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Flagstaff City Council Tries To Mend Fences Before Beginning Five Hour Meeting Tuesday

The Flagstaff City Council had an over five-hour session Tuesday night at City Hall. Before council dove into the night’s agenda, they addressed last week’s special meeting regarding wastewater testing for COVID at Flagstaff elementary and middle schools, that was canceled due to lack of attendance and the following war of words on social media between Mayor Deasy and council members. Most council members spoke, saying council needs to work together to solve the city’s issues and not be divisive. Councilmember Jim McCarthy took one of the mayor’s comments last week to task saying, “this charge that councilmembers do not value health and safety, and that they just casually skip council meetings, is completely unfounded.” He adds, “it reminds me when he (the Mayor) accused a Flagstaff Shelter Services administrator of being responsible for threats on him and unsubstantiated attacks on his home, all without evidence of her responsibility.” After all members spoke, Mayor Deasy says he needs to do better. “My ego can be big and I need to set it to side,” said the mayor. He adds, “the words and verbage I used was completely unproductive and not respectful. It is something that can interfere with our ability to get many other things done to serve the public and be able to act upon the stories I am hearing.” Deasy used the closure of Sinagua Middle School last week due to a spike in COVID cases, and comments from medical professionals in the community, as examples on why he thought a special session was necessary. At the end of the night, council decided to table the decision to allocate $50-thousand to help fund the testing at the schools to a future date. In other agenda items, council also decided to call for a public hearing at a future date, to discuss “Presidio in the Pines,” which is a proposed development set to build 39 condominiums in three buildings. The Planning and Zoning Commission rejected the conditional use permit 3-2 two weeks ago.