By Sam Conner –
Members of the Winslow City Council voted Tuesday evening to write a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding what they believe would be the harmful and undesirable effects likely from HB 2826, which would require that all elections be consolidated onto the same dates as state elections. The action came after an executive session for legal advice.
“We went into executive session in order to receive legal counsel regarding the wording of the letter and how to proceed. We, as well as other cities, believe that the Attorney General’s decision to combine elections will decrease voter turnout, not increase it,” explained City Manager Jim Ferguson. The letter asks the Department of Justice not to go along with the Attorney General’s request and to review the situation carefully before implementation.
Before the vote it was explained that the city elections are by mail-in ballot, which may not be legal under that law.
Earlier in the meeting there were reports from City Manager Jim Ferguson, Fire Chief James Hernandez and Allan Rosenbaum. Hernandez spoke of a training session attended by seven people from Winslow, one from Leupp and one from Flagstaff. He thanked Captain Maryanne Smith for the work she has done. Rosenbaum spoke about water line replacements, and noted that the changes were long needed and finally happening.
Planner Paul Ferris spoke about annexation, and explained that the county does not have a policy, but deals with each individual case. He said that he has been having dialogue with county officials and with some property owners. Winslow will work on annexation of individual sections as such become desirable.
The council awarded a $45,099.19 contract for the 2012 Summer Street Improvement Project to Sunland Asphalt of Tucson.
The council then adopted an ordinance amending the Winslow Municipal Code to include a section regarding wastewater treatment plant setbacks. This was necessary to qualify for an aquifer protection permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
Next an ordinance was adopted authorizing a non-exclusive lease agreement for certain real property adjacent to the old Two Stars Cafe. The ordinance lowered the rent from $100 per month to $50 per month, and was only for May through October.
During the call to the public, Ken Evans suggested that the city consider converting the old Two Stars Cafe building to house, and display old fire engines and work to procure another railroad car.
Ellie Lau asked for a clarification of a notice of a nuisance she had received from the city inspector, asking why her request for this at the last council meeting had not been addressed. She agreed to meet with City Attorney Dale Patton to discuss the matter the following day after he suggested that action.
The consent calendar was adopted, giving approval of the check register and minutes of a previous meeting.