May 272011

By Teri Walker–

Holbrook City Councilman Charles Haussman was elected vice mayor during the May 24 meeting of the council, taking the position vacated by Matt Searles, whose resignation was formally accepted during the council meeting.

The new vice mayor has served on the city council since 2007 and was just re-elected in March.

Councilman Wade Carlisle nominated Haussman for the vice mayor position, and the vote among the council was unanimous.

“I’m very pleased with the council we have. We work really well together, and I’m just happy to support them in my roles as councilman and vice mayor,” said Haussman.

Haussman is also the assistant principal of Holbrook High School.

The council also welcomed new council member Bobby Tyler, who was sworn in for his first term in office. Tyler, a third-generation Holbrook native.

In addition to Tyler, Mayor Jeff Hill, and Councilmen Phil Cobb and Haussman, who were re-elected to their positions on the council, were also sworn in to office by Michala Ruechel, presiding judge of the Navajo County Superior Court.

Richard Peterson, who was appointed to the council in January 2010 and was unsuccessful in his bid for election in March, left his seat on the council prior to the swearing in of officers.

After the council was reseated, Mayor Hill reminded council members that a special meeting would be held the next evening to consider nominations for a candidate to fill the vacancy on the council left by Searles. In the previous city council meeting, where Searles’ resignation was submitted, Hill said he hoped Peterson would consider a nomination for the position. (At press time, the new councilmember had not been selected.)

After the settling of positions, the council moved on to other business, including the agreement to pay an amount not to exceed $8,494 to lowest bidder Frontier Fence of Taylor for the repair and upgrading of fencing surrounding the tennis courts at Hunt Park. The new fencing will include higher gates that will keep bicyclists out of the skate park, and tennis and basketball courts.

City Manager Ray Alley explained the project would be accomplished using existing community service funds, and that Frontier Fence’s bid beat the next lowest bid by nearly $2,000.

The council also agreed to allow White Cone Veteran Organization to remove a modular unit from the old Northland Pioneer College campus for use as administrative office, event and meeting space for the organization in Indian Wells.

Alley noted that the building had no value to the city, and its removal is a step toward finishing the clearing of the old college site and making it more marketable. The council passed Resolution 11-11, declaring the modular unit of no value and authorizing its donation.

City Finance Director Randy Sullivan presented for approval a contract with Woodruff Construction of Flagstaff to undertake construction improvements that will bring the Holbrook Head Start facility into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sullivan explained that the project will be completed using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which the city was awarded in 2010. The city council approved the awarding of the $9,900 contract, (excluding change orders). Sullivan said the Head Start project will be managed by the Northern Arizona Council of Governments, which administers the CDBG funds.

The next regular meeting of the Holbrook City Council will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14.