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Wrecking Crew back in force in Camp Verde
Since the most recent recall election, the Camp Verde Town Council "wrecking crew" is reorganized and is back in operation. They also seem to be fully supported by the town attorney Julie Kriegh and town financial officer/acting town manager Dane Bullard.
Chaos in town government is already under way. The following is a brief record of the wrecking crew in their short time in control of the town council.
First, let's look at the special session of the town council held Oct. 4. In that meeting, the town council’s position was reversed and a new letter was issued supporting the Ruskin land trade. Town attorney Julie Kriegh and Dane Bullard both supported this action. Why were all of the following sections of the town code ignored in this meeting?
• Town Code, Section 2-3-2 regarding special meetings reads, "… shall be called and posted in the same manner as regular meetings …"
• Town Code, Section 2-3-1 regarding regular meetings reads, "The town council will hold regular meetings at 6:30 p.m. …"
• Town Code, Section 2-3-1.1 (C) regarding special sessions reads, "… Whenever possible, a special session will not be called with less than three days advanced notice.
• Town Code, Section 2-3-6 (C) regarding rehearing of issues heard previously by council reads, "… Once placed on the new agenda, the council shall then vote on whether or not to allow reconsideration, and if passed, when it will be reconsidered, giving due time for public input or preparation by agencies or individuals involved with the item. …"
In 2002, councilman Eberhard brought Section 2-3-6 (C) of the town code before the town council and suggested that it be changed or deleted. However, the remaining members of the original wrecking crew on the council at that time did not want it changed.
Second, let's look the town council meeting of Oct. 16 pertaining to the appointment of the vice mayor. In that meeting the council wrecking crew removed Tony Gioia and appointed John Reddell as vice mayor. Why did they grossly distort Section 2-2-2 of the town code? Town Code, Section 2-2-2 regarding the selection of the vice mayor reads, "The council shall annually select, at the first scheduled meeting in June, a vice mayor, who shall serve at the pleasure of the council."
Third, in that same Oct. 16 meeting, there was an agenda item requested by councilman Mitch Dickinson entitled "Discussion, consideration and possible action concerning a ‘Resign to Run’ ordinance." Why was the public not provided with a copy of the proposed ordinance? The council had a copy and participated in a discussion of the issue. Town attorney Julie Kriegh included the ordinance in a packet of documentation she marked confidential.
Isn’t this is a violation of the Arizona Revised Statutes pertaining to the open meeting laws? Doesn’t the public have the right to be fully informed as to the content of any proposed ordinance? Isn’t this is also an implied violation of town code pertaining to the public’s right to be informed?
Town Code, Section 2-4-3 pertaining to the public's right to information reads, "A member of the council may request that the ordinance under consideration be read in full." Councilman Leroy Hunter and Mayor Brenda Hauser both commented that they thought this information should be made public, but it wasn’t. Why didn’t Town Attorney Julie Kriegh or acting Town Manager Dane Bullard speak up regarding a violation of open meeting law and town ordinance?
Stay tuned. There will be no end to the excitement in Camp Verde with the wrecking crew in control of the town council.
H. Leon Raper
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