Conduct of former mayor subject of special session for Camp Verde Town Council
CAMP VERDE - Planning and Zoning Commissioner Bob Burnside's conduct at a recent P&Z meeting was "less than appealing," said Town Manager Russ Martin.
"It was expressed by staff, council and planning commissioners that comments made by commissioner Burnside to staff and the applicant may be keeping us from moving the town forward in a positive way," the Town Manager said.
At Tuesday's special session, Town Council will consider dismissing the Town's former mayor from the commission. According to Mayor Charlie German, "it is very difficult to be in this position when policies and procedures trigger this coming to the council."
According to Town Policies and Procedures section 3.8 A5 Conduct and Decorum: "The Town Council will not tolerate harassment, personal attacks or discrimination against each other or by members of appointed boards, commissions or committees." According to commission chairman B. J. Davis, council "must have seen this as enough to talk about it."
"This is not the way we want Camp Verde to be seen," Davis said. "We want growth. And his behavior was not conducive to that."
On Nov. 6, the commission met to consider supporting Simonton Ranch owner Scott Simonton's application to rezone his 21.87-acre parcel on N. Homestead Parkway as commercial. Council eventually agreed, voting to approve the minor amendment to the Town's General Plan.
Simonton plans to donate a 9.28-acre portion of the parcel and sell a 6-acre portion of the parcel to the Verde Valley Archaeology Center. Simonton also plans to develop the remainder of the parcel. According to Burnside, this did not necessitate a General Plan amendment but a Planned Area Development (PAD), an agreement between the Town and Simonton. Burnside said he was "concerned that correct procedures weren't being followed."
"To get the information, you have to ask direct questions," Burnside said. "You give me a document and I'll make sure it's accurate."
According to Martin, Burnside's questions weren't the issue.
"His demeanor [was] in question," Martin said.
The Town guided the applicant "through the right process" when it advised Simonton to apply for a minor amendment to the General Plan, according to Community Development Director Mike Jenkins. Town Attorney Bill Sims agreed.
"[The Town] did it appropriately," Sims said.
At the end of the day, Martin said, "council needs to consider the actions of commissioner Burnside and determine if they meet the standards of conduct and decorum of a planning commissioner."
The Dec. 9 special session will be held at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers, 473 S. Main St. #106. Council may vote to go into executive session for the discussion.
A copy of the agenda is available at: www.campverde.az.gov/government/town-clerk/agendas-minutes-actions/town-council/2014-2/.