Tensions were elevated toward the end of Tuesday’s Flagstaff City Council meeting. Ross Altenbaugh, executive director of Flagstaff Shelter Services, was updating council when Mayor Paul Deasy told her the city has received “35 emails and 23 phone calls, specifically concerning the feelings of mistreatment and discrimination against our homeless population.” Deasy then told council about a death threat aimed at Deasy’s Chief of Staff, and an incident where a brick was thrown at his kids’ bedroom window. The mayor then told Altenbaugh, “so if you can’t think of a way to change the communication tactics you’re using, this is a very serious issue.” Altenbaugh responded by saying. “I’m after solving problems for the people who are using our services.” She adds, “I feel very strongly that death threats to your chief of staff and a brick being thrown at your home, is not in direct correlation with what we are doing wrong.” Flagstaff Police say so far there have been no arrests regarding the brick-throwing matter, but if anyone has information into the incident to call police. After the mayor was finished with the discussion, members of Council quickly praised Altenbaugh for her work with Shelter Services, with at least two members displeased with Deasy’s tone of the conversation. Deasy said at the end of the discussion that he would like to see further discussion by council on the homeless situation in Flagstaff and said he was “uncomfortable” with raising the level of funding to Shelter Services under the current conditions.
To watch the exchange, click here for the video and start at 6:15:42.