SCB-New Coaches

First-year Payson boys soccer assistant coach {span}Alfonso Rodriguez {/span}(left) and new head coach Billy Spalding.

The council updated a town ordinance so it can run criminal background checks on volunteers and contract employees at an emergency meeting last week.

The town has run background checks on employees for years, but an audit in September found current town code does not include language regarding volunteers and contract employees.

“It is believed to be in the best interest of the Town of Payson to inquire into the past criminal conduct of adult employees, volunteers and, when applicable, contract employees of the Town of Payson,” wrote Lynne ODonnell, human resource manager in a town memo.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety compliance specialist conducting the audit in September told the town to cease processing volunteer fingerprints until the ordinance was updated.

That has held up who can coach fall sports. Soccer recently started and ODonnell said there are eight volunteer coaches who cannot coach without a staff member present as the town waits to get their fingerprint clearance cards.

“The Parks and Recreation Department relies heavily on volunteers to serve as coaches for a variety of programs,” she wrote. “Due to the ongoing and immediate need to process volunteer fingerprints, the updated ordinance is being proposed with an emergency clause.”

The emergency ordinance passed unanimously with two council members absent.

Contact the editor at

Recommended for you

(1) comment

Mike White

I had to get separately fingerprinted and background-checked as a volunteer for the Sheriff's Posse, Search and Rescue, CERT, PATS trails cleanup, and even the Civil Air Patrol. I think the redundancies could be streamlined while the rules and regs are being looked at.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Avoid obscene, hateful, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful.
Be Nice. No name-calling, racism, sexism or any sort of -ism degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. Real names only!