Chuck Heron’s cracker barrel session didn’t exactly go as planned Thursday night. A man was arrested and charged after reportedly threatening Town Manager Tim Grier, and virtually no one showed up.
Raymond Luckie, 67, was cited and released for disorderly conduct and threatening or intimidating behavior, said Gila County Sheriff’s Undersheriff Adam Shepherd.
Shepherd had no further information about the incident.
Grier said he had no comment regarding the arrest.
Heron, the town’s former mayor, said he did not see Luckie harass Grier at the meeting. The only interaction he saw between the two occurred at the beginning of the meeting when Grier arrived at Diamond Point Shadow Restaurant.
Luckie asked Grier what he was doing there, and Heron told Luckie to sit down because Grier was welcome to attend along with everyone else.
At the end of the meeting, both men left the restaurant. Heron said he stayed behind to gather his papers and pay his bill. When he went outside, Grier was already in his car and Luckie was nowhere to be seen.
“I don’t know what happened outside the meeting,” he said.
However, after leaving the meeting, Grier went to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office around 7:30 p.m. to report an altercation with Luckie. Officers investigated Grier’s allegations and subsequently charged Luckie that evening.
Heron said it appeared Luckie was still very upset with Grier over his wife, Sarah Luckie’s, departure from the town.
In June, Sarah resigned from her position as town clerk. Her sister and former town councilor Nathalie Stroup said Grier treated Sarah unfairly.
Stroup said Grier put Sarah on 90-day probation June 12 because she had “showed her incompetence, inefficiency, and an inability to perform her job adequately.”
However, Stroup said Luckie had a clean personnel file and had never received any indication Grier was unsatisfied with her work.
Sarah has never publicly addressed her departure and Grier would not comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, Heron said he restarted the cracker barrel sessions after several residents told him they felt the town was not hearing their voices. Specifically, Heron said Charlie Conover approached him.
Heron started the meetings as mayor in 2008 to make himself available for public comments, questions and concerns about the issues facing the town. The non-structured meetings ran for several months, ultimately ending with Heron’s resignation.
At Thursday’s meeting, the only people who showed were Heron, Conover, Luckie and Grier.
Conover said he and Heron were disappointed with the turnout so they decided to cancel any future meetings. He had no comment on the charges against Luckie.
However, before the meeting was over, Heron and Conover were able to discuss some of their issues with Grier.
These included a handout with a list of questions — Where does the town stand with water, sewer, roads, the general plan and the March 2010 election?
Grier said water was not discussed at the meeting.
He did say Heron asked him about which fund photo enforcement dollars went into. These funds were originally designated for law enforcement but were moved to the general fund after the town decided not to create its own police force.
Grier also said Conover expressed his concern with the general plan. Grier directed him to attend the general plan meeting Sept. 30.
Grier said he came to the meeting to listen. “I did not anticipate talking at all,” he said. “I think a representative of the town should go to listen and see if there were ideas. I think it is important to listen to the town.”
After deciding to cancel future meetings, Heron said he would let the town hammer out any issues at their own meetings.
The town plans to hold a water work-study session Oct. 27 where citizens can voice their opinions on water issues.