The Payson Town Council voted to start council meetings by 4:30 p.m. after a four and a half hour meeting on June 11 ended at 9:30 p.m.
“I am amazed how late we leave this building,” said Mayor Tom Morrissey. “It does put a burden on our staff.”
The vote split 5-2 with Vice Mayor Janell Sterner and Councilor Suzy Tubbs-Avakian voting against the change.
“I do see the reasons why to move this up,” said Sterner, “but a lot of residents work.”
She had concerns the earlier hour would limit the working folks from watching or attending meetings.
Councilor Steve Smith reminded her that the Gila County supervisors have meetings at 10 a.m. and he believed the City of Phoenix had their meetings at 2 p.m.
“These council meetings, they are for us to do our business as council members on behalf of the town,” he said. “The public is invited to watch and participate if they can.”
Sterner agreed with Smith’s point, then said, “we do have jobs too.”
Only Tubbs-Avakian voted with Sterner to keep the council meetings at 5:30 p.m. She works as a Realtor in Payson.