To applause from another packed house, the Diamond Star Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to ask the Gila County Board of Supervisors to grant the name change. The resolution passed by the council read, in part:
"The town council finds it is in the best interests of the citizens of Diamond Star to change the corporate name from Diamond Star to Star Valley so that the longstanding (association) of the name ... will clearly identify the town."
Interim Town Attorney Fredda Bisman, who has been researching the possibility of changing the town's name, believes it will be a fairly simple process.
"We looked at it and determined this was a legitimate way to go forward with the name change," Bisman said. "We understand that historically that's been the name of this physical location and that was the intent of the council and this was a way to carry through that intent. We'll go forward now and ask (the supervisors) to adopt a resolution."
The successful petition drive to incorporate the town was conducted using the Diamond Star name in part because the new town's boundaries are the same as the Diamond Star Fire Department. The other major community within those boundaries is Diamond Point Shadows.
The council also appointed an interim budget committee and instructed it to present a budget at the Nov. 29 meeting. Councilor Bill Heath was named chairperson, and the other members are Chris Benjamin, Barbara Hartwell, Gary Hatch, Sarah Luckie, and Debra Speakes.
"They will bring forward a budget that covers a period from the present through June 30 -- the end of the fiscal year," Bisman said.
The committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. today at the Diamond Star Fire Department.
Also on hand to provide expertise to the new council was Brent Stoddard of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
"We helped (the new town of) Dewey-Humboldt do their incorporation," Stoddard said. "We are the organization that is owned by the cities and towns; we are their staff."
The abbreviated regular meeting was preceded by an executive session that continued following the meeting. Mayor Ronnie O. McDaniel explained the split session.
"It got to be 6:00, and we didn't want people to have to wait for the regular meeting," McDaniel said.
The Nov. 29 meeting is a work-study session, with the next regular council meeting scheduled for Dec. 6. Councilor Chuck Heron encouraged Diamond Star citizens to attend both.
"The work-study sessions are open to the public, and we can entertain a lot more dialog in that meeting, in that venue, than we can in a formal council meeting," he said.
"So when people have questions and they want to get something on the agenda, that's the place to do it."
Talks with tribe
Bill Rappaport, president of the Diamond Star Water Coalition, said he, McDaniel and Tonto Apache Tribe Chairman Ivan Smith recently met to discuss cooperation between the town and the tribe in areas of mutual concern.
"It was a very productive meeting," Rappaport said. "I think that the relationship between their community and our community is going to be absolutely first rate.
"Part of the reason is that the three of us have known each other for an awfully long time."