Mayor Ken Murphy's appointment of Raymond L. Jones to the planning and zoning commission was thwarted following an extended discussion.
Councilor Dick Wolfe pulled the appointment of Jones from the consent agenda at the start of the March 13 council meeting.
When the issue was addressed, Wolfe said, "I object to the appointment of Mr. Raymond Jones to the planning and zoning commission. r. Jones, for about six years, fought vigorously against the town's development code and zoning codes by building a home without permit, without plan review, without inspections. This ended up with the town in court on this issue. The town did prevail and received a judgment against Mr. Jones. Finally in September 2002, after six years, the home was finally inspected and approved. And I just have a real problem appointing someone with that kind of background and history to a planning and zoning commission that is charged with assuring enforcement and adherence to the very same codes that he violated."
Murphy said, "Well, Mr. Jones applied to serve on this commission. Mr. Jones served on Gila County Planning and Zoning Commission for several years. I talked to ome members of the planning and zoning commission who have no problem with Mr. Jones being appointed to the commission. I spoke with several people that know Mr. Jones. He is extremely experienced in regard to the issues. I looked at all the applications and he has the most experience of anybody applying. The lawsuit is a moot point. It was settled and settled in the town's favor and has absolutely no bearing on the fact that he has more experience than anybody else applying to the commission. So, I stand by my appointment and I would hope the amendment would be made to include him on there."
Councilor Judy Buettner took up Wolfe's argument against the appointment, "I just can't agree with you, Mr. Mayor. This looks like a man that has total disregard for the planning and zoning process."
To, that, the mayor quipped, "I'd never guess that you guys (on my left side) would never agree with me."
Buettner did not back down, "Oh, that has nothing to do with it and I resent you saying that, really. I am looking at this ... It's very clear that he doesn't have any respect for the process."
"He probably knows the process better than anybody else applying," Murphy said.
Buettner replied, "I don't think this is the kind of person we want representing the town."
"Well, he served on the planning and zoning commission for Gila County very well and (was) very respected. So, I guess we're smarter than Gila County," Murphy said, then repeated that he stood by his appointment. Murphy stood alone. The council voted 6-1 to appoint only those persons named by Wolfe in his initial motion, which excluded Jones.
In other business:
Travelers on the high side of Alpine Heights Drive need to watch for new stop signs. The town council agreed with a request from the Alpine Heights Homeowners Association to have two four-way stop signs installed.
The HOA requested the signs be placed at Alpine Heights Drive at its intersections with the Sunshine Lane and Camelot Drive loop. One will be at the 1200 block and the other will be at the 1300 block.