By Nolan Madden
Members of the Holbrook City Council accepted the resignation this week of Councilman Myron Maxwell, who cited undisclosed health-related reasons for his decision. Maxwell won his council seat in 2009, and ran unopposed for re-election in 2013.
During his run for re-election, he was quoted as expressing, “Holbrook is my town. I’ve been here all my life and I have a business here that’s been good to me, so I feel I need to be involved in the community.”
He continued, “It’s work. Sitting on the council is good work and you feel like you want to accomplish things.”
Announcing his departure, Maxwell informed Mayor Bobby Tyler and the council in a simple statement:
“With regret, I am giving notice of my resignation as member of the city council, effective Jan. 7, 2016. Please consider my resignation as of this date. Due to my health problems, I feel it necessary to move to Mesa, at least through the winter months. Thank you.”
The council moved to accept the resignation this Tuesday, “with thanks for Maxwell’s service and best wishes for improved health,” Councilman Richard Peterson said on the body’s behalf.
The council requests that letters of interest to fill Maxwell’s seat be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, to City Clerk Cher Reyes at city hall, 465 First Ave. The letters may be mailed or hand delivered, but must be received at city hall by the time noted.
The clerk will review all of the qualifications and notify applicants of their eligibility.
A special meeting of the council will convene at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2. All interested parties must be present to be considered for the position, and each will be allowed 10 minutes to present their desire to serve.
If more than one qualified applicant response is received, then the council, through discussion, will determine the method to choose a candidate.
Vice Mayor Wade Carlisle also recognized city Sanitation Supervisor Oasker Hollins, presenting him with a certificate of appreciation for his 40 continuous years of service.
New plans are underway by the council and city staff to develop a program to annually acknowledge the service and efforts of city personnel.
In other action Jan. 12, the council:
* Extended support to the family of Michael Tyler, who was awaiting surgery the following day, and condolences to the family of the late Walt Portenier.
* Received a poster of appreciation on behalf of the city from the Navajo County Fair Board for participation and support in the 2015 Navajo County Fair and Rodeo.
* Approved the appointment of city Human Resources Director Richard (Pat) Nichols as city personnel director.
Nichols was also approved as appointed trustee to represent the city on the Governing Board of the Rural Arizona Group Health Trust for a three-year term.
* Approved a letter expressing the city’s support for House Congressional Bill H.R. 1763 (Safe the Freight Act, introduced in House April 13, 2015), which prohibits the operation of a freight train or light locomotive engine used in the movement of freight unless it has a crew of at least two individuals, one of whom is certified by the Federal Rail Administration as a locomotive operator and the other as a train conductor.
Councilwoman Francie Payne and Councilmen Dixon and Wischmann voted in support of the letter, while Councilman Peterson voted against it. Vice Mayor Carlisle recused himself from the discussion and vote because he is an employee of Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
* Heard a report from City Manager Ray Alley regarding updates on pavement repairs at the Holbrook High School complex on West Buffalo Street. Approximately 100 square feet of new concrete street and sidewalk surfaces were installed over the winter break.
* Adopted a resolution approving the form of amended 457 Plan and Trust for Security Benefit, which is a financial investment option of the city employee benefits plan.
* Received an update from Community Development Director Kathleen Smith, who expressed thanks to Navajo County Fair Board President Michael Sample and his wife Ivah, and to Kyle Gardner and the Region Honor Choir for their efforts in representing the city at the 2016 Fiesta Bowl Parade.
* Cancelled the Jan. 26 council meeting due to a scheduling conflict with the Hashknife Posse send-off dinner.
* Ratified Cary Simpson as Holbrook Fire Chief for 2016.
* Approved a request for Manager Alley to go to bid to select a building contractor for installation of an enclosed racquetball court as a city recreational feature during fiscal year 2016. The project would be tentatively funded with city general fund surplus proceeds.
* Approved a request from the Holbrook Volunteer Fire Department to purchase rescue equipment from Western States Fire Equipment in an amount not to exceed $6,743.19.
* Approved the consent agenda, including payment of claims for Dec. 4, 2015, through Jan. 6, 2016, in the amount of $445,616.14.
Councilmen C.J. Wischmann and Tim Dixon noted that they would abstain from the vote on minutes of the regular meeting held on Jan. 15, 2013, which predated their election to the council. The item was tabled.
At Dixon’s request, approval of minutes of the regular meeting held Oct. 27, 2015, was tabled to allow time to research and correct the actual amount approved for purchase of in-car camera systems for the Holbrook Police Department.
* Approved payment of claims to Walt’s Hardware in the amount of $2,579.86.
* Approved payment of claims to The Tribune-News in the amount of $828.48.
The council will hold its next regular meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
By Nolan Madden