By Sam Conner
After a lengthy meeting and three executive sessions, the Winslow City Council voted Tuesday evening to hire City Attorney Dale Patton as interim city manager and retiring City Manager Jim Ferguson as an economic consultant.
Patton was named to the position for an additional salary of $1,250 for each pay period in which he fills both the role of city attorney and interim city manager.
There was then an executive session for legal advice on an economic development consultant followed by a third executive session after which the council voted to hire Jim Ferguson as an economic development consultant. The vote was 4-3 in favor of hiring Ferguson as an economic development consultant for $4,500 a month beginning July 15. The motion was approved by Mayor Robin Boyd, and Councilmen Bob Schlessinger and Harold Soehner, and Councilwoman Marsha Juergens. Councilmen Marshall Losey, Curtis Hardy and Peter Cake opposed the motion.
There was no discussion other than the reading of the motion by Councilman Soehner and the vote.
Ferguson reported on a meeting the previous day in Phoenix with City Engineer Mark Woodson and the Arizona Historic Preservation Organization to talk about options. They also discussed some concerns about the road that is the city’s only access to the well field.
Fire Captain Mary Ann Smith reported on a $146,000 grant received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security for a variety of equipment. The equipment includes a mobile compressor/cascade and fill station, a cardiac monitor and defibrillators, 25 sets of turnout gear, a grant writing assistance fee and requires the city to pay five percent of the total cost or $7,300.
Dan Lutzick reported on a number of topics, including the Smithsonian exhibition Journey Stories, which includes a Winslow Journeys segment that will be at La Posada until Aug. 4. He also said that a train is being prepared to journey from New York to San Francisco to promote tourism in the United States. The train is scheduled to stop and present a program at a number of cities, of which Winslow may be the smallest. The train will be in Winslow on Sept. 22. He spoke of a variety of other projects underway at La Posada and in Winslow.
Lutzick said that there has been a group at La Posada from the University of Oklahoma, and that La Posada is renovating its electrical system. He noted that the Navajo rug which had been at the Hubbell Trading Post was on display at La Posada. He also said that Northern Arizona University is including in its five-year seminar plan to include events and management involving La Posada, Snowdrift and the El Gran Garage.
The consent calendar was adopted giving approvals of the check register and minutes of three previous council meetings. A bid was awarded for a contract for motor vehicle fuel.
A public hearing on the tentative budget for the next fiscal year was held, but no one spoke. After the hearing a resolution was passed adopting the tentative budget.
A request from the Just Cruisin’ Car Club to close Kinsley Avenue between Second and Third streets on June 29 for the Show and Shine event was approved.
An ordinance was adopted regarding the restraint of animals that is intended to protect dogs from abuse. This ordinance was tabled at the last meeting and has been revised.
An ordinance extending the two percent restaurant and bar tax for five years as approved by voters was adopted on an emergency basis. It was tabled at the last meeting as only five council members were present and six are needed to pass an ordinance on an emergency basis.
An ordinance was adopted prohibiting the sale, purchase, barter, giving away or accepting of animals on public streets and sidewalks, or in public places. There was discussion on this item, including a statement from Holly Wagner from the audience saying that it was a needed change in Winslow.
An ordinance was adopted raising the rate of fees and charges for a variety of items, including water and sewer rates.
An ordinance was adopted raising the fees for certain services or occurrences at the library and the animal care facility.
Meeting as the Winslow Housing Authority, members of the council adopted a resolution to write off all outstanding checks as the Public Housing Authority.
Four persons spoke during the call to the public on the interim city manager issue, the condition of several areas of the city and animal control issues.
By Sam Conner