Jerome vacation rentals issue goes behind closed doors

Jerome council members got a legal refresher on vacation rentals from the town's lawyers Tuesday night, going into executive session and taking no action, Mayor Lew Currier said.

"The new council was made aware of some of the history and some of what has transpired so far," he said. "The issue was not scheduled for an active session, so we adjourned."

Currier said the council will revisit the issue after the holidays, and that it will likely be on the January agenda. He's not sure whether it will once again be discussed in part or whole in an executive session.

"I'm trying to stay as much in open session as we can, but that's not possible when you're taking advice from an attorney," he said.

Voters in August soundly scrapped the previous council's attempt at regulating vacation rentals operating in Jerome's residential zones. They also voted out three councilmembers.

Newly elected Vice-Mayor Douglas Freund contended before the primary that the town needed to enforce its original zoning code, which supersedes the Private Property Protection Act. This law entitles owners to be compensated if their property loses value as a result of zoning rules.

Currier said the new council needs to decide how to move forward.

"If we need to go public we will. If we don't, we won't," he said.

Council members also had a short discussion Tuesday night about the town purchasing iPads for them, at an estimated cost of $1,250.

Neither Nikki Check or Abe Stewart own home computers, and Currier said iPads could be a portable solution for the email issues the last council had.

Currier said he put this on the agenda to address a lack of technology on the council, despite "pushback from people who think we're getting frivolous."

Stewart said if the iPad is necessary for him to do his job well, it's a responsibility, a perk, that the town should probably provide. The group tabled the discussion until the next meeting.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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