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After nearly three hours of discussion and a threat from the mayor to step down, the Sedona City Council passed two motions deciding what it should do with four committees created by the mayor.

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, council voted 7-0 to revise city rules and procedures so no member of council nor the mayor can independently form committees, commissions or a task force without prior approval by council.

The issue arose after Mayor Rob Adams formed an environmental committee, a community enhancement committee and an economic committee without council approval since taking office in May 2008.

Councilwoman Nancy Scagnelli didn’t question the quality of the committees, but she took issue with the committees since the city of Sedona runs by a council/city manager form of government, not a strong-mayor government, she said.

According to City Council Rules and Procedures No. 4-A, “The council may create committees, boards and commissions to assist in the conduct of the operation of the city government with such duties as the council may specify which is not inconsistent with the city code.”

City Attorney Mike Goimarac advised Adams last summer that although he was prohibited from establishing formal committees without council approval, he could form advisory committees.

Some councilors complained that Adams’ committees didn’t seem that informal considering they meet once or twice a month, and take up staff time.

They also worried that with the creation of the mayor’s committees, some city commissions, committees and task forces may have duplicating efforts.

Adams agreed that council should have approval of all groups and hoped to get council approval to formalize his committees.

But Councilman Dan Surber wanted to know more about the mayor’s committees first.

In the issue’s second motion, council agreed, 5-2, that Adams and Scagnelli would work with staff to bring recommendations to council on all city committees, commissions and task forces by the second meeting in March.

Before that date in March, council will hold a work session so the mayor’s committees can present to council, in order to be voted on later that month.

Scagnelli and Councilwoman Pud Colquitt voted against it.

“I can’t go along with these committees still being out there with no direction,” Colquitt said. “The simplest way to me is for the mayor’s committees to present to council, we vote on it, then we go from there.”

After a sleepless night, Adams reaffirmed Wednesday, Jan. 28, that if his committees had been pulled the night before he would have resigned.

“If you can’t see the value in what the committees are doing for the city, than I don’t see any purpose in serving,” he said.

He’s always made it clear that he wants to be a productive mayor, Adams said, and one way to do that was through the mayor’s committees.

Since all three committees are working on council priorities, there’s no “rational reason” to disband the committees, he said.

Members of all three committees spoke in favor of keeping them alive.

Robert Ancis, Rick Normand and Gerhard Mayer of the mayor’s budget committee spoke for their committee.

“In this tiny little town we have an extraordinary amount of talent that you all have access to,” Normand said. “Between the group of us we know what the economy is coming to. We know things we need to do as a city in order to survive in the next five years.”

 

Alison Ecklund can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 125, or e-mail

aecklund@larsonnewspapers.com

After nearly three hours of discussion and a threat from the mayor to step down, the Sedona City Council passed two motions deciding what it should do with four committees created by the mayor.

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, council voted 7-0 to revise city rules and procedures so no member of council nor the mayor can independently form committees, commissions or a task force without prior approval by council.

The issue arose after Mayor Rob Adams formed an environmental committee, a community enhancement committee and an economic committee without council approval since taking office in May 2008.

Councilwoman Nancy Scagnelli didn’t question the quality of the committees, but she took issue with the committees since the city of Sedona runs by a council/city manager form of government, not a strong-mayor government, she said.

According to City Council Rules and Procedures No. 4-A, “The council may create committees, boards and commissions to assist in the conduct of the operation of the city government with such duties as the council may specify which is not inconsistent with the city code.”

City Attorney Mike Goimarac advised Adams last summer that although he was prohibited from establishing formal committees without council approval, he could form advisory committees.

Some councilors complained that Adams’ committees didn’t seem that informal considering they meet once or twice a month, and take up staff time.

They also worried that with the creation of the mayor’s committees, some city commissions, committees and task forces may have duplicating efforts.

Adams agreed that council should have approval of all groups and hoped to get council approval to formalize his committees.

But Councilman Dan Surber wanted to know more about the mayor’s committees first.

In the issue’s second motion, council agreed, 5-2, that Adams and Scagnelli would work with staff to bring recommendations to council on all city committees, commissions and task forces by the second meeting in March.

Before that date in March, council will hold a work session so the mayor’s committees can present to council, in order to be voted on later that month.

Scagnelli and Councilwoman Pud Colquitt voted against it.

“I can’t go along with these committees still being out there with no direction,” Colquitt said. “The simplest way to me is for the mayor’s committees to present to council, we vote on it, then we go from there.”

After a sleepless night, Adams reaffirmed Wednesday, Jan. 28, that if his committees had been pulled the night before he would have resigned.

“If you can’t see the value in what the committees are doing for the city, than I don’t see any purpose in serving,” he said.

He’s always made it clear that he wants to be a productive mayor, Adams said, and one way to do that was through the mayor’s committees.

Since all three committees are working on council priorities, there’s no “rational reason” to disband the committees, he said.

Members of all three committees spoke in favor of keeping them alive.

Robert Ancis, Rick Normand and Gerhard Mayer of the mayor’s budget committee spoke for their committee.

“In this tiny little town we have an extraordinary amount of talent that you all have access to,” Normand said. “Between the group of us we know what the economy is coming to. We know things we need to do as a city in order to survive in the next five years.”

 

Alison Ecklund can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 125, or e-mail

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