Tue, Sept. 22

Council direct LeBeau, Buchanan to attend Open Meeting Law training

Camp Verde Town Council Members Bill LeBeau, left, and Buck Buchanan.

Camp Verde Town Council Members Bill LeBeau, left, and Buck Buchanan.

CAMP VERDE — On Aug. 5, the Camp Verde Town Council voted 5-to-2 that council members Bill LeBeau and Buck Buchanan must attend training for an Open Meeting Law violation committed in July.

LeBeau and Council Member Joe Butner voted no.

On July 17, LeBeau sent an email to council and to town staff that asked town staff to prioritize weed removal around the walking path at the town’s sports complex.

“The path gets considerable use, and its present condition reflects poorly on the town’s management,” LeBeau wrote.

Buchanan responded to the email – and replied to all.

“This is truly an embarrassment for anyone involved in town government I certainly hope it gets fixed immediately,” Buchanan wrote.

LeBeau’s email and Buchanan’s response constitutes an Open Meeting Law violation, according to Town Manager Russ Martin.

“But the violations were unintentional on Bill and Buck’s part,” Martin said.

Town Clerk Cindy Pemberton said that once town staff received the emails, she reported the violation to the attorney general. She also emailed council to tell them not to respond to LeBeau’s email.

“This is an open meeting law violation because you are now discussing town matters in a private forum,” Pemberton wrote in her email. “This a discussion that has not been agendized. All council members are required to notify the town clerk should they wish to discuss something with the council.”

Pemberton said that the clerk’s office would then send the information to council.

LeBeau and Buchanan will attend an interactive Open Meeting Law training via Zoom at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2. Council Member Jessie Murdock and incoming Council Member Cris McPhail will also attend the training. According to Pemberton, the training is free.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @AZShutterbug42

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