By Nick Worth
Holbrook City Manager Ray Alley received a vote of confidence from the city council in an annual evaluation during Tuesday evening’s meeting.
Vice Mayor Charles Haussman, who was running the meeting for absent Mayor Jeff Hill, told Alley his self-evaluation was “relatively honest and forthright.” Councilmen Bobby Tyler and Richard Peterson were also absent from the proceedings.
“I get a great deal of positive comments from the public about you,” Haussman said. “I believe the city benefits from your efforts as city manager. The complaints I receive about you are not near the positive comments I receive. I hope we have a long relationship between you and the city.”
Councilman Myron Maxwell told Alley he echoed Haussman’s comments.
“In your self-evaluation, you were harder on yourself than you needed to be,” Maxwell said. “I appreciate working with you. I’m really pleased with the job you do as city manager.”
Council members also noted that Alley is a “working” city manager, in that he is out on the streets running his crews, rather than behind a desk.
“I like what you’re doing, so keep it up,” said Councilman Wade Carlisle.
Alley told the council he is in his 14th year as the city manager and that he had a proposal he would like the council to consider.
“I’d like to stay three to four more years,” he said. “I’m still going to be three to four years away from my state retirement.”
He then offered to not take any raises in salary that are coming up in the future and in exchange, would like the city to provide health insurance for him and his wife until such time as he is eligible for the Arizona State retiree health insurance plan.
Alley proposed the city provide him with one month of insurance coverage after his retirement for each month of work he puts in before that date.
Maxwell expressed concerns over the cost, and City Finance Director Randy Sullivan said he would have exact figures for the council by the next meeting.
No action was taken on the request.
In other action on March 19, the council:
* Conducted a canvass of the recent election. Haussman noted that 277 ballots were cast in the election and all three incumbents won their positions unopposed. Maxwell received 225 votes; Peterson, 213; and Carlisle, 212.
* Approved an ordinance authorizing the purchase of property from Navajo County Publishers, Inc.
* Approved an ordinance authorizing the lease of property to McPherson Collision.
* Appointed Kimberly Eavenson to the Planning and Zoning Commission, filling a vacancy created by the resignation of JoLynn Fox.
* Approved acceptance of an Internet Crimes Against Children grant in the amount of $2,500.
* Heard the first reading of an ordinance renaming a portion of Columbia Avenue to Mary Wilderman Drive and naming a roadway/utility easement Paul Barger Lane.
* Approved going out to bid for a new fire truck to replace Engine 77, which has been in service since 1977.
Sullivan told the council that $175,000 has been budgeted for the truck, and that the city has more cash in a contingency fund.
Alley told the council the city will not seek financing for the truck.
* Named Fireworks Productions as sole source provider for fireworks.
Alley noted that Fireworks Productions is the only Arizona fireworks company that provides training to firefighters in the handling and use of fireworks.
* Heard a street paving report from Alley. Alley told the council the work on West Erie Street will be finished next week and that Ninth Avenue would be the next road to be paved. The crews will then move to East Buffalo Street and pave from Third Avenue to Navajo Blvd.
* Approved the purchase of 10 car radios for the police department from Creative Communications under a state purchasing contract.
* Approved a request for payment of $6,823 to Pump Company to add two stages to the submersible pump at Well No. 3 to increase the water flow to the storage tank.
* Awarded a bid of $11,744 to R. W. Turner Company for a variable frequency drive for Well No. 3.
* Approved a claims payment to Walt’s Hardware for $2,081.46.
Carlisle recused himself, and Tyler was reached by telephone so that there was a quorum for the vote.
* Approved other claims payments.
* Postponed a planned executive session regarding ongoing litigation on water adjudication until the June council meeting, because three council members were absent from the meeting.
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By Nick Worth