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Flagstaff City Council Special Session Canceled, Tensions Rise Between Mayor And Council Members

Flagstaff City Council

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The Flagstaff City Council’s special session ended just after it began Tuesday. The lone topic was going to be about the allocation of $50-thousand for wastewater testing for COVID-19 at elementary and middle schools in Flagstaff. Mayor Paul Deasy and councilmember Jim McCarthy attended in person, while councilmember Adam Shimoni was on the phone. Missing were Vice Mayor Becky Daggett and councilmembers, Regina Salas, Austin Aslan and Miranda Sweet. Salas, Aslan and Sweet are representing the city at the League of Cities and Towns Conference in Phoenix. Because the majority of council wasn’t present, the meeting was canceled. In reaction to the members who didn’t attend the special session, Mayor Deasy said on Twitter, “public health and safety of teachers and children should be top priority. Unfortunately, some elected can’t bother to show up for discussion.” In response to the meeting and the mayor’s comments, councilmember Aslan tells KAFF News, “it seems clear to me that the City Council denied Flagstaff’s mayor a quorum tonight for abusing his authority to call an “emergency” meeting on a topic already set for discussion in a few weeks.” Councilmember Salas, who is attending the conference says, “this is at least the fourth time that current mayor is maneuvering to circumvent the consensus of majority of council.” She adds, “I request the City Attorney’s office to look into a potential violation of the City Charter by Mayor Deasy by over-extending his executive power and crossing the boundaries of Council-City Manager form of government.” Aslan notes: “if Paul Deasy wants to be an effective mayor, he should learn how to show leadership and collaborate as one of seven equal public servants, instead of resorting to petty politics and baseless shaming of colleagues.” Council will meet again next Tuesday.