Sunday, January 20, 2013

Guest View-Don Bristow: "Mayor Shenanignans"


Did the Mayor and some members of the Oro Valley Council violate the Arizona’s Open Meeting Law or just display a lack of ethics? At the January 16, 2013 Council Meeting, the last agenda item covered the reappointment of Mr. Gil Alexander, an honorable town resident, to the Conceptual Design Review Board (CDRB). However, the Mayor had already sent a letter to Mr. Alexander stating that he would not be reappointed to the CDRB. In his letter, the Mayor stated that the Town Council made this decision. During the Mayor’s heated discussion at this meeting, he stated it should have said Council Liaison (not Council). Three of the Council members indicated that they were not aware of this letter or the denied reappointment until it was brought to their attention by Mr. Alexander.   Councilmembers Hornet, Waters and Snider remained silent during the heated discussion regarding awareness of the letter and the reappointment action.

The Town codes clearly state that Board members are to be appointed by Council and Mayor. Mr. Alexander had followed the proper procedure requesting reappointment to the CDRB; therefore, approval or disapproval should have been made by the Council and Mayor.  The January 16, 2013 Council Meeting was the first time Mr. Alexander’s reappointment was on the Agenda.  Why did members Hornet, Waters, and Snider support the Mayor’s actions by their silence?  Were they aware of the letter and privately authorized the Mayor’s actions? This is clearly a violation of the Arizona Open-Meeting Law. If they were unaware, why didn’t they state that or express concern for the Mayor’s action? Why did Vice-Mayor Waters, who is the Council liaison to the CDRB, second the Mayor’s motion, and why did the three of them vote in favor of the motion? These questions reflect badly on the representation Oro Valley residents are receiving from these elected officials.

The Mayor, Councilmembers Hornet, Snider, and Waters did, as usual, vote as a block to deny the reappointment of Mr. Alexander. Their reasons for not reappointing Mr. Alexander lacked substance; one reason being that someone on Council felt Mr. Alexander had no right asking for details of proposals under consideration during CDRB meetings.  The Mayor and his Council allies again showed their inconsistent decision-making.  Recently, these four reappointed a man to the Planning and Zoning Commission; a man who had been formally cited for his unacceptable conduct on the Planning and Zoning Commission

Vice-Mayor Waters angrily indicated he is still nurturing a candidate for the CDRB who will be available to fill a vacancy on the CDRB.  However, Mr. Waters’ hand-picked representative has not yet applied or been appointed. Why is Vice-Mayor Waters so confident this candidate will be appointed? Why should the Vice Mayor be nurturing a candidate for any Board or Commission?

Why do these shenanigans continue?

Don Bristow


Victorian Cowgirl said...

There are four statements in the letter from Mayor Hiremath to Mr. Alexander that are highly suspicious of a violation of open meeting laws. I won't print them here since that would only give him a heads up, but I will pass them on to the appropriate people.

Hiremath's comments are suspicious in and of themselves, but when you couple his written comments with the verbal comments made by Waters and Hornat during the meeting...did they not realize what they were saying?

This is why it's good for other council members to keep asking them questions during the meeting and keep the pressure on them to defend themselves. Keep them talking, keep them answering questions, keep them on the defensive, and eventually one or more of them will get flustered enough to accidentally admit the truth.

Kudos to Councilmembers Garner and Zinken for doing just that!

Nombe Watanabe said...

If the someone violated the open meeting laws, then action should be taken.

Unleash Tom Horne.

Unknown said...

The Mayor and two Councilmen do not have the temperament to represent us.