By Sam Conner –
During the regular meeting of the Winslow City Council Tuesday evening, City Attorney Dale Patton reported on a pair of meetings with two county supervisors and later with the entire Board of Supervisors on the county’s proposal to charge the city for the county attorney’s prosecution of persons arrested in Winslow and for jailing of prisoners arrested in Winslow for crimes committed in the city.
Patton said that he read the supervisors the state statutes, which mandate the prosecution and jailing of persons violating state law as county responsibilities. He said that legally the county is required to pay for its mandated duties, but not for elective actions.
He also told the board that the Winslow City Council has unanimously passed a resolution supporting creation of a county-wide jail district as a fair and equitable way to spread expenses if the state does pass its expenses down to the counties, which is a large part of the problem. That would at least not have city residents paying county taxes for a county attorney’s service and jailing of inmates and also paying a fee for those same items as citizens of a city.
There were representatives from Snowflake and Taylor who agreed with the Winslow position, and indications that Show Low and Pinetop do as well. Despite this, the Board of Supervisors withheld action for a month and agreed to discuss it again. Patton said that he was hopeful, but not optimistic.
Public Housing Director Jesse Fernandez spoke about the need for some Section Eight Housing changes in a number of areas.
Chamber of Commerce Director Bob Hall spoke of an event at the site of where the Twin Arrows Casino will be and how it could be beneficial to Winslow. Plans call for the construction of a four-story hotel and eventually a golf course with the casino, which will bring many jobs to the area in construction and operation of the facilities. He also presented the chamber’s 2011 budget.
Finance Director Regina Reffner gave the monthly finance report.
At least five persons spoke during the call to the public portion of the agenda on a variety of subjects, including the explosion at Love’s Bulk Plant, the state and county passing down their responsibilities and expenses to lower levels of government, the lack of a code enforcement officer, the proposed state prison, and Section eight housing and landlords.