Town Council Accused Of Open Meeting Law Violation

Advertisement

Pat Randall has filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General against the town council. She alleges the open meeting law was violated when the former mayor and three council members met and drafted a letter to the town manager regarding the airport manager.

To the contrary, Mayor Ken Murphy said only three members of the council met, and a fourth signed off on the memo they had prepared for Interim Town Manager Kelly Udall.

Randall filed the complaint April 10 and has been in touch with Laura Woodall in the AG's office three times since then.

Most recently, Randall and Woodall spoke June 27, before the council had an executive session on the matter. At that time Woodall said the issue was in the hands of the town attorney, Sam Streichman.

Randall said she now has her own attorney looking into the matter.

The council directed Streichman to draft the papers to ratify the actions in question at the July 11 meeting.

Randall said her research shows the council has only 30 days to ratify something once they are made aware of it.

According to Randall, in January former Mayor Ray Schum and Councilors Barbara Brewer, Jim Spencer and Dick Wolfe met and drafted a memo regarding the airport manager. The memo suggested the airport manager have more autonomy, fewer layers of supervision between the airport and town managers and possibly forming an aeronautics department, rather than having it under public works.

Randall pointed out that the date of the memo was the same day the council voted to abolish the airport advisory board.

Randall's documents show the matter did not come to the attention of the full council until Feb. 28, when Udall sent a memo advising he was changing the chain of command in regard to the airport manager, effective Feb. 21.

Udall's memo to the council cited the town code which gives his office the authority to "initiate appropriate courses of action for greater administrative effectiveness."

Randall's documents show she spoke with then-councilmember Murphy in March, and that he told her he had spoken with Streichman.

Murphy told the Roundup he was concerned about a potential violation.

The mayor said the open meeting law is extremely complex and it is easily violated, unintentionally or not.

"Elected officials have to be extremely careful in their conversations with other councilmembers to avoid potential violations," Murphy said.

At the June 27 council meeting, Randall suggested Wolfe and Brewer resign and Udall's name be withdrawn as a candidate for town manager.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.