South Tucson residents are questioning a recent posting found outside of City Hall announcing the Council’s intent to hold meetings for the “sole purpose of strategizing on the campaign for the recall elections set on March 13, 2018.”
|P U B L I C N O T I C E|
|TO: COUNCIL MEMBERS AND CITIZENS|
DATE: OCTOBER 16, 2017
RE: PUBLIC NOTICE RE: RECALL ELECTION CAMPAIGN
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT MAYOR GREEN, COUNCILMAN LARRIBAS, COUNCILMAN CANTU, AND COUNCILMAN ROMO, CONSTITUTING A MAJORITY OF THE COUNCIL, MAY BE PRESENT TO HOLD OCCASIONAL MEETINGS NOT SPONSORED BY THE CITY FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF STRATEGIZING ON THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE RECALL ELECTIONS SET ON MARCH 13, 2018. NO OTHER PERSONS WILL BE PRESENT. NO CITY BUSINESS WILL BE DISCUSSED OR PROPOSED AND NO LEGAL ACTION WILL BE TAKEN OR DELIBERATED.
VERONICA B. MORENO
South Tucson Mayor Ildefonzo Green and Council members Rufino Cantu, Robert Larribas and Carlos Romo are all subjects of the recall election. Earlier this month, the crew acted to delay the recall until March 2018.
The “Public Notice,” appears to violate Arizona’s Open Meeting laws according to elected officials in other jurisdictions as well as experts on the law.
Experts say that a governing body cannot legally sponsored private activity such as strategizing for a campaign. They also note that governing bodies cannot blanket notice meetings. They could announce quorum gatherings for non-city business, but they’d have to notice each non-campaign gathering 24 hours in advance.
One elected official in a neighboring community told the ADI, “The reason for the gathering seems to be somewhat ridiculous.
South Tucson residents agree.
“I attended the South Tucson Mayor and Council meetings where the people being recalled were calling the shots on when and how the recall will be conducted. I find this very odd! Now they are meeting to”strategize” on their campaign? What is going on? This is why many people in our community are upset with City Hall,: stated South Tucson resident Arlene Lopez.
“When the majority on the Council fail to respect the law or the residents, you know exactly why they are facing recall,” said former mayor Paul Diaz. “Nothing has been done about the 1.8 million owed to the land owners. We are all put in danger due to more foot traffic, more petty thieves, prostitution, rental houses used for other “things.” The easy way is to blame the Police Department. The permanent way to fix this situation is for the Majority to resign.”