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Sat, Aug. 24

<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</B></CENTER>

Council shouldn’t hide decisions from the public

Editor:

In a recent letter to the editor, Mary Jane Dickinson (Mitch Dickinson’s mother) chastises Camp Verde’s mayor (Brenda Hauser) for making “innuendos about things discussed in executive session of the Camp Verde Town Council.” She further refers to the character and integrity of a person as being “shown by the way that one treats his fellow man.”

Regarding the executive session, Mrs. Dickinson writes that the mayor “says just enough to make one who does not know the four council members to whom she refers personally wonder about their integrity.” Well, let me clear that up. The four council people referred to are Mitch Dickinson, Howard Parrish, Jackie Baker and John Reddell.

Also, Mrs. Dickinson knows that no one can discuss facts obtained in an executive session. However, you would have to be dumber than a hoe-handle to not figure out what was going on in that meeting. Let’s look at some facts and we can figure it out for ourselves.

Let’s start with a directive issued by the town council to hold that executive session to discuss the Yavapai-Apache Sand & Rock litigation. It was made very clear that this meeting was for discussion only. However, when the agenda was posted that council directive had been modified to included directions to the town attorney regarding the issue – in violation of the council directive. A complaint has already been filed with the town regarding this modification of a council directive. Possible investigation and prosecution may follow.

The town’s attorney of record for the Yavapai-Apache Sand & Rock litigation is the law firm of Mangam, Wall, Stoops & Warden? This law firm was hired by the town council a couple of years ago to handle the sand & gravel litigation — and they won the case for the town. I have never heard of any council session in which this law firm was removed as attorney of record for this case. Then why would the town attorney be meddling in the case?

To figure out for ourselves what must have happened in that executive session let’s first ask the question, “Why did they have to have an executive session to discuss the issue and hide everything from the public?” The Town of Camp Verde won the court case. The judge determined that the Yavapai-Apache Sand & Rock Company was violating our town ordinances and must cease and desist until they could comply with those ordinances. No one ever accused me of being a genius, but I would guess they were trying to find some way around the court decision and they didn’t want the public to know what they were up to.

Now let’s get Mrs. Dickinson’s statement about the character and integrity of a person as being “shown by the way that one treats his fellow man.” Mrs. Dickinson is absolutely right. What does it tell you about the character of government officials who try to hide things from the public and have consistently supported putting commercial and industrial businesses right in residential zoned neighborhoods? Those officials to whom I am referring are Mitch Dickinson, Howard Parrish, Jackie Baker, and John Reddell.

H. Leon Raper

Camp Verde

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