Oplinger and Lewis were sworn in, council liaison appointments were made for various city and community boards.

Oplinger was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission after City Manager Jon Holmes recommended that the mayor be appointed to the commission.

“This one is getting to be more and more important,” said Holmes on the council liaison for the Planning and Zoning Commission. “We have things that are coming up for the Planning and Zoning Commission that I think are going to be a little contentious and it’s also going to be important we do things correctly.”

Holmes went on to tell council that city code said that the commission could have between five and seven members with the mayor having the prerogative to sit on that board. He also added that another council member could be appointed to the commission and that the commission currently has six members.

“It is (Community Development Director) Carrie (Howlett) and I’s request that we strongly look at having the mayor sit on this board to provide leadership to this board,” said Holmes. “Carrie and I have concerns about how the planning and zoning commission meeting is being conducted.”

Councilwoman Theresa Pettit was appointed as the representative to the Southwest Missouri Solid Waste Management District Council and Executive Board, Ferguson was appointed as the council liaison for the Aurora Municipal Airport Board, Lewis was appointed as the council liaison for the Aurora Park Board, Kennedy was appointed to the Aurora Mercy Hospital Board of Trustees and Oplinger was appointed as council liaison for the Bright Futures Board of Trustees.